Question about BMW 525

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Transmission fail safe mode

I unfortunately have only knowledge of BMW's by reading! I recently bought a 2003 525i E39 and no code light cues were on except fog lights *fixable. A light ice storm had resulted in my turn around on a 30 degree hill but to reach the peak of the road I was attempting to slide up and on by means of changing gears into manual mode to give me a bit of pep! I was pretty forcefull and fast shifting with acceleration-RPMS up to 3000 just to reach the top of street. A total time I did this was 4-5 with manual usage. As I got to normal plane, I felt maybe the car was driving somewhat sluggish not as fast pep take off but disregarded and headed on my way. Few hours later, the TRANS FAIL light came on and I noticed the MANUAL MODE did NO LONGER light up or shift in any way thereafter; only pulled with automatic trans but delayed shifting. I mean by this, the acceleration felt to not engage in regulating RPM monitoring and actual gear modulation of my acceleration. Hurry Hurry LOL...I AM FEMALE AND GOING TO LEARN GERMAN MECHANICS TODAY> THank YOU if you can help! Melissa

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  • BMW Master
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Run the fault codes and check for TCM failure. Check transmission fluid levels

Posted on Feb 11, 2014

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: My Pacifica is shifting hard or kinda heavy. My trans fluid is OK

i noticed my car doing the same thing after i bought mine you need to take it in and they need to put some shimes this will prevent it from shifting any hard and cause more damages have it inspected imeidiatley

Posted on Dec 29, 2008

  • 126 Answers

SOURCE: BMW X5 Trans Fail Safe Program,

sometimes it will clear if you turn the X5 off and restart it. however, it could be an early indication that the tranny is about to expire. i have had it happen and it cleared with a power cycle, but also had friends where it cleared for a few weeks/months and returned. this time it was really the transmission that went bad. if you can't get it to clear, then i'd suggest taking it to the dealer and have them plug into it to have a better look.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: BMW X5 Trans Fail Safe Program,

IT'S VERY EASY TO RESET THE TRANSMISION'S COMPUTER. HOLD GAS PEDAL DOWN. TURN THE KEY TO THE NUMBER TWO. CONTINUE TO HOLD THE GAS PEDAL DOWN FOR THIRTY SECONDS.RELEASE THE GAS PEDAL AND PRESS THE BRAKE PEDAL FOR TEN SECONDS. NOW YOU CAN TURN THE VEHICLE ON. THAT SHOULD TAKE IT OUT OF SAFE MODE

Posted on Jan 22, 2010

  • 91 Answers

SOURCE: Tranmission will not shift into next gear from

Try changing the transmission fluid and transmission fluid filter. It is a fairly easy but kind of messy job. Just buy the new fluid and filter, Grab your metric socket set and go at it. NEVER WORK UNDERNEATH A HOT VEHICLE. You have to pull the transmission pan to do this job. When you break the gasket seal several quarts (liters) of transmission fluid will cascade down on you. Be ready for it. Don't forget that when it stops draining there is still a lot of fluid left in the pan. When you finish cleaning up the fluid clean the gunk out of the pan. Install the new filter and reinstall the pan with a new gasket. Do not over torque the pan or filter bolts. If you strip them out or break them off you will need professional help to repair it. Refill the transmission with fluid. It should take six or seven liters.

Posted on Mar 20, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: hard shifting automatic tiptronic transmission.

my car is an audi TT. i get a hard shift sometimes from first to second gear. it does not happen all the times and down from second to first. no lights on...

Posted on Aug 31, 2010

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My BMW 2002 starts out good in morning but when it gets warm or hot my transmission failsafe light comes on what can I do


BMW has been using electronically controlled automatic transmissions in most models since the late '80s. These transmission systems employ a transmission control unit which controls electrical solenoids to manipulate the various control and shift valves and functions in the transmission valve-body. When the transmission control unit detects a problem that it "thinks" could be damaging to the transmission or engine, it goes into a fail-safe or "limp" mode. In this mode, the transmission will function in reverse normally, but in forward it will operate in only one gear (whether you have the shifter in D, or any of the lower gears). This will typically be 3rd or 4th gear, depending on the model. It will start in this gear and stay in this gear with no shifting. You would experience this as sluggish acceleration and higher than normal engine speed at about 40-mph and above.
If you must drive the vehicle when the transmission is in the fail-safe mode, accelerate gently and keep the road speed lower than full highway speed.
Earlier models do not employ fault codes and must be diagnosed manually. Late models do employ fault codes and a diagnostic/scan machine can be used to check and read the faults to assist in diagnostics. Note that this is not your common OBD-II engine management fault code tool. This is what A BMW dealer or a properly equipped independent shop would have for full vehicle system diagnostics and coding operations.

Jun 15, 2017 | BMW Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2006 BMW 750 Li My dynamic drive inactive light came on, then a generator fault light came on


BMW has been using electronically controlled automatic transmissions in most models since the late 80s. These transmission systems employ a transmission control unit which controls electrical solenoids to manipulate the various control and shift valves and functions in the transmission valve body. When the transmission control unit detects a problem that it thinks could be damaging to the transmission or engine, it goes into a fail-safe or limp mode. In this mode, the transmission will function in reverse normally, but in forward it will operate in only one gear (whether you have the shifter in D, or any of the lower gears). This will typically be 3rd or 4th gear, depending on the model. It will start in this gear and stay in this gear with no shifting. You would experience this as sluggish acceleration and higher than normal engine speed at about 40 mph and above.

If you must drive the vehicle when the transmission is in the fail safe mode, accelerate gently and keep the road speed lower than full highway speed.

Earlier models do not employ fault codes and must be diagnosed manually. Late models do employ fault codes and a diagnostic/scan machine can be used to check and read the faults to assist in diagnostics. Note that this is not your common OBDII engine management fault code tool. This is what A BMW dealer or a properly equipped independent shop would have for full vehicle system diagnostics and coding operations.

Feb 13, 2015 | 2006 BMW 750Li

2 Answers

Fail safe mode came on what can we do


when a car goes into fail safe or limp mode it is caused by an inportaint sensor the car needs to either run the motor or shift the trans..ikt then runs or operates on the driving info that the ecu has stored to be able to get it home or to a shop..youj will need to have a diagnostics ran on it and have the cars computer read to retrieve the code to idenify the problem and once the problem componet is replaced the car will automaticly return to normal operation

Feb 21, 2011 | 2005 BMW X5

1 Answer

My Bmw e39 2003 Display shows Trans Fail Safe Mode


That is a pretty robust transmission but its computer is very sensitive the quality of the electrical supply. If you take it to a shop, they will probably put a known good battery in the car and check and clean the electrical grounds before they even look at the transmission. If this is your original battery, you will probably save yourself some money (and perhaps a trip to the transmission shop) if you replace the battery yourself and clean any ground connections you can find. Sorry, but other than the one near the battery, I am not familiar with the ground locations on this model, though there should be a ground strap around one of the engine mounts that should be inspected/cleaned.

Feb 06, 2011 | 2001 BMW 5 Series

2 Answers

Have replaced ABS module on bmw 525 E39 and ABS now ok, but the ASC lamp will not go off on the dash and fault code 23 (incorrect coding) will not clear from system? Everyone told us the ABS ecu does not...


ABS/ASC module is faulty
CLASSIC ABS FAILURE SYMPTOMS:
- Most of the time, the problem is the ABS module or one of the 4 wheel speed sensors (& sometimes the brake pressure sensor)
- In my 2002 BMW E39 DSC, three orange (warning) cluster display lights lit, ABS, Brake, & DSC
- The 3 warning lights reset when the ignition is turned off, only to repeatedly reappear within minutes of normal driving
- The fault is often intermittent leading you to falsely believe you've resolved the problem (proper diagnosis is important)
- Sometimes the fault only appears when the engine is hot; other times only at speeds over 40 mph
- Carsoft may erroneously show a rear speed sensor failure; but just replacing the speed sensor may make no difference.
- All the work is in correct diagnosis of the problem; parts replacement is trivial (from 1 to six bolts in a few minutes)
- Hence, this BMW E39 ABS 3-warning light DIY will concentrate on understanding and diagnosis of the problem

Oct 23, 2009 | 2001 BMW 5 Series

1 Answer

BMW (e39 1999) eml and asc lights and in limp mode


Check the ABS brake sensors in your wheels, if they are not functioning properly. It will trigger the computer to engage the ASC auto stability control light as the asc uses the brakes to assist in control. I will also engage the EML engine management light to slow the rev point to limp mode

Aug 21, 2009 | 2007 BMW 525xi Sedan

1 Answer

Warning lights suddenly popped up


check all the fuses and relays out first.
the abs and traction control are related because the computer reads the wheel speed from the abs sensors.it uses that output to control braking to slow the wheel down.
did you have any service done or an aftermarket stereo installed?
alot of issues arise from damaged wiring improperly routed or pinched in body panels or trim pieces.
the speedometer is fed data from the output shaft of the transmission.
just hope the main ecu or the powertrain module is not blown,they are very expensive.

May 28, 2009 | 1999 BMW 5 Series

1 Answer

2002 X5 Transmission


Sounds like you maybe having a sensor failure (engine). A computer diagnostic can be performed at the vehicle dealership to determine what caused the fail safe mode to activate.

Nov 01, 2008 | 2002 BMW 5 Series

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