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      12-17-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
adc
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Stuck in 2nd gear (manual tranny)

I think I'm probably the first to have this happen.

My wife was driving the M3 while I was taking my new rims to the tire installer, and called me to report that after taking off from a stoplight, it would not come out of 2nd gear anymore. She has never owned an automatic car in her life, knows what she's doing and so I believe that's exactly how it happened.

Anyway, I managed to take it to the dealer (not far away) using mostly 2nd gear. At times I was able to shift in 3rd/4th, but it was always a struggle to put it back in 2nd, and it never went in 1st. I didn't want to force it.

At the dealer, of course it was in one of the "it works" phases, but he definitely believed me and got me a loaner. This morning they were able to experience the same symptoms, so now they're waiting for instructions from BMW.

My gut feeling was that perhaps some part in the shift linkage had come loose, and when it was displaced the shift lever could not move the linkage sufficiently to cover the 1-2 plane. Then driving the car could bump the parts back into proper alignment and it would shift ok.

I think I'll call them tomorrow to ask them to investigate this possibility rather than try to get a new tranny, which would probably take forever.

Of course, it could also be some obscure internal tranny failure, in which case they'll probably replace it.


The only good news is that they gave me a 135i loaner instead of the usual 328 or X3 - the 135i is a little ball of fun. Props to VOB BMW so far, they are taking care of me.

I'll keep you guys posted as to how this unfolds, may be of interest to other owners of manual transmission cars...
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      12-17-2009, 05:48 PM   #2
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GL probly some linkage stuff
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      12-17-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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Andrei,

Keep me updated on what happens. We still need to meet up soon.

Ben
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      12-17-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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should have gotten DCT


sorry had to
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      12-17-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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Definitely sounds like a linkage issue to me. Stock shifter, I assume?
Whatever it is, it's a rare occurrence, but please keep us posted. Good luck.
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      12-17-2009, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihyln View Post
should have gotten DCT


sorry had to
Low blow

ha ha jk
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      12-17-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Another low blow... I think your wife broke the trans lol

Just kidding. I hope they can take care of it for ya soon.
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      12-18-2009, 02:11 AM   #8
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They should replace the tranny...I have a friend with a similar issue, couldn't shift to third. It seems that BMW policy is to replace the transmission, and not to fix part of it.
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      12-18-2009, 02:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihyln View Post
should have gotten DCT


sorry had to
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      12-18-2009, 04:30 AM   #10
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Wow...you let your wife drive the M3? or you used to let your wife drive the M3.


Joking...Sounds like a linkage problem to me.
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      12-18-2009, 09:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihyln View Post
should have gotten DCT


sorry had to
Ouch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben335 View Post
Andrei,

Keep me updated on what happens. We still need to meet up soon.

Ben
Will do, Ben.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1989baby View Post
GL probly some linkage stuff
That was my guess too, but as someone else has remarked, they don't seem eager to put it on a lift and investigate. I'll ask them to do that, but there is the possibility that BMW won't pay for that investigation. Weird if you ask me, but I won't force the issue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Definitely sounds like a linkage issue to me. Stock shifter, I assume?
Whatever it is, it's a rare occurrence, but please keep us posted. Good luck.
Stock shifter so far. I'll keep you guys posted, thanks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leozap View Post
Another low blow... I think your wife broke the trans lol
She'll hit me in the head with the big frying pan if I suggest that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JIO View Post
Wow...you let your wife drive the M3? or you used to let your wife drive the M3.
I'll still let her - she's only had manual trannies so far and has been driving for quite awhile.

But I don't think she'll object to that exhaust now, you know what I'm saying?
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      12-18-2009, 03:55 PM   #12
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Latest word from BMW is that they will replace the transmission.

While I am not opposed to getting a new one despite my low 6k mileage, in this manner there is a very good chance I'll never find out what was wrong. I confirmed with my SA that they never got authorization to investigate a linkage problem - perhaps when they replace the tranny the tech can poke around the linkage a bit.

Anyway, it's supposed to happen at the beginning of next week, we shall see...
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      12-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihyln View Post
should have gotten DCT


sorry had to
how cute... you had to...
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      12-18-2009, 04:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Latest word from BMW is that they will replace the transmission.

While I am not opposed to getting a new one despite my low 6k mileage, in this manner there is a very good chance I'll never find out what was wrong. I confirmed with my SA that they never got authorization to investigate a linkage problem - perhaps when they replace the tranny the tech can poke around the linkage a bit.

Anyway, it's supposed to happen at the beginning of next week, we shall see...
Glad that they are taking care of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griz View Post
how cute... you had to...
get lost
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      12-18-2009, 08:18 PM   #15
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//M3 first rule of thumb:
1. Dont let your wife/GF drive it

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      12-18-2009, 08:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Latest word from BMW...
It'd be interesting to find out, but I'd expect BMW to just box up the old tranny and send it back to Germany for a rebuild. You'd probably have to go to a transmission shop to get somebody that would want to investigate this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihyln View Post
get lost
And miss out on your clever little quips?
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      12-18-2009, 10:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ase2dais View Post
//M3 first rule of thumb:
1. Dont let your wife/GF drive it
Ah, every time my wife took my former E36 M3 to work, she would come back with a story about how some punk raced her - and lost.

I would never give up these stories...


(Besides which, as I've said, there might be compensations).
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      12-18-2009, 10:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihyln View Post
should have gotten DCT


sorry had to
Yeah because DCT has never had problems before.
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      12-18-2009, 11:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koroush View Post
Yeah because DCT has never had problems before.
It does?! Because mine has been flawless so I thought it would be the same for everyone else!
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      12-19-2009, 09:12 AM   #20
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It does?! Because mine has been flawless so I thought it would be the same for everyone else!
+1 for flawless. I swear that DCT lag is operator error.
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      12-23-2009, 05:21 PM   #21
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Update

Well I'm back in the car now, with my "mild winter" wheel/tire setup and a brand new tranny. Actually, it may be a remanufactured unit, because my SA inquired about getting a 1200 mile service on it and was told that it comes with the correct (that is, non-break-in oil) in it already.

Not sure about it, I may change the oil anyway in 1200 miles just to be sure.

Everything looks ok, the same as before the problem - well perhaps 1 and 2 are a little snaggy but I'll give it a few hundred miles to break in and report later.

When the technician took the old transmission out, he tried to find any obvious issues - linkage bent or falling apart, missing circlips etc. and could not find anything unusual externally. So the conclusion was that it was some sort of internal failure - I hope BMW gets my transmission and figures it out.

Anyway, the 135i loaner was nice, but I so missed my car...



Almost forgot - my hat's off to VOB and Gint in the Yellow Team, I doubt this could have been handled any faster or smoother! From the loaner that magically appeared at 6PM on a Thursday night, regular (unprompted) status updates and ending with the 3 business days turnaround time (blizzard and all), I could not be happier.
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      12-23-2009, 05:31 PM   #22
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It's nice to hear that you've got your car back and that the service experience was positive (aside from the fact you needed service at all). There have been too many threads about members who go through hell to get something that obviously needs repair/replacement completed and have nothing but hassles from clueless dealerships. I'm happy to see there are some good ones out there.

And hey, you got it back before Christmas...so that's a plus as well. I hope the new transmission provides a trouble-free life.
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