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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Hi Folks,
I'm new to BMW owenership having just bought a 2003 E39 530d Sport with an Auto Box. I love the car except for one thing - the auto box. I've no previous experience of BMW autos so I'm not sure if this box is behaving normally or if there's something wrong. The problem I'm finding is that there seems to be an excessive amount of slippage when accelerating before the torque convertor locks up and gives "solid" drive to the wheels. A similar problem exists on deceleration in that once the revs drop to about 2000rpm then all engine braking is lost and the car goes into "freewheel" mode and the revs drop to idle speed. The strange thing is that this behaviour also exists in steptronic mode where I would have expected it to lock into the particular chosen gear and remain solid regardless of acceleration or deceleration. The reason that I find this behaviour so strange is because I also have a 2002 Audi S8 with an auto box and in tiptronic mode it locks into the ratio almost immediately when accelerating and holds it on deceleration right down to 1000rpm. Can someone please advise me if this is normal or if there's something wrong with the 'box? If this is normal does anyone know if there's a remap available that will correct this problem? Thanks for your help.
 

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The BMW box is adaptive which means it adapts to the style of the driver.

Could also be low on gearbox oil, maybe worth getting the codes read and cleared to see if anything is wrong and once cleared may solve the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mike, I'm getting the oil and filter changed next week and I'll see what happens after that. Do you need to go to a main dealer to get the gearbox codes read?
 

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Thanks Mike, I'm getting the oil and filter changed next week and I'll see what happens after that. Do you need to go to a main dealer to get the gearbox codes read?
no a good indy will be able to read the codes, i would say change the box oil:thumbsup
 

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The GM box in the BMW does behave a bit different than the ZF in the audi. Personally, I like the GM box's characteristics. It sounds like your box is acting normally, but it is hard to tell from what you are saying. The lockup point is a bit higher on this box, to try and keep the rpm above the turbo threshold, otherwise the car would be a dog to drive. The box will also try to go into freewheel mode when you lift off, to save fuel. Except when you are on a decline and using some brake, in which case it will try to gear down and maintain speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
E39 530d Auto

Thanks for that info, it is still possible that this behaviour is normal but I haven't had a chance to drive another 530d auto yet to compare it. By the way have you ever come across a remap for this gearbox that would change these characteristics, ie. lower the lock-up speed and hold onto the revs on a downshift?
 

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From what you have said, I would it compares quite well to my 530d Auto. The partial lock up may only be in 4th and 5th. It certainly does engine braking down a steep hill though. This can be quite dramatic!

As P1000 says, the revs are kept quite high to keep the turbo spooled up and minimise turbo lag.
 
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