• Announcements

    • sandip

      Email notifications   06/09/2016

      We are aware the email notifications are currently not working.  If you require any assistance related to receiving emails, please contact one of the admin team whilst we look to resolve this issue.   Thanks Sandip 
KGOMO

Trans Failsafe Prog

26 posts in this topic

Hi all.

I have a 535 E39 1997 auto (130K) and currenty experiencing a problem with transmission

Without any warning, one morning my wife experienced a problem where the R gear was working properly but when switching into D, the car would not move forward showing a "Trans Failsafe Prog" error.

3 days after, I tried myself to check the car and managed to make it drive but it looks as if it runs on a 3rd or 4th gear only.

PS

2 weeks before, my battery went flat when the alarm lights were left for a couple of hours by mistake.

The battery was charged with a small optimiser tool I have for my bike.

A mechanic I asked said without any hesitation that I need a new gearbox and proposed a second hand for around £1000.

Is it possible that I have a less serious problem or does it look like a gearbox failure problem.

Also, if I change it to manual, is it more cost efficient (thinking of this as getting a second hand auto again maybe a time bomd)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum

It's more likely that you need a new battery

"TRANS FAILSAFE PROG" is one of the first things to come up with a duff battery, check the voltage before and after starting the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ally and Tesla.

The battery is 1 year old but got completely flat when we left the car on Alarms for several hours.

The battery was brought back to life with the OptiMate battery optimisation/charger.

I just connected the battery again to my OptiMate. I will leave it there for full charging and try again later tonight.

I will let you know.

If it is the battery I will replace it with a new within the week.

Fingers crossed and hoping for the best!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check your alternator isn't on its way out first. Battery might be good, but alternator may be failing to recharge it properly. Multimeter is all you need.

A fair few of us on here have had this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's the alternator the battery light will be on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only when the alternator fails completely. If it's partially charging the light stays out and you get the spurious errors you are seeing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you themanstan and mcenroe.

I will wait until the battery is recharged by the Optimate to see if this changes anything.

I will check the alternator with a multimeter afterwards and let you know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would check that your optimate is good enough to charge this size battery, i use it on my R1 but not on my car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a previous post on what to expectto see.

You should be getting at least 14.5v at the battery with the motor running if you were getting say 13.80 -14v, i would say the alternator is past it. The battery takes a pounding when this happens as it has to act as more of a reserve and although it may perform well,its general health may be poor.

On a e39 (and e32/34)with all its electrical systems,an half a volt drop in output will cause odd things to happen as what the generator can produce the battery takes it, leaving systems to run 'lean' so to speak and causing errors to appear/disappear

If this is your symptom suspect the rectifier pack in the alternator and in the short term,perhaps a battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can see the voltage it's charging at via the hidden menu

If you have high obc

I'm not sure if 1997 cars have this ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can see the voltage it's charging at via the hidden menu

If you have high obc

I'm not sure if 1997 cars have this ??

Hidden menu? :shock: How do you get in to that then :mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After leaving the battery charging with the OptiMate charger, the battery was showing 0V on the car and the battery is now completely flat which was not the case before i take the battery out.

I will be replacing the battery tomorrow and hope that this will fix my problem with the gearbox as well.

Thank you all for your advice so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that charger a motorbike battery charger?

If so, you need something a bit more manly for the BMW's battery.

Edited by Tesla

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you get your new battery, still keep an eye on the voltages before and after starting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can see the voltage it's charging at via the hidden menu

If you have high obc

I'm not sure if 1997 cars have this ??

This is possible, but the voltage shown on the dash on mine is lower then the voltage shown on a multimeter direct connected to the battery, by 0.7v on mine so I wouldn't rely on this value for diagnostic purposes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

after installing the new battery the starter does not start the engine. it turns around but does not hook to start the engine. i am wondering if the computer does not allow the car to start to avoid further damage. i am looking for a bmw garage with computer disgmostics to investigate. i found a good deal via service4service.co.uk with free recovery and delivery and 60 pounds diagnostics for the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe obvious, but is the battery the correct size, correct cranking amps etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you try jump starting with this battery in place, does the car start. Then once running check with the multimeter and see what you get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the rac recovered the vehicle which was said to have the engine flooded with fuel and they also topped up the engine oil with 2 litres. the gearbox momentarily worked on the drive gear. after an hour when my wife tried to move the car, the gearbox was not working and rac was called again. the car is now at service and they will be running diagnostics. i will update the forum when i have the results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not the car ecu doing it - it would stop the starter winding at all. Sounds like a starter bendix issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turns out that the gearbox needs to be replaced.

Found a 2nd hand gearbox on 247spares.co.uk with 90day warrantee for £185 including vat and delivery.

The service require 5 hours labor at £300 + VAT (£450) + £100-150 for oil/filters

Total £785. Is this reasonable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now