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Old 11-28-2018, 06:15 AM
floyd86uk floyd86uk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Oxford, UK
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Thanks guys - I really appreciate the replies and a bit of hope that I can get this sorted!

After I changed the stereo and fitted the reverse cam, the wife has been giving me grief about how the car was working fine before I started messing with it. Problem is, she's right! It was pretty much OK apart from the odd slow shifts. I'm all out of ways to say that changing the stereo shouldn't kill the transmission!

I'm going to get at the transmission connector this weekend. You know, we had a pretty harsh (by UK standards) summer this year and didn't get rain for a real long time. But, it started getting cold and wet around mid-October time. About when the Trans Failsafe started happening a lot. I also recall driving through a massive puddle of rain water a few Sunday's ago. Water in the connector could well be it... thanks for the suggestion!

I'm also going to check the 'secret menu' and keep an eye on the voltage for a bit. Read somewhere that dips can cause all kinds of problems. I had the battery checked by a local garage and they said it was fine. These guys are in the battery selling business, so I was fully expecting a quote for a new battery off the back of the check, but no. Maybe worth a voltage check anyway to rule out any alternator probs.

The holding of the gears is pretty intermittent. I can reverse out of my drive, pull away slowly and it will shift under 2000. But, I need to join a 40mph road soon after and it's impossible to get it to 40mph in less that 40 seconds without it revving over 3500. Sometimes I'll stop at a junction, then pull away normally and it rolls along in 1st gear; 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000 and I'm screaming at it, "SHIFT!!! SHIIIIFT!!!!!" and then it goes into 2nd. But, if I did really push down, it will take off. So, there doesn't seem to be a way to intentionally keep it under 2000 without driving at 3mph, slowly creeping up to the same speed as everyone else on the road. But then, some days... no problem at all.

One other thing that I noticed a while ago is that when I start the car, a load of white smoke (vapour?) shoots out of the exhaust. It also smells a bit strong if I'm stood by the car with it running. One time, the smoke was pouring out for about a mile down the road - but this only happened once. I haven't noticed it happen since, so I kinda just got over that and put it down to being the start of winter.

As I said above, I've only had the car a few months and I'm not sure if the trans fluid has ever been changed. My mechanic didn't do it when he serviced it because of the BMW sticker saying not to. I know now that 100,000 is probably their idea of 'life'. So, it's probably a good idea to insist on getting that changed.

I'm thinking I'll check the connector for water, get the X5 scanned to see what faults come back, get a trans fluid change and keep an eye on the voltage. May be worth a new battery too, as even though it came back fine - I was really surprised to have completely flattened it after leaving the interior lights on for a couple hours. Although, that said, there are loads of lights in this thing.

Thanks again for the suggestions and I'll keep you posted.
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