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  #1  
Old 06-23-2014, 11:40 PM
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Transmission failsafe + code P0377

So, while driving my '04 X5 3.0i, E53 (GM automatic transmission), it went into transmission failsafe, and I read error code P0733.

Ref: http://engine-codes.com/p0733_bmw.html

Starting the troubleshooting from the cheap possibilities: I did a partial transmission fluid change (without pan drop) and also changed the battery. I was overdue for both anyway.

I just recently bought the car, and it has driven fine and shifted fine until this failsafe kicked in. I can still drive it in manual mode without triggering the failsafe, although the 2-3 gear transition is still a bit slow on the shift.

Relevant or not: I also don't know whether it is normal for this model, but in the first gears, as it shifts up, I hear a loud air-blowing sound...sounds like a turbo -- though there is no such in this car.

Any ideas before I surrender to a local dealership would be greatly appreciated!!
-W.

P.S. mistake in the post title: should read P0733, not P0377. (Thanks RRPhil)

Last edited by wellingtonamaral; 06-24-2014 at 12:06 PM. Reason: correction
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2014, 08:25 AM
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You quote the DTC as P0377 in the title, P0733 in the post and then P0133 in your other (fluid change) post. I hope you donít have a job where numerical accuracy is important . Anyway, I assume you mean P0733 - which indicates a problem with 3rd gear. If it drives fine in manual mode then this points towards a issue with the intermediate clutch sprag as this is bypassed by the overdrive clutch in manual mode (to provide engine braking).





Phil
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRPhil View Post
You quote the DTC as P0377 in the title, P0733 in the post and then P0133 in your other (fluid change) post. I hope you donít have a job where numerical accuracy is important . Anyway, I assume you mean P0733 - which indicates a problem with 3rd gear. If it drives fine in manual mode then this points towards a issue with the intermediate clutch sprag as this is bypassed by the overdrive clutch in manual mode (to provide engine braking).





Phil
Sounds like an expensive repair.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRPhil View Post
You quote the DTC as P0377 in the title, P0733 in the post and then P0133 in your other (fluid change) post. I hope you donít have a job where numerical accuracy is important . Anyway, I assume you mean P0733 - which indicates a problem with 3rd gear. If it drives fine in manual mode then this points towards a issue with the intermediate clutch sprag as this is bypassed by the overdrive clutch in manual mode (to provide engine braking).

Phil
Thank-you for the correction, RRPhil: It is code P0733.

While I can drive in manual without triggering failsafe, it is still a bit slow on the 2nd-to-3rd shift transition.

Do you still think it is the intermediate clutch sprag?
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellingtonamaral View Post
Any ideas before I surrender to a local dealership would be greatly appreciated!!
Before you leave the vehicle with the dealer, confirm whether the dealer will work on the transmission. Typically BMW doesn't support dealers doing any significant work on automatic transmissions (no parts in the system, no training offered) but instead offers exchange transmissions and has all the rebuilds done centrally. That can be expensive.

An alternative is an independent transmission shop familiar with that model of transmission.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
Before you leave the vehicle with the dealer, confirm whether the dealer will work on the transmission. Typically BMW doesn't support dealers doing any significant work on automatic transmissions (no parts in the system, no training offered) but instead offers exchange transmissions and has all the rebuilds done centrally. That can be expensive.

An alternative is an independent transmission shop familiar with that model of transmission.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:01 PM
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Ouch!

* This must be an existing issue prior to the fluid change.
* A thorough Pre purchase inspection by well qualified BMW Indy shop is a must.

Just take a step back and re-evaluate your options
* get a price quote for the repairs ( knowing it might cost you more after the tear down)
* get the current market value of your vehicle

repair versus letting it go

Good luck!
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:15 PM
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Speaking from experience, first disassemble the harness connector at the transmission and thoroughly clean the pins and sockets with contact cleaner. Reassemble with dielectric grease and check your transmission operation again. It's amazing, the havoc a dirty connector can play with the unit.

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