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Thread: 2007 328xi auto trans prob. No reverse, then drive for 20 yards then no movement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    harwich, ma, usa
    My Cars
    2007 bmw 328xi

    2007 328xi auto trans prob. No reverse, then drive for 20 yards then no movement

    Hi, new to the site and first post related to my son's 07 328xi with 107k. Only had car a few months and ran fine accept for occasionally on highway the cruise would shut off and 4 x 4 warning and abs light would come on. That would go away when you shut the car down and restarted - not sure if that could be related to the total failure today.

    took a short drive to dog park today. Went to leave and the car hardly moved in reverse but we were able to pull out in drive. Drove about 30 yards and lost tranny power. Engine runs fine, idles and revs, but no movement. Had to tow it to my parents who we are visiting. Hoping I don't need to tow it 130 miles home!

    We jacked up the car and opened the transmission fill plug and nothing came out so I was hoping fluid was low. There was a bit of fluid around the bell housing but no major leak. The skid plat or whatever covers the tranny was dirty and grimey but not saturated. I opened the drain plug and hardly any fluid came out (1/2 quart?). That got my hopes up that it was just low fluid. Replaced the drain plug and pumped almost a quart of fluid into the fill hole, then it started leaking out which did not bode well for the low fluid theory. Still no tranny action, so we tried warming up the tranny by running the car for a few minutes cycling through reverse, neutral and drive and then drained again. This time a quart or so drained but not the 5 or so I expected. Again filled 3/4 quart and it started dripping out the fill hole. Started the car and actually more fluid leaked out - I thought we would be able to add more fluid while running, but not able to.

    I have several questions.
    1. Would low fluid cause no reverse but allow drive for a short time and then nothing?
    2. Is it abnormal that I can only drain around a quart and fill around a quart? Is there any problem that would block the fluid from draining or not allow fluid to properly fill?
    3. Probably going to replace the filter. Would clogged filter cause the issue or impact draining the fluid?
    4. What is the correct filter? The Vin shows this should be a GA6L-45R tranny, but when I search some parts sites show a different transmission for the 07 328xi.
    5. Does this tranny have the mechatronic sleeve? The only wiring I noticed was a rectangular plug in the bottom rear of the tranny. I did not disconnect as there was no fluid - but will check that next. is there any other wire connectors/sensors?
    6. I saw a post mentioning the gear selector valve - if that fails would we have been able to drive the car and then lose tranny power? Or would that make it impossible to move the car in drive and then have the tranny fail while driving slowly?
    7. I could not get a pan gasket so did not want to drop the pan, when i get a filter kit anything else to look for?
    8. I will probably load one of the phone APP BMW OBD readers. We just got a cable that also has a phone adapter but was planning on using a laptop program. Since we're not home I will need to make due with a phone app. If i get one working Ill post the codes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Denver, CO
    My Cars
    '08 E90 335xi manual
    The fill procedure is very specific, read it carefully.
    Since you're filling anyway and obviously need to replace the pan gasket and/or Mechatronics sleeve, replace the pan and all seals between the valve body and transmission.
    Use the proper fluid!
    Do NOT drive the car till this is fixed properly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    harwich, ma, usa
    My Cars
    2007 bmw 328xi
    i pulled the following codes usin deep obd for bmw.
    Gear R incorrect ratio, Error currently available, OBD debounced
    185768 km

    Clutch and gears 1, 2, 3 and 4 Indicated a Neutral test failed, Error currently available, OBD debounced
    185768 km

    no risk driving car as it does not move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    My Cars
    335i E93 N54
    As mentioned, ensure the correct process when adding trans fluid.

    In my case, my symptoms were similar, though I would get a pop up on my GPS screen stating 'low torque mode'.
    I'd turn it off, turn it on and be OK for another two minutes.
    Then it stopped moving in any direction. The internal pump died.

    I installed a used tranny rather than rebuild. All has been well since.
    In hindsight, I would have gone with an upgraded model as I'm running higher output, but the stock is still decent. (mine died before I did any modding)

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