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      07-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
bmw32atexi
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HELP: 2009 328xi AT-Won't go into reverse

Hi All,

I have a 2009 328xi with a automatic transmission and 98,000 km. I bought it used back in 2012 with about 80,000 km (Canadian car), maintain it well and never abuse it. Today I made a short trip to the local coffee shop. I came home and parked it in garage. About 2 hours later I hop in to do another errand and noticed it the thing won't go into reverse.

Here is what I know:
- No error codes
- Drives normal in forward. I don't notice anything different whether I'm driving in D or DS or using the Auto/Manual shifting.
- In Reverse, when I step on the gas, the RPMs sit between 1500-2000 RPM. Sometimes feels like it's in limpmode but I'm not moving. Other than that, no strange noises.
- No clanking sounds or pings.
- I have tried turning off/on- no luck.

I'm wondering if it could be the battery ? Any advice or suggestions or pointing me to a related relevant link would be appreciated, so I can take it into my Indy Mechanic and understand what he's going to tell me.

BTW, Anyone know how to check the AT transmission fluid levels ?

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      07-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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Most likely not the transmission level but here is how to check. Car in park engine running, pull the fill plug on the transmission and some should weep out. You need to have the trans ATF between 80-120F which you can guess at pretty well since summer in Toronto.
This is an electronically controlled transmission so if possible get a code reader and read them. When you state no codes do you mean no codes showing on the instrument panel or have you read the codes?
No way to tell if this is your battery but doesn't sound likely.
Hope this helps some...
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      07-06-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
Most likely not the transmission level but here is how to check. Car in park engine running, pull the fill plug on the transmission and some should weep out. You need to have the trans ATF between 80-120F which you can guess at pretty well since summer in Toronto.
This is an electronically controlled transmission so if possible get a code reader and read them. When you state no codes do you mean no codes showing on the instrument panel or have you read the codes?
No way to tell if this is your battery but doesn't sound likely.
Hope this helps some...
Thanks Fun2Drive, I mean no codes on the steering column. I do have INPA software and the right cable but just got it so definitely not a expert. I have hooked it up a few times to see if there is communications which there is but have not done much else.

Sometimes when I go from P to R or D to R, I can hear the clunk like it's in the R gear but when I let go of the brake or give it some gas, the car does not move in Reverse.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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      07-06-2013, 05:45 PM   #4
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... is the parking brake on?
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      07-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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Handbrake or arrrr she blowsssss. Tranny done...
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      07-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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... is the parking brake on?
Definitely not. Parking brake does work though. I tried it and put it into D.
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      07-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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Handbrake or arrrr she blowsssss. Tranny done...
Sure hope not. This car is turning out to be a lemon unfortunately. I like driving it but if it's going be in the shop every few months ...yikes !

If the tranny is gone, you would think you couldn't go forward or backwards.

Spoke to my Indy Mechanic and he said best thing to do is bring it in so he can run diagnostics. He found it strange it didn't throw a code right off the bat. I'm bringing it in on Monday.
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      07-06-2013, 09:42 PM   #8
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Sounds like the tranny is done. Same thing happened to my gfs truck. But hers was in every gear, just revved, wouldn't move.
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      07-06-2013, 09:42 PM   #9
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Yea usually a gear clutch or solenoid would go out so u can have no reverse and just forward. Or missing second or fifth or multiple. Etc.

Might be a solenoid which I think a code scanner would tell.

I've seen this happen to many cars. Of course with BMW, tiis expensive...

Not a lemon, just a German.
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      07-06-2013, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racermp View Post
Yea usually a gear clutch or solenoid would go out so u can have no reverse and just forward. Or missing second or fifth or multiple. Etc.

Might be a solenoid which I think a code scanner would tell.

I've seen this happen to many cars. Of course with BMW, tiis expensive...

Not a lemon, just a German.
A good chuckle, not a a lemon, just German. Well I can hope for the best, my indy Mechanic is pretty honest and gives good advice. It's not necessarily the cost of repairs as a key factor as it is reliability with me.

Question that comes to mind now is do I fix it and unload and then go back to Honda/Acura. I've had bulletproof reliability with little maintenance with those brands.

Thanks for the suggestions/insights folks, I'll post what the findings are !
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      07-07-2013, 06:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racermp View Post
Yea usually a gear clutch or solenoid would go out so u can have no reverse and just forward. Or missing second or fifth or multiple. Etc.

Might be a solenoid which I think a code scanner would tell.

I've seen this happen to many cars. Of course with BMW, tiis expensive...

Not a lemon, just a German.
Hey racermp, again, thanks for the valuable help. I found some interesting info on similar problem for the e46, not sure it applies to the e90 but useful in the pursuit of more info and hopefully helps others out in the future.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=706809
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      07-07-2013, 07:26 AM   #12
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Ill buy it as is if you want to get rid of it. Pm me
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      07-07-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Talking

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Ill buy it as is if you want to get rid of it. Pm me
Unlikely since your in Tenn.
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      07-07-2013, 08:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racermp View Post
Yea usually a gear clutch or solenoid would go out so u can have no reverse and just forward. Or missing second or fifth or multiple. Etc.

Might be a solenoid which I think a code scanner would tell.

I've seen this happen to many cars. Of course with BMW, tiis expensive...

Not a lemon, just a German.
Hi Racermp, check this out, proves your wealth of knowledge and value to this community. I'm wondering if they used the same manufacturers for the 07-11 e90 transmissions...

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/autom...bmw_trans.html

"John of Cookeville, TN on Feb. 27, 2013
Satisfaction Rating
1/5
Two transmissions came on the 99 to 2006 BMW. I don't know about the rest but it's probably the same issue: the GM and ZF. They both have the same no reverse symptom but have completely different problems.

GM reverse solenoid screen gets clogged. Replace reverse solenoid, it doesn't need a new transmission. A very small screen about an inch wide causes this. It's not really even hard to fix. It's right under the pan.

ZF is a bigger problem. The reverse drum looks like a coffee can. There are clutches and other things in this reverse drum. There is a snap ring that holds all this stuff in there. The outer edge of the reverse drum breaks off and let's the snap ring loose. The solution is to replace it with a better reverse drum from an after market supplier. The ZF number for my 2002 is 5HP19. Yours may be slightly different. You will probably have the same reverse drum as mine has. So look at a reverse drum for the 5HP19. A savvy mechanic can replace this themselves. There are YouTube videos on how to replace this. The outer edge on the aftermarket reverse drum is thicker and will not break again. You do not have to replace transmission. A shop will replace this part for less than the cost of new transmission. When it goes bad, it does not destroy the transmission. If so inclined, have the shop replace the clutch packs as well and replace the torque converter.

The converter is around $200. The drum is around $120. The clutch pack master kit I've found varies in price from $400 to $800. When done this way, the transmission will be better than new for maybe $1500 to $2000. I will rebuild my transmission for $1000 myself. That's just parts. Now you know about how much parts should cost. You will be able to estimate labor. Do a search on this. These problems are common on Range Rovers, Porsches, Audis, BMWs and VWs. There is a Wiki on the 5- and 6-speed hp transmissions the ZF went into.

Stop taking your cars to BMW for this fix. You still should file class action lawsuits."

This is very interesting. I didn't realize there were so many complaints. I'm wondering what kind of Transmission I have. I used http://www.realoem.com/ and got my vehicle build but it popped up 2 types of possible transmissions. Anyone know if both are GM transmissions ?

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISS. GA6HP19Z - 4-WHEEL
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISS. GA6L45R - 4-WHEEL
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      07-09-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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OP Update:

Update. I always believe in 2 opinions so I called up a BMW dealership in the Toronto area (that shall remain nameless) and described the problem I had. After a few questions/answers, he suggested I bring it in and have it checked but very good chance the Tranny was trashed and I'd need a new one. He would also have to charge for diagnostics work regardless (under 200). Fair enough. I know transmissions are not cheap to replace.

So I took it down to my trusted Indy mechanic Darren at DC Motorwerx / Aphawerx on John St in Vaughan. He popped a diagnostic tool on it, got the error code right, did some research. He drove it and confirmed no reverse and no grinding noise. He described what the error code was and said the reading did not indicate a solenoid failure. He said error code indicated a problem with the gear selector rod. I told him to go ahead and open it up. I swear that within 20 mins he had gearbox thing off and was showing me exactly what was broken and why I could not go into reverse. He said it wouldn't be alot of work to get the parts and fix it. Sure beats a new transmission. SO, since I was thinking of changing the Tranny fluid because I was hitting the 100,000km mark soon, it spelled opportunity, since he had it apart anyways. The Tranny fluid was getting a bit brown I noticed but the interior parts looked brand new.

Anyways, got it fixed versus a new tranny. He did say in all fairness the BMW service shops would probably have gone through the exact same process. Maybe, but it would have cost alot more and who is to say they wouldn't recommend a new or rebuilt transmission anyways, I would not have known any better.

So basically I spent a bit more than a BMW tranny flush (gaskets, seals and tranny oil) would have cost me. I didn't know that tranny Oil Pan gaskets were so $@#$# expensive. They look so cheap. BUT, I swear the thing drives better now than it did before, I guess it's because of the new tranny oil. What a difference.

I was lucky but also glad to have taken my car to my trusted Indy mechanic.
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      07-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #16
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Glad to hear this was the outcome and good idea to change the fluid.
I have not heard horror stories on the ZF transmission and some unkind comments on the GM transmission but many have a lot of miles on them so hard to say if they are good or bad.
Which did yours end up being. I know the pan and filter on the ZF is integral but don't know if the GM is as well...
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      09-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #17
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What did this turn out to be? I'm having the exact same problem. It will drive but absolutely nothing when shifted into reverse. I'm right at 78,000 miles


Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw32atexi View Post
Hi All,

I have a 2009 328xi with a automatic transmission and 98,000 km. I bought it used back in 2012 with about 80,000 km (Canadian car), maintain it well and never abuse it. Today I made a short trip to the local coffee shop. I came home and parked it in garage. About 2 hours later I hop in to do another errand and noticed it the thing won't go into reverse.

Here is what I know:
- No error codes
- Drives normal in forward. I don't notice anything different whether I'm driving in D or DS or using the Auto/Manual shifting.
- In Reverse, when I step on the gas, the RPMs sit between 1500-2000 RPM. Sometimes feels like it's in limpmode but I'm not moving. Other than that, no strange noises.
- No clanking sounds or pings.
- I have tried turning off/on- no luck.

I'm wondering if it could be the battery ? Any advice or suggestions or pointing me to a related relevant link would be appreciated, so I can take it into my Indy Mechanic and understand what he's going to tell me.

BTW, Anyone know how to check the AT transmission fluid levels ?

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      09-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
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What did this turn out to be? I'm having the exact same problem. It will drive but absolutely nothing when shifted into reverse. I'm right at 78,000 miles
Read the posts above your post, OP said it was apparently a cheap fix.
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      09-25-2013, 12:17 PM   #19
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Apparently, I am not paying attention. I hope mine turns out to be a relatively cheap fix as well. Key word: relatively. I cannot get an appointment into my shop for several days but they are going to try to squeeze me in between appointments to at least diagnose it over the next day or two. Keeping fingers crossed.


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Read the posts above your post, OP said it was apparently a cheap fix.
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      09-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Apparently, I am not paying attention. I hope mine turns out to be a relatively cheap fix as well. Key word: relatively. I cannot get an appointment into my shop for several days but they are going to try to squeeze me in between appointments to at least diagnose it over the next day or two. Keeping fingers crossed.
Good luck. Hope it all works out for you.
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      09-30-2013, 05:16 PM   #21
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Hey man. Really glad it was just a rod. Dealers hire Lil johnnies from UTI. Universal technical institute. They don't know better. But glad it was a easy fix.
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      03-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #22
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I have pretty much the same issue as you today only my car is a 07 with similar (little bit more) miles. gonna to a mechanic tomorrow, hopefully its a similar issue
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