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      10-04-2007, 08:47 PM   #1
csupernova
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Transmission noise - Auto owner pls comment

Hi guys

This is my first BMW and I used to drive an Accord. When I was driving with the radio shut off and window closed, I can hear the transmission clearly. This is nothing but a mechanical noise which the transmission is working. Sometime it is even louder than the engine though. Is this normal for a BMW? In my Accord, I didn't even know the transmission is there because it is so quiet. Also, when I position my car from "D" to "P" after a drive, it can hear a "thup" noise.

I own a 2006 330i Step.

Thanks for any advice.
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      10-04-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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Thumbs down E46 Step Trannys are P.O.S IMO. I am on my 3rd one with a 330ci.

The Thup almost sounds like the tranny was stuck, and you feel an ever so slight jolt right? And the noice is kind of a humming woop woop woop sound right? Its not good. Don't worry you can still probably get a good 20K miles out of it since it started behaving like that. Most of these trannies seem to go out in the 80-110K range. My first one died with 90 miles on the second day after I took delivery. BMW replaced it under warranty. That replacement new unit went at 111K. I had to pay 6K for a new one. I am very gentle with my car too. I was working with a girl whose step E46 tranny went at precisely 80K. Its a well known weak point. Total crap all $6K of it.

You don't need to start worrying until you shift into reverse and there is a lag between your shift and when the gear actually engages. Then you have maybe 10K tops before the tranny dies on you. If you shift into reverse, light comes on, the stick is in R and a second latter the tranny engages, its time to sell the car fast. Trust me on that one. It is always the reverse that goes first no matter how hard you drive the car. BTW, the exact same thing happened in my two failed trannies. Now that I put a new tranny on, this is my beater. 125K miles and counting. The tranny works fine or almost fine with no real indication of what is about to befall you, then it suddenly gives out on you out of nowhere. Don't expect some huge warning noices. I think its a GM unit. Yeah you figure that. In a BMW at BMW prices. GM. Thats not what we paid for. If I had any idea when I bought the car new, I wouldn't have.
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      10-04-2007, 09:32 PM   #3
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Yea, the noise is like humming from the transmission.

But my car only has 29k.
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      10-04-2007, 10:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vase330 View Post
The Thup almost sounds like the tranny was stuck, and you feel an ever so slight jolt right? And the noice is kind of a humming woop woop woop sound right? Its not good. Don't worry you can still probably get a good 20K miles out of it since it started behaving like that. Most of these trannies seem to go out in the 80-110K range. My first one died with 90 miles on the second day after I took delivery. BMW replaced it under warranty. That replacement new unit went at 111K. I had to pay 6K for a new one. I am very gentle with my car too. I was working with a girl whose step E46 tranny went at precisely 80K. Its a well known weak point. Total crap all $6K of it.

You don't need to start worrying until you shift into reverse and there is a lag between your shift and when the gear actually engages. Then you have maybe 10K tops before the tranny dies on you. If you shift into reverse, light comes on, the stick is in R and a second latter the tranny engages, its time to sell the car fast. Trust me on that one. It is always the reverse that goes first no matter how hard you drive the car. BTW, the exact same thing happened in my two failed trannies. Now that I put a new tranny on, this is my beater. 125K miles and counting. The tranny works fine or almost fine with no real indication of what is about to befall you, then it suddenly gives out on you out of nowhere. Don't expec

t some huge warning noices. I think its a GM unit. Yeah you figure that. In a BMW at BMW prices. GM. Thats not what we paid for. If I had any idea when I bought the car new, I wouldn't have.
quit your bitching. You got 111k out of an auto trans with no fluid change...thats unheard of. Dont believe BMWs 'no change for the life of the trans' oil. When the oil burns out, it takes the trans with it, so you never change the oil....you just change the trans with it.

My friends had 330s, 325s (e46 and e90) and they have not had so much as one problem. They kept up on the maintenance, and even outside warranty we still had the trans flushed 3 times (his 330 E46 has 142k on original trans right now, shifts as good as the day he bought it)

Its all about how you treat your car. There is no magic oil out there that lasts for a lifetime....same thing goes for the engine oil...BMW made it 15k cuse it saves them money..but in the long run you pay for it cuse the motor takes a beating in the later miles.

In response to the OP, I would most likely have it checked out by the dealer. The Thup noise sounds common in 330s, as Ive heard it before in quite a few of them.

As to the jolt feeling if the trans was stuck, did you park the car on a hill or incline? If you let the parking lock inside the trans hold the car on the hill without using the emergency brake, it will bang once you get it out of park because its fighting the lock. 745s and 750s are notorious for that because no one ever engages the e-brake when they park a 4300lb car.
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      08-21-2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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Hi

It sounds like I get the same noise...

I have a 2006 330i step with 35k on the clock, bought it as an approved used BM about 6 weeks ago and have just started noticing the noise.... I might be paranoid and listening to much for it, but at times it can more noticeable than others...

I sounds a bit like an old mini with straight cut gears!

It is most noticeable upto 40mph and in any gear so I am thinking it is not layshaft bearings (I would have though it would effect only certain gears!) and it can easily be reproduced by going the the gears in sport.

Perhaps I've just got sensitive hearing!! But next time at the stealer I think I will be making a mention.... see what I can sort in the remaining 11 month of my warranty!

Any one else got sensitive ears and notices there 330i auto slightly whine (radio, A/C off windows closed) in any gear upto 40?

BTW... mine thumps every now and again when taking it in and out of gear... I thought this was pretty normal with all auto's!
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      09-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #6
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I experienced the same problem and is directly related to pressing the brake down hard enough when moving from P to D or D, R or P. Like the other guy said this problem will occur when parked on an incline. Before you move from D to Park, fully engage the parking brake and brake pedal before engaging Park. When engaging D, do the reverse and do not disengage the parking brake until in D or R. This should resolve the problem
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      09-18-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Went into the Stealers this week and asked them to listen to my box (has that whine as described in the thread) and the response i got was, and I quote "The mechanic had a listen and advised it is perfectly normal - its just the nature of the beast!"..

So there you go - it is official, BMW have said that 330i gearboxes whine slightly!

I am sceptical, but I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt, I might just pop into my local dealer close to when the warranty is due to expire and get them to check it again!!!!!
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      11-05-2008, 11:46 AM   #8
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The Steptronic in my '08 328i coupe - 1,300 miles - also whines noticeably and is really annoying. My '06 325i sedan did the same thing and the dealer said it was normal. They didn't say how to keep from going nuts and hating to drive the car, though, which seems like a shame after dropping almost $50,000 on a car that, other than the tranny whine, rives better than anything I've ever owned. I wonder if a trans fluid change would help. If not, maybe hypnosis to block iout the high-pitched whine.
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      11-06-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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At Least I am not the only one with sensitive hearing ;-)

I mentioned the whine to a mate of mine who knows a bit about cars a drives an e39 540 - he immediately starting saying get it checked, its not right etc. Any way when i recently sat in his car it whines more than mine! so I think the morel is turn your radio up if you dont like BMW step whine! and just live with it...

Now I know it is not a problem, I have actually started to like the sound and liken it to a big muscle car with straight cut gears!!
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      12-28-2008, 10:17 PM   #10
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how often should one change their tranny oil?
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      12-29-2008, 01:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csupernova View Post
Hi guys

This is my first BMW and I used to drive an Accord. When I was driving with the radio shut off and window closed, I can hear the transmission clearly. This is nothing but a mechanical noise which the transmission is working. Sometime it is even louder than the engine though. Is this normal for a BMW? In my Accord, I didn't even know the transmission is there because it is so quiet. Also, when I position my car from "D" to "P" after a drive, it can hear a "thup" noise.

I own a 2006 330i Step.

Thanks for any advice.
I have 70K on my steptronic and have no thump or whirring sounds. There is a slight bump when moving from DS to manual mode. Ask the SA to make a note in your maintenance file. Each time you bring it in ask them to make a note.

As your strictly following BMWs maintenance plan for the ZF sourced (No GM trannys in 06 e90s) 6HP19 transmission if it goes out early but after the warranty period ask for a good faith repair/replacement.
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