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      02-03-2015, 06:20 PM   #1
nynyny
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Exclamation 6 speed manual won't go in reverse

Well, I haven't found too much on this topic...


I back out of my spot at work. (It works fine at this point)

I drive home.

I pull into my parking spot... then I go to straighten out and when I try to shift into reverse... it doesn't catch. Like, it seemed like the clutch wasn't depressed all the way. Pretty sure I heard a slight grinding.

I pull forward a little more... it doesn't catch. I turn the car off... it will not shift into reverse.

In the end I have a friend push the car out of the spot so I can drive around a bit... still the same story.

TL.DR- My manual transmission will not shift into reverse gear. It can engage all the other gears without trouble...

2011 335xi
6 speed manual

It was also cold today... but nothing out of the ordinary for a NY winter...

Any thoughts? I mean... I don't think gears can freeze, right?

Last edited by nynyny; 02-03-2015 at 07:34 PM.
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      02-03-2015, 06:28 PM   #2
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2007 BMW 323i  [4.25]
On a cold day my reverse has caused some grinding (despite full clutch pedal engagement), but does engage. Seems like a similar problem but with worse symptoms.

2007 E90 323i 6MT (2.5L N52)

Curious if any one else has any insights or suggestions
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      02-03-2015, 06:33 PM   #3
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The synchros may not like the cold, but driving around a bit should have put some heat into the transmission so I dont think it would be that but anything is possible.
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      02-04-2015, 11:15 AM   #4
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Well, dropped it off at the dealer this am... of course this is their busiest time of year and they don't even know when they'll be able to do a diagnosis... so who knows how long I'll be without my car. Very sad.

I really hope its something simple... maybe linkage?

The real kicker was when my SA said "Ya, this SHOULD be covered under CPO' (gulp)
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      02-04-2015, 11:26 AM   #5
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2011 MY and onward CPO is a full extension of new car warranty so I don't see why this will not be covered under.
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      02-05-2015, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quick update-

The dealer called and said it appears to be the transmission. They have to lower it (?) and have a better look...

Does anyone have any ideas how this could have happened?? I am an experienced manual transmission driver and do not abuse my car in any way...
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      02-05-2015, 02:57 PM   #7
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Seems like a worn/defective reverse synchro... I had it happen on a former roommate's 88 Toyota Pickup, but he was too cheap to fix it; I had to blip the throttle before shifting into reverse. Future driving advice: Come to a complete stop and put it in neutral to minimize the chances of wearing out the synchro.
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NEFARIOUS would totally rock the dreads if he could.
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      02-05-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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It is not a synchro failure. It is either a reverse idler or shaft sleave failure of the gear set. Only fix is a remanufactured trans from BMW since parts are not available to rebuild it.
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      02-05-2015, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEFARIOUS View Post
Seems like a worn/defective reverse synchro... I had it happen on a former roommate's 88 Toyota Pickup, but he was too cheap to fix it; I had to blip the throttle before shifting into reverse. Future driving advice: Come to a complete stop and put it in neutral to minimize the chances of wearing out the synchro.
That makes no difference at all.
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      02-06-2015, 06:36 PM   #10
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Well, the whole transmission is being replaced. No car until next week.

They can't even tell me what the problem was or what went wrong. They just send the whole thing off to the factory in Germany to be taken apart and diagnosed.

I really hope they're putting a new one in and not a refurbished one... either way, thank jebus for warranty
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      02-07-2015, 02:49 PM   #11
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You get what is available most likely a reman. Nothing wrong with those. Just like the automatics they are all reman units. When a manual locks you out of gear it is usually the main shaft or gear set. No reason to open it up to waste time and money to find out why. Rebuilding the modern manual is not as simple as it use to be. The amount of special tools needed is just stupid now as are the tollarences.
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      02-10-2015, 11:12 AM   #12
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Got the car back. Reportedly brand new transmission was installed. Error was said to be 'an internal mechanism' failure


The car definitely feels different to drive... seems like much stiffer shifting, which I guess is to be anticipated.
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      02-10-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
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That didn't take long.
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      02-10-2015, 06:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David1 View Post
That makes no difference at all.
Well, that was what I was taught for truck driving. Maybe it won't too much for cars, but I still do it even with my slushbox E90.
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      09-26-2017, 09:24 AM   #15
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This just happened on my car, coincidentally same model as you! - 2011 335xi 6 speed

Can't get it into reverse anymore and there is a grinding noise when trying to do so...Unfortunately, I'm at 120Km/75K miles so out of warranty...

I can't believe this...I will never buy a BMW ever again!
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      09-26-2017, 06:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malandrino74 View Post
This just happened on my car, coincidentally same model as you! - 2011 335xi 6 speed

Can't get it into reverse anymore and there is a grinding noise when trying to do so...Unfortunately, I'm at 120Km/75K miles so out of warranty...

I can't believe this...I will never buy a BMW ever again!
my 2011 335i grinds going into 2nd. already replace the transmission once under warranty but now I'm out of it too.
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      09-26-2017, 06:56 PM   #17
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Hi, I don`t log on in here anymore because I see that to many kids are on here with stupid comments, but you need a new clutch, try putting it on reverse while the car is off and you will see that it works, same thing happen to me on my z4, Good luck.
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      09-27-2017, 11:00 AM   #18
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I had this diagnosed by a BMW mechanic - does not work when the car is off.

He's 99% sure it's a broken fork in the transmission.
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      09-30-2017, 08:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malandrino74 View Post
I had this diagnosed by a BMW mechanic - does not work when the car is off.

He's 99% sure it's a broken fork in the transmission.
Yup, it was the same for me. Dealer threw in a refurb transmission as they said it was cheaper than trying to diagnose and repair.
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      12-28-2017, 12:42 PM   #20
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I never ended up replacing my tranny - but if you rev the engine up to 4K, then as it's dropping around 2.5K, release the clutch while pushing in reverse gear - it goes in very smoothly, without grinding.

Thanks again BMW!
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      09-01-2018, 02:09 PM   #21
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I figured I would post this to help out anybody else who may encounter this problem. A few weeks ago I lost reverse gear on my 2013 E92 335i 6MT. Reversed out of the driveway no problem but once I got to work i could not engage reverse to park up. No problems during the journey, leading up to the failure and no problems with any other gears even post failure. It was physically blocked from full engaging. It would just trigger the reverse parking sensors but nothing beyond that. Selecting other gears first, pushing the car a few feet forward, engine off, etc, nothing worked.

The car was out of warranty and almost 5.5 years old with just over 60k miles. I called around a few garages and transmission specialists in the UK and received quotes from 1,200 + VAT to repair it but I was informed this was a guide price only and would depend on what was found after a a tear down. I was also told that they may have problems sourcing parts which could force me down the route of finding a used transmission or buying a refurb. This was a ZF GS6-45BZ box.

I took it to the BMW garage I bought it from and they confirmed it was an internal failure in the transmission. They immediately said that this should not have happened especially given the age and mileage and approached BMW UK on my behalf for goodwill towards a replacement. Fortunately they granted this and picked up the tab for the parts cost which left me with the labour cost (480) and seeing as though I made a contribution it also came with a two year parts and labour warranty. The dealer explained that they put forward the case and BMW make a decision based on a number of factors, including, age, mileage, service history and where it was purchased. Mine was just under 5.5 years old, 60k miles, full BMW service history up to around 50k miles and then it has been serviced by myself after that (8-10k oil change intervals instead of variable circa 15-20k) and I purchased it at the dealer I took it to.

Obviously it would have been best had it not failed in the first place but overall a good result considering the other options. For anybody else out of warranty all is not lost. Consider taking it to a BMW garage and explore the possibility of getting goodwill from BMW. I was ready to put forward my case directly but I didn't need to and they accepted that it shouldn't have failed. I imagine the chance of BMW accepting goodwill after say 6-7 years old and approaching 100k miles is low.
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      10-30-2018, 10:32 PM   #22
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I hate posting here because it means that my 2011 335i 6MT has lost its Reverse gear. My car has about 86k on the odometer.

Story goes: I drove it home from a friend's house, used reverse to get out of their driveway, and drove it home without any signs of something may have just broke. I parked the car overnight in the garage. Next morning, Monday morning of all things, start the car and I can't get into Reverse. Tried again. Nothing. Tried it again. Rolled the car, nothing. Rolled it out of the garage and drove it around. Still can't get into Reverse. Again, there are no sounds that indicate something may have broke, or any warning signs that lead to this mysterious no reverse gear problem.

So I had to bring it in to get confirmation from BMW, and their answer: "You need a new transmission." Unfortunately since I'm not the original owner, nor did I buy it from this dealership, I'm not having much luck having them work with me on getting a special allowance on parts / repairs. Their quote: $7,600 - brand new transmission and labor. I'm in the process of looking for a used transmission and to get quotes from other indy shops as I will not be paying BMW for this repair no one should ever have to make after only 86k miles, yet alone even 150k miles!!

Also, I haven't found a good DIY guide yet as I've considered doing this myself since this isn't my DD. So if anyone has found a good link - please share!
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