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Thread: Shifter Option Switch?

  1. #1
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    Default Shifter Option Switch?

    I have an owners manual for my 530i (May '93 build) but it is for a different year and some of the references aren't accurate. My question is about the switch next to the shifter. Mine has an 'E' in the forward position and a "snowflake" (*) in the aft position. The manual shows an 'E' and an 'S' instead. What is (*)?

    When the shifter is moved into 2, 3, 4 the indicator shows S2, S3, S4 so I am assuming it is in sport mode.

    Thanks, DJ
    Last edited by Spasso; 06-28-2005 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I don't have it on my model, but my brother does. I know S is sport mode. Don't know about the other.

    Ralph Mendoza Jr. - Long Beach, CA

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks, I'm sure someone has a pre September 530 out there.
    DJ

  4. #4
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    Default

    I read something once about some e34 having a "snow" or "ice" mode where it started out in second gear or something weird like that. This probably wont help much, but maybe it will give you a clue.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2005
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    Cheshire, UK
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    Default Auto Buttons

    On my 1990 525, the auto has three positions on the button.

    S is towards the ashtray and puts the box on "Sports" mode. This will hold the gears for longer (up to the red-line) but doesn't let the box go into overdrive (5th gear)

    * is towards the handbrake and is the Snow setting. This locks out first gear, starting in second and early shifts to reduce wheelspin

    E is the default or "Economy" setting.. ha ha. Good joke.

    Shifting from "D" into the 2,3,4 puts the box into manual (sports) mode, hence the "S" in the indicator.

    Hope this helps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spasso
    My question is about the switch next to the shifter. Mine has an 'E' in the forward position and a "snowflake" (*) in the aft position. The manual shows an 'E' and an 'S' instead. What is (*)?

    When the shifter is moved into 2, 3, 4 the indicator shows S2, S3, S4 so I am assuming it is in sport mode.

    Thanks, DJ
    Here's everything you wanted to know about your transmission and more! Be prepared to do a lot of reading...and re-reading to comprehend it all!

    Your e34 530i tranny select switch (with the E and * -snowflake ) has manual selection for Economy/Adaptive mode and * (snowflake) for Winter Mode. Sport mode (as you've discovered, is selected by moving the gear lever back to 4 and is indicated in the instrument cluster display as S 4 etc.

    As others have stated...the Winter Mode changes the transmission pattern so that it starts in 2nd gear. This is to help with traction in wintery conditions. Other E34 models have an M on their switch that puts the transmission in a manually selectable MODE and their tranny will remain in the gear selected until they move the gear lever forward or aft.

    Now, here's the really interesting part and you should consider saving this link and referring back to it. It has a lot of info to digest...and explains, in detail, how the "new at the time" ATC (adaptive transmission control) works. It expands the electro/hydraulic trannys from the 3 "manually" selectable MODES...and adds 6 more modes that kick in automatically based on driver input, road conditions, and environmental conditions. This transmission uses"logics" to determine the transmission modes and actually "learns" or reacts to the driver. It can also pick up the difference and react to another driver within seconds. But enough from me...you can read the info for yourself...ATC began in the e34 5 series with the V8 engines: ATC - Adaptive Transmission Control explained in detail
    Q
    95 525iT / 97 740iL



  7. #7
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    Default

    absolutely correct.and it rocks once ur used to it knowing how u drive

  8. #8
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    Cambridgeshire, UK
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    There's more variants than that... Around 94 in the UK, BMW moved from the three mode (Sport, Economy, Winter) autos to two mode (Adaptive and Sport - and probably other variants). My 93 540i has the old E, S, and * modes; my 94 730i had just Adaptive and Sport. Winter mode wasn't necessary on that box as it would short shift into second if it detected wheelspin in 1st.

    The cute things about the adaptive box were: not shifting up in corners; not shifting up upon a sudden throttle lift after full throttle. The not so cute thing was when it second guessed wrong...

  9. #9
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    Jet City
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    Default

    Thanks for the information guys. I am still finding out about all of the little technological wonders of this car, coming from a guy that has been using a 240Z as a daily.

    Can't beat the internet for combining the knowledge of like minded people around the world.

  10. #10
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    One other (brutally obvious) thing that often gets overlooked yet needs to be mentioned in this type of discussion -- for those cars so equipped, it's a really bad idea to start off from a standstill in MD/M4 or M3. Albeit the name is somewhat confusing, m(anual) mode simply keeps the trans in whatever gear is selected at all times, whereas s(port) will shift up to 4 (or 3 with 4 speed boxes) with higher shift points. Keeping the car in M2 is a fine idea for traffic jams and weather storms that warrant maximum control, but any of the high M selections from a standstill will only hurt the trans.

    best, whit

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