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Thread: No forward gears + TRANS PROGRAM message + de-energised gear selector lever

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    West Sussex, UK
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    Default No forward gears + TRANS PROGRAM message + de-energised gear selector lever

    I would appreciate advice on the above symptoms on my 1992 525i Touring (auto) 90,000 miles (A4S 310R transmission according to my Bentleys, but havent had a chance to jack the car up to check). Sorry for the long post but Ive tried to describe the problem as fully as possible.

    A few days ago, on parking my car, the gear selector went limp as I put it into Park and the TRANS PROGRAM message popped up. Looking at Bentleys, it says the automatic shiftlock feature fitted to 1992 cars uses an electric solenoid to lock the gear selector lever in P or N. Depressing the foot brake with the ignition on energises the solenoid, allowing the lever to be moved into a drive gear. Following this, I eventually managed to lock (re-energise) the gear selector lever and TRANS PROGRAM message disappears. However I now only have reverse gear. (Same symptoms in Winter and Sports modes). Also, given a bit of gentle pressure, the lever can be moved out of Park without depressing the pull rod on the underside of the shifter handle.

    Also, I cant actually locate the shiftlock solenoid. From what Ive read, I expected to find it mounted on the selector lever assembly immediately to one side of the lever. Although Bentleys says that 1992 and later cars are fitted with automatic shiftlock, as it was registered new in March 1992, maybe my car is too early for this feature? Its a UK spec car.

    From the above, especially the TRANS PROGRAM message, Im guessing its an electronics failure except that I have NO forward gears, and would expect at least one forward gear with an electronics problem.

    I read elsewhere about disconnecting the transmission computer to confirm that its an electronic problem I read that if its electronic, disconnecting the computer would give me third gear; otherwise its likely to be forward clutch failure. Not sure what I need to do to disconnect tranny computer.

    Alternatively, could it be transmission fluid level? Cant find a dipstick even though I think my transmission is supposed to have one. Do I have to remove the engine cover to access the dipstick? Or maybe its broken shifter cable somewhere?

    Thanks very much in advance for any help.

    Phil
    West Sussex, UK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil F
    Also, I cant actually locate the shiftlock solenoid. From what Ive read, I expected to find it mounted on the selector lever assembly immediately to one side of the lever. Although Bentleys says that 1992 and later cars are fitted with automatic shiftlock, as it was registered new in March 1992, maybe my car is too early for this feature? Its a UK spec car.
    I'm not sure with car being a UK model - but the shiftlock is located directly on the side of the shifter.


    Alternatively, could it be transmission fluid level? Cant find a dipstick even though I think my transmission is supposed to have one. Do I have to remove the engine cover to access the dipstick? Or maybe its broken shifter cable somewhere?
    There isn't a dip stick you check the level via the fill hole. Start the engine and with the car idling fill the tranny till the fluid overflows back out the fill hole.
    1992 525i Touring M50 5spd Manual 230k+ miles - SOLD:-(

  3. #3
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    Dec 2006
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    West Sussex, UK
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    Default

    Yes, I expected to see something directly to the side of the lever, but can't find anything. Nor can I hear any clicking, I expected to hear something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil F
    Yes, I expected to see something directly to the side of the lever, but can't find anything. Nor can I hear any clicking, I expected to hear something.
    Check out www.realoem.com they have some good pictures of the solenoid.
    1992 525i Touring M50 5spd Manual 230k+ miles - SOLD:-(

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    do a search, someone had a very similar problem. uk spec cars apparently dont have the interlock by the way.
    Alusil, Dinan DME | ITG Air Filter | Eibach/Bilstein HD | 26/20 Swaybars | Iridium plugs | Depo/ProLumen HID | Optima batt. | no AC | Stoptech brake lines, Frozen rotors, brass bushings, Superblue

  6. #6
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    Dec 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BillionPa
    do a search, someone had a very similar problem. uk spec cars apparently dont have the interlock by the way.

    I've tried searching archieves but afaid I can't find anything similar. Thanks for the info on the interlock

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