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'00 528iA: Steptronic problem on car w/ 200 miles (archive)

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Posted by Allen on December 10, 1999 at 18:55:17:

I purchased my first (beautiful) BMW last Wednesday--528iA Sport--had 107 miles at delivery. At 187 miles (and 5 miles into trip to grocery store), with trans in normal auto mode, the auto trans warning light lit. Stopped car, read manual, which said to turn engine off, wait several minutes and restart. Did this--and light was not on so I figure (hope) it's a fluke. Drove few more miles and ended trip--no problems.

Next drive, same problem--with additional SERVICE ENGINE SOON warning light illuminated. Stopped car, turned engine off, restared engine and Auto Trans warning light is gone--but not service engine soon light. Drove car home and parked it--odometer read 197 miles.

On drive to dealer for inspection, same problem, third time.

Dealer duplicated problem on test drive, but portable diagnostic computer did not ID a problem. In fact, dealer cannot find any problem; BMW Tech Service is clueless, too.

Dealer wonders if the controller chip installed in factory was for the '99 4-speed, nonSteptronic; tech feels the trans is shifting 'too soon' as it is currently configured, so they have ordered new control unit, but has not arrived. And they admit this is a guess only.

So I've put less than 100 miles on this car, and it's been in the shop for 3 days. When asked, 'Okay if the controller doesn't fix it, what are we going to do?' The answer--'We don't know.'

I'm not bashing the dealer as they've been upfront, taken the car immediately, and given me a loaner--and I'm not bashing BMW (this is an amazing car), but I'd apprecaite any insights folks here might offer.


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