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Roger, BMW Master Tech
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 5889
Experience:  10 yrs. experience as BMW Master Technician, shop foreman and dealer.
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BMW 325i 2003 BMW 325i .... 105K Miles with automatic transmission.

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2003 BMW 325i .... 105K Miles with automatic transmission.
just purchased the car from a dealer as a trade car. don't know anything about the maintenance history but the car is in excellent driving condition with no extra noise or leek or etc,,, it was a 1 owner car & I'm the second owner.
I found out a weird problem that is occasionally comes up with my car only in cold mornings.
I usually leave the car on for couple min to warm up after I started in the morning. So after i put it on transmission gear (D) sometimes the car doesn't move for 3 second & then it goes to the gear !
it looks like car doesn't know that it is in (D) position that it should run & after 3 second it finds out & after that I never feel anything wrong with the transmission. never feel any kicking or anything. it drives just like a brand new car.
I don't even know if the problem is from transmission.
note: no warning lights are on!

I need to know what is the problem !!!! ????


It has been a while since I heard this type of problem :) We used to see this quite often at the dealer. The fix for this is a programming of the transmission which boosts pressures in the transmission. This is something that would have to be programmed by the dealer. There is also a service bulletin on this problem and is a known issue.

The one catch is if the programming was already performed. If so, and the problem persists, this would indicate an internal problem in the transmission and a replacement or rebuild would be needed.

However, most often this is easily corrected with a programming update. The SIB description is a delay on cold start when selecting Drive or Reverse.

I hope this information is helpful. Please accept and best wishes to you on your repair. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
do you know how much this programming cost? Also should dealer inspect the car again? or i just can go there & ask them to do this programming?
Also do i need to to a tuneup to resolve this problem? cos someone told me it could be a tuneup problem! since my car az a little over 100K & i'm not sure if the first owner did that service!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Also I think my problem centres the pump that supply's fluid to the torque convertor as its duty bound to supply transmission fluid as and when required and to me first thing in the morning ....
couple of friends have had this problem with 03 and 04 models & they say different things about it.
one says it could be fix with programming! one says the programming is waste of money coz dealer know about this defect but they still do that & then they try to replace the tranny for you....
My question is that if this is not important, can i just drive the car the way it is ?

Both people are somewhat correct in this.


You can continue to drive the vehicle. I have not heard that it causes any damage, but that it is just annoying at times.


In most states, the dealer is responsible for the vehicle to run correctly within at least a 90 day window. That might make this a responsibility of the dealer to correct. It depends on the conditions of the sale. I have seen that a few of these vehicles have not been programmed. The dealer should cover the cost for at least the programming for you as you just purchased this vehicle. The cost is low for this and it is only a 1 hour labor charge. If the problem persists then they sold you a vehicle with a transmission problem and it would be good to identify this quickly so you can take action if need be to return the vehicle or have them correct it. At my dealer we had to replace a trans. with the cost going to sales for this exact type of problem.


But I have had great success with correcting this with just the programming. I would recommend having this performed so you know the state of the transmission.


I hope this is helpful. Please accept and best wishes to you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks for the advice. but I'm asking if a tuneup is recommended for this type of problem! in what mileage a tuneup is need for E46? coz someone told me it cold be a electrical so a tuneup can fix it!
Also what type of service should i ask from dealer service center to fix the car? coz they always say leave the car for diagnose which i don't want. they always add to the problem to make more money!

Glad to help further. I do not think a tune up will correct this problem as it is known problem that is usually fixable with the programming.


However, a tune up is due at 100,000 miles. Spark plugs are due, an inspection II which includes engine air filter, AC microfilter, and an oil service. I would have the rear differential fluid replaced. That is something most people miss. Replacing the transmission fluid is usually done at 100,000 miles. The fuel filter is a good idea as well at 100,000.


BMW recommends to replace the 02 sensors as well at 100,000 but in my recommendation, I would not replace them until they fail. A check engine light will come on and you can replace the sensor as they fail. Sometimes they can last quite a while.


For the transmission issue, just tell them about the transmission delay from park to drive on a first start. Tell them to use SIB 24 07 03 which outlines this problem in a service bulletin.


I hope this is helpful. Please accept and best wishes to you on your repair. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Last question...
Do i have to change the transmission fluid since they say it is lifetime on BMW?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
also someone told me about DME version of programming. what is that about?
On your vehicle, lifetime refers to 100,000 miles. Bmw does recommend a transmission fluid service according to the Bmw maintenance checklist.

The dme is the engine control unit. To fix your transmission problem only the transmission control unit would need to be program. But it would be a good idea to have it engine control unit programed at the same time. The cost to be the same for both the trans. And dme at the same time.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks a lot