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      08-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
lateshow
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Completely broke down today and could not re-start.

I went on a 1000 mile trip last week, so I went ahead and got my 14,000 service done on my 2011 35i. The trip went well. It's been about 1 week and my car all of the sudden gave me the following error message as I'm trying to leave a car wash in Chicago (thus blocking the exit for everyone else): "Drivetrain: Drive moderately. Maximum drivetrain output not available. Have the system checked by your service center." I tried to shut off the engine and re-start a couple of times, but the engine clearly sounded like it was missing and it would die in about 10 seconds. It then wouldn't start at all.

I called roadside assist for a tow to the service center. They told me that the car could not be put into neutral, but that the BMW contracted tow service would know how to manually disengage the drive to allow it to be pulled onto a flat bed. Nope, the guy had no idea how to do that. He ended up trying to start the car about a dozen times. At some point he was able to put it into neutral and we were able to pull it up.

What kind of design is it to not allow you to put a car into neutral unless the engine is running? What if I was blocking a major intersection for an hour waiting for a tow? I was told there is no way to do this without physically disconnecting by the service center. Is there any other alternative? If not, I love the car, but this is really bad engineering.
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      08-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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Sorry about your troubles, hopefully it's nothing serious. I remember reading a thread on how to put the car in neutral without the engine running. There is a way, although I recall it's not at all intuitive.
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      08-23-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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The only way, reading from other threads and per my service center, is to use a tool to physically disengage the drive train from underneath the car. If that is indeed true, that is a pretty ridiculous design mistake.
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      08-23-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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Ouch, glad you guys were able to drag it out of the wash. With it starting and stopping and sounding like a miss I almost wonder if the HPFP is the culprit. Will be interesting to hear what the diagnosis is.

From one Boiler to another, hope you get it resolved soon!!
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      08-23-2012, 07:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lateshow View Post
The only way, reading from other threads and per my service center, is to use a tool to physically disengage the drive train from underneath the car. If that is indeed true, that is a pretty ridiculous design mistake.
Lateshow, sorry to hear that We got our X's around the same time. Check out this thread specifically on that topic:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...after+stalling


Sounds like a serious design flaw to me.
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      08-24-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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My sales guy told me the switch to put the car in neutral is under the cover of driver side cup holder. I didn't have time to look for it yet. Will check it over the weekend
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      08-24-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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IIRC, the release was under the cupholder in older models. With the GA8HP transmission it is not. There is a setscrew on the side of the transmission which can be used to take the transmission out of park. It's not a procedure that I plan on trying on the side of the road. Underbody paneling must be removed, and I don't carry tools, wheel chocks, jack, and jackstands with me.
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      08-24-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want the thrill View Post
Lateshow, sorry to hear that We got our X's around the same time. Check out this thread specifically on that topic:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...after+stalling


Sounds like a serious design flaw to me.
The referenced thread on the "other" forum (with some familiar names ) has this procedure but no-one has been able to confirm it as it can't be tried unless the car has stalled:

Quote:
I got this from an undisclosed source.

1. Depress brake pedal
2.press start stop button...engine won't start but will crank
3.press shifter release button on side of shifter and hold it
4. Move shifter forward one step-hold it there for 2 secs....exactly
5. Release side switch and repeat. N should be displayed in instrument panel...trans unlocks

According to my source, every dealer was given this in there general BMW Manual, and is not so secret after all. Hope this helps.
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      08-24-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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And if the car can't be turned over, then it's this procedure:

Transmission Emergency Release
There is a new operating concept used for releasing the transmission parking lock mechanism (transmission parking lock emergency release). The existing transmission emergency release is being gradually removed from all vehicles with the 8 speed automatic transmissions, beginning with the E70 LCI.
In the event of a fault affecting the powertrain, the transmission parking lock can be unlocked mechanically and put in “Neutral” by means of a set screw/stop (adjusting screw) that acts on the gear selector lever. In addition to the mechanical transmission parking lock emergency release, the procedure to put the vehicle in “Neutral” can also be done electronically via ISTA.
Transmission Emergency Release GA8HP Note: Refer to the repair instructions for the proper procedure on releasing the parking lock on the GA8HP automatic transmission.

(From the diagram that was shown, the adjusting screw is UNDER THE VEHICLE). Lovely, huh?
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      08-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #10
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I acknowledge that there really should be a proper, secure, and easy way to put the vehicle in neutral if you were to have a powertrain issue.

That being said, don't a number of toe trucks (smaller ones) come in such a way where they lift the front wheels off the ground and use the dolly for the rear wheels which lifts them off the ground and therefor the wheels don't need to move?

Just a thought being that, if you can't get the thing into neutral after trying the procedure shown here, maybe one can ask for the specific type of truck stating that you were unable to get the vehicle into neutral.

Just trying to help in case some tries something and it doesn't work and they need to be towed or moved.

Honestly, BMW is better than this and should have a clear release via some switch activiated by the key or something.
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      08-24-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Turns out I've got bad BP gas. Here's the link to the new thread I just started. (The "neutral" topic is still ridiculous, but now I've got bigger fish to fry)

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...8#post12562398

Name:  Picture of Bad Gass.jpg
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      08-24-2012, 12:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lateshow View Post
Turns out I've got bad BP gas. Here's the link to the new thread I just started. (The "neutral" topic is still ridiculous, but now I've got bigger fish to fry)

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...8#post12562398

Attachment 739903
I believe it... I got bad gas once but my car didn't stall out and refuse to start. Ran rough as shit though.
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