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      02-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #23
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Hope none here have to park in the city and get towed.
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      12-25-2012, 06:29 PM   #24
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the gear shifter procedure does not work

We tried the gear shifter procedure (both myself and the service manager at the BMW dealer). It does not put the car in neutral!! Has anyone actually seen this work or is everyone just propogating an urban/ internet myth.
The service guy at BMW learned about it from one of these forums, he tried it and said it does not work. BMW regional service does not seem to know anything about it. The car engine has to go on to unlock the gear to neutral. If you have electrical power but the engine does not start then the gear shifter procedure does not work. If someone actually gets it to work let me know.

The under body panel removal/screw procedure works, but if you break down far from a dealer and have power but cannot get the engine to start that is the only way to get the car into neutral to get loaded on to a flatbed. The BMW assist/tow people say they will not unscrew the underbody panels and then turn the screw to unlock the gears. BMW says the towing companies are supposed to be trained and willing to perform this function. Not true according to the tow guys.

The dealer who was 4 miles (10 minutes) away from where the car refused to start initially did not want to send a service tech out to remove the under panels and put the car in neutral so we could get it on a flatbed. He said his WC liability policy did not cover his guys working off site. He finally agreed, after I asked him how many milleniums my car would have to sit in the parking lot until they helped me out. It took 2 BMW service techs from the dealer an hour to remove the underbody panels and turn the gear unlock screw at a target parking lot where the car was broken down.

It has 9800 miles on it and after 2 weeks they finally figured out that it needed a new computer module that sends signals to engine to start.

What kind of engineering is this? Things break on a brand new car and then there is no way to get it on a flatbed to transport.

Going to trade this vehicle in for a reliable brand that can be put in neutral for safe transport if need be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plob View Post
To summarise - here is how the 3 scenarios mentioned above can be handled:-

1) If the auto box is in gear (or park) and there is no power, it can be put in neutral using a lever and set screw under the gearbox - as mentioned by 02420X3

2) If the auto box is in gear (or park) and there is power, the gearbox can be put in neutral using the gear lever procedure mentioned by DEVM. Please note that this function only allows the vehicle to be maneuvered - NOT towed. The system then starts a 15 minute timer and will put the gearbox back into park once that timer expires. If the wheels start to move during the 15 minute period, the timer is reset.
I understand that the vehicle is capable of telling if it is being towed (probably by its inclination whilst wheel motion is detected). Given that the vehicle should not be towed (i.e must be transported on a flat bad), breaking these 'rules' will be classed as 'misuse' by the vehicle electrical system. In the event of misuse, an entry is stored in the fault memory.
So, like it or not, the car must only be transported on a flat bed truck. Although you can put the car in neutral and tow it, this will be classed as misuse and stored as a fault in memory. Indeed, the owner's manual clearly states that the vehicle must only be transported on a flat bed - towing it may result in damage.

3) An electromechanical parking brake (EMF) actuator is located in each of the rear brake calipers. The actuator is made up of an electric motor that drives a belt; that drives planetary gear train that pushes a spindle into the brake caliper to activate the brake function. Emergency release of the EMF parking brake by the customer is not provided for. However, it can be released by a service engineer by unscrewing the actuator and manually screwing back the EMF brake spindle.

So, there is emergency provision for each of the above scenarios. Whether or not the roadside recovery crew or service engineer know how to do this (or are willing to) is another matter. I guess the most important thing to note is that towing the vehicle will result in damage and 'misuse' being logged in the fault memory. Like it or not, the car must only be transported on a flat bed as per the owner's manual.

Hope that helps
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      12-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #25
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Putting X3 in neutral

We tried the gear shifter procedure (both myself and the service manager at the BMW dealer). It does not put the car in neutral!! Has anyone actually seen this work or is everyone just propogating an urban/ internet myth.
The service guy at BMW learned about it from one of these forums, he tried it and said it does not work.BMW regional service does not seem to know anything about it. The car engine has to go on to unlock the gear to neutral. If you have power but no ingnition then the gear shifter procedure does not work.

The under body panel removal/screw procedure works, but if you break down far from a dealer and have power but cannot get the engine to start that is the only way to get the car into neutral to get loaded on to a flatbed. The BMW assist/tow people say they will not unscrew the underbody panels and then turn the screw to unlock the gears. BMW says the towing companies are supposed to be trained and willing to perform this function. Not true according to the tow guys.

The dealer who was 4 miles (10 minutes) away from where the car refused to start initially did not want to send a service tech out to remove the under panels and put the car in neutral so we could get it on a flatbed. He said his WC liability policy did not cover his guys working off site He finally agreed, after I asked him how many milleniums my car would have to sit in the parking lot until they helped me out. It took 2 BMW service techs from the dealer an hour to remove the underbody panels and turn the gear unlock screw at a target parking lot where the car was.

It has 9800 miles on it and they finally figured out that it needed a new computer module after 2 weeks of trying to figure out what was wrong.

What kind of engineering is this? Things break on a brand new car and then there is no way to get it on a flatbed to transport.

Going to trade this vehicle in for a reliable brand that can be put in neutral for safe transport if need be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by plob View Post
To summarise - here is how the 3 scenarios mentioned above can be handled:-

1) If the auto box is in gear (or park) and there is no power, it can be put in neutral using a lever and set screw under the gearbox - as mentioned by 02420X3

2) If the auto box is in gear (or park) and there is power, the gearbox can be put in neutral using the gear lever procedure mentioned by DEVM. Please note that this function only allows the vehicle to be maneuvered - NOT towed. The system then starts a 15 minute timer and will put the gearbox back into park once that timer expires. If the wheels start to move during the 15 minute period, the timer is reset.
I understand that the vehicle is capable of telling if it is being towed (probably by its inclination whilst wheel motion is detected). Given that the vehicle should not be towed (i.e must be transported on a flat bad), breaking these 'rules' will be classed as 'misuse' by the vehicle electrical system. In the event of misuse, an entry is stored in the fault memory.
So, like it or not, the car must only be transported on a flat bed truck. Although you can put the car in neutral and tow it, this will be classed as misuse and stored as a fault in memory. Indeed, the owner's manual clearly states that the vehicle must only be transported on a flat bed - towing it may result in damage.

3) An electromechanical parking brake (EMF) actuator is located in each of the rear brake calipers. The actuator is made up of an electric motor that drives a belt; that drives planetary gear train that pushes a spindle into the brake caliper to activate the brake function. Emergency release of the EMF parking brake by the customer is not provided for. However, it can be released by a service engineer by unscrewing the actuator and manually screwing back the EMF brake spindle.

So, there is emergency provision for each of the above scenarios. Whether or not the roadside recovery crew or service engineer know how to do this (or are willing to) is another matter. I guess the most important thing to note is that towing the vehicle will result in damage and 'misuse' being logged in the fault memory. Like it or not, the car must only be transported on a flat bed as per the owner's manual.

Hope that helps
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEVM View Post
i repeat

With ignition on (but no motor start):
Hold left button on the gear stick while doing
- put gear stick one step forwards and hold 2 seconds,
- then one step back again
- then one step forwards again
Then the car is in neutral for 15 minutes
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      12-25-2012, 06:38 PM   #26
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Where did you find this procedure?
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      12-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #27
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Glad I ordered the manual one :-)

Seriously, I had a gearbox failure on my old Scenic. It has an automatic handbrake that sets itself when the engine is stopped, and releases itself when the car drives away. With no gears, I couldn't 'drive' away and couldn't push the car out of the busy roudabout it was 'parked' in... doh. I was very very popular for a while, over there...

Kinda makes you wonder about all these electronic gizmos!
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      12-25-2012, 11:05 PM   #28
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This thread is mind boggling.
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      01-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #29
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So I googled F25 technical training document and did find the procedure discussed here, but with more details. I just copy what I saw. It is on public domain.

*The electronic transmission emergency release can only be used if the engine does not start but the starter still cranks.
*Before operating the electronic transmission emergency release, secure the vehicle to prevent it from rolling
*Depress and hold the brake pedal throughout the entire process
*Press the start/stop button - the starter motor will crank for a specific amount of time

1. Press the shifter release button and hold it pressed
2. Move gear selector forwards one step(not all the way) and hold it there for two seconds (no more, no less)
3. Release the gear selector switch and move forwards again briefly one step (not all the way)

When the transmission position "N" is displayed in the instrument panel (KOMBI) - the transmission is unlocked electronically.
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      02-12-2013, 05:52 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEVM View Post
See (in german): http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/neutr...-t3745891.html

Quick translation to put a car in neutral when it doesn't start (we had some starting problems in europe with the diesel while -20 degrees. However it seems a problem with the fuel quality in low temparatures, not the car itself):

With ignition on:
Hold left button on the gear stick while doing
- put gear stick one step forwards and hold 2 seconds,
- then one step back again
- then one step forwards again
Then the car is in neutral for 15 minutes

i haven't (could not) tried it for myself. this procedure is for when the car doesn't start.
Anyone have success with this procedure to put X3 into Neutral when there is power? I just want to be prepared, should I ever need a tow.
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      02-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #31
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that little tidbit isnt in the owners manual im guessing
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      02-12-2013, 11:05 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeir View Post
that little tidbit isnt in the owners manual im guessing
Correct. I tried it today and could not get it to work.
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      02-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noka View Post
Correct. I tried it today and could not get it to work.
You need to depress and hold the brake pedal throughout the entire process.
After push the start/stop, wait until the starter motor cranks for a specific amount of time (it will stop eventually if car can't start)

So, there is no way for you to try the procedure unless your engine can't start.
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      02-13-2013, 11:55 AM   #34
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I just press the clutch and move the gear lever in to neutral.

I'll get my coat......
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      02-13-2013, 12:39 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiernan View Post
I just press the clutch and move the gear lever in to neutral.

I'll get my coat......
Yes thats what I did too, but Im assuming this is the procedure for when your engine wont start but start will turn over?
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      02-13-2013, 02:11 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmc999 View Post
You need to depress and hold the brake pedal throughout the entire process.
After push the start/stop, wait until the starter motor cranks for a specific amount of time (it will stop eventually if car can't start)

So, there is no way for you to try the procedure unless your engine can't start.
I was wondering about that.
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      02-13-2013, 07:33 PM   #37
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As they would say in Mass., this is retahted
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      02-13-2013, 11:50 PM   #38
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Found attached doc (02_F25 Powertrain.pdf). mmc99 is correct about needing to keep brake pedal depressed and not being able to test the procedure unless the vehicle won't start. This is only if you have power and is referred to as the "electronic" release procedure.
Otherwise, if no power, the "mechanical" release procedure (removing panel underneath vehicle and turning screw) must be used. I can only hope the people doing the towing understand it and are willing to do it, if necessary.
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      02-14-2013, 12:02 AM   #39
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If it's not a given that the people doing BMW Roadside Assistance don't have a clue about the GA8HP transmission and how to force it into Neutral then it should be.

So, how much damage, if any, is going to be done by winching my non-startable X3 onto a flatbed, and then dropping it off at my dealer? In my early days of X3 pre-ownership I was concerned about this. Now that I'm 18 months in, and a bit less protective of my X3 baby, I'm wondering if I should be concerned at all.
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      02-14-2013, 06:33 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
If it's not a given that the people doing BMW Roadside Assistance don't have a clue about the GA8HP transmission and how to force it into Neutral then it should be.

So, how much damage, if any, is going to be done by winching my non-startable X3 onto a flatbed, and then dropping it off at my dealer? In my early days of X3 pre-ownership I was concerned about this. Now that I'm 18 months in, and a bit less protective of my X3 baby, I'm wondering if I should be concerned at all.
I think: It's a mechanical lock, so something will break. Whether it happens during your ownership period is another matter (mostly luck).
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      02-14-2013, 08:49 AM   #41
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Maybe it would be easier for a non qualified person to disconnect the propshaft to the rear differential. This would presumably allow safe transportation on to a recovery vehicle or maybe even towing?
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      02-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
If it's not a given that the people doing BMW Roadside Assistance don't have a clue about the GA8HP transmission and how to force it into Neutral then it should be.
The BMW Roadside Assistance is the same guys that does the AAA auto club towing where I am. They tow hundreds of different cars a day, they dont specialize in BMW. My guess is that they have no idea about how to put a BMW electronic shifter into neutral if there is no power.
I like new technology as much as the next guy, but this electronic shifter offer no advantage over the old technology. I know of a few owner who have file complaints about this problem to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Maybe if enough of us file complaints, BMW might do something about it.
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      02-14-2013, 01:44 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noka View Post
Found attached doc (02_F25 Powertrain.pdf). mmc99 is correct about needing to keep brake pedal depressed and not being able to test the procedure unless the vehicle won't start. This is only if you have power and is referred to as the "electronic" release procedure.
Otherwise, if no power, the "mechanical" release procedure (removing panel underneath vehicle and turning screw) must be used. I can only hope the people doing the towing understand it and are willing to do it, if necessary.
That is an awesome doc. Do you have one for the F30?
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      02-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #44
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This one?
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