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2011 BMW 5 Series Transmission



  • legendownerlegendowner Posts: 10
    Same here...2011 528i ....very jerky at take off ....please continue to post updates....this is very irritating on car of this caliber.
  • 11bmw511bmw5 Atl, GAPosts: 11
    edited May 2011
    I got mine back in February, I have little bit over 3K miles now
  • nickel2nickel2 Posts: 19
    Can anything be done for the jerky transmission problems ? I was totally unaware of these problems when I purchased this $60k plus car. I fell like such a dummy. The dealer told me that they have never had jerky transmission complaints.
  • el168el168 Posts: 9
    edited May 2011
    Anyone without problems with this car? I am not having the issue of the transmission being jerky and acceleration is very fast!
    But I only have 1500 miles on it- which version software do you have?

    I also got this car from the factory brand new-
  • rrusso1rrusso1 Posts: 23
    I now have a little over 6000 miles on my 2011 535 and am very happy with it. Prior to this car I had a 2008 535. When I got this car it took me a while to get used to the transmission. I was told by the BMW service department that it would take a while (1000- 2000 miles of driving) for the computer to adjust the transmission to my driving habits and they were right. Once I got past the 2000 mile mark the transmission functioned extremely well and my gas mileage increased noticeably. I must admit the feel of the transmission is different from my 2008 but now that I am used to it I am very happy with it.
  • I had the same problem with my 2011 535xi. The problem started within the first 100 miles after picking up the car in March 2011. I asked the dealer about the low speed jerky-ness of the transmission (especially starting from a full stop or rolling stop) and they said the transmission was learning and adapting to my driving style. Hmmm....

    Well I drove it another 3500 miles and, if anything, it has just gotten worse. So I brought it in for service this week. At first the technician said they could not find anything wrong with the car. I said look again. The technician still said he could not find anything wrong. Look harder. Then the quality assurance specialist at the dealer drove the car and said it was very noticeable and he could feel his head being jerked back while moderately accelerating from a stop. So now that they confirmed an issue, they could proceed with the warranty work.

    The dealer proceeded to "reprogram" my car. This process took 3 hours and did not take the first time, so they had to redo it.

    I was skeptical when I picked up my car, but I am very happy to report that the transmission is significantly smoother than before. The car does not slam into gear when starting from a stop and the shifting between the gears is hardly noticeable under moderate acceleration. This is the smoothest my car has performed since I took ownership.

    I am back in love with my car again.

    If you have this issue I highly recommend you take it in to get "reprogrammed" and insist that they drive it until they acknowledge the problem. You will be much happier for it.

    I'll scan the service ticket and provide the specifics of what they did so you can request the same.

    Hope this helps.
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Posts: 250
    while driving would it show the abruptness of the transmission to show the dealer?
    Or if it's easily reproducible just have someone take a ride with you (if you let them drive they might say they can't reproduce it)
  • nickel2nickel2 Posts: 19
    Follow up: I sent a letter to the CEO in New Jersey as the local dealer ignored my complaint. Subsequently, BMW had an engineer reprogram my transmission. It was NOT improved. About a month later, the transmission failed. It is currently in the shop. I am wondering if this is a "LEMON".
  • skippergskipperg Posts: 1
    "SAILORBRYAN" any update on the details? My 535 is in the shop as we speak and I am getting the run around. Again. My 1999 Ford Econoline work van has better off the line performance.............
  • jpurleejpurlee Posts: 1
    I have the same problem which has gotten worse. I took the post about reprogramming to my dealer with my complaint. They of course had not heard about this problem. They did reprogram the transmission for me but put multiple disclaimers on the order stating there was not a problem and only did this because I am a good customer. It did nothing unfortunately. I told my sales person that I would not be buying anymore cars from him and he said there was nothing he could do. This problem makes me hate an otherwise excellent car.
  • Has anyone had issues with their manual transmission? I have a 2011 550i, manual, and at about 900 miles I was shifting from first to second and the throttle spontaneously accelerated. It kept happening as I drove and I went immediately to the BMW dealership (without turning the car off cause I didn't wan to reset the computer). They flew in an engineer and 3 weeks later I was told they found nothing wrong with the car.

    About 200 miles later the car slipped out of 6th gear and then became increasingly difficult to shift (to the point where it was basically un-drivable). I took it in and they said the transmission was bad and there was a hose of some sort that had slipped off of something. They replaced the transmission (another 2 weeks in the shop).

    Then just today, about 3800 miles in, the throttle blipped again. It redlines for about 5 seconds and then drops back down to idle. This only happens when shifting, and as soon as the throttle goes down, I push the clutch in. If I push the start stop button, the throttle drops back down.

    I actually took a video on my iphone the first time this happened but haven't uploaded it because i didn't want to face hell from BMW and I wanted to give them a chance to fix it. If the video would help I will post it to you tube and you all can take a look.
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    what is the status of your problem with the transmission?
  • nickel2nickel2 Posts: 19
    The dealer had my car for 20 days after the transmission failed. They said they found nothing wrong. I asked if anything was done to the car. After several phone calls and emails, I received 14 pages of technical jibberish that has no meaning to me. I emailed a request simply asking if anything was done to the car. I am still awaiting a response. I also asked what the computer error message indicated. No response. The transmission jerkiness, etc, is about 50% improved. It is still annoying, but not as bad. I can't believe a BMW dealer would treat a customer as I have been treated. Even customer service in New Jersey talked like they were on my side, but when it came down to actually helping me, they didn't. BMW doesn't want to admit that there may be a transmission problem. From the posts on this forum and others, it seems the company handles transmission complaints such as mine, by just ignoring them. I will post a followup.
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    i have a 2010 535xi with about 33000 miles and it has given me virtually no problems and i'm still on my original set of tires. I am due to go to purchase a new 2011 (F10) model because i like the style just a bit better than my current vehicle.

    However, after reading several hundred posts about the problems with the good year run flat tires and how BMW doesn't seem to acknowledge the issue as well as the problem with the transmissions noted above - i am very hesitant about moving forward. in fact, i'm going to sleep on it tonight and will probably request a refund of my downpayment.

    are there any other participants who are equally concerned?
  • nickel2nickel2 Posts: 19
    Definitely sleep on it. If I knew what I was in for, I would never have bought a BMW. It has cost me a lot of lost sleep. If you do request back your downpayment, let the dealer know why. Maybe if enough buyers request back downpayments they will realize they have a problem and try to fix it. Money talks.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    It's your money, so you should do whatever you prefer.

    Two points, though...

    Do you know if the car on which you have made the option payment comes with Goodyears? If not, it's an irrelevant issue.

    Secondly, you have first hand experience with the model, and according to you, have no issues.

    You would be hard-pressed to find any model that doesn't have some number of transmission complaints, along with just about every other component.

    For example, there are a few hundred transmission complaints on the Mini forum, yet the car's production is well over a million. You may see that as a relatively significant number... I don't.

    I would say that you would be much better looking at manufacturer/model recalls and number of TSB's than forum complaints, unless there is a highly abnormal number of complaints.

    That's my opinion...
  • jayrandalljayrandall Posts: 81
    edited September 2011
    Just leased a 2011 535xi ... car is loaded, about 70k MSRP. Anyhow, the transmission in this vehicle has the same issues noted throughout this blog. It is beyond annoying ... all the issues occur at low speeds, jerky take off, no response when flooring the pedal, and just a poor overall experience for such a beautiful car.

    Anyhow, I called my sales person today, notifed him and of course, he said bring it in for service etc. I am doing it tomorrow, but I only have 158 miles on the car, and haven't even had it two weeks! The issue is so obvious. I am going to ask him to take the car back and rip up the deal, it's unacceptable to have this issue in a $70k BMW.

    I just traded in my 2009 Infiniti FX35 .. what was I thinking ??? Why Infiniti aspires to the be Japanese BMW is beyond me.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    FWIW, they say the transmission computer can take a few thousand miles or more to learn your style. But, do what you wish. My last car was an Infiniti, and I truly hated its transmission, which is the primary reason I sold it. It was replaced at about 1-year, and while better, the rest of the driveline just never was the same - they kept saying, it's within normal parameters.
  • Yeah, but which model Infiniti and year? My 2009 FX's 7 spd tranny was much smoother then this BMW 5 series.
  • I think you are lucky you leased it. You should be able to break the lease. I am certain that they will tell you that everything is OK. I can't believe BMW hasn't solved this problem. I am told that it is software related????
    Good luck!
  • On what grounds do you think they should break the lease? I know what I am going to say, but what's your argument? Keep in mind, I haven't had the car even two weeks yet.
  • When I first complained to the salesperson who sold the car to me, he said if I had leased the car he could replace the car or I could break the lease. I did not follow up on this since I bought the car and was stuck. Just tell them the car is not performing to your satisfaction and you don't want it. See what they say. Just be insistent. Does your lease agreement include a "your satisfaction" clause? (I am not an attorney) Let me know what happens.
  • Picked up 2011 535xi last week. Spoke with sales man, svc mgr, sales mgr before purchase aboutnconcern. They flashed vehicle twice to ensure all ltest firmware and test drove b4 I arrived. So far car is great and driving perectly
  • As you read this, don't laugh (or scream too hard):

    I went to Fields BMW (Chicago area) Service today. I had called ahead so they were expecting me and knew why I was coming in.

    A neanderthal service tech guy joins me for a test drive in my car to verify the problem. He (Skip) could not have been more rude, stubborn or just plain stupid. He immediately notices the 'shudder' when accelerating from a stop. He tells me (as we are driving) that it's probably the gas that is causing the delay, aka, shudder from a stop. He then tells me to run the car to empty, and fill it up with the highest grade of fuel. The gas in the tank was from the free fill-up the dealership provided when I got the car last week. Then, he claims that all the internet information is a lie and bogus. (of course)

    Anyhow, I am going back on Tuesday and have a meeting with the service manager. I plan to tell them to fix the issue ASAP, or I am returning the car stat.

    More to come.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Feel free to write a review about your dealership experience:


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  • nickel2nickel2 Posts: 19
    I am interested in hearing of your results with the transmission problem. Is there anything new?
  • No, it's not resolved. And it's not unique to my vehicle. About ten days ago, I went back to the BMW service center. The techs and a manager acknowledged the problem after test driving my car with me. I left the car with them for the day for testing.

    They subsequently tested a few more cars, and confirmed that each (same year and model as mine) had the delay issue.

    I spoke to my sales rep the next morning, and I agreed to take the car and drive it for a few days, and to try to break it in. I drove it for the past week and a half, no changes, just mind numbingly annoying delays when driving. And on a few occasions, I couldn't accelerate quick enough. Safety issues now are first on my mind.

    I plan to call the dealership Monday and discuss returning the car. There is no amount of 'breaking in the car' that will correct this problem.

    What I find perplexing, is how could BMW release this car and engine to market?

  • nickel2nickel2 Posts: 19
    I agree: "how could BMW release this car and engine to market?"
    I don't know. My car is slightly improved...about 50%. Sometimes the transmission is OK; other times it is still jerky in the first 2 or 3 gears. There is still a delay when trying to pass. My transmission was supposedly re-programmed at about 7500 miles. I now have about 10,500 miles. They said that the transmission was re-learning my driving style after programming.
    I have a friend who was an auto engineer for a major manufacturer. He said the transmissions are software driven and very complex and that the problem is probably faulty software which needs further "tweaking". I recently had an "oil low" warning light and the steering wheel did not return to the pre-set position. Naturally, they found nothing wrong. Hopefully, they will come out with further software upgrades....soon.
  • How many months have you had your 535? Did you lease or buy ?
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