Hugh: thank you so much for your reply!!!
Let me be more specific: my 1998 740i is an automatic transmission
and after I shift from park into Drive and press the accelerator, the
car slowly starts moving (not too slowly - if you are a passenger you
might not notice how slowly it is pulling away after, let's say, a red
light - you might just think I'm a cautious driver)
Once the car shifts to what I imagine is 2nd gear everything works
fine - the care will have no problem then getting up to 65-80 mph on
the freeway. If the freeway is crowded however and I come to a
complete stop, then proceed on my way it will again start slowly (in
I don't have $6,000 to either (1) get my tranny replaced, or (2) buy
another car so the 740i is presently parked in the garage.
Thanks again for your insight! Larry (Los Angeles)
hmmmmmmm. don't know what you mean "select manually". i suppose you
mean instead of putting it in "Drive" I should start in "1". hmmmmm,
i've never done that. let me try it and I'll post what happens.
thank you very much. larry
Not sure which box you have but
5 Speed - might be stuck in snow mode (or even have it selected - I found a
Renault in this condition once) starts in third
5 Sp Steptronic - might think it is very cold and have chosen snow mode -
starts in third.
Either - transmission fault (normally accompanied by display and noises) -
runs in third or fourth only and possibly engine power reduced.
How are your battery volts.
What happens in reverse?
Are you sure if it is indeed starting in first gear - or changing gear at
all? The transmission has a limp home mode where only 4th gear is used.
This will give a very slow pull away. But usually accompanied by a warning
light or notice - like 'trans fail'. Which is usually an electrical
problem and nothing like as expensive as it sounds. ;-)
*A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
I like the phrase you used, "nothing like as expensive as it
No transmission warning ever came on. I will drive the car tomorrow
so that I can answer some of your (and others) questions.
once again, thank you very much for you input. larry
Copied from the Owners Handbook.
* Winter program.
For winter driving conditions. In position D, gears 2-5 only are selected in
such a way as to improve traction in wintery conditions.
In positions 4, 3, and 2 the selected gear is held. In other words, you can
also pull away in this gear, and the transmission does not shift down after
On inclines or when towing a trailer, for example, it is beneficial to drive
in selector lever position 2; in wintery conditions on icy roads, position 4
is recommended for pulling away smoothly with no gear shifts.
'S' as you've probably guessed is the sports programme. Upward shifts are
delayed to make more use of the engines power output.
'E' Is the economy programme, or what I would call normal mode.
Sounds like ideal circumstances for choosing the * winter program.
ok...then you shift the lever manually for what you want
thats a low ratio? or is it high...always get them confused!
; in wintery conditions on icy roads, position 4
why 4th? isnt that a 1-1 ratio?
yup i use that often...but i do hate, that i have to build the revs from
tick over...not that i can drop the cluth at 5 or what what ever thousand
rpm i want too...
until this car, for the past 20 years all were manual, from 1 litrle
Sunbeams, to 15 years of Celica's, from70's race tuned to other bags of
shit.....ah i forget about the FSO, abused that to the death. i have hit
oil, diesel and ice, in a manual i know what to do, even if it doesnt work
out as planned, but in a auto i havent a clue.....
i know the touring BMW is heavier, as i have both 525's, and i know manual
can beat me off the line, even with less torque, the torque/revs get
decent...im just worried about ice and snow, like i was first time in the
wet on country lanes.. i havent used the 1 and 2 settings yet in 14 months,
i used too in Capri's but darent now.
me too, i drive my my old man!
thanks, wasnt too sure how to engage it correctly. still not too
sure....how do i go down a fecking steep 1 in 3 like i did in a old Marina
when i learnt to drive!!
Once had to go up a steep hill in reverse, in a Humber van, cos thats the
lowest ratio it would go, 1st wouldnt make it (somwhere in Rippon or N Yorks
I remember a couple of years back in E Germany, i saw loads of Mercs and
other stuff just going sideways.....and all the little cars overtaking, i
knew it was more about the drivers that car, cos i never got stuck (i did,
but i could get out of it) but here, 1st 5mm of snow and all the friggin
roads come to a standstill...i even had the fattest low profile tyres on a
RWD 77 GT and could go where i wanted...even if slow and took me a few
I should have been in Cottbus now, but i couldnt get winter tyres, and im
too old to doss in the car now....esp with my back!
If you on about what i think, it wasnt a round about, but one of those
traffic light controlled large islands straight off a dual carrageway. and
the tyre blowing pulling me off wasnt part of my plan.
The idea being that there is less torque when pulling away in the higher
Think of it as a manual box. 'D' being 1st gear or low ratio. Lever position
2, 2nd gear, and so on up to 4th. 5th is automatically selected at speed,
unless inhibited by the * function, and is top gear.
Maybe, but unlike a manual box, the torque converter allows it to be used to
pull away from a standstill.
Higher gears give less torque. 4th least of all, so there's less likelyhood
of losing traction when pulling away or accelerating on a slippery surface.
It is also high enough for for the lower top speeds you will be doing on ice
I tend to only use it when I'm following a vehicle I intend to overtake. If
you're cruising along in top gear at say 40-50mph, and floor it when you
wish to overtake, the box will change from 5th to 3rd. Switching to 'S' mode
before you overtake changes the gear to 4th, making the change to 3rd
Do the same as you would in a manual.
I too have more experience in driving manuals, almost all RWD. I find taking
ones foot off the accelerator gives similar results in an auto as it does in
a manual on slippery surfaces. Maybe even better in an auto as there is less
engine braking, so less likelyhood of engine braking itself to cause the
skidding to go from one provoked by excess power, to one provoked by rear
wheel braking from the engine.
There's no reason not use 1 and 2, but there's little point unless you
specifically need to. The auto box will still change up to a higher gear
once peak revs are reached, whatever gear you choose. The 'S' setting will
give a similar result to pulling away at the '1' setting.
On ice and snow forget about the fact that it's an auto. Use the throttle to
control your speed. Let the auto take care of the gears, and drive just as
you would in a manual, and at the same speed as you would consider safe with
If you're driving gently in ice or snow, any shift will be almost
imperceptible, and very unlikely to cause any imbalance.
I've been driving autos since 1988. Many times on ice and snow, and have
never experienced any problems caused by unexpected gearshifts. In fact I
find it quite an advantage not to have to be concerned about gentle use of
the clutch when changing gear.
You do that by using the 1, 2, 3, or 4 setting, or if the hill is
particularly slippery, I would use the * setting in 4th to reduce the engine
braking, and use the brakes on their own. On very slippery surfaces 4 wheel
braking is more effective than engine braking which on it's own can cause
driven wheels to slide.
In general thin tyres are better on ice, snow, and in heavy rain than the
fatter profile tyres on larger cars.
I remember an account of a guy driving a Porche in a heavy rainstorm on an
autobahn, who was overtaken by a 2CV, and couldn't keep up with it because
his car started to aquaplane when he tried to go faster.
I seem to have repeated myself a few times but can't be bothered to correct
I'll leave you to pick out the salient points. :-)
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