I have a 99 528i with only 52,000 miles.
Since I purchased it second hand, it's always shifted "hard."
Last week I finally decided to take it to the local transmission shop.
They called later in the day and told me the problem was a "rubber donut"
and referenced the center bering.
The cost would be $95 for the part and approximatly 3 hours labor.
It turned out to be 3 hours labor (surprise) and the total bill came to
As soon as I drove it off the lot I knew that it had not been fixed. It's
still shifting hard.
Question, is the center bering the same as the "guibo?" I am assuming they
are different. When the mechanic called me he specifically told me the
"rubber donut" was deteriorated and needed to be replaced.
When I picked up the car, the reciept said "center bering."
Now I'm out $300 bucks and transmission is still bad.
That sounds like it could be the bearing mount or the guibo.
Okay, that's reasonable.
The center bearing is a bearing. The guibo is a guibo, attached to the
output of the transmission. There is a rubber thing that holds the
bearing in place.
If the bearing mount was bad, you would probably have experienced some
vibration. Neither the bearing mount nor the guibo would be apt to
cause hard shifting.
They could have replaced the whole center bearing assembly, then.
Well, I'd first take it back. But what I'd tell them depends on whether
I had a manual or an auto and how long it has been since the fluid
was changed. It also might depend on whether the problems are just in
one gear or on multiple gears.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
It's an automatic.
Regarding the fluid change, I don't believe it's been changed ever. I
aquired the car from the original owner. It had 46,000 miles on it when
I got it 6 months ago.
What do you think a reasonable amount is for a fluid change and filter?
I just sold my 2000 528i with 197,000 miles. Never changed the fluid and
it shifted like silk.
The 99 does not have the steptronic transmission.
I guess I should have had them change the fluid while it was there.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) wrote in
Which one? I think you have your choice of two in that one.
I would change the fluid immediately, and I would use Red Line or something
else that is known to be really stable.
I don't know, I have never done it on any of those autos. I hate automatic
transmissions with a passion.
I would suggest that you also get the bands adjusted while they have the
cover off, which is apt to be part of the problem.
I'm curious why, given a symptom of rough shifting on an auto, they would
go and change bearings or bearing mounts.
The thing about automatic transmissions, though, is that even minor work
on them is a job for specialists. If you didn't take it to a transmission
shop, that might have been a mistake.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
He's got the GM5L40E. This transmission shifts abruptly from 1 to 2, and
less so from 2 to 3, and the shifts are generally not noticable after that.
There are no bands to adjust. There is a solenoid to replace if the car
doesn't go into Reverse everytime, but the rest of the innerworkings are
pretty much unserviceable. The Valve Body can be cleaned and the oriffices
reamed out. And some BMWs get a transmission that has a check valve where
the ball is too small and actually gets stuck, but I don't think the GM5 is
included in that.
The link I posted above gives you more thant you ever dreampt of asking
about concerning BMW automatic transmissions.
Yes, the guibo is the center bearing.
One consideration is that the guibo was bad and needed to be replaced. The
labor for that job comes from a book that describes the time to repair
pretty much anything. The book says the job takes 3 hours. If it takes 4
hours, you pay for 3; if it takes 2 hours, you pay for 3. (Sometimes you're
the bug and sometimes you're the windshield.)
I haven't bought a guibo (center bearing and flex disc are other terms for
the same part) for several years, but $95 seems a bit steep by my
I don't know about 3 hours of labor, I replaced mine laying on the floor
under my car raised on jack stands. I'd imagine that having the car on a
lift where one can actually walk aroundn under it would make the job far
easier, and faster.
But, assuming the flex disc was bad, it wouldn't have anything to do with
the hard shifts. It would reasonably cause a vibration or some clunking
noises, but whatever shifting was taking place before it was replaced would
remain after. I think you bought a flex disc even though you didn't know it
was bad, AND you still have a transmission that works pretty much normally.
According to this link,
http://www.taligentx.com/passat/maintenance/atfchange/BMW_ATF.pdf , your car
has the GM5L40E, which has a rough shift, particularly from 1st to 2nd.
Shifts get smoother at the higher gears. The wrong transmission fluid can
cause hard shifts. And the transmission fluid put into the car at the
factory is billed as "lifetime" fluid, but we (enthusiasts) are finding that
this isn't entirely true. You should get the fluid replaced, it'll cost
about $200 or so, but you need to have it done.
Your car is also prone to a problem with refusing to go into Reverse on
occasion. My car has the same transmission, and I had the TCC solenoid
replaced to correct the problem.
Visit www.e46fanatics.com and you will find a wealth of information on the
transmission issues, and which transmission is used on which production run
of the affected vehicles. I understand that your car is not an E46, but the
transmission used is the same so the information presented is useful to you.
Here is a link directly to the transmission woes --
I made a boo-boo earlier.
The flex disc is the part that connects the driveshaft to the tail of the
transmission. The center bearing is a bearing in the center of the
My bad. Sorry for my confusion.
You're right. The hard shift is occuring mostly on 1st and 2nd and less
noticable on the higher gears.
Should I have them change the fluid and hands off everything else?
If I know this is normal for this model transmission I can live with it,
unless I know the hard shift is going to make things worse. Don't have a
lot of $$$ to keep chasing the problem.
I haven't had any problems getting in reverse (yet) I did notice
sometimes when I put it in park it's a little strong.
Is there an easy way to find out if in fact my car does have the GM5L40E
other than getting under the car and looking?
I linked a transmission fluid chart that says your car has the GM5L40E
transmission. (It actually says the BMW item number, but if you follow the
clues far enough, it's the GM5.)
Your car is a 2000, and ALL 2000 production 328s (same motor as your car)
got the GM5. The 323 got a mix of GM5 and ZF's, but I don't recall that the
5 Series came in a 523, and you don't have one anyway, and the 530 gets a
different trans. So, I'm pretty sure you have the GM5. Read the data plate
on the Driver Side Door jamb to find your production date, and use it to see
if your car has a production date that you need to know about relative to
My daughter has a 323 from before Mar. 00 production, so she has the GM5. It
shifts kind of hard on the 1 to 2 shift. It is a bit unnerving that a fine
automobile such as a BMW would have this kind of "problem," especially when
far lesser makes and models seem to get it right.
I'd have the transmission fluid changed, new filters and screens, and all of
that sort of stuff, and gaskets, and file away in the back of my head that
the TCC solenoid can cause Reverse to be balky, in case Reverse ever is
balky. Store the link to the E46Fanatics forum for future reference, or
print the links from the forum and save them. I took my kid's car to have
the solenoid replaced, but only got a fluid change. A few months went by,
and Reverse started to act up again. I took the car back and insisted he
install the solenoid for the cost of the part since that's all I wanted when
I got the fluid changed months earlier. He replaced the solenoid for the
cost of the part and another load of fluid, and the car has gone from So.
Calif. to Texas and back, plus the daily grind around So. Calif. and there's
been no sign of Reverse being pissy. My fingers are crossed that it has been
fixed because I got the car at way below market value because the seller was
told it had to have a new transmission -- I fixed it for $90 plus some
I have a 1999, not a 2000.
You may have read in one of my previous messages I was comparing the
shift to the 2000 528i I just sold wich was fine.
I saw the chart but it doesn't reference the 1999 models.
Page 1 of the link shows the '99 528 with two transmissions, you need to
know your production date to know which transmission you have.
Late production (Sept. 99 and later) gets the GM5L40E. Turns out the late
production '99 and the '00 528s get the GM5, and you said your other car was
an '00, which makes your late production '99 have the same transmission.
If you have an early production, then your car will not have the No Reverse
problem because it will have a different transmission.
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