Q: 1999 BMW 323i wont go in reverse it will drive but just not back up. Sometimes when run awhile it tries to go back when put in rev

asked by on August 06, 2017

I bought a 1999 323I from a friend they told me I could drive the car just that it wouldn't back up or go in reverse. After getting it home I tried it and nope no reverse, but I noticed that once ran awhile and put in reverse that it kind of went a little bit in reverse if I pressed on the accelerator. Once it made a loud grinding noise when I parked and then put it back in drive. The light for the transmission was on but when I reset the OBC back to factory settings and tested the gages the transmission light went off and stayed off but still wouldn't go in reverse. What's wrong with it?

My car has 107170 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The first order of business will be to read the stored codes in the transmission controller. A generic scan tool like the use at the auto parts stores and tire shops will not do the trick in this case. It will have to be a tool with BMW specific software. The you will be able to see what kind of electronic mischief has been going on. Then, of course, it is necessary to check the fluid level, again an operation that is unique to the BMW. The fluid level has to be read at a specific transmission oil temp as indicated by the scan tool. Problems in these areas need to be ruled out, but I expect you’re going to find that the transmission itself is going to have to be rebuilt or replaced. These were troublesome units for BMW and there are a number of updates that are called for but let’s not panic yet. Contact Your Mechanic to have a technician come out to your home or office to check out your BMW and let you know what its going to take to fix it.

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