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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum Problems with manual 550 at low rpms
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      07-21-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
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Smile (Resolved!) Problems with manual 550 at low rpms. Now I have an M5!!!

RESOLVED![b]
Finally, after much anticipation, my M5 arrived. BMW discounted from the M5's MSRP the amount of money I was under on the 550's lease. Then, they gave me the $2,000 Holiday incentive and the $750 BMW loyalty discount. So, in effect, I ended up getting out of the 550 without problems and into an M5 with a $2,750 discount. Couldn't have asked for anything more and I am very pleased that BMW stood by their product and did everything they needed in order to keep their customer happy!
Thanks to all of the people who replied to my posts!


So after three trips to the dealer, the issue has not been resolved. First visit, they "updated the software", no results. Second visit, rode with a tech, who replicated the issue. They kept the car two weeks, dropped the transmission and found the "badly burned clutch", which was replaced "as a show of good will" by BMW. No results, either. Third time around, they asked me to bring the car only when the BMW rep would be able to drive it. Again, I rode with the service advisor, who replicated the issue. The BMW rep came, drove it, and left me the message (with the service advisor) "not to drive the car in comfort mode, but only in sport mode"!!! and not let it drop below 2,000 rpms... He did not even talk to me in person and when I asked to speak with him he "was gone already". I called BMWNA costumer service and voiced my concerns and dissatisfaction. I then got a called from my dealership stating that BMW had agreed to do a "trade assist" so I could move to a different car. What I don't like is that they have to appraise my car and then see what car I want and then they will "apply a formula" to come up with the numbers... By now I just want to move onto a M5, but I do not want to loose a lot of money. If the numbers are not right I will try to lemon the car. What do you guys think?
Thanks again.

I recently took delivery of my manual 550i. I have noticed that when I am driving at low rpms (between 1500 to 2000) and trying to keep a constant speed (for example driving through a 30 mph speed trap zone) the car does not feel smooth at all and there is an unevenness or hesitation, which makes it very uncomfortable. I also have noticed that if I am on sixth gear at the same rpm range and I accelerate, the car does accelerate without problems thanks to the torque but it also feels uneven until it gets passed beyond 2 or 3k rpms. I think it may be a software issue and I am bringing it to the dealer but want to see if someone else has experienced the same issue. This is not due to the car being in the wrong gear. I have driven manual cars all my life and this motor does not lack torque. I never experienced this on any of my previous manual BMWs, eventhough they had far less torque than this one. I have read about some jerkiness issues with the auto transmission cars but this seems to be different.
Thanks.

Last edited by Bucaro; 12-17-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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      07-21-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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My first thought was: he is trying to accelerate from 20 mph in sixth gear but then you explained that you are an experienced manual driver and the right gear is not the problem. One of the things I like about my car is how smooth it is accelerating from low rpms in just about any gear due to all the torque available. I can only tell you that I have never experienced what you are describing and you might have a problem with your car. Now, before you take it in to the dealer to have it "fixed" make sure that you try any other possibility for the problem - like a need for a setting on iDrive or something that is not set correctly, e.g. settings in Sport Mode that quicken the throttle action. Do you have adaptive drive with normal, sport, sport +, etc.? If you do, try driving in Normal mode and see how it feels compared to Sport and Sport +.

My advice is: don't take it in to the dealer to have it fixed because they will not only not fix it but you will develop problems that you never had before. If it bothers you that much and you cannot adjust to it then you will have no choice, and I wish you all the luck because you will need it.
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      07-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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The issue is much less noticeable in sport mode because the throttle response is quicker, but the point of comfort mode to me is that you can drive more smoothly. Even trying to maintain a constant speed brings on this hesitation...
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      07-21-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2 View Post
The issue is much less noticeable in sport mode because the throttle response is quicker, but the point of comfort mode to me is that you can drive more smoothly. Even trying to maintain a constant speed brings on this hesitation...
I would bring it in and have it looked at. Doubt it is the software...but maybe intake system related issue?
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      07-21-2012, 11:38 PM   #5
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turbo lag
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      07-22-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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I doubt it's the turbo lag. If I'm trying to keep a constant speed the engine would be spooling the turbos. The issue is more a hesitation or an unevenness, not a lack of or a delay in power delivery...
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      07-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2 View Post
The issue is more a hesitation or an unevenness, not a lack of or a delay in power delivery...
Give me a gear and a range of RPM where it happens and I'll try to duplicate it on mine and let you know, e.g. from 1500 to 2300 in second and fourth. Gentle on the throttle or accelerating briskly, etc.
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      07-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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Any gear, including first. Try to keep a steady speed where the rpms are between 1500 and 2000. Even with the cruise control on... (Thanks for the interest)
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      07-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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After spending some time to thoroughly check this I can tell you that mine does not do what you describe - not at all. It maintains the speed smoothly in every gear between 1200 and 2000 rpm, both in normal and sport modes. I was only able to make it hesitate (buck a bit) when pulling from 800 rpm in 6th gear. In the process I also noticed how instantaneous the power delivery is with no turbo lag whatsoever. My X5 35d exhibits a touch of turbo lag here and there but my 550i . . nothing that I could detect.

When I was shopping for my car I test drove a 2011 550i 6 speed manual and I noticed a hesitation when taking off from a stop. It felt like the brakes were on for an instant and then it would release - it wasn't the hill hold feature and I never got a good response for the cause of that. Fortunately, my car didn't show it when it arrived. It sounds like your car indeed has a problem and I can only wish you luck in your dealings with the "techs" at your BMW dealer.
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      07-23-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks, I will report back after I take it to the dealer next week (they are out of loaners for this week)...
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      08-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #11
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So I took the car to the dealer and they "updated the software" on it (which I found odd to be needed in a two month old car). I got it back but it is still doing the same. I took it back today and this time one of the technicians rode with me and was able to duplicate the issue. So hopefully this time they will get it right. I went out of town and will come back monday to pick it up...
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      08-21-2012, 06:55 AM   #12
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They should look into the fuel pumps and investigate further. Seems like all the recent turbo'd bmws have pump issues and is common on the 550's

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      08-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2 View Post
So I took the car to the dealer and they "updated the software" on it (which I found odd to be needed in a two month old car). I got it back but it is still doing the same. I took it back today and this time one of the technicians rode with me and was able to duplicate the issue. So hopefully this time they will get it right. I went out of town and will come back monday to pick it up...
This is the problem when you hand over your car to the "techs" at your BMW dealer. They very seldom have any idea of what it is so they start trying things to see if one of them will do the trick - in the process you are likely to get many more things screwed up than fixed.
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      08-21-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2
I recently took delivery of my manual 550i. I have noticed that when I am driving at low rpms (between 1500 to 2000) and trying to keep a constant speed (for example driving through a 30 mph speed trap zone) the car does not feel smooth at all and there is an unevenness or hesitation, which makes it very uncomfortable. I also have noticed that if I am on sixth gear at the same rpm range and I accelerate, the car does accelerate without problems thanks to the torque but it also feels uneven until it gets passed beyond 2 or 3k rpms. I think it may be a software issue and I am bringing it to the dealer but want to see if someone else has experienced the same issue. This is not due to the car being in the wrong gear. I have driven manual cars all my life and this motor does not lack torque. I never experienced this on any of my previous manual BMWs, eventhough they had far less torque than this one. I have read about some jerkiness issues with the auto transmission cars but this seems to be different.
Thanks.
That's the reason BMW engineers adopted the ZF auto 8 gears. XXI century technology engine with a XIX century technology manual transmission?
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      08-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #15
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"That's the reason BMW engineers adopted the ZF auto 8 gears. XXI century technology engine with a XIX century technology manual transmission?"

I agree.... I should have gotten the automatic.... But then again, why make the manual transmission the standard one?
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      08-22-2012, 10:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2
"That's the reason BMW engineers adopted the ZF auto 8 gears. XXI century technology engine with a XIX century technology manual transmission?"

I agree.... I should have gotten the automatic.... But then again, why make the manual transmission the standard one?
You're right. I think for keeping a lower list price. But the 8 auto should be the first option at least for the gazoline engines.
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      08-24-2012, 01:08 PM   #17
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Update: got word from the dealer that they "adjusted" the clutch, but apparently it did nothing to improve the issue. They were now instructed by BMW to "drop the transmission and check clutch components"...
I'm beginning to think this issue will bot be resolved... If it is not, I will demand that they take the car back and replace it (for an automatic, of course)...
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      08-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #18
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I tried to replicate this and was unable to do so with my car. I do have a modified CDV installed though, not sure if that makes a difference.
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      09-01-2012, 09:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2 View Post
Update: got word from the dealer that they "adjusted" the clutch, but apparently it did nothing to improve the issue. They were now instructed by BMW to "drop the transmission and check clutch components"...
I'm beginning to think this issue will bot be resolved... If it is not, I will demand that they take the car back and replace it (for an automatic, of course)...
This is such a bad outcome for you. Once they start taking your car apart there is no end to the "procedures" that will follow to fix it. Good luck with getting them to take it back - and BTW, an automatic seems like the correct choice for you.
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      09-01-2012, 09:49 PM   #20
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According to the dealer, the clutch was "badly burned" and needs to be replaced. They cannot explain how it happened. BMW will cover the replacement but I'm concerned this is a symptom rather than the cause of the problem... Needless to say, I did not burn the clutch due to not knowing how to drive a manual... I have only owned manual cars in my life and never have burned the clutch. This car has only 2,200 miles on it...
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      09-03-2012, 01:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2
According to the dealer, the clutch was "badly burned" and needs to be replaced. They cannot explain how it happened. BMW will cover the replacement but I'm concerned this is a symptom rather than the cause of the problem... Needless to say, I did not burn the clutch due to not knowing how to drive a manual... I have only owned manual cars in my life and never have burned the clutch. This car has only 2,200 miles on it...
Agree. It is impossible for an educated driver burning the clutch after a couple of thousands miles. Insist for a defective clutch!
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      09-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanpgomez2 View Post
According to the dealer, the clutch was "badly burned" and needs to be replaced. They cannot explain how it happened. BMW will cover the replacement but I'm concerned this is a symptom rather than the cause of the problem... Needless to say, I did not burn the clutch due to not knowing how to drive a manual... I have only owned manual cars in my life and never have burned the clutch. This car has only 2,200 miles on it...
Did you buy the car new? A demo with a few miles on it could have been abused. A clutch is such a simple mechanism that there is no real mistery as to how it happens when one is burnt out. I would also take the "badly burned" statement with a grain of salt. Perhaps the new clutch will resolve it and I wish you luck but I'm betting that the clutch replacement will not fix it - I hope I'm wrong.
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