There are those who 1) performed tranny service using non-OEM Filtran filter/fluid with the whining issue; 2) never serviced the tranny with whining issue. This is more less for the second case.

I have tried to ignore the background whine, but the fact of matter is it is there. Unless I am exceeding approximately 50 mph or so till the wind noise takes over or roll down the window a tad or crank up the music it¡¯s there to bug the hell out of me. The dealers said it is ¡°typical¡± or ¡°normal¡± for e38. So I have tried to ignore for a while.

Today, I was cruising on a quite rural road and the scenic views in front of me made me reach for the radio/CD knob to put on some classical music to freaking mask the background tranny whining so that I can continue to enjoy the peaceful scenic drive. Then, it hit me. This is BS. This is not typical or normal for these caliber cars, nor for any cars in my opinion.

About a month ago, I contacted BMW NA to mainly complain about the whine/quality issues (I also had the shaft seal replaced due to fluid seepage). Their final response was the standard ¡°sorry just out of warranty, anything else we can ¡¦¡¦.¡±

Today, again I contacted the BMW NA hoping to get better technical advises/responses for the whining tranny, and was told that they do not have technical experts on staff, dealers are the technical experts and if they say it is typical or normal, then it is the characteristics of the car. I stated that the whine is there and BMW is admitting the poor quality. Quickly, I was told to get an additional opinion by other dealers if I am not satisfied, just like I would get a second opinion for a surgery (WTF %$^#%).

I have an extended warranty (3rd party) and if the dealers keep saying (two physical visit, two over the phone) that the tranny whine is normal or typical. My frustration is that I strongly believe the tranny whine should not be considered normal or typical since it is excessive compare to other cars I have and ever had.

I obtained a copy of BMW TIS and I dug up below info. (1999 750iL with ZF-5HP30 transmission).

__________________________________________________ ________________
RA Troubleshooting on automatic transmission A5S 310Z

Condition
__________________________________________________ ________________
Noise: Noise in all position

Cause Remedy __________________________________________________ ________________
a) ATF level too low a) Correct ATF level, refer to 24 00 026
b) Valve body leaks b) Replace valve body, refer to 24 30 006
c) Oil strainer dirty c) Replace oil strainer,refer to 24 31 156
d) Round seal on oil d) Replace round seal, refer to 24 31 156
filter missing/faulty
__________________________________________________ _______________
*Anybody who can post an image of this part of TIS, please help.

There has been a plenty of discussion on this board regarding the tranny fluid change (I have been tempted to do that as well). I am also aware of the TSB about transmission mounts for M73 engine whine remedy (one of the stealers tried to rip me off $1500).

My conclusion, any e38s under warranty with the tranny whine, BMW NA should cover for the above TIS repairs to get rid of the whine once and for all. Even if the tranny shows no fluid leakage, the cause b), c), and d) clearly indicate that the whine is due to defective parts and warrant repairs. For those who have been told the whining tranny is ¡°typical¡± or ¡°normal¡± by the dealers, and finally succumbed to ¡°sorry out of warranty¡± by the BMW NA, it is nothing but bait and switch¡±. The BMW TIS clearly indicates it is due to defective part(s). If a filter in a lifetime-fluid tranny becomes dirty to cause noise, it is because something inside is defective. The noise can also emanate from a leaky valve body and/or faulty seal (= defective) in a permanently sealed tranny.

BMW NA should educate the incompetent/ignorant dealers and stop telling e38 owners that the freaking tranny whine is normal/typical. Acknowledge that the transmission whine is a defect and act properly!

How many of you have been told by dealers that the tranny whine is normal?


MSK, 1999 750iL/62K miles.
Sorry for the long post, I could have made it succinct, but ¡¦.