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Old 04-05-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
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Question Shifting into 1st and 2nd difficult (2001 e46 330ci)

I have a 2001 e46 330ci with just over 100K on it. I love this car, but I’ve had a problem since I bought it second hand and it seems to be getting worse.

Bottom line is that shifting into first can be quite difficult, second easier but still hard and the rest are fine. Especially when cold, you have to sometimes slam it first into second and put it into first. It’s not like it is stiff. It almost feels like something (or multiple things) are in the way, and moving it into second clears it. Once the car heats up, it usually improves quite a bit. The car shifts fine otherwise, runs great, no lag, clutch feels fine, etc. I don’t want to bring it to a shop if it’s something as simple as putting some lube on the linkage under the shift gate, but thought I would ask for help first.

p.s. I am not a mechanical idiot, willing to try things out on my own, but I am no gear head either. So be gentle and explain things slooowly please. My only guide is that that I do have the official BMW repair CD I bought online, so I can look the parts up that people may describe.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:30 PM   #2
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I think this is relatively normal on the E36 and E46, maybe even other BMWs. Mine does it too, usually gets easier once its warmed up.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:20 PM   #3
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do a brake fluid FULL flush (all 4 corners) and at the clutch level (1 place below car)

You should notice an improvement.

The stick shift shares the brake fluid of the braking
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:55 AM   #4
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Did anyone do this an notice any improvement? I've been experiencing the same on my 98' 328is
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:37 AM   #5
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The brake fluid has nothing to do with the transmission. Flushing the tranny oil and replacing it with a high quality synthetic could help some (or simply topping it off if it's low - but that would manifest itself in other gears as well). Generally it sounds like the synchros are quite worn out, have you owned this car since new? Sounds like it was abused.

EDIT: d'oh, didn't notice the 2 month thread bump.
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