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      12-09-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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Newbie questions about 128i

Hello Addicts,

I just purchased a CPO 2009 128i with automatic transmission and I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone here can answer.

First, the car seems to hesitate slightly when taking off from a stop. It feels as though there is a brief delay between the time I touch the gas pedal and the point at which the engine actually responds (when it does respond, it does so quite satisfactorily). The engine doesn't stumble or otherwise misbehave, it just takes a second or two to fully react to the accelerator.

At first I didn't think much of it, but I'm currently driving a courtesy car from the dealership while they take care of a few things on my car and the loaner doesn't seem to do the same thing. The loaner is a 2012 128i, also with automatic transmission.

Also, I've noticed a high-pitched whistling/whining sound that fades in and out at various speeds between 38-60 mph. The sound can be masked by the radio and/or HVAC system, but when both are off it's pretty easy to hear. At first I thought it sounded like a vacuum leak or something in the driveline rotating at high speeds, but I'm beginning to wonder if it might actually be an electrical motor whine. Since driving the loaner car, I've observed that it makes the same sound within the same speed range, and an 07 328i that I test drove while shopping also did the same thing. Any idea what this is, and whether it's a malfunction or something that they all do?

Thanks for any help!
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      12-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
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I just picked up a 2013 128 and Z4 and can not say that there is a hesitation but a split second delay. Kind of like you explained. It's not any worse then the Cooper S and the dodge 1500. But compared to Boxster it is very much there. The harder you pushed the more you should notice it. Not sure why its there guessing it had something to do with gas mileage savings. My old 08 328 had also.

I have not heard the whine.
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      12-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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I've read that the auto trannies start off from second gear and not first... Could that be it?

Try shifting manually to see if there's a difference.
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      12-09-2012, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wv128bmw View Post
...can not say that there is a hesitation but a split second delay.
Exactly; it's not that the engine itself hesitates in the traditional sense, but more like there's a second or two while the car "decides" to react to the accelerator pedal input.
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      12-09-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
I've read that the auto trannies start off from second gear and not first... Could that be it?

Try shifting manually to see if there's a difference.
The automatic starts from 1st gear when in "D" mode. If you select "DS" mode, it starts from 2nd gear unless you specifically downshift to 1st.

I'll test for the delay in "DS" mode when I get the car back from the dealer.
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      12-09-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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I noticed the same delay when I test drove a 128i convertible before buying my manual. I would have test driven a manual if I could have found one. I needed to squirt across traffice to get back to the dealer and stopped and waited for a bigger hole when the car hessitated. I have a friend that drives one and says she doesn't notice it. I think the delay is less if you "gun" it more. I don't know if that's her "secert" or whether she is just more used to automatics doing this.

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      12-09-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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BMW programmed the automatic trans in the 28i cars to start in second gear for a slight bit of gas mileage savings. I really don't think you're saving that much more gas and it can become a Nuisance when ur really trying to get out there in traffic. If you put it in manual mode and put it in 1st gear and gas it you will feel a big differance. Then while still in manual mode put it in second from a stop and you will get that slow drag/hesitation take off you feel in D mode. I know I tried it with my parents 328. At first I was like naw it dosent start off in second when in D mode that little test confirmed it.
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      12-09-2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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The delay can easily be rectified by getting the BMS power box, or a custom tune like the AA tune. It really has nothing to do with the 2nd gear, put it in manual mode and go down to first, you will see the same problem. It was discussed various times in here, just do a search. The common suggestion is that it was done purposely by BWM to differentiate the NA engine even more from the FI engine. I have the AA tune which took care of it by also adding about 15bhp to it, but a much cheaper solution is the power box.
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      12-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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this isn't the thing with gas saver coding is it? i heard some of the newer bmw 's have the auto stop and start coding and there is a free one time coding you can have done to fix it
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      12-09-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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My 2012 128 absolutely starts in 1st when in D mode, however starts in 2nd in DS mode. I only get a hesitation in low temps, below 40 F. The spring like weather we're having in Charlotte now, 71 deg F today, totally no hesitation at all.
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      12-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear about your experience with your 128i, maybe that just the nature of the automatic? Congrats on your new ride!

Last edited by the1andonly; 12-09-2012 at 09:54 PM.
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      12-10-2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjg View Post
Also, I've noticed a high-pitched whistling/whining sound that fades in and out at various speeds between 38-60 mph. The sound can be masked by the radio and/or HVAC system, but when both are off it's pretty easy to hear. At first I thought it sounded like a vacuum leak or something in the driveline rotating at high speeds, but I'm beginning to wonder if it might actually be an electrical motor whine. Since driving the loaner car, I've observed that it makes the same sound within the same speed range, and an 07 328i that I test drove while shopping also did the same thing. Any idea what this is, and whether it's a malfunction or something that they all do?

Thanks for any help!
I don't know if this noise is the same as yours, however, back when I had my 128i, I began to hear this high-pitched, almost like a squeak, not a terribly loud noise, but definitely easy to hear with the windows down and radio off (basically going for a drive on some back roads for the sake of having fun). It was terribly obvious next to a wall or barrier. That being said, it was not a consistent thing, would go away after driving the car for a few minutes. Funny thing was, pressing the brake pedal would cause the noise to go away while pressed, and would return after releasing.

I had the car for nearly 30k miles, I don't believe I ever had the noise fixed or looked into by my dealer simply because I would always forget about it since it wasn't too intrusive, and in those 30k miles nothing went wrong that could have been attributed to that noise.
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      12-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #13
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      12-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #14
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I have a 2012 128i, automatic and get no hesitation at all- the car is very quick off the line. It for sure starts in first when in D mode. And will downshift to first only when I come to a complete stop, otherwise it stays in second gear. And I don't have any whining or whistling noise at any speeds.
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      12-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #15
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I had a 09 and experience the same hesitation when enter freeway on ramp unless I punch it or using paddle shift otherwise it seems like a bit sluggish. My SA mentioned if the car is not up to warm temp the tranny will not work as fast when gear is shifting.
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      12-10-2012, 01:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tccox View Post
My 2012 128 absolutely starts in 1st when in D mode, however starts in 2nd in DS mode. I only get a hesitation in low temps, below 40 F. The spring like weather we're having in Charlotte now, 71 deg F today, totally no hesitation at all.
Mine also starts in 1st when in D and in 2nd when in DS. However, the lag doesn't seem to be influenced by ambient temperature, as it's still quite warm in Florida.
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      12-10-2012, 01:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cope View Post
I don't know if this noise is the same as yours, however, back when I had my 128i, I began to hear this high-pitched, almost like a squeak, not a terribly loud noise, but definitely easy to hear with the windows down and radio off (basically going for a drive on some back roads for the sake of having fun). It was terribly obvious next to a wall or barrier. That being said, it was not a consistent thing, would go away after driving the car for a few minutes. Funny thing was, pressing the brake pedal would cause the noise to go away while pressed, and would return after releasing.
That sounds quite different from what I'm experiencing. None of the influencers you describe seem to apply to what I hear.
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      12-10-2012, 01:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTBMW1 View Post
I have a 2012 128i, automatic and get no hesitation at all- the car is very quick off the line. It for sure starts in first when in D mode. And will downshift to first only when I come to a complete stop, otherwise it stays in second gear. And I don't have any whining or whistling noise at any speeds.
I'm quite satisfied with how quickly my car accelerates once it actually begins to do so; the trouble is that it seems to have to think about it for a second or two before deciding to take off!
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      12-10-2012, 02:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjg View Post
I'm quite satisfied with how quickly my car accelerates once it actually begins to do so; the trouble is that it seems to have to think about it for a second or two before deciding to take off!
thats the throttle response delay. Its like you press the pedal and the car doesn't react until ~1 second later. As others have said, best way to fix that is with the BMS Box or getting a tune(such as AA)

As for the wind noise, recently I hear it as well. It seems to be on and off, so I am thinking it might be my sunroof or maybe windows aren't closing properly. I heard some people said its the AC system or even the mirrors. Its a pretty high pitch sound that sounds like a whistle.
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      12-10-2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenkirby21 View Post
thats the throttle response delay. Its like you press the pedal and the car doesn't react until ~1 second later. As others have said, best way to fix that is with the BMS Box or getting a tune(such as AA)
Do I understand you correctly, then, that my car is "functioning as designed" in this regard (i.e, it came like this from the factory and is not malfunctioning)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenkirby21 View Post
As for the wind noise, recently I hear it as well. It seems to be on and off, so I am thinking it might be my sunroof or maybe windows aren't closing properly. I heard some people said its the AC system or even the mirrors. Its a pretty high pitch sound that sounds like a whistle.
What I hear is a high-pitched sound, but it is definitely not wind-related (i.e., it's not coming from windows, sunroof, etc.); I'm almost certain that it's coming from a rotating mechanical or electrical part.
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      12-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjg View Post
Do I understand you correctly, then, that my car is "functioning as designed" in this regard (i.e, it came like this from the factory and is not malfunctioning)?

What I hear is a high-pitched sound, but it is definitely not wind-related (i.e., it's not coming from windows, sunroof, etc.); I'm almost certain that it's coming from a rotating mechanical or electrical part.
Yes, and if I remember correctly the car learns over time your driving techniques. So, some people recommend resetting the throttle/transmission and that seems to help

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63796
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      12-12-2012, 02:06 PM   #22
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Update

The dealer called and said that they think it's the differential, so they've ordered one from Germany and it should be here in 7-10 business days. I'm not convinced that this assessment is correct, as the 2012 loaner with 5,000 miles on it that I'm currently driving makes exactly the same high-pitched whistling/whining sound at the same speeds. Aside from the delay, however, I don't much care, as I'm happy to get a new diff on my 46,000 mile car for free.
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