BMW Fix for E46 M3 SMG problem

BMW Fix for E46 M3 SMG problem

There are 115 comments on the BMW CCA News story from Jun 25, 2007, titled BMW Fix for E46 M3 SMG problem. In it, BMW CCA News reports that:

“Fault 021. Tech found SIB 23 03 04”

The symptom was an almost instantaneous up-down-up shift from 2nd to third and back, without any request from me, starting out from a light at about 10MPH.. That happened only once, but the SMG warning lite on ... via BMW CCA News

Join the discussion below, or Read more at BMW CCA News.


York, UK

#83 Mar 8, 2013
Hi hope some can help
i have 54 plate m3 smg gearbox proble
it starts fine and you can select the reverse gear and 1st no problems but it will not drive and the display on the dash flashes any help please

Vancouver, WA

#84 Mar 8, 2013
mmm333 wrote:
Hi hope some can help
i have 54 plate m3 smg gearbox proble
it starts fine and you can select the reverse gear and 1st no problems but it will not drive and the display on the dash flashes any help please
If the yellow color gear box light flashes and the car won't move then it's your hood sensor. Open and shut your hood real hard and then give it a try. Google the SMG hood sensor and you'll find where it is located.

Fresno, CA

#85 Apr 17, 2013
NHere wrote:
same problem here with smg popping into neutral, and taking 4 mins to re-engage.
had to replace the car battery yesterday, and the smg light went off. i have a feeling it might happen again. light always comes on after engine is idle at N.
looks like forum members here have dealers that don;t really know what the problem is...

Vancouver, WA

#86 Apr 17, 2013
Hi Guys,

So I been dealing with this issue for several years now. At first I though I had found resolution and thought that the problem was the smg hydraulic temp sensor and had a work around but that only temporarily helped the problem.

I finally brought the car into the dealer yesterday and hoping the they can give me a pin-point diagnosis of the exact cause, but my fear is that they would not be able to find the exact cause and will tell me to replace the entire SMG pump unit.

Will wait to hear from them and will keep you guys posted.

Luleå, Sweden

#87 Jul 29, 2013
Henrik wrote:
Ive had two SMG m3´s.
One of them had problem shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear at full throttle. Also had problem getting in to 4th. It was a broken spring in the gearbox (dont need to take the gearbox appart tho)
The second one i just bought. Seller told me the car goes in to neutral and this happend when driving in city (no airflow through enginebay) while hot outside. Problem is, now the car works, but I think its the smg hydraulic temp sensor thats the reason, after reading the diffrent forums.
a 1kohm resistor in line with the tempsensor seem to fool the smg ecu that the hydraulic fluid is cooler, and in fact it probably is. The reason the sensor is showing hot temp, is cause of surrounding heat, not the heat of the fluid.
Good luck
Did the 1kohm resistor solve the problem ?


#88 Aug 5, 2013
Hello can anybody give me any info please.i have a 2004 m3 smg which is my pride/joy.when I drove it other day I put it in to drive as I set of it made a clunking/ knocking sound from the rear which I thought was strange as I come to put it back in the garage put it in reverse it did it lights come on or anything I mentioned it to a friend and he says sounds like the diff I think it could be something to do with the gear box. anybody had the same symptoms.thanks.

Somerset West, South Africa

#90 Aug 23, 2013
please help how much for the pump
Duc Tran

Beaverton, OR

#91 Aug 23, 2013
Hi Guys,

I initially posted about my 2002 SMG issue with popping into neutral when hot outside. I was the original person that tested the resistor trick, and had some temporary success, but eventually it did not hold. I bit the bullet and took it to the dealer.

Initially the dealer quoted about $2600 for a new SMG pump and about another $1000 for labor totaling $3600. I negotiated with them for a while and was able to cut it down to $3000 flat. After few days, the job was done. It has been 4 months now with the new pump and no issues. The shifting is actually smoother as it engage gears and stuck in traffic at 90+ degrees and still does not pop into neutral anymore.

The bulk of the cost is on the pump itself. If you go with the dealer then you can negotiate with them telling them that you know of a friend that had same job done at nearby city dealer for around $2900 and they would most likely match that.

Good luck!
Go Go Go

Arvada, CO

#92 Sep 28, 2013
Looking at buying a 2003 M3, very clean well kept car but having reservations reading the issues with SMG . What recommendations do you have and other things should I look out for before deciding as it still seems the positive experience with the performance and drive outway the issues.
Gavin Evans

Saundersfoot, UK

#93 Oct 11, 2013
Jason wrote:
???? 2003 M3 SMG while going up hill I down shifted quickly and car when into neutral..Not good...Yellow circle light came on. car would not engage in a gear.I eventually pulled over shut car off restated it and so far it hasnt happened again.I am just concerned is this car just hit 50K
The same thing happened to me, it's one of three things, SMG pump, relay or a part in the gearbox that pushes the clutch together (can't remember it's proper name). BMW changed the gearbox part £890, that worked for a while, then the relay £150, now the pump has gone £2200. This is a common fault unfortunately. My M3 is on 57k at the moment. Best of luck hopefully this won't happen to you!
2004 bmw m3 smg

Fresno, CA

#94 Dec 5, 2013
i was driving and my m3 pop into neutral and i wasn't able to start. a couple more before the EML lights would come on only when the car run hot. i did some troubleshooting on it myself. i change the relay add the smg pump. i can hear the pump making a weeeeeeeee sound. i also disconnect the clutch slave cyclinder and the car start.. i was able to shift into gears but it sound like the pump dont have enought pressure. i put it in reverse the car would grind and turn off. does anyone know exactly what kind of gt1 scanner is best for scanning and programming the smg or read transmission codes. t

Moscow, Russia

#95 Dec 31, 2013
hi m3 fanatics,looking for smg gearbox pump,south africa 0712308864

Moscow, Russia

#96 Dec 31, 2013
how do i get a recon smg pump

Benfleet, UK

#98 Jan 25, 2014
I am think about buying a BMW M3 SMG automatic. Would i have trouble with the automatic gear changes. Comments please


#99 Feb 3, 2014
I have 2005 msports with sequential gearbox. My problem is abit different. When I start the car first thing in morning, it runs roughly, idols down to 600revs, I put it into R press the accerator and it back fires and stalls. This happens several times before it eventually takes up, but jerks backwards. I then place in 1 and it stalls again. Restart several times and finally goes. Then changes gears perfectly ok until next time I go to start it .. any ideas?????

Wembley, UK

#100 Feb 17, 2014
hi, all in the same boat lol. my m3 been in green bower bmw main dealer for 10 months now. same probs 1 2 3rd then 0. the harder I drive it the quicker it goes back to 0.. thay say hydro unit 2100 plus, but already piad them money and thay said fixed got a mile then same prob!!! realy fed up now, any help plz

Dagenham, UK

#101 Mar 4, 2014
Hi! I've got a e46 BMW m3 smg! Recently it only drives on all gears from 1 to 4 but no movement on gear 5 and 6! Can anyone advice please! Thanks


#102 Mar 14, 2014
hussain wrote:
Hi! I've got a e46 BMW m3 smg! Recently it only drives on all gears from 1 to 4 but no movement on gear 5 and 6! Can anyone advice please! Thanks
It's likely the SMG hydraulic oil is low or the SMG gear shifter actuator (bolted to the gearbox) is leaking hydraulic oil, worth a quick inspection before taking it to the garage.

Harrogate, UK

#103 Jun 1, 2014
Hi George did you fix your car as I'm having the same problem what did you do please help.its been a long time.
GeorgeM3 wrote:
I'm very new to this forum but am at the point of cracking up! I own a 2005 E46 M3 SMG. About a month ago I was driving and using the sequential mode of the gearbox. I was accelerating in 2nd gear and when I shifted up to 3rd gear the display consel flashed 3 for a couple of seconds then stopped flashing but then took about 4 seconds to actually engage. When it did engage the SMG tell tale light came on and then I only had options of 2nd gear and 6th gear....nothing else. I pulled up and turned the car off for a minute or so. When I turned it back on the tell tale light disappeared and the gears seemed to be ok. As soon as I accelarated and tried to change gear it did exactly the same thing. I took the car to Holland Park BMW and they told me that the fault logged was due to the clutch which I subsequently has replaced. I collected the car yesterday and to my dismay it's doing exactly the same thing apart from it now only gived me options of 2nd gear and 4th! Help! Does anyone else have this problem?

Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

#104 Jun 15, 2014
the problem I have is very slow changing from 1st to 2nd to 3rd gear others not too bad & also when slowing down display panel says its still in gear but when accelerate car it just revs then jumps into gear about 2 seconds later. No errors showing on dashboard ,cogs or anything
Was wondering if anybody could shed any light on this me. thanks

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