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      06-08-2014, 03:07 PM   #1
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Oh oh! Locked in neutral!

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I was fiddling with manual shifting, trying to replicate the roughness RPM90 is talking about, and while I usually wouldn't shift with the shifter I did - and managed to lock the transmission in neutral. This is not something that should happen. BMW beware, you're likely to get your ass sued off over this.
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      06-08-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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Did you pull the shifter to the left first to shift manually or did you just shift up from D?
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      06-08-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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I love it. Try to break the car then threaten to sue when you do. Do you sue the weather man when he's wrong?
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      06-08-2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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Good question...

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Originally Posted by remrk View Post
Did you pull the shifter to the left first to shift manually or did you just shift up from D?
Pretty sure I had pulled it to the left. What I think I did - inadvertently - is push it to the right and up instead of straight up. Regardless, the tranny should not be locking in neutral while the car is moving at speed. This is a clear design defect and is going to get BMW sued.
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      06-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #5
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I'm not threatening to sue anyone...

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Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
I love it. Try to break the car then threaten to sue when you do. Do you sue the weather man when he's wrong?
I won't be shifting with the stick. But I could and often did with the DCT in my 2010 M3 - it doesn't suffer from this design defect.
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      06-08-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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"Locking" in neutral, meaning you cannot put it back in gear - or the car simply will go into neutral if you intentionally shift it into neutral?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a car which allows a shift into neutral while moving. Besides, manual transmission cars do it all the time between gears.
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      06-08-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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Right...

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Originally Posted by Elk View Post
"Locking" in neutral, meaning you cannot put it back in gear - or the car simply will go into neutral if you intentionally shift it into neutral?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a car which allows a shift into neutral while moving. Besides, manual transmission cars do it all the time between gears.
It goes into neutral and won't move freely back into drive. Perhaps you can unlock it by stepping on the brake, but you don't necessarily have that luxury in traffic. Many of the circumstances under which I might deliberately shift into neutral with a standard - like black ice - prohibit stepping on the brake anyway. I pulled over in order to shift back into drive.
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      06-08-2014, 04:35 PM   #8
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Odd.

I have shifted the my 335 into neutral and back into drive with no problem. I wonder what you are doing differently.
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      06-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #9
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Different transmission?

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Originally Posted by Elk View Post
Odd.

I have shifted the my 335 into neutral and back into drive with no problem. I wonder what you are doing differently.
This isn't the first thread on this, although I (probably) inadvertently shifted into neutral. It isn't clear what happened here: http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...hlight=neutral .

Anyway, I'll be playing with mine to see if I can normally shift freely from D to N and back. If so then the question arises as to how it locked.
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      06-08-2014, 04:50 PM   #10
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Sue? Because you did something stupid? In 35 years of driving, I've never had to shift an AT car into N while moving. And you're trying this repeatedly, just to see if you can cause or repeat some problem someone else had? And black ice? Are you an idiot? By shifting into neutral, you remove the ability of stability control to selectively apply power if needed. Please, sell the car and don't buy another BMW. Folks like you 1) give the brand a bad name, 2) aren't worth the hassle as customers, and 3) just drive up the price for the rest of us.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility. Good grief.
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      06-08-2014, 04:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBoomer View Post
Many of the circumstances under which I might deliberately shift into neutral with a standard - like black ice - prohibit stepping on the brake anyway.
There is very little benefit in ANY situation for shifting into neutral, regardless of transmission type.

And of all possibilities, black ice is the absolute LAST situation I would ever use neutral for. Lower your speed if you know ice may be present, use lower gears, and stay alert. Neutral would take away your ability to steer out of a skid upon regaining traction with the road surface.
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      06-08-2014, 05:06 PM   #12
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This isn't a discussion about driving on black ice...

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Originally Posted by simongym View Post
There is very little benefit in ANY situation for shifting into neutral, regardless of transmission type.

And of all possibilities, black ice is the absolute LAST situation I would ever use neutral for. Lower your speed if you know ice may be present, use lower gears, and stay alert. Neutral would take away your ability to steer out of a skid upon regaining traction with the road surface.
The issue here is inadvertently finding that the car is locked in neutral at speed. I just tossed out black ice as an example, but generally I agree that there is almost no situation where I would deliberately shift into neutral at speed. But it came to mind because I might want to manually downshift on black ice, and certainly couldn't hit the brake to escape neutral.

Last edited by BimmerBoomer; 06-08-2014 at 05:11 PM.
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      06-08-2014, 05:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
Odd.

I have shifted the my 335 into neutral and back into drive with no problem. I wonder what you are doing differently.
Me too. On multiple cars as well. Op did you press the lock button firmly before selecting Drive?

OP not sure how things work on your corner of the planet but here if you want to sue you first need to get the suit vetted in a hearing to see if it can go to court unless you are going to small claims. If you make it to court and lose you have to pay the other guy's legal costs. As your plan is to sue a multi billion dollar company you'll need both legal and expert technical advice. Well.... good luck with that
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      06-08-2014, 05:28 PM   #14
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Bad reading skills...again...

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Originally Posted by menncars View Post
Me too. On multiple cars as well. Op did you press the lock button firmly before selecting Drive?

OP not sure how things work on your corner of the planet but here if you want to sue you first need to get the suit vetted in a hearing to see if it can go to court unless you are going to small claims. If you make it to court and lose you have to pay the other guy's legal costs. As your plan is to sue a multi billion dollar company you'll need both legal and expert technical advice. Well.... good luck with that
I think I did, but why should you need to depress the lock button at all? There is no way the transmission should be locked in neutral at speed.

I have no reason to sue BMW, nor am I interested in doing so. What I'm suggesting is that this is a design defect that may lead to lawsuits.
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      06-08-2014, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBoomer View Post
I think I did, but why should you need to depress the lock button at all? There is no way the transmission should be locked in neutral at speed.

I have no reason to sue BMW, nor am I interested in doing so. What I'm suggesting is that this is a design defect that may lead to lawsuits.
Automatic transmissions have always had a lock. Even old column-mounted shifters you had to first pull backwards to unlock before pushing down to shift.

The lock button is so that if you're in neutral without your foot on the brake, you don't accidentally bump the lever and have the car take off.

Honestly it seems like you were screwing around and accidentally engaged neutral then panicked and forgot that you needed to push the lock button to re-engage drive while moving. Complaining about the lock button, which is probably a mandatory required safety feature, is just grasping at straws.
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      06-08-2014, 06:05 PM   #16
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Nah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
Automatic transmissions have always had a lock. Even old column-mounted shifters you had to first pull backwards to unlock before pushing down to shift.

The lock button is so that if you're in neutral without your foot on the brake, you don't accidentally bump the lever and have the car take off.

Honestly it seems like you were screwing around and accidentally engaged neutral then panicked and forgot that you needed to push the lock button to re-engage drive while moving. Complaining about the lock button, which is probably a mandatory required safety feature, is just grasping at straws.
Generally a shift lock circuit is only active when you have your foot on the brake - and I'm pretty sure that's the way this one works. I had it depressed, but it didn't work. I simply pulled over rather than brake in traffic. A legal requirement? I doubt that, since my DCT didn't have one.
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      06-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBoomer View Post
The issue here is inadvertently finding that the car is locked in neutral at speed. I just tossed out black ice as an example, but generally I agree that there is almost no situation where I would deliberately shift into neutral at speed. But it came to mind because I might want to manually downshift on black ice, and certainly couldn't hit the brake to escape neutral.
I completely agree that what you described should not be possible and is clearly a design defect, if in fact it is the same for many cars. I'm not sure if that is the case, and I also certainly have no plans on attempting to duplicate it. I have the 8AT and never use the auto-shift option because I think it's silly (and doesn't really work the way I would expect it to). For me it's pretty much all or nothing, next car I'll get a manual, but for now the gee whiz computers can shift for me.
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      06-08-2014, 07:37 PM   #18
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My 8at won't go into N when in motion, even when pushing the shift lock.

What am I missing here? If I recall correctly coasting is illegal, I presume this is the reason.

OP, maybe you can try disconnecting your battery. With doing so maybe it's possible something would be reset.
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      06-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #19
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This has happened to me several times, I'd been driving in manual, put it back into auto, some time later forgot that it was in auto and pushed the lever up to downshift and instead put it into neutral. It is easy in the split instant panic as your speed falls off in traffic to try to pull it back into auto but it will not go, realize it needs the brake depressed to put into gear and pull off to the side to do that. But I think the second time I was able to push the shift lock and then put it back into auto while still in motion. I agree that it should be locked out from going into neutral when in motion.
I also agree with the OP that this could get BMW sued-not by the person who gets back into gear and gets going again, but by the person who panics and hits the brake in traffic and gets rear ended. Once that happens it will become a design defect.
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      06-08-2014, 08:17 PM   #20
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Well, that's at least three of us jacar...

In my case it won't happen again because I'll stick with the shift paddles from now on. I intend to push for a PUMA case with my dealer on this: something that I suggested the OP of the other thread do. I think BMW should be made aware of the potential issue, and it could well be a glitch in the software. It's interesting to note some of the inconsistencies in the responses to both threads.
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      06-08-2014, 09:04 PM   #21
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Um, maybe I missed something here, but it sounds like it is working exactly how it is supposed to.

You can shift from Drive into Neutral without pressing the lock button on the shifter.

In order to shift from anything (park, neutral, reverse) into drive, it requires you to press the lock button on the shifter. I am also fairly sure that you need to press the brake as well (can you rev your engine in neutral at a stoplight and then shift into drive without drpressing the brake pedal? I have never been able to). The reason for this is so that you do not inadvertently shift it into drive and move forward when you are not planning to.

This is the same thing that my M6 had, and my 335i before, and the non-BMW cars I have driven.
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      06-08-2014, 09:19 PM   #22
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A forum full of experts!

1. You can't shift into neutral at speed at all.
2. You can shift back and forth between neutral and drive, no problem.
3. You can shift into neutral at speed, but the car is designed to lock up and try to get you killed getting back into drive. And you deserve it you idiot.
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