Who moved my car? - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
E39 5 series Forum Dedicated to the E39 5 series.

LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 11 Old 11th January 2008, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
02 540i
Junior Member, warming up (<31 posts)
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Who moved my car?

Recently, I noticed that my car slid backward down the driveway overnight. I've always put in first gear when I park w/o the parking brakes on (I do it now every time since I began noticing it). So I thought I give it a test. I came home one day, put the tranny in first gear and shut off the engine. My car started sliding backward. My driveway is on an incline. Is it my clutch that is giving out? I don't have a problem with pick up when I'm driving. Does anyone know what might be causing this?

02 540i is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 Old 5th November 2013, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 46
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
wow! thats dangerous if you dont pull the hand break. I use both on all my standard cars. I dont trust just one.
HTOWN///M3 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 5th November 2013, 06:55 PM
John in VA
Member, Sport: On DSC: Off
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 204
Thanks: 6
Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by HTOWN///M3 View Post
wow! thats dangerous if you dont pull the hand brake. I use both on all my standard cars. I dont trust just one.
Fixed that for you!
Here's a link to a DIY for adjusting the parking brakes - Parking Brake Adjustment DIY - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums
John in VA is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 22nd December 2015, 07:33 PM
Member, Sport: Off DSC: On (>50 posts)
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 63
Thanks: 5
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Maybe check your "transmission" fluid?

Check your brake fluid, as with a 540i your brake fluid is also the hydraulic fluid for your clutch. I'd think if it was slipping like that while you were driving, you'd know about it. Of course, if you were leaking that, I suppose your question would be "why is it so hard to shift gears?" or "why is my clutch pedal resting on the floor?" but it is something worth checking.

I have a 2000 540i and right after I bought it I had a hard time shifting and actually blamed it on the new winter boots I bought -- I thought I just couldn't get the clutch to let go as my boot must have been stuck on something. By the time I got home I was running stop signs as I knew if I came out of gear I was never going to get back in. I suspected the clutch slave cylinder was leaking. Before tearing things all apart I inspected the pedal and noticed it was almost on the floor. I simply lifted it up with two fingers and it stayed up and I drove it around nervously for an hour waiting to see the problem come back. Then I drove it sorta nervously for another six months. At this point it's been about a year and it hasn't returned, at all. I suspect I had a bit of grit caught somewhere and lifting the pedal up must have moved the fluid around and whatever was stuck now isn't. I wonder if you're in a similar situation where the clutch is not engaging for some reason, especially if the car is off and the lines aren't pressurized.

If your brake fluid is low, or too high (installed new brake pads after adding brake fluid during an oil change or whatever) I can think of a couple unusual things that might happen. I myself am due for new brake pads and I'm going to flush the fluid while I'm at it which I suspect I should have done at the time but had no idea that the brake fluid had anything to do with the transmission at the time.

Happy hunting!

tcannon is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 23rd December 2015, 01:52 AM
Member, Sport: Off DSC: On (>50 posts)
OFPmoto's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 82
Thanks: 8
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
OFPmoto is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 16th May 2016, 07:36 AM
Member, Sport: On DSC: On (>100 posts)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N.Bellmore,N.Y.
Posts: 144
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
What let your Trans. Hold your car when you have an e-brake designed just for that? I don't understand why most people don't use their e-brake.
fortis is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 16th May 2016, 08:07 AM
Member, P500 Sport, MDM on (>800)
kingpin025's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Riverside, CA
Age: 52
Posts: 899
Thanks: 26
Thanked 78 Times in 69 Posts
I've been regularly driving manual transmission cars since 1990 and I've always left my cars in 1st gear and used the e-brake to prevent the car from rolling. I'd guess there are multiple factors to cause the vehicle to roll despite being in gear, not just one definitive one. There are several threads on the internet discussing this specific topic.

Google this and decide: Manual transmission car in 1st gear but still rolls backwards.

Tommy L.

(oOO \ (IIII) (IIII) / OOo)
-o- (##########) -o-

2001 BMW M5 LMB LHD Euro
Bilstein PSS
Dinan Rear Anti-Sway Bar
Matte Black Style 65
Alpine ILX-007 Head Unit
Alpine MRV-F 340 Amp
Boston Acoustics Pro Components
Alpine MRP-M450 Amp
Infinity Kappa 102.7W Sub x2
Current Garage:
1993 BMW M5
1994 BMW 525i Touring 5spd
2004 Ford SVT Lightning
kingpin025 is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 30th May 2016, 07:09 PM
Junior Member, warming up (<31 posts)
modenaf1's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 9
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If it's steep enough it will eventually roll in first gear. If you think of your engine as a giant air pump (which is basically what it is), it's bound to have a very slow leak down. Once that compression slowly leaks down enough over hours, it can definitely turn one rotation with enough force on it, then many hours later, another rotation, and by morning your car isn't where you left it! Get that e-brake fixed!
modenaf1 is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 27th January 2017, 04:04 PM
Member, Sport: Off DSC: On (>50 posts)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 51
Thanks: 2
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
dinkman is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 16th May 2017, 07:29 PM
Member, Sport: On DSC: Off
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 263
Thanks: 0
Thanked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Yes please just use the parking brake, just using the transmission makes no sense. Leave it in gear for INSURANCE, nothing else.

I have a friend that does something just as silly if you ask me, he pulls the handbrake up enough to just barely prevent the car from rolling, then leaves it in gear for insurance, so that he does not stretch the ebrake cable. However, if the wind blows too high, the car ends up rolling a little and adding the strain to the drivetrain since that's what's holding it now.

What you all fail to realize, is that instead of pulling on and using the hand brake for what it's designed to do, you are putting strain not only on the motor mounts, transmission mounts, guibo, and diff mounts, but you are also holding the DMF springs under extra tension, which will eventually weaken them faster too.

Does wearing all those things out to save an ebrake cable sound smart to anyone here?


2002 BMW M5
2003 BMW 540iA Sport
2002 Pontiac Trans am WS6
Morimoto H7 LED High Beam Install Writeup/DIY
ChrisSKillaZ is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Autocar: M5 beats Ferrari F430 Just_me E60 M5 and E61 M5 Touring Discussion 204 10th October 2007 04:24 PM
Driving Impression: Mercedes CLK350 / Audi RS4 / Audi TT 2.0 , SMG vs DSG SeverelyOpinionated GTBoard.com: General Sportscars 3 17th August 2007 10:02 AM
DON'T buy this car! Back stabber!!! TireFryer E34 M5 Discussion 44 27th October 2006 12:02 AM
Nowack Tuning Report, The Truth (Long Version) CharlesW Most Memorable Threads' 44 30th November 2002 04:49 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome