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Slow First Gear

05-08-2006, 09:22 AM
I am trying to buy a 1996 BMW 740IL but found out that when the car takes off very slow on the first gear. You might need to step very hard on the gas for it to move. I do not have that much experience on that 740 but I know a V8 vehicle can takeoff faster than that. I checked her maintenance record and did not see any tune up or plug change. Otherwise, this car drives like brand new, it moves perfect when on the highway just that when you stop and try to take off you need to step hard on the gas for it to slowly take off. Can someone please tell me what this problem might be before I invest my money on this car?

05-08-2006, 10:53 AM
It could be a number of things. You say the car runs fine otherwise correct?
I would lean more towards a transmission problem like a blown first gear. Try driving your car with a automatic transmission starting off from a stop in 2nd gear instead of drive. Tell me if it feels the same. Without more info I can only guess.

05-08-2006, 11:34 AM
Well I have tried doing all of that and its still slow. It moves fine after like 4seconds after picking up. All the other gears shift well. Moreover if this car is in a hill, it does not have the takeoff speed thats required. I know its a V8 engine and should have more power but it moves even slower than a 4Cyl engine. If it is the transmission then i will forget about it coz I am not in the mode to mess with that car's transmission. I know its very expensive.

03-12-2007, 09:13 PM
I just bought 1994 740IL and have the same problem.
In first gear when I take off, until it reaches atleast 2,500 rpm it is kind of slow, but then it moves like creasy. I don't understand it, it feels like it has not enough power to move faster, but this is the first gear! Then, after it shifts to second or third or fourth or even fifth it moves very fast, much faster as on first gear.
As a test I tried to compare pick up with 1997 honda accord v6, which has 170 horsepower only. From stop light we pressed accelerator at the same time and while I was waiting until it reaches 2500 rpm honda ran away from me, but then I caught it when its speed was about 40 miles/hour.
I made conclusion that my car speeds up much faster on second gear as on first one.
Did anybody have the same problem? What can cause it? Other then that it runs great and transmission shifts excellent. When I tried to race with honda transmission was in S4 position meaning sport 4 gears.

Please help anybody?
Thanks in advance.

03-13-2007, 03:23 AM
Well, I've heard the torque converters on our cars being refered to as "super lazy." Off the line, these cars really aren't that great, so I wouldn't be too surprised if this is normal operation. After 2500 RMP, it really starts to pick up.

However, I have heard of long time owners having problems similar to yours so I'll have a go around some of the other forums and see what I can pull up for ya.

03-13-2007, 05:21 AM
Did some digging and the general consensus is the forward clutch is burnt.

When in Park, the tranny allows the forward clutches to half contact eachother and put's too much wear on them and burns them out faster. This is why you should NEVER rev the engine or idle the car in Park or Neutral, even to warm up in the middle of winter. Not only does a car warm up faster while driving it, it's safer for the transmission and other components. If you don't want to be in this situation again, I guess you'll have to live with being cold for the first few moments of driving during the winter months.:wink:

When this forward clutch wears out, this happens...very poor acceleration and some have even experience the transmission dropping out of gear as though it went into neutral.

Before you jump into repairs, give a good long search around for the cheapest parts you can find. Head over to ( and post a thread Attn: Kirt Koeller and ask for advice on the best direction to go to get your tranny fixed.

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