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'95 BMW 540i Automatic

If I drive for a short (5 min) trip say go in to a store and come out. The engine will start and idle fine, but upon gear selection the car will try to drive through the brakes until it dies. If I restart and let it warm up the car will still try to drive through the brakes, but it will not die (back end torqued down and idle about 400).

Then while driving it will shift at about 1000 rpms, thus keeping the rpms at 500. It feels like the car is in 4th or 5th just about all the time.

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I am not familiar with BMW transmission specifically, but it sounds like your TCC (Torque Converter Solenoid) has failed. It's common on GM vehicles, when to solenoid fails the Torque converter stays locked up, when you come to a stop it's like not pushing in the clutch on a manual transmission.

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That's what I initially decided, but how does that explain why it chooses a high gear all the time? PS - I don't think there are many differences between transmissions even GM vs. BMW – Eric Fossum May 22 '11 at 20:19
Biggest difference is that some are electronically controlled and some are vacuum controlled. Common failure points tend to be slightly different. – Brian Knoblauch Oct 21 '11 at 16:50

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