The 5L40-E was designated in either "M82" (rear-wheel drive) or "MX5" (all-wheel drive) versions for service in BMW vehicles from 2000 model year until the design was superceded by (for BMW) the 6l45e and (for all others) the 6l50e series electronic automatic transmissions in 2007 . It is designed for service in vehicles up to 4000 lb (1814 kg) GVWR and in service was mated to a selection of final drive ratios 3.42:1, 3.73:1, or 3.91:1 depending on the carline. The 5L40-E had been designed for 1.8–3.6 L engines with a maximum of 250 ft•lbf (340 N•m) of torque. A notable failure mode of the assembly is lifetime overtorque in the heaviest carlines wherein the unit is matched with a significantly higher torque-rated powerplant; the transmission is well known for failing between 150,000km and 200,000km in the 5 series E39 and X5 BMW'S equipped with their inline 6-cylinder and V-8 powerplants, due to insufficient or contaminated lubrication during operation in cruise overdrive range, and service loads beyond the engineered maximum rating of the unit. Despite this apparent mismatch, and since carmaker BMW does not manufacture the extremely sophisticated 5l40e, BMW customers have reported that Authorized BMW Service will not repair this type of transmission, instead offering to install fully assembled units as replacement (a common practice which entails significant cost to the consumer.) An aftermarket preventive package exists to curtail early failures but is designed to alleviate very specific symptoms and generally is not a prescribed remedy for a manufacturer mismatch.
1 2 3 4 5 R
3.42 2.21 1.60 1.00 0.75 3.02
2004–2006 Cadillac CTS (RWD)
2005–2006 Cadillac STS (RWD)
2004–2006 Cadillac SRX (RWD)
2006 Pontiac Solstice
2007 Saturn Sky
2004–2006 Holden WL Statesman/Caprice (RWD)
2004–2006 Holden VZ Commodore (RWD)
2005–2009 Chevrolet Omega (RWD)
2006–2009 Holden VE Commodore (RWD)
2008–2009 Pontiac G8 (RWD)
2004–2006 Cadillac CTS (AWD)
2004–2006 Cadillac STS (AWD)
2004–2006 Cadillac SRX (AWD)
BMW 3 Series (E46)
BMW 5 Series (E39)
BMW X5 (E53)
The 5L50 is engineered to handle the stresses from vehicles weighing up to 5000 lb (2268 kg) GVWR. Final drive ratios include 2.93:1 and 3.23:1. The 5L50 can handle up to 311 ft•lbf (422 N•m) of torque.
1 2 3 4 5 R
3.42 2.21 1.60 1.00 0.75 3.02
2004–2006 Cadillac XLR
2005–2006 Cadillac STS
2004–2006 Cadillac SRX
The Hydra-Matic 5L40E/50E automatic transmissions have some unique operating characteristics with which customers may not be familiar. They have been designed to provide more of a manual transmission feel than other Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions.
Normal Mode Operation
During normal mode operation, drivers may notice increased powertrain braking after releasing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle will not coast freely when the accelerator pedal is released but will start to gradually slow down as if the brakes were lightly applied. This feels very similar to releasing the accelerator pedal on a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission.
Sport Mode Operation
Typically, Sport mode delays upshifts. The Sport mode simulates the performance driving of a manual transmission. Under certain conditions, the vehicle will maintain specific gears longer than a traditional automatic would. When driving in Normal mode in 5th gear, depressing the Sport button causes an immediate 5-4 downshift, which will be maintained for ten seconds. In any other gear, no downshift takes place when Sport is engaged. In Sport mode, the vehicle has firmer shifting and increased performance, and the transmission may remain in a gear longer than it would in Normal mode.
Driver Shift Control (DSC)
The driver manually overrides the automatic gear selection. Various mechanization options for input device and degree of override are allowed.
Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS)
PAS overrides normal automatic gear selection during closed throttle high lateral acceleration maneuver. Lower gear is accompanied by near synchronous engine speed control for quick response upon re-opening throttle (enable threshold bias in Sport mode).
Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL)
PAL prevents liftfoot upshifts while maintaining engine braking during repeated aggressive cornering.
The vehicle launches in 2nd or 3rd gear instead of 1st, to avoid wheel spin in snow or ice, if selected by the driver.
Shift stabilization is used to minimize shift business, or hunting between ranges. Based on several inputs and a map of engine torque at various RPM and throttle position, the TCM determines before making an upshift whether the engine will be able to maintain vehicle speed in the next higher range. If it calculates that it cannot maintain speed, it will prevent the upshift from occurring.
Downgrade Detection Brake Assist
Shift to lower gear with braking on downgrade based on fuzzy logic rules calculated from a thermal brake model, terrain detection, desired acceleration, vehicle speed, and mass detection.
Adapts continually compares actual shift times to desired shift times. The transmission controls make hydraulic adjustments to assure the actual shift times approach the ideal shift time the next time the shift is made for similar operating conditions of vehicle RPM, engine load, and road load conditions. The adaptive shift process continues for the life of the vehicle to provide consistent and optimized shifts.