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What Is Meant By Trans Failsafe Prog?

If you are the owner of a BMW X5, you must have come across the “trans. Failsafe” message displayed on the dashboard. It is here that the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) detects an issue in the transmission. The ECU substitutes the information with a fixed value so the transmission can continue operating in spite of the failure. It stores codes for the failed components understood by a car maintenance expert using the right equipment. Many drivers wonder as to what the Trans Failsafe Prog is.

What You Need To Know About Trans Failsafe Prog?

If you drive a BMW automatic transmission, chances are you have already faced the dreaded “trans. Failsafe” warning on the car dashboard. You need to understand that the Transmission failsafe is a warning synonymous with different problems and repair.

We will help you understand more about what causes this situation with the information below. You can browse online to find the best car maintenance tips for your vehicle.

1. What Does the Trans Failsafe Program Stand For?

The Trans Failsafe Prog is a feature applicable to automatic transmission vehicles only. Some of the other names for this program are failsafe mode, fault mode, default mode, and limp mode. The program activates when the computer inside the vehicle notices something wrong and concludes that the vehicle transmission is at risk. A typical scenario of the transmission failsafe program includes locking of transmission into one forward gear. It can prevent the driver from shifting automatically or manually.


2. What Causes The Transmission Failsafe Program To Activate?

Anything that the car computer considers a threat to the transmission of the car becomes a part of the trans failsafe program. The machine responsible for changing the gear gets information from different sources to know when the transmission should change. The data comes from speed sensors, gear shifter position, air pressure flow and inclination inside the car.

If you are the owner of a BMW X5, you must have come across the “trans. Failsafe” message displayed on the dashboard.

Your vehicle goes into the transmission failsafe mode after any of the readings are found to be inconsistent or missing. It can include fault in the instrument cluster that carries the vehicle warning light and speedometer.

3. What To Do When The Vehicle Goes Into Transmission Failsafe Mode?

The Trans Failsafe Prog permits the driver to take the vehicle for repairs. Driving with the transmission locked can complicate the situation. It can leave you trapped inside a car that will not drive any further. The speed of the vehicle would reduce during the first or second gear.

An attempt at driving too fast would lead to over-revving of the car engine. Driving a regular car with the rev counter on is never a good idea. One might achieve manageable speed. Speeding and stopping might be a bit of a hassle. You need to determine if the vehicle is not running on a higher or lower gear. One needs to know the final destination and what route they will take.


There is not much one can do with an automatic transmission vehicle gone under the trans failsafe prog. You can try turning the car engine on and off to try driving regular for some time. Do not assume that the problem disappeared with you driving the vehicle for some time.

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