BMW Transmission Repair

Arguably one of the most luxurious vehicles on the vehicle and automotive market, the BMW has a reputation of class and wealth. Unfortunately, that reputation has not caught up with BMW’s transmission. This is not to say that the chosen transmission for the BMW is not that one of quality but it does require upkeep and looking out for signs of transmission problems. The BMW problems can be seen in the following models of the vehicle:

  • 2013 bmw 328i (xdrive problems)
  • 2011 bmw 328i (xdrive problems)
  • 2006 bmw 325i (transmission problems)
  • BMW e46 (transmission problems)
  • BMW 335i (transmission problems)
  • 2003 BMW 328i (transmission problems)
bmw logo

Before taking a look at what sort of signs and transmission warning lights to look out for with a BMW transmission one must understand the transmission.

About The BMW Transmission

manual transmission - transmission service

BMW’s contain what is known as a Steptronic automatic transmission, or XDrive. This offers you options so that you will not be forced to choose between an automatic or manual transmission. This unique BMW gearbox gives you the choice between using a manual-shift when you want to and the use of automatic when you need or want it.

How Long Does A BMW Transmission Last?

transmission replacement or repair

Unfortunately, the required synthetic fluids for a BMW transmission are much more expensive than the conventional ones. However, they can last up to 100,000 miles in a brand-new model. It is recommended by professionals that transmission fluid be changed at approximately every 50,000 miles.

xDrive is offered on SUVs such as the X1, X3, X5 and X7, as well as models like the 3 Series and 5 Series. xDrive is the marketing name for the all-wheel-drive system found on various BMW models since 2003. This novel framework uses an electronically-impelled clutch-pack to change the force between the front and back axles.

BMW Automatic vs Manual Fluids

transmission gear

BMW automatic transmission fluid is normally thinner than most and tends to be red or green in terms of the colour. Whereas manual transmission fluid is thicker thanks in part to additives and the substitute compounds that are used to lubricate the gearbox and sub-components. The BMW manual transmissions have a higher friction area thanks to the way that the gears are changed.

automatic transmission repair

BMW automatic transmissions generate far more heat and in turn, the fluid in your transmission must be changed more naturally and often. Making BMW transmission fluid changes necessary in the routine of BMW owner’s maintenance. Failure to change your BMW transmission fluid will cause BMW problems and your transmission will begin to have broken, and sharp metal shavings, as well as corrosive material, spread throughout your BMW.

In most cases, BMW manual transmissions do not come equipped with a dipstick to check your fluid levels, so it can be a lot more work than usual to do. You can, however, contact your local mechanical shop, or BMW dealership to obtain a dipstick.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of BMW Transmission Problems

Just like with a medical problem in the human body, there are warning signs to see if your BMW transmission is having its own health problems. While there are some more so obvious signs for a person who is educated in BMW transmissions there are plenty of signs to look out for in the life of any BMW owner.

If you are a concerned vehicle owner check for the following:

  • Transmission stuck in gear.
  • BMW Transmission slipping.
  • Transmission malfunction/error message.
  • Transmission shifts hard, not smoothly moving.
  • Transmission malfunction drives moderate.
  • Erratic shifting or bumping in one or more of the vehicle’s gears.
  • The engine revs up and refuses to shift properly.
  • Transmission not shifting at all.
  • Transmission Failsafe Program Warning appearing.
  • The lag between the gears such as 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd.
  • Gear ratio fault codes.
  • BMW automatic transmission slipping when accelerating.
  • Erratic shifting when changing gear (different from the lagging mentioned).
  • zf transmission problems.
  • love live transmission error.
  • Noisy shifting.
  • Delayed movement.
  • Fluid leaks.

For a few of these warning signs, there are DIY notions that may solve the problem temporarily, and save you the time and money of seeing your local mechanic or BMW dealership. And in the worst case of scenarios save you from needing to replace your BMW transmission altogether. Changing your BMW transmission fluid, maintaining engine maintenance, and checking your gears often will help.

Additionally, You May Try:

photo of cvt transmission - transmission replacement

Restarting the Automatic Transmissions

This does not damage the transmission, it simply resets to factory settings

  1. Turn on the ignition. but DO NOT press the brake pedal.
  2. All the dash lights will turn on right away. ENGINE SHOULD BE OFF.
  3. Press and the gas pedal pressed for 30 seconds. (During this procedure the engine should be off, ignition still on.)
  4. Release the gas pedal.
  5. Start BMW and drive normally.
photo of engine check -transmission problems

Read Fault Codes

Like a computer error code, these fault codes may provide a car owner with further insight.

Restart Engine

Turn the engine off and then back on again. Wait one minute before you start the car again. This DIY may reset the engine control unit and the transmission malfunction message may turn off so do not fret.

transmission fluid replacement

Check Fluid Levels

A dirty transmission filter or fluid will cause shifting issues, specifically on high mileage vehicles.

If your vehicle is experiencing random shifting issues, consider changing the automatic transmission fluid and filter.


Transmission Repair Toronto

Car transmissions are expensive, and they are complex. When deciding on whether to rebuild or simply replace a faulty transmission can be hard for a car owner. During a rebuild a dealership or mechanic will essentially disassemble your BMW transmission, clean it and analyze every single part of the transmission.

BMW transmission replacement is a much simpler option, however, it can be more expensive than a rebuild. The value should not be your only concern when aiming for a transmission replacement, especially in a BMW vehicle. Having the modern and most compatible parts assembled by a BMW factory-trained master technician can save you the most amount of money in the long run. Ultimately one will need to decide which route is best for their vehicle, time, and budget.

If you are unsure about a transmission issue within your BMW vehicle contact your local BMW dealership, or mechanic to get a professional opinion.

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