Common BMW Transmission Troubles


Few things plague BMW owners like the dreaded “Transmission Error” message. Unfortunately, transmission issues are fairly common in BMWs. In addition to seeing this error, you may notice that your transmission is shifting erratically, slipping, or that it’s stuck in gear. If you have a BMW with iDrive, a transmission error code will cause your vehicle to go into SafeMode, which prevents your transmission from shifting at all.
This is certainly not something you can ignore! However, it’s also not always a major catastrophe. Here are a few of the most common BMW transmission problems and tips for troubleshooting them.

Incorrect Shift Points

If your BMW isn’t responding correctly when you press the gas or your vehicle is shifting erratically, you may need to reset your adaptive settings. If your problem is incorrect shift points, this will fix the issue.
It’s a fairly straightforward process that won’t do any damage to your transmission. Instead, it erases adaptive transmission shift points, reversing everything back to the factory settings. The next few times you drive, your BMW will monitor your driving patterns as it begins to adapt again. Try not to drive aggressively during this time since this can impact the reset. Our professionals at The HAUS can help you with this process!

Transmission Fluid or Filters

If you see the error that reads “Transmission Malfunction, Drive Moderately,” you’ll definitely want to check your transmission fluid level. If it’s even a little bit low, this can force your BMW to go in FailSafe (limp) mode. If you’re low on fluid, you might also see the “Transmission FailSafe” warning if you accelerate hard or accelerate as you’re making a turn.
If your transmission fluid or your filter are dirty, this can also cause problems with shifting, particularly if you have a high-mileage vehicle. In this case, you should take your vehicle to a certified BMW mechanic to discuss your options.

Weak Battery

It’s also possible for a dead or weak battery to cause BMW transmission problems. Sometimes the vehicle can get stuck in second or third gear if your dead battery stored hard codes. In this case, even though the battery has been replaced, the car may stay in FailSafe mode. A BMW Specific Scanner can clear the fault code.
In other cases, a failing battery can cause your transmission to be unable to go into drive or reverse. This is typically an easy problem to fix.

Transmission Mechatronic Sleeve

The Transmission Mechatronic Sleeve is the location where your Transmission Control Unit (TCU) attaches to your transmission. If the wire harness that connects it is contaminated with oil, this can interrupt communication between the TCU and the mechatronic valve body. A mechanic can check for leaks and replace parts if necessary.

Cracked Adapter

If the trans seal grommet, also called a Mechatronic adapter, is cracked, this can trigger a transmission fault warning on your iDrive screen due to a reduction in fluid pressure. The BMW OEM part is usually plastic. However, if it cracks, many owners decide to use an upgraded aluminum adapter, which will typically last longer.

Mechatronic – Valve Body

Sometimes, you’ll see a fault code related to the BMW mechatronic (valve body). This will often cause problems with shift flares during upshift and second to first gear downshifts. If you’ve checked all the items above and are still having transmission issues, this is a likely cause.

Having BMW Transmission Problems? Call The Haus!

If you’re dealing with BMW transmission problems, you really should have a professional take a look. The certified mechanics at The Haus will give you an honest assessment and a fair quote. If you want to get your BMW back to working as it should, we can help! Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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