Should I repair or replace my BMW’s engine or transmission?

BMW Service West Los Angeles

It’s no secret that problems with your BMW’s powertrain can get expensive. If you’re having serious issues with your transmission or your engine, one of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself is whether you’re better off repairing it or going for a full replacement.
Ultimately, the answer to this question will depend on a number of factors including the extent of the problem, the age of your vehicle, and your budget. Here’s a look at some of the most common BMW powertrain issues and some things to consider before making your decision.

5 Signs of BMW Powertrain Issues

The sooner you identify a powertrain problem, the more options you’re likely to have. If you notice any of the following issues, you’ll want to get your vehicle to a certified mechanic right away.

1. Gear Grinding or Shaking

When your powertrain is working as it should, your transmission will shift smoothly from gear to gear. If you feel a grinding or shaking sensation when you shift gears, this could be a sign that your transmission is starting to fail. The worse the problem gets, the more jarring and shaking you will feel.

2. Slipping Gears

There’s a computer inside your BMW that tells the transmission when to shift gears. If the computer is malfunctioning, it may not send the proper signals, causing your vehicle to slip out of gear.

. Delayed Response

Sometimes, you’ll also notice a long delay in response when you’re attempting to switch gears. In extreme cases, you may also get no response, with your transmission failing to engage when you put your BMW into drive or reverse. This is often caused by computer problems or old or dirty transmission fluid.

4. Strange Noises from the Transmission

If you hear clunking, humming, or whining sounds from under your hood, this is another potential sign of transmission trouble. There are several issues that could be happening. Sometimes, these noises are caused by friction due to problems with your transmission fluid or a broken part inside your transmission.

5. Leaking/Low Transmission Fluid

Unlike your engine oil, your transmission oil should not run low. If you notice bright red fluid pooling under your vehicle, you likely have a leak. If you don’t address this right away, you could end up with a far more serious problem.

Most Common Causes of BMW Engine Failure

In most cases, engine failures are caused by one main problem – heat. From a cooling system failure to friction caused by a lack of oil, the excess heat can cause major engine issues. Some of the specific problems that often lead to engine failure include:

  • Broken water pump
  • Clogged heater core
  • Broken thermostat
  • Damaged oil pump
  • Low oil level
  • Old or thick engine oil

When any of these issues occur, they can cause damage to engine parts. Understanding what caused your engine to fail is one of the first steps in determining whether to repair or replace it.

Pros and Cons of Repairing Your Engine or Transmission

An engine or transmission repair is going to be less expensive than a replacement, but is it always the best choice? Here are a few pros and cons to consider.

  • You’re only replacing the parts that have failed
  • It’s usually a more cost-effective solution
  • The core gears and alignments will remain the same
  • A repair may be faster than finding a replacement


  • You could replace parts, only to find out there are other issues
  • If the damage ends up being too bad, you need a replacement anyway
  • You could also opt for a full rebuild, which is considered an extremely reliable option. During this process, your mechanic will remove each part, inspect it, and replace it if needed. This is often just as good as, or even better than, replacing the entire unit with a new one.

Pros and Cons of Engine or Transmission Replacement

In some cases, your mechanic may tell you that your transmission is beyond repair and a replacement is your only option. If you have a choice, though, make sure to weigh these pros and cons before making your decision.

  • You’ll have a new transmission that is updated to pre-built factory specifications
  • You may have a performance warranty and an installation labor warranty


  • Replacements are often expensive
  • New engines and transmissions can be hard to find
  • The cost could be more than what the vehicle is worth

Trust The Haus for Your Powertrain Needs

If you’re having problems with your BMW’s powertrain, the certified mechanics at The Haus are here to help. We’ll provide you with a full inspection, diagnose the issue, and help you weigh your options. Whether you decide on a repair or a replacement, we’ll take care of it quickly for a fair and honest price. Get started by scheduling your VIP appointment today!

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