If you drive a BMW, transmission repair and maintenance may be a touchy subject.
Often considered to be the most sophisticated and complex system on the BMW, these are not components that you want to experience failure. Not only would that pose significant safety concerns, but it probably also means a large repair bill.
You may have been told, however, that the manufacturer does not recommend having maintenance service performed on your transmission, at least on those models built after 1992.
Let’s clear up some confusion on the issue of BMW transmission repair and maintenance, shall we?
Are BMW Transmissions “Sealed?”
Beginning in 1993, all BMWs have been built with what the manufacturer refers to a sealed transmission. With these vehicles comes the recommendation that owners not have their transmissions serviced.
It has been our experience, however, that this may not be the best course of action.
We recommend, when your vehicle has approximately 75,000 to 80,000 miles on the odometer, that you have both the transmission fluid and filter changed. BMW transmissions are not immune to failure (and they aren’t truly “sealed” either). Having yours serviced in this manner can help us detect any potential problems that may be brewing.
Warning Signs of BMW Transmission Problems
If you regularly check your fluids, watch for any change in the color of your transmission fluid. BMW transmission fluid should always be a light honey color. A dark brown color in the fluid means it’s time to bring your car in.
Be alert to any burning smells when you turn off the car as well as any unusual sounds emanating from the engine compartment.
Over time, as the fluid degrades, it loses its ability to keep the transmission cool. Because heat and friction are the enemies of the finely crafted BMW transmission, problems can quickly develop when overheating becomes a factor.
If you start to notice the gears slipping or hesitating, you may already have a problem on your hands.
Take Extra Care When Purchasing a Pre-Owned BMW
If you plan to purchase a pre-owned BMW, we strongly recommend a pre-purchase inspection. This can help identify and diagnose any potential problems.
If you have already purchased a used BMW, transmission service should be first on your maintenance list. The so-called lifetime transmission fluids do not last forever, especially in the challenging Northern Utah climate.
A BMW transmission replacement is a costly repair, and one that we want to help you avoid at all costs. For most of our customers, simply having routine inspections and transmission service is enough to keep their vehicle running smoothly and reliably.