BMW 325xi transmission problems

BMW 325xi

The BMW 325xi is one of the finest compact executive cars in the used car market. Thanks to its exceptional power, speed, top-end features, and outstanding performance. However, like most used BMWs, the 325xi also comes with a ton of problems that interested users should know about.

Despite having multiple problems, the BMW 325xi is still a wonderful car. It is also one of the most reliable used BMW models on the market. Nonetheless, one of the major problems that interested buyers should watch out for is transmission issues. But what are the common transmission problems with the BMW 325xi?

Common transmission problems with the BMW 325xi are shifting gears, burning smell, whistling noises, car grinding during acceleration, and car shaking on the road. Most of these issues can be avoided through proper care and maintenance of the car.

What are the common BMW 325xi transmission problems?

Shifting gears

This is one of the most common transmission problems that BMW users experience. This problem is common among negligent drivers. It occurs because the fluid is contaminated or low. That’s why it is important to service your BMW 325xi as recommended by BMW.

To fix this issue, the driver will have to change the contaminated fluid with a new fluid. On the contrary, if the fluid level is low, the driver will be required to fill the fluid to the desired level.

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Car shaking on the road

Another common BMW 325xi transmission problem is the car shaking on the road while driving or accelerating. Your car will shake if the transmission is damaged or it has low transmission fluid levels. Your BMW needs proper lubrication that is provided by enough fluids. Hence, if the fluids are insufficient, the moving parts will struggle to operate optimally.

The best solution is to fill your car with the right and enough transmission fluids to avoid it from shaking. And if the transmission is damaged, have it inspected and fixed by a reliable mechanic.

Car grinding during acceleration

If your BMW planetary gear system is compromised, you will start to hear a grinding noise. The car’s planetary gear system ensures that the speed of your vehicle’s wheels matches the speed of the engine. So, if the engine and wheels are not in sync, they will collide and cause a grinding noise.

To avoid hearing the grinding or damaging your car’s transmission system, you will have to fix the problem by repairing or replacing the planetary gear system.

Burning smell

This is another common problem that different BMW users have complained about. So, if a burning smell is present or the scent of transmission fluid inside the car’s cabin, this is an indication that your transmission is overheating. And the main causes are a transmission fluid leak or low fuel level.

If that’s the case, you will have to find out why your car’s transmission is leaking. Some of the causes are a bad torque converter, failing gasket, bad seals, or damaged fluid lines. Repair or replace the damaged part to fix the problem.

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Whistling noises

If you hear a whistling noise when accelerating, this is a sign that your transmission has issues. The first culprit to check out is the alternator belt. The alternator belt is one of the belts that wear out faster in a BMW. Other reasons for the whistling noise may be the clutch pack slipping, thrust bearing failing, or low transmission fluid level.

Before guessing what’s the issue, it’s best to take your BMW to a professional mechanic or BMW service center and have the problem identified. You should replace the bad or damaged parts to avoid hearing the whistling noise again.


How long does a BMW transmission last?

BMWs are fitted with one of the best transmission systems on the market. Therefore, with good care and maintenance, your BMW’s transmission should last over 300k miles. But if you don’t take good care of your car, your transmission will start having serious problems as early as 100k miles.

Apart from proper care and maintenance, you also need the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Note that transmission fluids in automatic transmission should be changed earlier than those in manual transmissions.

What causes BMW transmission to slip?

BMW’s transmission doesn’t slip easily, but if it does, this means the transmission has a problem. Some of the things that cause BMW’s transmission to shift are low transmission fluid levels and fluid leaks. So, you can stave off this problem by ensuring the leakage is repaired and the car has enough transmission fluid.

Is the BMW 325xi a reliable car?

Yes, the BMW 325xi is a reliable vehicle. Most reliability agencies have given this car an above-average reliability rating. This means it is more reliable than most BMW models. Also, if it is well-maintained, the BMW 325xi can last for more than 250,000 miles. Nonetheless, proper care is needed for it to last over an extended period.  

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Does the BMW 325xi have a lot of problems?

Yes, the BMW 325xi comes with multiple issues. Nevertheless, it is still a reliable and durable car. Aside from transmission issues, the BMW 325xi also comes with oil leaks, faulty rear window regulator, water pump problems, failing power steering hose, coolant loss, and failing blower final stage fan resistor.

How do I know if my BMW transmission is bad?

Some of the signs that indicate your BMW model has transmission problems are transmission fluid leaks, noise when shifting gears, shaking or vibrating, problem shifting gears, neutral noises, and gears slipping. If you notice one of these signs, take your car to a professional mechanic to fix the problem.


The BMW 325xi may have transmission issues, but it is still a great car even though BMW doesn’t produce it anymore. It is reliable, efficient, comfortable, spacious, practical, safe, and fun to ride. Aside from transmission issues, the 325xi also has water pump problems, oil leaks, a failing power steering hose, and a faulty rear window regulator.

Generally, most of the BMW’s 325xi problems can be avoided through proper care and maintenance of the car. Additionally, the user should adhere to BMW’s maintenance scheduled service.

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Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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