BMW 650i transmission problems

The BMW 650i is a subcompact car with lots of outstanding features. This car is part of the third generation of BMW 6-Series and the manufacturer offers it in a 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible, and a 4-door gran coupe. It is stylish, comfortable, safe, advanced, and performs exceptionally well.

But like most BMW models, the BMW 650i also comes with several issues. One of the common problems that BMW 650i owners should be ready to deal with is transmission problems. So, what are the common transmission problems with the BMW 650i?

Common transmission problems with the BMW 650i are shifting delays, burning smell, grinding during acceleration, low transmission fluid, Whistling noise, shaking at any speed, bad voltage regulator, and car going into limp mode. Nonetheless, most of these problems can be fixed and have your car running smoothly.

What are the common BMW 650i transmission problems?

Grinding during acceleration

A common transmission problem with the BMW 650i is grinding noise during acceleration. This issue is normally caused by failing wheel or hub bearings. Besides, it is due to a problem with the differential or worn-out engine, or a damaged CV joint.

Note that wheel bearings enable the wheel and tire to rotate and are created for low friction, while the hub assemblies have the extra task of securing the wheel and tire to the car. If the wheel bearing or hub assembly is bad, you should replace it.   

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Low transmission fluid

One of the most overlooked transmission problems is low transmission fluid. The transmission system requires fluid to keep it properly lubricated and to help reduce the high temperatures created when shifting gears. However, as time goes by, the transmission fluid can run low because of leakage or wear and tear.

To fix this problem, you will have to refill the fluid to its recommended level. What’s more, it is important to ensure the right transmission fluid is used. It is recommended to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles

Shifting delays

Another common problem with the BMW 650i transmission is difficulty or delay in shifting gears. Signs of bad gear include jerking when changing gear, gear-shift hesitation, clutch squeaking, and much more. This problem can also cause the car to stall or leave you at high or low RPM.

Some of the things that cause delay or difficulty in shifting gears are inefficient fluid, burnt clutch discs, worn-out gears, and bad solenoids. Fix these issues to fix shifting delays. 

Steering wheel Shaking at any speed

If your BMW 650i tires are out of balance, the car’s steering wheel will start shaking. This normally happens when your car hits over 55 miles per hour and it gets worse at 60 mph. You can fix this problem by ensuring the wheels are balanced. 

Burning smell

Aside from having the right level of transmission fluid, you also need the right type of fluid and it should be in good condition. Changing transmission fluid after the recommended period is vital as it becomes burned and ineffective. Besides, it can be contaminated. So, change it as needed. 

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Bad voltage regulator

The work of the voltage regulator is to ensure a steady and reliable supply of voltage to your car and other electrical parts. However, this part also becomes bad after 100,000 miles. Symptoms of a bad voltage regulator are a dead battery, an excess voltage in the battery, pulsing lights, and vehicle dying when running. Replace the bad voltage regulator with a good one to fix this issue. 

Car goes into limp mode

If your BMW 650i transmission control unit identifies a fault in the system, it will go into limp mode. As a result, this affects the performance of less vital parts like the car’s speed and air conditioning. Some of the things that cause the BMW 650i to go into limp mode are ineffective wiring and faulty sensors. Fix the faulty wiring and sensors to fix the problem.


After how many miles should you change the BMW 650i transmission fluid?

It is important to care for your BMW 650i if you want it to last. BMW recommends checking or replacing the 650i transmission fluid between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. Therefore, if you use your BMW 650i often, you should change it as early as 30,000 miles. But if you don’t use your car regularly, you can change it at 50,000 or 60,000 miles.

How long does the BMW transmission last?

Even though the BMW 650i experiences a lot of transmission problems, it can last for a long period if it is well-taken care of. A BMW 650i that is well-maintained should have its transmission last over 300,000 miles. But if the car is poorly maintained, then it may not clock over 100,000 miles and lead to costly repairs.

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How much does it cost to rebuild a BMW transmission?

Rebuilding a BMW transmission is much cheaper than replacing it. However, it is still costly as you will have to spend between $1,800 and $5,000. Besides, if your car is still under warranty, it will be even cheaper to rebuild the transmission.

It is also crucial to note that rebuilding a transmission can be costlier or cheaper depending on the parts being rebuilt. What’s more, the cost that we’ve featured above includes the cost of labor and parts.

How long does it take to rebuild a BMW transmission?

Rebuilding a transmission of a mainstream car takes at least 6 hours. On the other hand, rebuilding a BMW transmission takes several hours up to 3 days. That’s why it is much costlier to rebuild a BMW transmission than to rebuild a transmission of a mainstream car. Besides, BMW transmission parts are also costlier than most cars. 

How do I know if I have transmission problems in the BMW 650i?

Some of the common signs of a bad transmission in the BMW 650i are transmission stuck in gear, transmission shifts hard, a lag between gears, transmission malfunction drive moderately message, and engine rev up but transmission fails to shift.


BMW 650i may be a nice, comfortable, and high-performance coupe, but it also comes with transmission problems. If you want to avoid such problems, proper care and maintenance are vital. BMW 650i’s transmission is quite expensive to fix when it breaks down, so maintaining it is cheaper in the long run.

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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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