BMW xDrive Transmission problems

BMW xDrive Transmission problems

Transmission plays a vital part in ensuring your BMW engine operates at the right rate without going very fast or very slow for your needs. Furthermore, it ensures your BMW wheels receive the ideal amount of power. But like all car parts, the transmission also develops problems.

While the BMW models with the xDrive system perform better than those with the RWD or FWD system, they also have transmission problems. So, what are BMW xDrive transmission problems?

Common BMW xDrive transmission issues are noisy gear when in neutral, frequent gear slipping, hard transmission shifts, shifting delays, grinding when accelerating, burning smell, and faulty torque converter. Most of these problems come about because of poor transmission maintenance.

What are the common transmission problems with the BMW xDrive?

A noisy gear when in neutral

Regardless of the BMW xDrive model that you drive, you will still experience noisy gear when in neutral, if the transmission is failing. Note that this noise only comes about when the car is not moving and is neutral. Some of the common causes are worn-out rod bearings, a loose exhaust system, or an engine issue.

Visit the mechanic so that they can run a diagnostic test and find out the real culprit. If the bearings are worn out, they should be replaced. Change all the 16-rod bearings and not the bad ones only.

  Common Problems with the BMW 318d

Hard transmission shifts

BMW models with the xDrive platform also undergo hard transmission shifts when some of the transmission parts are not functioning well or are faulty. Some of those parts include VANOS Solenoids, pistons, valves, and faulty computer software.

If any of the above parts have a problem, you will have to fix the problem before the gearbox can resume shifting normally. Otherwise, you will have trouble shifting correctly.

Frequent gear slipping

A faulty transmission can also cause the gear to shift slowly or inconsistently, which might endanger your life when you’re driving on the highway. Some of the causes of gear slipping are low fluid levels, fluid leaks, faulty clutches, and faulty bands. Signs of the gear slipping are check engine light coming on, difficulty shifting transmission, and strange sliding sounds between gears.

You will be required to fix the underlying issues to get rid of the problem. See a mechanic if it involves replacing parts.

Faulty torque converter

The work of the torque converter is to connect the power source to the load in automatic transmissions. Besides, it also drives the fluid pump to make the transmission function. So, if the torque converter starts to fail, it may cause the transmission to overheat and hamper its performance.

Some of the symptoms of a bad torque converter are shuttering, slipping, shuddering, and overheating. Replace this part to fix the problem.

Shifting delays

While a bad transmission can cause hard shifts, it can also cause shifting delays. You may experience a lack of response or delayed response as you shift from one gear to another. If this happens to your BMW xDrive, ensure to inspect the transmission fluid level and the quality of the fluid.

  BMW VS Camaro reliability – which is better?

Flush out dirty transmission fluid and fill the right amount and quality of fluid in the transmission. This should fix the problem. 

Burning smell

If there is a burning smell in your BMW xDrive, this is a sign that you’ve got a leaking transmission fluid. This can be dangerous if it’s not addressed in time. Fix the issue causing the leakage and fill the fluid as required. 

Grinding when accelerating

If your notice that your transmission is grinding or shaking, this is a sign that something is wrong. In BMW xDrive models with automatic transmission, this is an indication that the planetary gear system is damaged. While if your car has a manual transmission, this is a sign that the clutch or slave cylinder is damaged. Replaced the bad parts to fix this issue. Also, ensure your car has the right fluid levels.


Why do most BMW users prefer the xDrive over the rear-wheel-drive system?

Most people prefer the xDrive or all-wheel-drive system because it delivers power to all wheels and not just the front or rear wheels like the BMW RWD system. Besides, it also provides better traction, which is ideal for driving on different terrains.

What is the most common transmission problem in BMWs?

The most common transmission problem in BMW models is low transmission fluid or transmission leakage. This is usually caused by faulty gaskets, seals, and tubes. Besides, it is also the major catalyst of various transmission problems, such as gear shifting, burning smell, gear slipping, and much more. 

If you fix this problem, you will end up fixing half of the transmission problems that most BMW xDrive users undergo.

Is the xDrive system good on snow?

Yes, the BMW xDrive or all-wheel-drive system is perfect on snow. This is because this system offers a dynamic stability control. So, when your car is traveling on a slippery or wet surface, it can keep the car in a stable position. And together with anti-lock brakes, your BMW model won’t spin off the road. 

  BMW X6 VS Porsche Cayenne – which is better?

Which one is more expensive to maintain – AWD or RWD?

Of course, the BMW all-wheel-drive or xDrive system is more expensive to maintain than the rear-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive systems. This is because the former comes with more parts that require maintenance, while the latter has a few parts that need repair and maintenance.

How much does it cost to fix a slipping transmission?

The cost of rebuilding a slipping transmission will vary according to the parts being rebuilt. It ranges from $100 to $600. On the other hand, the cost of replacing a slipping transmission is way costlier as it starts from $1,800. So, rebuilding the transmission is cheaper than replacing it.

Bottom line

Whether your BMW xDrive model is for fun driving or daily commute, taking good care of the car will give you peace of mind and satisfaction. BMW models with the xDrive system are fun to drive as long as they are well-maintained.

With the above common transmission problems that BMW xDrive models experience, maintaining your car over a longer period has been made easy. When you adhere to BMW’s recommended scheduled maintenance service, transmission issues and other common BMW xDrive problems will be a thing of the past.

What to know about BMW problems and issues.
Car weaknesses, problems, issues, errors, disadvantages and realiability.

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.

Recent Posts