You just bought a BMW and love going for long drives with fellow BMW owners. You give the accelerator a harsh yank, and your car skids to a stop. And you decide to shut off the engine to avoid doing any more harm. You had hoped it wouldn’t happen to your car, but a BMW drivetrain malfunction occurred. 

A broken engine differed from what you anticipated when purchasing your gorgeous luxury vehicle. So, what are your next steps? Continue reading to find out more about the common BMW drivetrain problem.

BMW Drivetrain Malfunction—What Do They Indicate?

BMW’s drivetrain warnings are severe and should be treated as such. This warning indicates a serious problem with the engine or the gearbox. When a BMW detects this malfunction, it immediately switches to a different mode to stop any additional harm. Your automobile will function on reduced power to protect the engine and gearbox.

BMW Drivetrain Malfunction Symptoms

Like any other automobile owner, you must consider your car’s indicators. A warning about the drivetrain is a severe business that avoids future harm.

The following are some of the possible symptoms:

  • Error messages indicate a problem with your transmission.
  • The automobile was trembling and vibrating.
  • The check engine light comes on.
  • Idling roughly
  • The gearbox that refuses to shift
  • The car won’t start.
  • Smoke is coming from the exhaust.

Depending on the issue’s root, your BMW may exhibit various symptoms.

What Causes BMW Drivetrain Malfunction?

The gearbox and engine work together to propel the vehicle. The wheel is a conduit for power from the engine to the drivetrain. That the car’s power comes from a complex interplay of numerous moving elements is a given. Several symptoms can point to a problem with the drivetrain. Among these are:

Vibrating And Shaking To The Core

When driving or shifting gears, if you feel extreme BMW drivetrain malfunction, shaking, and vibration, there is probably something wrong with your drivetrain. U-joints that have worn out are usually the blame for this issue. Your drivetrain will vibrate increasingly as it loosens and might break entirely if you don’t fix it.

More Bad Vibrations

Clunking and grinding, on the other hand, are signs of much more severe issues than simply excessive vibration. Clunking sounds or sensations when driving or shifting gears indicate further loosening U-joints or perhaps worn-out solenoid packs. 

Over time, the friction surfaces of your vehicle’s transmission will wear out, leading to clunking and grinding whenever you shift gears. Inadequate transmission fluid may also contribute to the latter issue. Thus, we arrive at…

Transmission Fluid Leaks

Drivetrains are highly vulnerable to transmission fluid leakage. Transmission fluid serves to lubricate and cool the transmission. Every time you go behind the wheel with a transmission leak, it might be inflicting damage. 

Bring your car in for maintenance if you see any puddles of crimson liquid under it after parking. The good news is that resealing the transmission leaks is all that has to be done to repair the problem.

You should pay attention to a drivetrain alert since the engine and gearbox supply the automobile with power. Any of the possibilities mentioned above might be at play.

Getting Help if Your BMW Isn’t Right

You expected refined quality from a BMW, but instead, you get a car with major engine and gearbox problems. This high-end automobile was no little investment for you, either.

Is there anything you can do if your automobile keeps breaking down? It might be time to see a lawyer who concentrates on cases involving automobile “lemon” laws.

The issues with your BMW are too severe for you to keep ignoring them. A BMW should be held responsible.

How To Fix BMW Drivetrain Malfunction

BMW Drivetrain Problem Diagnosis: Engine Restart

Suppose you encounter a BMW drivetrain malfunction message while driving. The same goes if you suspect a problem with the transmission or delivery of power. The first thing you should do is pull over to the side of the road. Stop the car and let it rest for a few minutes.

If you do this, the BMW drivetrain malfunction warning should go away long enough for you to get back on the road and go home. After waiting a few minutes, start your automobile and continue driving as usual.

If your car has entered limp mode, driving is still safe. When returning to your location, contact a BMW service center or a BMW mechanic.

BMW Drivetrain Malfunction Troubleshooting: Check engine

If trying to restart the automobile doesn’t solve the problem, you should look at the engine. Check for unusual noises or smoke, oil leaks, and fuel leaks from the gearbox. In the event of a significant emergency, help must be requested.

In cold weather, a car’s battery can sometimes act up if it has been lying idle. Or the battery may die if something was left connected to the car’s outlet. You could need a jump start if that’s the case.

BMW Transmission Fault Troubleshooting: Examine the car

You may scan your vehicle when you return to a secure area like your house. You may check for problems with your BMW 330i or other models using an OBD-II scanner. Remember that a minimal selection of scanners can be used with BMW. You may view them at this location.

The DME (Digital motor electronic) in your automobile is where the engine’s instructions are kept. In contrast, the transmission is handled by the EGS/AGS (Electronic gearbox/Adaptive gearbox). The error code might be found by scanning these two components.

  • Finding the BMW’s OBD II diagnostic port is the first step in utilizing an OBD scanner to identify a problem with the car’s powertrain. It’s customarily tucked down under the driver’s side dashboard.
  • Second, connect the scanner’s power source. Turn on the car by inserting the key. Please do not start the vehicle.
  • Third, choose your car’s make and model in the scanner.
  • Select the DME and EGS/AGS codes to be read, which is the fourth and last step.

You should call the dealership or obtain a mechanic if you need access to a scanner. Either way, you should only get behind the wheel of your BMW once the issue has been fixed. You may cause much more harm to your automobile if you do that.


What does a faulty BMW drivetrain mean?

BMW’s drivetrain warnings are severe and should be treated as such. There is a fault, and the alert indicates that there may be severe issues with the engine or the gearbox.

How much does it cost to fix the drivetrain malfunction in BMW?

In case of a problem in the BMW’s powertrain, the ECM will immediately restrict the vehicle’s maximum torque. Due to the intricacy of the difficulties in clearing the warning message, the cost to replace the components when they fail is more extensive than $2,000.


This article has educated us about BMW drivetrain malfunction. Find out where this problem is coming from, how to recognize it, and how to fix it. Remember that this mistake might occur again for the exact or other causes.

Although finding them in the same car is unusual, it’s not unheard of. You can protect yourself and your vehicle by sticking to safe driving practices.


Nancy is a dedicated writer with years of experience. She is focused on the latest vehicle technology and high-end cars of various brands. She combines her passion for automotive advancements with a clear, engaging writing style, making complex topics accessible and enjoyable for her readers.

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