BMW is a manufacturer who is able to offer both style and substance time and time again without compromise. With gorgeous designs that feel both modern and yet timeless, as well as a punchy engine and controls that feel tight and precise, BMW drivers really get the best of both worlds.
However, without the correct care, even a high-performing BMW can begin to fail or show its age. With this in mind, in this article, we will explore your BMW transmission, learn what it does, and discuss why leaks in the system can occur.
First: Basic Transmission 101
The transmission is a system of your BMW that is responsible for transferring engine power to the wheels of your car. To do this, the transmission requires fluid known as transmission fluid, which it uses to create the correct pressures for this process. This process is refined by gears found within the transmission system which are able to convert the pressure into different wheel speeds and torque.
What does transmission fluid look like?
Probably the most obvious sign of a transmission leak is spots of fluid on the ground below your BMW. However, there are many different types of fluid that your car uses. Let's talk about how can you tell if you’re dealing with a transmission leak. Below we have listed some ways to tell the difference:
- Transmission Fluid: Pink or red with a slippery texture
- Antifreeze: Mostly commonly green orange and smells sweet
- Power Steering Fluid: Clear or transparent
- Engine Oil: Yellow or dark brown and has a slippery texture.
What causes transmission fluid to leak?
As it relies on using fluid to build pressure, the transmission system needs to be a closed, watertight circuit. It achieves this by using pumps, seals, and valves, to ensure that no fluid can escape. However, if these parts lose their tight seal, then transmission fluid leaks can occur. The most common reason for leaks is simple wear and tear over time, but this can certainly be accelerated by low maintenance standards and poor driver habits. Transmission leaks can also occur through damage, such as accidents or driving on rocky terrain, which can jolt the vehicle unnecessarily.
Put simply, transmission leaks will usually occur in these areas:
- Fluid Lines
- Fluid Pumps
What are the symptoms of transmission fluid leaks?
Alongside the obvious sign of leaks on the ground under your vehicle, transmission leaks can also be diagnosed by the following symptoms:
- Overheating: Other than your engine, your transmission system is usually the hottest part of your vehicle. Changing gears produces a lot of heat. A secondary role of the transmission fluid is to help keep the heat down. Therefore, when transmission fluid is running low, the transmission system is more likely to overheat. If overheating occurs, you are likely to notice your vehicle's temperature gauge increase. You might also smell hot oil or a fuel-like smell which permeates your cabin through the A/C. If the transmission gets hot enough, it can even cause your engine to overheat too.
- Issues Shifting Gears: It makes sense that if your transmission is leaking and not operating correctly, then shifting gears will become difficult. Changing gears will become highly noticeable, and driving is likely become unsettling.
- Difficult Acceleration: As gear changes are often required for acceleration and more power is usually required by the wheels, if your transmission lacks the fluid to properly apply this pressure, then acceleration will likely feel very sluggish or a complete struggle.
Seek Servicing at Milestone Motors
The best way to prevent transmission leaks is to ensure your BMW is regularly serviced. Regular servicing will help ensure your transmission fluid is topped up and in good condition, as well as ensure the valves and fluid lines are tightly sealed. This will help your transmission system will last you as many miles as possible.
When it comes to servicing, Milestone Motors makes a very smart choice. With locations in Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, and Royal Palm Beach communities, the facilities are easy to find. We are open 5 days a week. There really is no such thing as an inconvenient time for excellent professional servicing, maintenance, and repairs. Let us become your trusted BMW repair and maintenance shop.