How To Know If Your BMW Is Leaking Transmission Fluid

When your BMW’s engine isn’t running right, it’s hard to tell exactly what the problem is until you take it into a mechanic for an inspection. The same goes for other issues, like when you hear that loud squealing sound coming from the fan belt or your tires aren’t holding up on the road like they used to. You can avoid wasting time and money taking your car to the shop by following these simple steps on how to know if your BMW is leaking transmission fluid, which is among the top causes of transmission failure in luxury vehicles like BMWs.

Dashboard Warning Light

The dashboard warning light is an indicator to let you know when your BMW’s transmission fluid is low or at risk of being critically low. This light alerts you to an issue that could cause damage to your car, so it’s important to address any problems with transmission fluid immediately.

Transmission Fluid Dipstick

BMW vehicles use two dipsticks to check transmission fluid levels. The first is a regular dipstick that you’ll find at any auto parts store, but when it comes to checking transmission fluid levels in your BMW, you must take special note of how far down into its well (or how high up on its markings) you should be able to see. Otherwise, your BMW alternator is probably failing.

Fluid Leaks on Pavement

This is a dead giveaway for transmission fluid, but it can also be oil or coolant. That’s why you need to take your car to a professional BMW mechanic to have them diagnose what is leaking from your car so that they can find and fix it as soon as possible. One of the first things you should check for when diagnosing leaks on your BMW is to look at your engine oil.

Abnormal Sounds

When you first start your BMW, does it sound like a small jet plane taking off? Or do you hear a grinding or clicking noise during gear shifts? These sounds may indicate that your BMW alternator is failing. Also, if your engine will not crank or start slower than usual, these are also signs that your car is leaking transmission fluid and that your alternator might be failing.

Burning Smell

One of your first hints that your BMW’s transmission is leaking will be a burning smell. Leaks might not have started yet, but if you get a whiff of burning rubber or other unidentified odors when in close proximity to your vehicle, you should check around the engine bay for signs of smoke or fluid leaks.

Acceleration Delays

If you think your BMW is leaking transmission fluid, start by checking for a transmission fluid leak. One way to do that is to start the car and let it idle for about 20 minutes; pay attention to any signs of a transmission fluid leak—such as an odd odor or wet spots on your driveway.

Transmission Running Hot

A common sign that your BMW is leaking transmission fluid is if your car’s transmission is running too hot. This can cause a reduction in efficiency, leading to damaged components and, potentially, a total transmission failure. Check your BMW’s temperature gauge regularly and keep an eye out for burning smells when you drive. A new BMW alternator can cost hundreds of dollars; instead, put that toward a mechanic checkup.