has anyone had a problem with the 2004 325 automatic transmission shifting "hard" from first to second gear?

Asked by Sep 26, 2011 at 11:00 PM about the 2004 BMW 3 Series

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

when i accelerate slowly it is fine but if i have to move fast it seems to "pop" into
second gear. how concerned should i be?

5 Answers

3,065

When was the last time you had your transmission fluid and filter changed??? That's usually a common problem with peoples transmissions. I know many manufacturers made "Life Time" transmissions with no dipstick or some even without a drain plug... but off course fluids don't last forever.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
485

Another possibly superstitious school of thought here: if it ain't broke, don't fix it- Since automatics work on fluid pressure to decide when to shift, you might just have to add fluid to see if that fixes the issue before you go upsetting the balance. I have heard horror stories about people who flushed & replaced (most of) their fluid, something in the system was knocked loose/changed/etc. and they then experienced total failure. Might look at resetting the TCM as well. (maybe Fuse pull or battery disconnect)

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
3,065

You're kidding right? With over 15 years of experience working on vehicles, specializing in German cars, in most cases the owner or previous owners neglect changing their transmission fluid and filter at recommended intervals. I even owned a 88 325e at 280k miles the transmission started slipping and smoking very badly. After a fluid and filter change it shifted like new. So please change all your fluids, not just your oil. All lose their viscosity and tolerances to withstand everyday punishment over time. That includes brakes, power steering, differentials, transfer cases, etc... If you don't know the last time the tranny fluid/filter was changed I recommend doing it.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
485

Qualified my statements as "possibly superstitious", but no, not kidding. I don't doubt your credentials, I am a firm believer in proper PM myself. Simply offering another point of view that has been reiterated to me by local (albeit some old school) mechanics, and online by many seemingly reputable sources. Not to get into a heated debate about viscosity, but some folks even send samples of their synthetic fluid out for testing before replacing fluid & filter, and just replace the filter and skip the fluid based on the lab results. (engineers are an odd bunch). I am a gearbox guy and was forced into auto transmission troubleshooting when my wife's AWD lexus took a dump. We ended up getting it rebuilt, but I spent a lot of time networking and researching the issue before we went down that (wince) $4000 path. As a matter of fact, Lexus REFUSED to *flush* my wife's transmission a few years back based on my previous statements alone, and would only drain & fill. I was inclined to call BS, so I began calling local indy's / tranny shops / online research. I would hate for someone to follow a recommendation based on information from one source only to have a bad situation turn worse. Maybe 98% of the time replacing most of the fluid and changing the filter is a move for the better. We are all here to help, and having enough information to consider all possibilities is part of making informed decisions. Cheers.

3,065

Well... shops are in the business to make money and unfortunately some are less than honest and go overboard with repair charges. I hear way too many stories from locals I do repairs for that shops do unnecessary repairs. Just recently a replaced two wheel hubs for a regular client and he was still hearing noise from the front end. He took it to a shop and they said he need new front hubs and a pinion seal. Over all cost was $800 for a $150 seal repair. He took the hub back (I installed) under warranty and there was nothing wrong with them. Another time I took one of my rides for a oil change, they had my car 5 hours and then said it was done. I check and the old oil filter was still mounted. A person got fired over that one. The same shop did a brake inspection on my sister's car. Recommending all brakes needed replacing. After buying the parts I found the rear were like new. Needless to say they have a new shop manager and the company reimburse her cost for the rear brakes pad and rotors.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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