What Does It Mean When A BMW Says Drivetrain Malfunction?

Drivetrain Malfunction BMW: Every BMW car has a heads-up display that alerts drivers to potential issues. If you own a BMW, you might have noticed the drive moderately error. This error message tells you that your engine or transmission may be malfunctioning.

A drivetrain malfunction warning in your car does not occur frequently. A probable issue with the engine or transmission may result in the BMW drivetrain problem.

The car enters safety mode to safeguard the driver, engine, and gearbox. This protects the engine from further harm by limiting its overall output. Such malfunctions are typically brought on by rapid/intense acceleration, elevation, or overtaking.

Your car might display several symptoms when experiencing such a problem, including violent shaking, a hard ride, the loss of power, etc. The malfunction of the BMW drivetrain, its causes, indications, and potential solutions will all be covered in this article.

Some BMW owners even claim that the warning light came on while driving usually and there was no problem with the car.

Is there a way to determine whether the BMW powertrain breakdown drive moderately problem needs to be taken seriously or not?

What Does Drivetrain Malfunction Mean?

As previously said, the BMW drivetrain issue is a hardware problem. This error is displayed when the engine computer in your automobile, often referred to as the ECU, ECM, DDE, or DME identifies an issue with the engine or transmission.

Displaying the subsequent error: Drive safely if your drivetrain is malfunctioning. Not available: maximum drivetrain output. service centre, consult

drivetrain malfunction bmw

While driving, BMW vehicles may display a moderate drivetrain problem on the dashboard. When this message appears, an engine or transmission issue with the vehicle has occurred. It frequently occurs when accelerating quickly, trying to pass another vehicle, or going up steep inclines.

Your car enters limp mode or safety mode in such a situation. In this case, the engine control unit (ECU) of your car restricts the entire torque output.

This helps shield the engine and transmission from any further harm. While permitting you to get to your destination safely, without causing harm to the vehicle

Only a BMW scanner can determine the cause of the drivetrain problem alert.

We strongly advise using the AUTOPHIX BMW diagnostic scanner tool if you’re looking for a portable gadget to bring with you while driving. For any models made after 1996, it can read the auto fault codes generated by your system.

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BMW Drivetrain Malfunction Repair Cost

If you own a BMW and are having drivetrain issues, you can usually fix the issue for a reasonable price. Repairing a drivetrain issue on a BMW is likely to cost between $2,068 and $2,108.

The projected cost of the parts is $1,913, while the cost of labour ranges from $155 to $195. Repairing a BMW drivetrain issue is generally less expensive than treating the drivetrain issue and any additional problems that may arise as a result of long-term drivetrain neglect.

Initial problem solving is usually less expensive than solving a problem after it has gotten out of hand. Therefore, it would be ideal to address a vehicle’s faulty drivetrain as soon as the issue is discovered.

Note that these are just the estimates taken on average. The cost may vary depending on the damage and parts needed for the repair.

Drivetrain Malfunction Common Causes

The most common cause of the BMW drivetrain failure drive mild problem is engine misfires. It happens during stressful acceleration because of this.

Although any engine can misfire without causing a serious problem, it is frequently preferable to be safe when handling this worry. It also helps to read and comprehend the trouble codes or speak with your expert to figure out the next course of action for your BMW before replacing any parts.

Through the drivetrain, the engine’s power is sent to the wheels. While the engine speed is maintained by the transmission, which regulates the gearbox ratio. Any of these parts that aren’t working properly can lead to a BMW drivetrain issue.

These factors Typically Contribute To This

1. Spark Plugs 

Old or overused spark plugs are the cause of engine misfiring and drivetrain problems. In this situation, you should instantly replace each spark plug one at a time.

Since the combustion of fuel inside the combustion chamber is carried out by spark plugs. The quality of combustion is determined by the intensity of the sparks created.

This ultimately has an impact on the engine’s power output. Therefore, having good spark plugs is essential for the engine to operate properly.

Be aware that diesel engines do not have spark plugs.

2. Old Ignition Coils

For spark plugs to produce sparks, ignition coils must supply power to them. Less power would be produced, resulting in poor sparks, if the coils malfunctioned. The source of symptoms like engine misfiring, power loss, or rough idling is faulty spark plugs or outdated ignition coils.

To determine whether the ignition coil or the spark plug is a problem, a brief examination of the engine coil is sufficient.

3. Clogging 

The exhaust emissions from your vehicle are cleaned by a catalytic converter. Hazardous gases like CO, NO, and NO2 are transformed into less hazardous gases like CO2 and water vapour through chemical reactions.

Your exhaust emission rate would be stopped or slowed down by a blocked catalytic converter, increasing pressure in the exhaust unit. This will jam the combustion chamber and cause the engine to stall as the pressure builds. it is resulting in drivetrain dysfunction.

4. Failed High-Pressure Fuel Pump 

If the drivetrain fault appears when accelerating, a malfunctioning high-pressure fuel pump may be to blame.

drivetrain malfunction bmw

To move fuel from the tank to the engine, high-pressure fuel pumps are needed. By tightly compressing the fuel, it generates a high pressure in the fuel lines. Any breakdown in the high-pressure fuel pump might produce irregular fuel flow resulting in random loss/surge of power.

5. Damaged Fuel Injectors

Fuel is injected into the combustion chamber using fuel injectors. Poor combustion and power loss would result from a damaged fuel injector’s inability to function effectively. This may result in rough idles, stalls, vibrations, misfires, and other problems. It is another factor contributing to drivetrain problems.

These were the typical reasons for the drivetrain fault in BMW. It can also be brought on by poor fuel quality, a broken turbo, a burst head gasket, or an ineffective mass airflow sensor.

6. Low-Quality Fuel

Your BMW drivetrain issue could have been brought on by the low-octane fuel you bought for your automobile.

When you fill the tank with fuel that has a 93 octane grade or greater, the majority of BMWs perform better. When this gasoline option isn’t available, having an octane booster on hand might assist raise the rating to the proper level, restoring your car’s performance.

Lucas Oil Racing Formula Octane Booster is an option. You can convert a 90-octane product into the gasoline rating required for your vehicle to function without eliciting the warning because it offers you 3–4 points on the octane scale.

Also, Read Troubleshooting Your Car When The Lights Come On But It Won’t Start

Symptoms Of Malfunctioning Drivetrain

Multiple signs of a drivetrain issue in your BMW may appear. Depending on the underlying source of the issue, these symptoms may change. The cause of the issue might also be determined based on the symptoms.

But there might be one or multiple causes for a certain symptom. Or a single issue may cause several symptoms.

Here is a summary of the most typical symptoms that BMW owners have reported.

  • Error message: “Drivetrain Malfunction”
  • apparent trembling and vibration
  • Engine lamps come on
drivetrain malfunction bmw
  • While idling, the power is switched off; rough idling
  • one gear locked in the transmission (mostly in limp mode)
  • The misfiring engine/car wouldn’t start
  • Exhaust smoke that is too heavy

Although we are aware of the signs and causes of BMW drivetrain issues. Let’s talk about what you ought to do if your BMW drivetrain breaks down.


1. What does Drivetrain Malfunction mean?

The BMW drivetrain issue is a hardware mistake, as was already mentioned. This error appears when the engine or transmission in your car malfunctions, as detected by the engine computer (also known as the ECU, ECM, DDE, or DME). displaying the following mistake:

Drive carefully if your drivetrain is broken. Unknown drivetrain output maximum. service centre for advice

Your car enters safety mode or limp mode in this situation. Which causes the engine control unit (ECU) in your car to restrict the total amount of torque generated.

This aids in stopping further harm to the engine and transmission. while permitting you to arrive at your destination safely without causing harm to the vehicle.

2. Why is my drivetrain malfunctioning?

A probable issue with the engine or transmission may result in the BMW drivetrain problem. The car enters safety mode to safeguard the driver, engine, and gearbox. This protects the engine from further harm by limiting its overall output.

3. What’s a drivetrain on a BMW?

A drivetrain is actually a collection of drivetrain components that work with the engine to move the wheels and other pieces of the car to set the vehicle in motion.

The transmission, differential, driveshaft, axles, CV joints, and wheels are frequently included in this group.

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