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  7. Top BMW 1 Series Automatic Gearbox Problems & The Solutions

Top BMW 1 Series Automatic Gearbox Problems & The Solutions

BMW 1 Series

Top BMW 1 Series Automatic Gearbox Problems & The Solutions

Owning a BMW 1 Series car can be quite exciting, especially if you’ve been a fan of these vehicles for a while. The beauty and convenience of the car are enough to make any driver happy. At the same time, once the BMW 1 Series automatic gearbox problems start to appear with the gearbox, it can quickly become very frustrating.

There are various BMW 1 automatic gearbox problems that one may experience. Some of the most common include a leaking automatic gearbox, knocks coming from the gearbox, a gearbox that jumps or doesn’t work anymore, or a slippage issue. All of these could cause more damage to the car if not taken care of as soon as possible and may even make your driving experience less fun.

If you’d like to solve the issues as soon as possible, you should read this article to find out what could be causing the automatic gearbox issues. We’ll talk about these problems and also offer solutions for them.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

the interior of a car
Photo by Unsplash

A fluid leak can happen to any vehicle – therefore, the BMW 1 Series is no exception. It can be annoying, but also troublesome for your car, and you may want to handle this as soon as possible.

Usually, you can discover the problem by looking beneath the vehicle to check for the leak. But since there are different types of fluids that can leak, it’s important to know the color differences. This way, you’ll see whether it’s the transmission fluid, oil, or coolant that is leaking. If the liquid has a vibrant red or reddish-brown color, then it is the transmission fluid.

To find the source of the leak, you will have to inspect the vehicle thoroughly.

Solution: Fortunately, transmission fluid leaks are not impossible to fix. One of the oil seals may not be in the best condition, and this could be the cause of the leak. Therefore, find the source of the leak first, and then change the seal. While it is easy to change the seal, opening the gearbox is not that simple, so you should always have a BMW expert helping you with the reparations.

Knocks from the Automatic Gearbox

car’s automatic gearbox
Photo by Pixabay

One of the most common BMW 1 Series automatic gearbox problems is represented by the knocks you feel from the automatic gearbox. More often than not, there will be jerks when you slow down with the vehicle or rev up. The knocks signal that the oil from the gearbox may be old and may have lost its properties. Simultaneously, it could also mean that there is a sensor that doesn’t give accurate information.

Solution: If the sensor is the culprit, you have to replace it. Any sensor may be causing the issue, and they can all be replaced. Sadly, you cannot repair it once it stops working properly. The replacement may cost a few hundred dollars depending on how difficult it is to access the faulty sensor.

Gearbox Jumping or No Longer Working

automatic transmission
Photo by Pexels

Another very common problem with a BMW 1 Series vehicle’s automatic gearbox is when it either jumps or doesn’t work anymore. This will be obvious if the gears either skip on the BMW Serie 1 or the gears no longer pass.

One possible culprit may be a speed or engine speed sensor that doesn’t work properly anymore and sends erroneous data to the gearbox. Another possible culprit may be the solenoid, which behaves like a “switch” that engages the gears.

Solution: The good news is that both the solenoid and the sensors can be replaced if they are faulty. So, you should look towards getting someone to replace these parts and have the gearbox functioning properly again.

Slippage Issues

gear shifter
Photo by Pixabay

Some BMW 1 Series automatic gearboxes have a slippage problem. All gearboxes react in a certain way and have inertia when you accelerate. But this is something that should happen only when the vehicle starts or when you are changing gears while driving the car.

However, if this is happening all the time, then the problem may come from a faulty converter or clutch.

Solution: Since a slippage issue generally means you are dealing with a dead clutch disc, you must replace this disc. With some models, you cannot replace the disc without having an exchange standard gearbox with you. This makes the reparations more costly.


There are many causes behind the BMW 1 Series automatic gearbox problems. Sometimes, it is a faulty clutch disc that causes permanent slippage, while in other cases, the sensors are malfunctioning or you may be dealing with fluid leaks. Luckily, all these gearbox problems can be easily solved with reparations or replacements depending on the case – you just need to find an experienced mechanic to help you.


Are BMW 1 Series auto gearboxes reliable?

BMW 1 Series auto gearboxes are just as reliable as manual transmissions. In fact, there is nothing that says that they are more or less reliable than the manual versions. Automatic gearboxes come with their own set of problems.

How do you know if the transmission is bad on a BMW 1 Series?

When a transmission is bad on your BMW 1 Series, you will notice things such as slippage, fluid leaks, knocks when you rev up or slow down, or the gearbox jumping or no longer functioning.

How long can a BMW 1 Series transmission last?

Without maintenance, a BMW 1 Series car’s transmission may last 100,000 miles or less. With proper maintenance, it can last 300,000 miles or more.