BMW Drivetrain Malfunction: What Do You Need To Do?

Drivetrain Malfunction Drive Moderately may appear at any moment. Still, it is more likely to do so in cold weather if your battery is old or when driving in hazardous situations. This manual will provide further information and a BMW scanner diagnosis.

What Does Drivetrain Malfunction On A BMW Mean?

In a BMW, a drivetrain malfunction describes an issue with the power transfer system, which consists of the transmission, driveshaft, and differentials. This cautionary notice can show up on the dashboard.

Numerous problems can lead to a malfunctioning BMW drivetrain, including low transmission fluid levels, a broken transmission control module, or an issue with the differential.

Driving a car with a faulty drivetrain can result in more damage and increase the repair cost. Thus it is best to utilize a full system scanner as soon as possible to identify the precise cause of the issue.

A car mechanic holding a tablet diagnosing the engine.

The BMW Drivetrain Malfunction error message denotes that the engine or transmission has been detected as malfunctioning by the Engine Control Module, also known as the DDE, ECU, ECM, or DME.

The engine control unit restricts the maximum torque output to avoid damage. You can read the trouble codes from the Digital Motor Electronics (DME) and transmission (EGS) modules using the YOUCANIC scanner to diagnose the issue.

Common Symptoms Of Drivetrain Malfunction

The following symptoms are what most BMW owners typically observe. However, they can vary based on the issue that led to the error:

  • Error warning for a drivetrain issue displayed on the iDrive screen.
  • The car begins to tremble.
  • When the vehicle is in drive or idling, it dies (D)
  • Fumes coming from the exhaust.
  • Vehicle idling poorly.
  • A gear in the transmission is jammed.
  • While attempting to pass on the highway, the drivetrain broke down.
  • The car won’t start because of a problem with the drivetrain.
A woman igniting the car

How To Reset Drivetrain Malfunction On A BMW?

Address the problem causing the malfunction before erasing the error code from the car’s computer to reset the “Drivetrain Malfunction” error message on a BMW. The steps to resetting the drivetrain malfunction notice are as follows:

  • Find the root of the drivetrain issue and fix or replace any broken parts as required.
  • To recover any fault codes that might be saved in the engine control unit, connect the YOUCANIC diagnostic tool to the vehicle’s OBD-II connector underneath the dash (DME).
  • Any fault codes that are active or current in the DME or Engine Control Unit should be fixed.
  • Using the YOUCANIC diagnostic tool, erase the error codes from the car’s computer.
  • Check to determine if the drivetrain malfunction notice has been cleared by disconnecting the diagnostic tool and starting the car.

After attempting to reset the drivetrain malfunction notice, it’s conceivable that the problem hasn’t been fully resolved. To identify and fix the problem, it is advised to get the car inspected by a mechanic or a BMW dealer.

Neglecting a drivetrain issue or continuing to drive with one could lead to expensive repairs and perhaps hazardous driving conditions.

How To Fix Drivetrain Malfunction On BMW

It is vital to identify the exact problem causing a drivetrain breakdown on a BMW to repair it. Including the transmission, driveshaft, and differentials, the powertrain system of a BMW consists of the parts that transmit power from the engine to the wheels.

To identify and fix a drivetrain issue on a BMW, a mechanic could follow the steps listed below:

  • Visually examine the drivetrain’s parts for any indications of wear or damage.
  • To access any problem codes saved in the vehicle’s computer, connect a diagnostic tool to the system. These codes can offer hints as to what is causing the drivetrain issue. See the guidelines below.
  • Check the driveshaft, differentials, and transmission for proper operation. This can entail putting the car through a road test or particular testing components.

Adherence to the manufacturer’s suggestions and instructions is crucial when fixing a drivetrain issue on a BMW.

It is advised to have a mechanic identify and fix the problem if you need more confidence or experience working on autos. Neglecting a drivetrain issue or continuing to drive with one could lead to expensive repairs and perhaps hazardous driving conditions.

Expert Tip: Driving is not advised if the engine is shaking, has decreased power, or is in limp mode. Contact your mechanic or dealer.

A warning of a drivetrain issue should not be disregarded. Service the BMW as soon as you can. You should still have your BMW diagnosed even if the drivetrain fault goes away because it is likely to come back.


There are various causes of drivetrain malfunction warnings, ranging from a weak battery to an engine misfire. Your problem is probably related to one of the problems listed above.

Before you begin replacing any parts, we strongly advise having your BMW diagnosed by a mechanic or, at the very least, reading the trouble codes yourself.

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About Matthew Webb

Hi, I am Matthew! I am a dedicated car nerd! During the day, I am a journalist, at night I enjoy working on my 2 project cars. I have been a car nerd all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with you!

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