BMW X5 Transmission Problems & Overview

Something seems wrong with your X5? Let’s look at some of the most common BMW X5 transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your SUV back on the road.

Need a replacement transmission? Quality transmission suppliers can be hard to find. Have your 17-digit vehicle VIN# ready. Free estimates sent via text and email.

BMW X5 Recalls

Recall ID – NHTSA: 05V504000 – 2005-2006 X5


Some automatic equipped 2005-2006 X5 SAV’s were built with an incorrectly manufactured parking prawl guide plate.


This could cause the parking lock system not to engage Park when the shifter is placed in the ‘P’ position. If the vehicle is parked on an incline, it could roll away and cause serious damage or injuries.


Dealers were instructed to replace the defective guide plate. Owners can contact BMW at 1-800-332-4269. Or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (refer to recall 05V504000).

Recall ID – NHTSA: 04V409000 – 2004 X5


X5’s equipped with the 3.0L 6-cyl and a manual transmission, if the truck is slowly moving forward in first gear, with the throttle held in a constant position of low engine speed and the clutch partially released, the engine speed may suddenly increase.


This condition could cause the X5 to accelerate unexpectedly, which could result in a crash and/or injury.


This recall was issued back in 2004, and dealers were instructed to reprogram the Engine Management Control Unit. Owners can contact BMW at 1-800-831-1117. Or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (refer to recall 04V409000).

BMW X5 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2002-2009 X5 – TSB B24 02 10


On X5 models equipped with the GM6 6-speed automatic transmission, the vehicle may not be able to engage a forward or reverse gear.


This problem is likely due to a failed gear selector valve, if it has a serial number less than 593323

2004-2006 X5 – TSB B24 01 08


On X5 models equipped with the ZF 6HP transmission, the transmission warning light will be illuminated as the transmission enters failsafe mode. Fault code 4F81 (Ratio monitoring, clutch A), in some cases combined with the subsequent faults 507B/507C (Parking gear sensor implausible signal) or 507D (Parking gear incorrectly disengaged), are stored in the EGS control module.


Possible causes: a. Low transmission fluid level; or b. Internal transmission pressure leak caused by a defective adapter seal (rectangular) between the transmission housing and the Mechatronic.

X5 equipped with the GM6 transmission – TSB SI B24 04 11


On BMW X5’s equipped with the 6-speed automatic, it’s not uncommon to hear a frequent whistling and/or buzzing-type noise coming from the transmission. This noise occurs as soon as the EGS (TEHCM) “wakes up” when the vehicle is unlocked. This noise is heard regardless of whether the engine is running or not. 2. A clicking noise is heard with the engine running and the either the “P” or “N” position is selected.


This noise indicates a normal situation which occurs as soon as the EGS (TECHM) “wakes up”; for example, when the vehicle is unlocked. This noise is heard regardless of whether the engine is running or not. 2. To prevent the solenoid valves in the TECHM from jamming or air collecting in the oil passages, the valves are cycled in a frequent manner. This controlling behavior can be heard in some situations. Neither of these noises indicate evidence of a fault, nor are they a result of faulty transmission behavior. Additionally, there is no negative effect on transmission operation or service life.

Fair Replacement Transmission Cost by Vehicle

  1. Find your transmission model in the table below for fair prices from reputable suppliers. Also fair labor cost for local installation at a local auto repair shop.

  2. Get a free estimate on a remanufactured transmission by email.

Fair Remanufactured Transmission Price Ranges by Transmission Model Updated July 2018

transmission repair cost
Download Replacement Transmission Cost Guide PDF

How to Diagnose & Fix

  1. Check the OBD Codes
  2. Check the fluid level
  3. Test transmission pressure
  4. Drop the transmission pan
  5. Repair, replace or rebuild

What to Read Next

Over to You

[poll id=”28″] [poll id=”36″]

What Problem Does Your X5 Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too

Leave a Comment

mark wilson

2001 bmw x5 4.4 auto shuttering in lower gears and rpm seams to be between 1st and second before shifting and hard down shift if ac is not on and warmer engine temp also has 22″ rims

Gary Rutherford

Here is an interesting one as well. My 2006 X5 4.4l with 94000 miles, just replaced battery to an AGM from lead acid and did the transmission service early. On a few occasions it goes into limp mode but does not drop into second or third but does have the 4X4 off indicator. coming to a stop, turning the motor off and then restarting does clear the code. Battery was not registered, could this be an electrical code mismatch?


2003 BMW X5 3.0 liter engine, tranny won’t shift on cold start, fluid and filter has been changed, improved issue but did not go away. Runs and shifts fine once driven and fully warmed up.

Mpho sebola

BMW 4.8is problem loss of power and it shows “False.Trans.Program and a 4×4 amplem is showing and an Abs also


my 2006 X6 3.0D has done 91000 miles. No real issue other than occasional clunk when car (auto) changes down ton1st gear.i have been reading that transmission oil needs changing really every 60,000 miles. Will this cure it ?


Hi I have a 2005 BMW X5 4.8i the transmission slips & gives a “kick like” bang when vehicle warms up it shifts easier however it slips ,& all the Abs , Traction control 4×4 lights come on the dash is like a Christmas tree ,only light not on is check engine . Hmm any ideas , someone mentioned it being a transfer case to be changed or new transmission.?? Would there be a module or some kind of sensor that could be changed ? Or is it that I need to change transmission? Thank you for input


Exact Same problem here!

Mr. Ed

Here’s an interesting one: 2008 BMW X5 3.0si , ZF 6HP26 transmission , 120k miles.
Occasional irregular shifts, fail safe downshifts to 2nd or 3rd gear from 5th or 6th (possible clutch or bushing issues) …. been told there is either nothing to be found OR the transmission needs replacement. Which I suppose is an easy answer.
However, the transmission gives no problems with a cold start. Works fine up to 15 miles before giving trouble, even with hard use. Also notable is weird behavior in manual operation. I have had many times now that I can change from M5 and shift all the way down to M2 and the transmission will instead shift to 6th gear while still indicating M2. Or sometimes the other way around.
Just completely ridiculous and demented operation!

Ian Gunther

X5 2006 model, 3 lt. d. Clunking sound & slight jolt occurs after long drive, say 250 Kls. In changing from 1 st to 2 nd. After that all noticeable automatic changes are smooth, & in some cases, undetectable. Not noticeable when car is cold on initial start & motoring.