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Steve, BMW Expert
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Experience:  BMW Expert
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1998 BMW 528i: 000 miles..Automatic transmission..second gear..clunk

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I have a 1998 BMW 528i with 66,000 miles. Automatic transmission, Car shifts easily into drive or reverse. As you excelerate and build to shift into second gear, there is a big clunk that takes place as it shifts into second. The clunk does not happen every time and does not appear to be related to cold shifting versus warm shifting. Any ideas?

Hi there,


Welcome to justanswer.


The first thing to do will be to have the fluid flushed checked for level and quality. If the fluid is low or dirty, it will need to be topped up and/or flushed. If the fluid is fine, then there may be an issue with one of the clutch drums or a solenoid internally which would necessitate further diagnosis and repair.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If fluid is low or dirty, could this really be the problem as it is a closed system? I did notice a little leakage under the car, but have not been under it to see where it is coming from. Does that help any?

Yes the fluid level can drop over time without a lot of noticable leakage. And if you have seen some leakage, this could be transmission fluid.


And by "dirty" I mean it would show signs of metallic flakes which would be the internals of the transmission wearing / shearing over time - not actual dirt from the outside.


Definitely you will want to start with having the transmission fluid checked.


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Edited by Steve on 10/7/2010 at 3:45 PM EST
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
One last question before I take it to a repair shop. Would it make sense to bring the car in for a fluid change and then watch it before looking for other repairs. I am so leary of these repair shops scamming when the repairs are really minor.

I don't think that is very likely. The internet and bad word of mouth tends to keep shops pretty honest these days.


The fluid is expensive so I would have it checked before flushing out the whole system.



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