1992 BMW 5 Series - Hit A Rock, Transmission Gone

I have a bmw 520i, automatic 1992. I hit a rock the other day and want to know how much it is likely to cost to repair. I have no gears at present. the car leaked a dark liquid from a pipe underneath between the front wheels. any help anywhere?

That means the fluid that leaked out is transmission fluid. The car won’t move without it.

Impossible to say how much this will cost to repair since we don’t know where you live, can’t see the damage and don’t know, nor will a mechanic know, what damage was done to the transmission from losing its lubricant.

There is no way to even guess at the cost over the interweb . Being a BMW it will be expensive so find an independent BMW shop because the dealer will only use original replacement parts .

How many miles did you drive the car after you hit the rock?

This is important. If you stopped the car right away, the transmission is probably in good shape. If you continued to drive it without fluid, you might have seriously damaged the transmission.

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This is a 27 year old base model 5 series, not sold in the US. Unless you are VERY lucky, it will cost more to repair than the car is probably worth. Only a mechanic that is looking at the car can tell you the cost.

This could range from the relatively minor cost of a new (used) transmission pan, plus a gasket, plus fluid, to the incredibly expensive cost of an overhauled transmission. As was said, the distance/amount of time that the OP drove after the leak began will be the determining factor, and none of us–probably including the OP–knows that bit of info.

Only a mechanic who can put the vehicle up on a lift and do some diagnosing will be able to provide the answer.

This could be a line that carries trans fluid to or from the trans cooler (which may be inside the radiator.) Replacing or repairing a pipe is a fairly simple repair. The big question is if the trans has been damaged internally. That can’t be known until the pipe is fixed, trans fluid topped up, and the car is driven.

Good luck and please let us know.


I wouldn’t assume the transmission is damaged until the leak is repaired and the proper fluid level is restored.

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