2000 bmw 323


When my engine hasn’t warmed up, and when I step on the gas, the car is really unresponsive and takes a while to move. If the engine has warmed up, it doesn’t have this problem. The other half of this issue is that when the car is moving while cold, the engine revs when i get up to speed and will not shift up. This happens when the engine is warmed up too, but not as bad.

Just a couple side notes, if i put it in neutral and rev while stopped, it seems to help with the unresponsiveness. However, when the car is in reverse, it doesn’t help at all.

Hmm. Have you checked the transmission fluid lately?

Sadly, I see a visit to the transmission repair shop in your future.

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This is not necessarily common, but is a known problem with the GM transmissions in e46 BMWs. I have a 2004 330i that has been doing this for several years. The bad news is that 1) the fix is not cheap and 2) Your local transmission specialist shop may or may not know how to fix it. You need someone who knows this particular transmission. Ask your local BMW dealer who they would send it to… The good news is that it will probably do this for years before failing completely. I am guessing that this car has well over 100k miles on it. Even if not afflicted by this problem, this transmission would be due for a complete rebuild by about 200k miles anyway.

A proper transmission service is where I’d start with this problem. Usually that means to drop and clean the pan, inspecting for metal debris, replace the trans filter, and refill with fresh fluid. If that seems to help, but not 100%, drive it for 100 miles, then try it again. You only get a fraction of the old fluid out doing it only once.

If after all that, same thing? Then its time for the transmission shop. Years ago my Ford truck developed a similar problem where it wouldn’t shift into 1st and start moving on cold days right after startup after I placed the selector from N to D. It would just stay in N for a while, a couple minutes, then eventually would shift to 1. It was in the transmission shop within a week for a trans rebuild, which solved the problem straight-away. Been good as new since.