Help - conflicting opinions on car

I have a 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid and had a BMW mechanic do re-manufacturing work on my transmission a few months ago. Now about 50% of the time I am driving the display will read “Drivetrain Cannot be Restarted” and the air conditioning will concurrently not work. Also, acceleration is slow. For about 10 minutes it will stay at about 60 mph and the engine performance display stays at 2. The BMW Dealership said it needs a new transmission so I took it back to the shop that did the work since there is a warranty and they said it is not the transmission, but that it needs a high voltage battery, which costs about $9,000. PLEASE HELP

Ehh, what kind of a BMW is this?

You didn’t tell us which BMW model you own, but I surmise that it is a hybrid.
Is that correct?

Hey guys and galls, Remember the BMW with the transmission?
Yup, that’s him.

I’m out.


I’m sympathethic to the OP’s problem but do not have a solid answer as to what the problem is or what to do about it.
BMW dealer says transmission; indy shop says battery. Who do you believe? My gut feeling says that I might lean towards the BMW dealer.

There have been 3 shops with their fingerprints on this car and that can be a very bad thing to happen. Everyone points the finger at someone else. Speaking for myself, I’ve run into things like this in the past and flat refused to lay a hand on them because I had no desire to be part of a daisy chain blame game.

If this turned into a court suit I can’t even imagine how convoluted technical explanations from 3 different parties would be.


2013 BMW ActiveHybrid

It is a 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid

I don’t know if the location of the person has ever been mentioned but there are too many severe problems and shops involved for a forum to even begin to find a solution.

All I can suggest is take this thing to a BMW dealer , make some kind of trade on a non - hybrid and get on with your life.

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The question is legitimate, but in hindsight, the advice to sell the car or trade it in for a mass produced non-exotic car is looking better and better. It turns out it was solid advice, and when the car was repaired and drivable would have been a great time to do it.

The people who should drive exotic cars are those who could have afforded a new transmission without batting an eye. If you have to skimp on repairs, you’re driving beyond your means.


Is it? I don’t know. He replied to me with a postulate, but withdrew his reply in less than two minuttes.
There is a certain smell in my nose. Could it be a rat? Or a troll, maybe or - god forbid - a liar?


I withdrew my response because i want this to be productive and helpful. Not hostile and adversarial.

You’re accusing me of being a liar? What is your problem? I’m asking for help and your attacking me. The other mechanic held my deposit for a full month after everything was returned to me. He was mandated to not only return my deposit but 500 in rental car fees.

According to what YOU wrote, SIR, That mechanic did quite a lot of work on YOUR car. Other circumstances probited him from finishing the job, due to YOUR car being a rare car. Then, when nobody can supply the parts etc.for YOUR transmission. YOU have the audacity to go to this BAR thing so HE is left high and dry, not because of HIS incompentence, but because of factors outside of his influence. YOU chose him to work on YOUR RARE CAR. YOU, sir, don’t care about others, but only about yourself and I can’t respect that.
I’m most likely to get flagged by this post, but so be it.
Over and out


No it’s just that there is no clear way out of this mess. There’s no way to force the guy that did the transmission except to have BMW put in another one to prove it is the transmission. Then you could go back and try and collect for the first one. But then if it really is the $9000 battery, what then? Deeper and deeper we go. There is no resolution and I agree, brought to a judge, their eyes would just glaze over.

I once tried to save $200 on a transmission overhaul and went to the low bid. He had my car for 7 weeks before I finally got it back. Then I had to pay another guy $400 to replace the 4th gear switch and harness. Then less than a year later it needed another overhaul so took it to a better shop for another $1500. All to save $200. Sometimes trying to save money is very expensive.

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A possibility you might not have considered is that both mechanics could be right. You might have a bad transmission and a worn out hybrid battery pack.

I’d go to a second BMW dealership for a third opinion. Tell them the symptoms, but not about the two previous diagnoses, which can influence their diagnosis.

There are companies out there that will repair hybrid batteries by replacing bad cells. You might look for one of them to confirm the battery diagnosis.

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Did any OBDII codes pop up? (I think many pop the Check Engine light when the batt starts to fail.)

I would second Whitey’s comment… get a second BMW shop to look at it. BMW is likely to have specialized diagnosis equipment an independent shop does not have. From their suggestion, I assume they were concentrating on the tranny problems and not searching for a bad drive batt.

My confusion is about the AC. I think that the electric AC is powered by the HV battery thru a DC/DC converter to drop voltage. So maybe he was diagnosing that system, instead of the tranny. (That’s how the Prius works, not sure about your car.) Shops can be reluctant to blame their own repairs.

I believe you’ll find the battery is around $5K (plus dealer/shop markup). I see remanufactured batts running $1K to 3K for your car. $9K seems a bit high for a 3 hour job.

As a total wild card, you might have the 12V (under hood) battery load tested. It’s a free test and I’ve heard of some EVs doing whack things when the batt gets weak… and one Prius doing the same. It probably won’t help, but worth a shot?

Hi asterix. I don’t think he’s trolling. Usually you give people the benefit of the doubt. The advice everybody gives is free, and he can take it or leave it. No need to call names. If you think your advice won’t be taken, you don’t have to give it.