RPM Jumps from 3K to 4K

Hello all,

In the past month or so I’ve noticed some weird behavior out of my car. 2006 Mini Cooper 130K miles on it (still going strong!!) Automatic.

Scenario 1 - Driving in D accelerating at a normal pace (read, not gunning it) the RPM’s spike rapidly from 3K to 4K and the car almost sounds like it’s redlining. Once it hits 59-60MPH it drops back down to 3K RPM and the rest of the acceleration is normal.

Scenario 2 - Cruising on the highway at about 70+. Normally start taking the foot off the gas to slow down with traffic and when my speed drops to about 60MPH the RPMs spike again from around 3K to about 4K. When the car gets below 60MPH the RPMs drop again. If i let the car come to a stop the RPMs decrease normally without any other spikes.

Scenario 3 - Driving in sport mode (yeah buddy) around 20-30MPH it almost feels like the car is not up-shifting and the rpms go crazy. jump from 2500 to about 4-4500 and finally the car lurks forward.

Haven’t gotten a chance to take it in yet as i’m thinking of getting a new car but i’m just really wondering if anyone has any idea what’s going on.

Wild guess;
your torque converter clutch is letting go. It’s supposed to hard-connect the engine to the tranny under the conditions you describe. Continue to drive the vehcle like this and you’ll fry the torque converter too.

Actual recommendation:

  1. check your tranny fluid before driving one more yard.
  2. fidn a good tranny shop.

Sincere best.

What ever it is…$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Get the transmission fluid changed, not flushed. Has it been changed before?
Change the filter if it has one.
Use the fluid BMW calls for, no substitute.

hey did you find what the problem was? im having the same exact issues with the same car! i know this post was from a year ago, but im hoping i can get an answer

also, does anyone know if this can be a sign of carbon buildup in the engine?

@kozak…I don’t think “carbon buildup” has anything to do with the engine with rpms spiking rapidly from 3K to 4K. I don’t normally answer something from a post that’s this old but since it’s a new question…I did. I think @mountainbike and @circuitsmith are on the money with their answers. @Caddyman is also right…it will cost $$$$ to fix.

Rather than a torque converter issue, I think the car is shifting when you aren’t expecting it to. If it was a few hundred RPM I’d go for a converter clutch lockup issue. But at 1000 rpm change and more you’re probably looking at wonky shifting.

There are lots of reasons that can happen. Some would be internal to the transmission and probably pretty expensive. Others would have to do with the PCM getting bad info from something like a TPS of MAF glitch.

Do you guys think changing the transmission fluid might solve the problem?

I think it might.
Even if it does not, it’s worth trying. If it doesn’t help, you need a good tranny shop, preferable one that’s knowledgable in these specific trannys. And you’ll need to bring your wallet…you’re likely to need it.