Q: 2005 BMW 645Ci only shifts and drives in 1st and 2nd gears

asked by on August 18, 2016

My transmission is malfunctioning in my car. This is what happened: as I was sitting at a red light and my car was idling, a warning suddenly flashed stating that the transmission would only shift from Reverse into 1st and 2nd gear. Sure enough, when I started driving those two gears were the only ones that I could use to drive. After buying some transmission fluid, I added it. My car drove okay for a day, but then it went out again. In your expert experience, what should I do to fix this problem?

Transmission Fluid Service $125.08 - $445.00 Get a Quote
Car is hard to shift Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

Hello. I would need to check the transmission fluid condition to tell you for sure what is going on. If the fluid is dark or smells burnt then it more than likely needs a transmission. I usually scan the computer for codes also to see what the computer is seeing.

If it is simply an electrical issue or a sensor issue, then it may have a code to give direction on where to start. Most of the time, when I see this occur it is because one of the clutch packs is worn out causing a slipping issue. If you want to have this looked at, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose the shifting problem and help you have this repaired.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

P0300 and P0305. Pending: P0304, P0306, P0171, P0174, P2196, P2198

Hi there. The issue that maybe happening is the are fuel injectors that are not firing and there is a vacuum leak on the engine. Possible multiple sensors are not working causing the P2196 and P2198 codes to appear. For...

Stuck in second gear

The vehicle speed sensor may be malfunctioning and causing the transmission not to shift. The computer will need to have the codes retrieved. I recommend that you have a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come and test the vehicle...

Water was spilled in the trunk which soaked the car battery. Car won't start now. Does water destroy a car battery?

Hi, thanks for writing in about the concern with the BMW 320i. If the battery was submerged in water then it's completely possible for the battery to short out and die. Your friend will need to have the battery replaced....

Car not changing gears

The transmission will most likely need to be replaced. I do not suggest driving the vehicle in this condition as serious engine damage will occur if the engine is redlined too much. A certified mechanic from YourMechanic can visit your...

If a CV axle gets pulled out of transmission while driving 35 mph will this damage the transmission?

Hi there: In short - yes. If the CV axle was removed from the transmission while driving, it is more likely than not that internal components were damaged. However, the only way to know for certain is to contact a...

What does the engine oil pressure light mean in a 2012 Nissan Rogue?

The engine oil pressure Warning Light is located on your instrument panel. When this light illuminates, your vehicle has a dangerously low amount of engine oil. If the light comes on, pull over as you safely can, and call a...

Vehicle is squeaking upin start or when super cold

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle is likely having a couple of separate issues. The squealing when cold is typically caused by the belts being cold and brittle after sitting for a while in chilly conditions. You will...

Will a bad wheel bearing cause a transmission not shift into overdrive

Hi there. Yes, a bad wheel bearing can impact the complete operation of your vehicle. When a wheel bearing goes bad, it is due to a lack of lubrication inside the bearing. This creates metal-to-metal contact, increased friction, and can...

Indicator lights on with B1 code.

Hi there. The B1 service light is on for there are services that are due on your vehicle. The other warning lights that are on are the services that are required to check and make sure that they are functioning...

Related articles

How Do You Know When Your Transmission Fluid Needs to Be Changed?
Transmission oil or fluid is a vital part of your vehicle’s performance, as it lubricates the various components and inner...
What Does the Steering Lock Warning Light Mean?
The steering lock indicator light means your steering wheel is locked and can not be moved, usually until the vehicle's keys are present.
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Live in a Tropical Climate
If If you live in a tropical climate, most of your vehicle purchasing concerns will be essentially the same as if you lived anywhere else – you want a car that looks good, offers decent gas mileage, and suits the...