BMW 325ci Slow Takeoff and Sluggish Acceleration

Joe Free

We had a customer come in with a BMW 325ci, complaining of the following symptoms:

  • Slow takeoff
  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Transmission malfunction indicator light is on (looks like a gear on the dashboard)

We performed our free diagnostics check and found the following codes:

  • Dealer-specific code 241: “misfire cylinder 4” found in the engine computer.  This code was probably triggered due to a fouled spark plug or a bad coil.  Less-likely possibilities are a dirty/bad fuel injector, hung valves, or a bad cylinder.
  • Dealer-specific code 59: “stall monitoring” found in the transmission control unit.  This explains why the BMW is in limp mode and the driver is experiencing sluggish takeoff.

We cleared the diagnostic codes and found that the transmission went into limp mode again after three drive cycles.  This proved that the code was recurring and needed further investigation.

We checked the transmission and found it to be full of fluid with no evidence of leaks.  Next, we removed the transmission pan and the transmission fluid filter.  We found that the transmission filter was clogged up with clutch material when we broke it open.  We also noticed an excessive amount of metal particles and clutch material in the pan.  Additionally, the the factory magnet in the pan was completely loaded with metal.

This car showed all the signs of needing a rebuild.  The BMW dealership offered to fix it for $6,500, but we rebuilt it here and saved the customer about $2500!  We also exceeded the dealer warranty by at least 6 months or six thousand miles, whichever comes first!


I've been managing transmission and auto repair shops for over 25 years. Prior to that, I worked as a mechanic in Dallas TX. I have always had an interest in fixing cars, and still love it to this day.

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