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BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Understanding BMW’S ZF Automatic Transmission

BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Understanding BMW’S ZF Automatic Transmission

Are you looking forward to driving around town in style this summer in your BMW X6? Yes, BMW makes some of the coolest luxury cars on the market. These sleek cars are known for their style and providing a smooth riding experience. However, the BMW X6 is known for having transmission problems. When you consider the BMW X6 transmission replacement cost you might think twice about owning such an expensive vehicle. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Why BMW X6 Is Expensive to Maintain 

Because the BMWX6 transmission is prone to mechanical issues it’s important to consider how much it costs to maintain the transmission. BMW is the most experienced vehicle to maintain even when compared to other luxury brands like Lexus and Mercedes. In fact, in the first ten years of ownership, you can expect to pay over $17,000 according to a report published by Your Mechanic. 


Luxury car brands are often subject to severe mechanical issues as well. Owners should expect to service their BMW X6 every 10,009 miles or at least once a year. Regular maintenance on the transmission system can cost between $400-$600.


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Understanding The X6 Trans System


The BMW X6 is equipped with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission that uses a hydraulic converter. This transmission made its debut in the BMW 7 series. Compared to the six speed and five speed transmissions used in some of the models this six speed automatic transmission is designed to improve fuel economy. Thanks to its internal design the shift times are at 200 milliseconds making it much faster than its predecessors.


In recent years, the ZF 8 speed transmission has developed a reputation for being one of the best automatic transmission systems on the market. The ZF 8 speed automatic transmission can shift from third to the sixth gear seamlessly. 


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – How Long Does A ZF Automatic Transmission Last 

 In an ideal world, the transmission system lasts as long as the life of the car. Although the ZF eight speed automatic transmission is considered to be one of the best gearboxes in the industry like any other automotive component it won’t run forever. There are a number of factors that can determine how long your BMW transmission lasts.


 Some ZF automatic transmission will last for about 100,000 miles if you’re driving about 10,000-15,000 miles a year if you’re not having important maintenance services performed. When automatic transmissions are regularly serviced they can last up to 300,000 miles. For most automatic transmissions, the average life expectancy is seven years which is about 100,000 -200,000 miles depending on how often you drive your vehicle.


Did you know that your driving habits can also affect how long your transmission lasts? Common habits that can reduce the life of your gearbox includes:


Shifting Gears While In Motion

You should always let your car come to a complete stop before you switch gears. Shifting gears too quickly while the vehicle is still moving can cause major damage to the gearbox. Harsh gear changes will cause premature failure of the spinning coupling mechanism that allows you to switch gears.


Driving Before The Engine and Transmission Is Warm

On those cold winter days, it’s a good idea to let your engine and transmission warm-up before pulling off even if you are in a rush. When it’s cold the transmission fluid thickens, it isn’t able to efficiently lubricate the transmission pan and prevent friction. 


Driving Too Fear

Aggressive and fast driving places more wear on your vehicle’s transmission system. Burnouts or drag racing will quickly burn out your transmission. 


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Top ZF 8-Speed Automatic Transmission Problems

BMW X6 ZF eight speed transmission is indeed tough. This gearbox is designed to handle everything that it has been programmed to do even when they reach a high mileage. As durable as this transmission system is there are instances in which they will need to be repaired. Here are the most common problems BMW X6 owners experience with this gearbox:

D Clutch Failure

The D Clutch drum is an important component within the ZF gearbox that often fails due to inner seal leaks. Gear ratio errors from the fourth to the eighth gear and flared shifting from the third to fourth gear is a sign of D Clutch failure. The D Clutch drum assembly costs about $500. 


Incorrect Fluid Levels

Incorrect transmission fluid levels are one of the top reasons why this gearbox fails. When the transmission fluids are too high or too low it will result in intermittent harsh shifting, solenoid, and gear ratio performance codes. Incorrect fluid levels can cause a host of problems within the gearbox such as overheating, torque converter clutch apply and release issues. 


Using the wrong transmission fluid can cause incorrect fluid levels. If you aren’t using the manufacturer recommended fluid for these units the gearbox will fail.


Aftermarket Programing

Aftermarket programming is available to further enhance the versatile ZF gearbox. Aftermarket programming focuses on increasing the gearbox’s speed and performance. Since these gearboxes are designed to handle factory programming, when the programming is tampered with this decreases its durability. Keep in mind that ZF 8-speed automatic transmission works along with the engine so engine management can affect its performance. 


Here are few common warning signs that your BMW transmission is malfunctioning:


  • You hear a grinding noise coming whenever you switch gears or the gears tend to catch when you switch them
  • The Transmission warning light on your dashboard is on
  • Strange burning smell coming from your gearbox
  • Delayed gear shifting
  • Transmission fluid is leaking on the ground


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Repairing Your ZF Transmission or Replacing It

When your BMW X6 transmission fails you’re often faced with the task of either having it repaired or completely replacing the gearbox. Depending on the extent of the transmission’s damage you are able to have the gearbox repaired by a certified BMW technician. Although repairing your BMW X6 gearbox is expensive is generally cheaper than having to replace the transmission. 


Typical BMW X6 transmission repair job includes:


Transmission Leak: A leak can occur anywhere within your vehicle’s transmission unit. BMW transmission leaks are typically caused by a gap in the pan gasket, space in the torque converter, fluid lines, or corroded seals. When you have a transmission leak you will experience acceleration delays, the transmission fluids will be low, and possible gearbox overheating. 


Solenoid Replacement: The solenoid regulates the transmission fluid. They are powered by the voltage supplied by the transmission computer. When the solenoids become compromised the gears are able to shift and the gears may even get stuck. 


Transmission Fluid Flush – If you used the wrong transmission fluid in your ZF gearbox it needs to be immediately flushed from the transmission system. This process replaces all of the old transmission fluid and replaces it with fresh fluids. 


The average costs of BMW X6 transmission repairs are $1,800 -$5,000.


In some cases, the transmission has become so damaged that repairing it isn’t an option. In a situation like this, you will have to replace the gearbox. A new BMW X6 transmission replacement starts at $3,500 and this price can significantly increase depending on the model and the age of the vehicle. 


When it’s time to replace your BMW X6’s transmission you will have to decide whether to purchase a used, remanufactured, or have your transmission rebuilt. This can be a difficult decision to make. 


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Buying A Used or Remanufactured Transmission

When you are strapped for cash and you need your car back on the road you might be tempted to buy a used transmission. Used transmissions are typically removed from old or wrecked cars at the junkyard. 


Buying a used transmission can be a risky investment because you can’t be sure of the condition of the transmission. While a used BMW X6 transmission cost is considerably cheaper there is the possibility that the gearbox could end up failing and all the money you invested will be a waste. When it comes to a used BMW X6 transmission you will get what you pay for. 


If you decide to opt for a used transmission you should only purchase from a reputable vendor such as a certified BMW transmission supplier. When you purchase from a certified supplier you can be sure that you are getting a quality product and they often provide a thirty to sixty day warranty. 


Remanufactured Transmission vs Rebuilt Transmission

A remanufactured transmission has been restored to its original OEM standards. Investing in a remanufactured transmission is like purchasing a new transmission. All of the wearable components have been replaced and the transmission has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it meets the manufacturer's specifications. It’s important to understand that a rebuilt transmission isn't the same as a rebuilt transmission.


Replacing your BMW X6 transmission with one that has been remanufactured provides peace of mind. A remanufactured transmission is your best option when it comes to quality. Factory updates such as new and improved valve designs and friction material are included.


 Oftentimes, the remanufactured transmission is of better quality than the original transmission. In addition, a remanufactured transmission comes with an extended warranty which adds an extra layer of protection. 


A rebuilt transmission has been reconditioned. During this process, the transmission was thoroughly cleaned, inspected and all of the worn and damaged parts were replaced. Rebuilt transmissions have a mix of used and new components which affects their durability. That’s why warranties on rebuilt transmissions are limited. 


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Can I Drive With A Bad Transmission?

If you are still able to drive your BMW X6 you should have it immediately serviced. The transmission assembly is very important because your car can’t operate without it. When the transmission starts to have problems you’ll notice that your car won’t drive as well. If you ignore the issue the problem will only get worse and it will start to damage the engine.


 Driving with a faulty transmission can be dangerous because at any moment the transmission can completely fail. You would never want this to happen while you are in traffic or traveling on the highway.


Evening driving a car that is leaking transmission fluid is highly discouraged. Driving without transmission fluid is just as damaging to your car as driving with oil in the motor. If you run out of transmission fluid your gearbox will start to overheat. 


Driving a car with a faulty transmission system or one that is on its last leg isn’t recommended. You run the risk of severely damaging your car’s transmission will increase your BMW X6 transmission replacement cost. 


BMW X6 Transmission Replacement Cost – Consult With A BMW Transmission Specialist


Consulting with a BMW transmission specialist or an expert that is certified to work on BMW cars is very important. This ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is complex and only a skilled technician who has experience working with these types of transmission should perform your transmission repair or replacement job.


Some owners make the mistake of having their vehicle serviced at a regular mechanic shop. This can cause further damage to the car’s transmission system. A mom and pop mechanic shop in most cases won’t be able to provide quality workmanship when replacing your vehicle’s transmission.


Yes, BMW X6 transmission replacement costs are very high. Bringing your vehicle to a mechanic who doesn’t have the credentials to complete such complex work can create a stressful situation. You’ll end up needing a skilled professional to fix their failed attempt at repairing or replacing the transmission. 


If you are having trouble finding a certified BMW technician you can always go back to the dealership where you purchase the vehicle. If they can’t do the work themselves they can provide you with a list of certified specialists in the area who will be able to help.