BMW 328i Drivetrain Malfunction [Reasons + Easy Fixes]

BMW 328i Drivetrain Malfunction. Scratching your head thinking what the hell is the “Drive Moderately” error message on the screen? To answer it simply, it’s the indication of potential engine malfunctions in your BMW 328i. There are some major factors that can relate to the issue. 

The key reasons for the BMW 328i drivetrain malfunction are a faulty spark plug, flawed ignition coil or clogged catalytic converter. There probably can be low-quality fuel and broken timing joints. As far as my experience lately, simply restarting the engine can solve the matter effectively. 

There are many more things to know about the drivetrain malfunction BMW 328i as well as fixes to get rid of the issue. So, without going anywhere else, stay tuned with us.

Symptoms Of BMW 328i Drivetrain Malfunction 

When there is a drivetrain malfunction on your BMW 328i, your BMW car will manifest several symptoms based on the cause. 

Although it’s variable according to the fault, here are some common drivetrain malfunctions that can occur in your BMW 328i. 

  • Drivetrain malfunction error on the iDrive screen 
  • The car starts shaking and vibrating  
  • Turning on the engine lights 
  • While idling BMW power cut off 
  • Transmission stuck in one gear or while going up a steep incline 
  • Smoke on the exhaust than usual 
  • Get not have enough power while trying to pass a highway
  • Due to the drivetrain malfunction, the BMW car may not start.

What Are The Reasons Behind BMW 328i Drivetrain Malfunction?  

As for the drivetrain, the main job it’s to transfer the power produced in the engine to the wheel. 

That makes the car move or run. So, whenever there is a BMW 328i drivetrain error message, it means any of the components are faulty which I’ve described below. 

#1- Faulty Spark Plugs

Faulty spark plugs can easily mess up your BMW 328i showing drivetrain malfunction. Because spark plugs are the thing that is responsible for the combustion of fuel. 

So, it’s directly related to the engine function, and for a faulty spark, the plug engine starts misfiring. 

When the spark plugs the reason, then the only solution is to replace the whole one to get rid of the issue. The cost is between $217-$348. 

#2- Flawed Ignition Coils

Ignition coils provide electricity to the spark plugs to do their job. So, when the ignition coil goes bad, it also hampers the spark plug’s function and the engine starts misfiring or has rough idling. 

#3- Catalytic Converter Clogged

When the catalytic converter gets clogged it reduces the exhaust emission rate. Thus, increasing the pressure of the exhaust unit makes the BMW 328i engine drivetrain malfunction. 

#4- Faulty High-Pressure Fuel Pump

In the list of drivetrain malfunctions, the high-pressure fuel pump can also be included. It transfers the fuel from the tank to the engine. 

So, obviously anyhow if the high-pressure fuel pump has gone bad, there is a random loss of power in your BMW 328i. 

#5- Faulty Fuel Injector

Behind the drivetrain malfunction on your BMW 328i, a bad fuel injector can be responsible. Due to the failure of the injector, your car likely shows the problem of drivetrain like shaking, stalling, or misfires. 

#6- Low-Quality Fuel

In some cases of drivetrain malfunction on your BMW, low-octane fuel can relate. Somehow it can decrease the efficiency of the engine and your BMW shows the message to drive moderately. 

So, if you feel that there is low-quality fuel in your tank, add an octane booster to resolve the issue. 

[Recommendation: In order to not face the issue, better to use the 97 or higher-octane rating fuel in your BMW 328i] 

#7- Broken Timing Chain

In your BMW car, the synchronous movement is maintained by the timing chain. 

It’s the reason why the engine valve closes or opens at the right time. Over time the timing chain can be broken creating the drivetrain malfunction on the 328i. 

#8- CV Joint Problem

The CV joint is the part that connects the transmission to the wheel. Due to the faulty CV joint, you may hear odd sounds in your car. 

So, whenever you face a drivetrain malfunction on your BMW 328i, the CV joint is worth checking to resolve the matter. 

#9- Leak In Transmission Fluid

A leak in the transmission fluid can be another probable reason behind the drivetrain issue. As it lubricates and cools the car’s transmission, a leak of the fluid can easily make the car show the message to drive moderately.

How To Troubleshoot While Facing Drivetrain Error Message On BMW 328i?

After seeing these many reasons behind the drivetrain malfunction issue, don’t panic. Here are some easy steps that will assist to troubleshoot the error message on the BMW 328i. 

Fix 1: Restart Engine

Whenever you see the error message on your BMW car turn off the engine and restart it. 

To do so, take out the ignition keys and let your car engine rest for about 5 minutes. Hopefully, it’ll work out. 

Fix 2: Inspect the Engine & Parts Related To The Engine

If restarting can’t work out for you, check the engine of your car. As the drivetrain issue is related to the engine, open the hood off and look for any unusual signs for the engine. 

Like if you see low-quality fuel, add an octane booster. Also, inspect whether there are any leaks in the transmission fluid. 

The fuel injector, fuel pump, CV joint, or timing chain also need to be checked as these can also be behind the drivetrain malfunction issue. 

Fix 3: Read Error Codes

In case you can’t identify the exact issue, then the BMW OBD II scanner can help you out. 

Connect the OBD II scanner on your BMW car and it’ll get to know the exact fault of your car that is malfunctioning. According to the fault, you can either get rid of the issue by yourself or with the help of mechanics. 

Ways To Prevent BMW 328i Drivetrain Malfunction

The drivetrain malfunction issue on your BMW is so frustrating to face. So it’ll be better to prevent the matter even before experiencing it, right? To do so-

  • Keep the car in check: Always keep checking the fluid level in the transmission and the other components of your car. Have an annual inspection of the fuel pump & spark plugs. 
  • Replace in recommended duration: Replace ignition coils every 40,000 miles & the fuel injectors every 80,000 miles. Use high-quality fuel.   
  • Regular service on the drivetrain: Regular service of your BMW 328i drivetrain can easily prevent the matter from occurring in your vehicle.  

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs] 

Here are some frequently searched questions related to the drivetrain malfunction BMW 328i. Hopefully, it’ll help you clear your doubt.

How long does a BMW 328i drivetrain last?

The BMW 328i drivetrain lasts up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles. With proper care and maintenance, it can last more than 300,000 miles. 

Why is the Drivetrain error message shown during cold weather? 

If the drivetrain error message is the first thing to face in the cold weather, it can be the old battery or the spark plugs that you haven’t replaced within recommended times. 

What Does Check Drivetrain Mean on BMW 328i? 

Check the drivetrain on your BMW 328i means that there are malfunctions in your engine transmission. So, you need to check the transmission. 

Why is the Drivetrain error message shown on the BMW 328i while accelerating?

Due to a faulty high-pressure fuel pump, clogged fuel filter, or damaged fuel injector, you are likely to face the drivetrain error message on the BMW 328i while accelerating. 

How serious is the BMW 328i drivetrain malfunctioning?

The BMW 328i drivetrain malfunction is that serious, if you don’t take the matter seriously, it’ll lead you to expensive repairs.

Ending Thoughts 

We’re almost at the end of our discussion. Hope you’ve got all the information about the drivetrain malfunction BMW 328i and don’t panic anymore about this error message. 

Whenever you see the drivetrain error message on your BMW 328i, quickly restart your engine. It resolves the problem in most cases. 

If you don’t find luck, check the engine for faults. OBD II scanner will help you to diagnose the exact issue. In this kind of case, better to take the help of the mechanics. They’ll help you effectively to sort down the matter. 

That’s it! Thank you so much for being with my discussion till the end.

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