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E82 / E88 1 Series (2008 - 2013)
BMWs throw back to the iconic 2002, with a renewed form and function. The smallest car in BMW's line up but still packs a punch. Available in coupe or convertible, powered by either an inline 6 in the 128 or the twin turbo rocket sled 135.

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Old 06-16-2015, 09:40 PM
BMWDan92 BMWDan92 is offline
Registered User
Location: Australia
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 120i
2010 120i Hatch issues, please help

Hi everyone, I'm posting on behalf of my partner who bought a 2010 120i used a couple of months ago. The car's auto (this is relevant).

All in all, it's a comfortable little car and perfect for her to drive to work and back, but there are two issues with it that I'm trying to pinpoint without much luck and yes, I have searched the net and this forum.

The first issue being a rattle noise when cold. I think it's coming from the transmission. Whilst it was still under the used car warranty, we took it to the dealer and he serviced the transmission and said the fluid was low (strange to me if there was no leak...?). It did this after a few weeks of driving fine, so common sense would indicate a leak being present, but he couldn't find any signs of it and there are no signs of leaking fluid on the bottom of the trans. Could it be leaking into the bellhousing?

Prior to him servicing the trans, it was shifting poorly, holding gears, slamming into the next one, etc. The service fixed this and it hasn't come back. The rattle seemed to disappear for a substantial amount of time, but now it's back.

I'm not sure it's coming from the transmission, but it goes away once the car is warmed up. My theory is that as the fluid expands with heat, the rattle quietens down due to the level increasing.

The second issue is a burning smell of plastic. This is a new one. Any ideas? It's coming from outside the car and is quite pungent. I've never smelled ATF (or whatever fluid BMW use) burning, so I'm not sure if it's related to the previous issue and fluid is escaping, resulting in the rattle and the smell, or both are unrelated issues.

Are the automatic boxes in these prone to leaking/rattling? Where do they leak from?

Anything to check re the burning smell, it smells like plastic and I have no idea where it's coming from.

I'm handy with a spanner and confident I can fix things if I know where to start. A shove in the right direction would be appreciated though!

Cheers everyone!
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:39 PM
Garn Garn is offline
Registered User
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: BMW 120i Sports Pac
I also have a 120i 2010 auto. Can't help with auto rattle, I would look for something that is jammed on the exhaust pipe regarding burning smell.
Has it got larger than normal tyres ... Look for rubbing on inner mudguards. Also, there are a lot of plastic covers in the engine bay, check them all out by thumping with hand, check for looseness.
It could be that something is rubbing after the car has been up and down on a car hoist!
Keep us up to date ... Always interested in unusual problems of this model.
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