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Hey guys, still a newbie when it comes to bimmers and definitely when it comes to troubleshooting so go easy on me if I don't know as much about my problem. Basically, I was driving along (1987 325is) when I noticed smoke coming out of the hood. It smelled like antifreeze and as I pulled over I could feel the shifter had loosened considerably. Prior to this I'd noticed the shifter was hard but I honestly didn't think anything of it since I've had it like that for 2-3 months.

Anyway, I pulled over and noticed the huge mess under the car - it looked like all the fluids were coming out of here on the tranny (see red arrow on pic below). When the car cooled down, I checked the coolant reservoir and sure enough, it was empty so I re-filled it but it was literally getting disposed from underneath as I did so.

Anyway, a friend of mine took a look and said he thinks the transmission seals are gone but I don't understand what it has to do with coolant. I noticed my engine oil light came on as well, and I checked it - level is fine. Again, I don't get what it has to do with it. The gears still go in fine, there is no slipping, even reverse works but the major thing that's freaking me out is how smooth the shifter is after the incident.

Does anyone have any idea what the problem is? I don't think it's a linkage since I can still put it in gear but any other theories or trouble-shooting tips would be great. Thanks guys!!!

1987 bmw 325is
 

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Metric Mechanic
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Hey guys, still a newbie when it comes to bimmers and definitely when it comes to troubleshooting so go easy on me if I don't know as much about my problem. Basically, I was driving along (1987 325is) when I noticed smoke coming out of the hood. It smelled like antifreeze and as I pulled over I could feel the shifter had loosened considerably. Prior to this I'd noticed the shifter was hard but I honestly didn't think anything of it since I've had it like that for 2-3 months.

Anyway, I pulled over and noticed the huge mess under the car - it looked like all the fluids were coming out of here on the tranny (see red arrow on pic below). When the car cooled down, I checked the coolant reservoir and sure enough, it was empty so I re-filled it but it was literally getting disposed from underneath as I did so.

Anyway, a friend of mine took a look and said he thinks the transmission seals are gone but I don't understand what it has to do with coolant. I noticed my engine oil light came on as well, and I checked it - level is fine. Again, I don't get what it has to do with it. The gears still go in fine, there is no slipping, even reverse works but the major thing that's freaking me out is how smooth the shifter is after the incident.

Does anyone have any idea what the problem is? I don't think it's a linkage since I can still put it in gear but any other theories or trouble-shooting tips would be great. Thanks guys!!!

1987 bmw 325is
If you think it is the coolant then I would spend sometime checking lines. It is really easy for it to run down the tranny. The gunk could have been a gunked up line. As for the smoothness, no clue why it would get looser.

I would pull the tranny plug; right side half way up 17mm I think, looks just like a oil pan plug. Just stick your finger in there and see if there is fluid. Also make sure there is no metal shavings either.
 

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the only thing i cant help you with unfortunately (im crap at diagnostics too) is that the engine oil light will come on because of lack of coolant. the coolant somehow completes a curcuit or something along those lines. you will notice the car will run like a dog without coolant. aparently thats normal.. i have no idea why
 
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