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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:41 PM
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2007-2010 X3 Automatic Transmission Problem Master Thread!

I'm making this a sticky and merging all new AT threads from the main page into this one (I can not move older threads into this one because it will insert the previous messages above/before this post).


Thanks to AzNMpower32 for this summary:

The problem: A portion of 2007-08 X3s built between 9/2006 and 11/2007 my have possible faulty transmission software programming. This affects X3s equipped with the 6-speed automatic gearbox. The gearbox may fail to respond to throttle inputs, fail to engage a lower gear, or downshift very roughly in normal Drive mode. The problem is not exhibited in manual mode. Cold temperatures may or may not make the shifting quality worse.

The BMW fix There is a software update, this is the latest release as of 10/07

Quote:
This Service Information bulletin supersedes SI B24 08 07 dated May 2007.

SUBJECT
GM6 - Various Transmission and Driveability Complaints MODEL
E83 (X3) with 6L45R (GM6) automatic transmission produced from 8/2006 up to 10/2007

SITUATION
The customer may complain of transmission shift quality or driveability issues, as described in the situations below:

1. There is a delay in throttle response through the 1-2 upshift when accelerating from a stop.
2. There is a lack of power or hesitation when reapplying throttle, during either a 4-3 or 3-2 tip-in downshift. This may occur after slowing with a closed throttle.
3. Harsh downshifts when slowing on a roadway with a rising gradient (EGS is in a hill program).

CAUSES
EGS software calibration DME software calibration

CORRECTION
In the event of a customer complaint, reprogram the EGS using only Progman V27.02.00 or higher. The latest X3 EGS software may be identified as: 0489RZ0RS450 R0FN10 using the following diagnosis path:

Control-module functions / EGS transmission control Diagnosis requests / Status, data reference

It is important that the DME is also at the latest software level. Refer to SI B12 17 07 for more information concerning the DME software identification and improvements.

DO NOT perform the transmission adaptation under Service Functions, as prompted on the Progman screen. This test module is not functional and will be removed in a future DIS DVD release.

Always refer to SI B 24 11 07 for more information regarding GM6 transmission terminology, adaptation functionality, and adaptation procedures. Important notes:

* The transmission must be in the "Park" position, otherwise the programming may abort with the following error:

EGS –Diagnostic trouble 2089 (COAPI) - Programming mode changeover faulty

* Only use an approved BMW battery charger set to PS (Power Supply) mode and properly configured for the applicable battery AH rating.

WARRANTY INFORMATION
Covered under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Please refer to the latest KSD for all applicable labor operations and allowances. If the appropriate labor operation is not contained in KSD, then a work time labor operation should be used.

Defect Code 24 00 38 61 00
Please post all future complaints and/or attempted resolutions on this thread! Thank you.
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Last edited by KrisL; 02-11-2008 at 07:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2008, 05:11 AM
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Call BMW NA

If you are having problems and your dealer hasn't been able to fix them, call BMW NA customer service.

1-800-831-1117
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 02-12-2008 at 05:29 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2008, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
If you are having problems and your dealer hasn't been able to fix them, call BMW NA customer service.

1-800-831-1117
This does absolutely no good. I called and was told "Your complaint has been registered but please return to your dealer for any additional attention to this issue."
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2008, 06:28 AM
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Angry The REAL STORY

Thanks to AzNMpower32 for this summary:

The problem: A portion of 2007-08 X3s built between 9/2006 and 11/2007 my have possible faulty transmission software programming. This affects X3s equipped with the 6-speed automatic gearbox. The gearbox may fail to respond to throttle inputs, fail to engage a lower gear, or downshift very roughly in normal Drive mode. The problem is not exhibited in manual mode. Cold temperatures may or may not make the shifting quality worse.

The BMW fix There is a software update, this is the latest release as of 10/07[QUOTE]

AznM's information is appreciated but tells the story from a third person's perspective.

And, since she has never experienced this issue-- does not accurately portray what has/is really happened or happening with this MAJOR PROBLEM!



Here is a more telling portrayal of what is happening with a growing percentage of 07/08 AT's

The Problem Over sixty percent of users polled on this website at the beginning of 07 have a faulty transmission and the number is not diminishing but growing with the inclusion of the 08 line. The gearbox will fail to respond at random times usually in critical life threatening situations such as merging into traffic or avoiding other careless drivers. Can't seem to decide what gear to be in when making quick uphill turns. While downshifting in SD the driver may experience down shifts so rough it seems like you have been rear ended by another driver. Cold temperatures seem to always excerabate the shifting issue and the vehicle may red line or not shift at a normal rate. The vehicle seems to work perfectly while in manual mode, which means this is not a mechanical, but programming issue.

The BMW Fix

  • tell the customer it is their fault and they don't know how to drive a BMW.
  • tell the customer all AWD's drive this way.
  • tell the customer it is the gas they use.
  • tell the customer no problem found or could not replicate the issue.
  • tell the customer no one else is complaining about this issue, and try to discredit them.
  • have customer call BMWNA and stall them until Lemon Law runs out.
  • actually do an update that temporarily fixes the problem in hopes customer will go away.
  • Have BMWNA's "Sock Puppet" (Vatkens) tell the poster that this has been reported to BMWNA and stall them some more.
  • tell customer to call BMWNA of which they will tell you it is up to the dealer of which they will telll you it's BMWNA's fault!

The Real Fix

  • Ask dealer for a trade assist, since they are not fixing the problem.
  • Get a MT since none of them seem to have this issue.
  • File with the NHTSA under recall/complaints since this is a life threatening issue and cannot be ignored.
  • Keep a running Log of all transactions, conversations, and all records of service
  • Call a Lemon Law Attorney and give him/her all records since BMWNA is once again stalling!

BMWNA has had more than ample time to correct this issue. It is now surfacing in the 08 models which says that they have not devolped a tried and true fix. Remember to keep the pressure on as this is not a matter of inconvenience but a life threatening problem. If you let this go BWM will not fix it as their past behavior has shown.

If this does not tell you something then CAVEAT EMPTOR directly applies.

Last edited by Evlengr; 02-12-2008 at 08:14 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:00 AM
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Bravo on the Sticky. Long overdue.

For those that consider this issue life-threatening, please use Manual mode until a proven, permanent fix has been applied. Since, as stated, the transmission does not exhibit the problems in this mode.
Yes, I know, this is not a fix, but a workaround.
This mode can also be used to reassure previously tainted family members that you have better control and get them back into the vehicle for needed transportation.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:33 AM
Sans Nil Sans Nil is offline
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So is there another presumably better software update(s) coming from BMW on this?

I had my 07 X3 in for the October update and that did get it about 85% resolved for me.
Sure would be nice to get it fully fixed, I'm still shocked at the difference when I drive my wife's 06 X3 that has none of the issues I have.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:58 AM
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"...sock puppet..."

...at least you still have your sense of humor, E.

Good stickie by the way, thanks Kris.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2008, 11:18 AM
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Glad to see you read through the whole thing WingSpan.

Where did that quote come from btw? The service slips I have are not as detailed as that.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2008, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sans Nil View Post
So is there another presumably better software update(s) coming from BMW on this?
Yes. A more recent update was buggy and had to be pulled after it left several customer cars inoperable. Presumably there is another update on the way.


Dealers do not always perform the software update correctly. Reading the service bulletin , I can see how it would be easy to do the update wrong. You may want to ask another dealer to verify the software version numbers for both the EGS and DME.


Several members posted with "transmission" problems that turned out to be problems with the DSC. One way to test this out is to try driving your car with the DSC turned off. If your problems go away, you may have a bad sensor or other DSC problem.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 02-12-2008 at 11:37 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2008, 11:52 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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No disrespect, but I don't see how the service bulletin couldn't be more clear. It tells you what to do, what not to do, and what to look out for.

Seems pretty straight forward.

The latest update was so screwy they had to send the DME back to New Jersey.

They should be doing this as a SOP since some of the dealers techs are having a hard time interpreting these directions ----especially with the volatility of this issue.

Last edited by Evlengr; 02-12-2008 at 11:55 AM.
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
No disrespect, but I don't see how the service bulletin couldn't be more clear. It tells you what to do, what not to do, and what to look out for.

Yes. But you do have to read and follow them.

If a tech just hooks the car up to the BMW Software Service Station and starts the download, it may not work. Just leaving the car in neutral would be enough.

We know from several posts here on Bimmerfest, some techs are not checking the version numbers before returning the car.



Sending the DME and EGS to New Jersey is a good idea. Unfortunately that means taking the customer car off the road for a few days. Are keys coded to work a specific DME? I'm not sure how the EWS works on the X3. If BMW NA sends the wrong DME back, the car may not start.



There are personality conflicts coming into play too. That's a polite way of saying 'pig-headed' service manager.

I've certainly run into my share of dealer service problems, just not on this issue. In our experience the quality of service varies widely between BMW dealers.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 02-12-2008 at 12:41 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2008, 12:48 PM
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A/D what I mean is that when you schedule a service update for the vehicle a hot spare with the latest updates should be overnighted to the dealer or sent ahead of time and be waiting for the vehicle to arrive.

This would minimize downtime to a simple swap out and eliminate the point of failure that seems to be recurring. No more he said she said--just BMWNA.

They then replace your old DME with the new one and send the out-dated one back for bench testing, newest update, burn in period, then recycled to the next out dated vehicle.

This raises the level of quality assuarance along the whole custody chain.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2008, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
A/D what I mean is that when you schedule a service update for the vehicle a hot spare with the latest updates should be overnighted to the dealer or sent ahead of time and be waiting for the vehicle to arrive.
If we worked for BMW AG, that's how it would be done.

There are some issues to be overcome. The EWS sends a coded message to the DME when you put the right key in the ignition. The system is designed so that the EWS module isn't easy to bypass. I don't know if the DME is coded to the keys or if only the EWS is.
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2008, 03:52 PM
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My response was based upon one poster stating they had to send the entire DME back to New Jersey to be reflashed or replaced. Since they made no mention of the EWS and that they were/are an SA I figured that would have been mentioned.

Last edited by Evlengr; 02-12-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:33 AM
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Question Concerns

I am not a BMW owner at this point, but interested as I would like something nicer than my current ride.

I am doing my homework on different higher end awd's and the X3 is on my list.
Depending on the weather I will be test driving an X3 this weekend.
It seems from the poll a large group of people have this problem.
Has this transmission problem ever been fully resolved?
The cold weather package really worth it? Does it do what it says in other words?

I would go for a stick but the Missus doesn't want to drive one anymore.
Anyone have any experience with Carbone BMW?
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow-man View Post
It seems from the poll a large group of people have this problem.

bimmerfest is not a scientific sample. People may come here and post because they have a problem. Likely the problem is not as widespread as the polls here make it out to be. However this is a real problem.

J.D. Power and CR don't show anything near the rates reported here. I'm still waiting for the next Consumer Reports ratings. The last one shows a trouble rate between 1% and 2% but most of 2007s were less than 6 months old in that survey.

Some of the cars with transmission problems are seriously messed up. Most are fine. It is a roll of the dice. I recommend ordering an X3 with a manual transmission.

Quote:
I am doing my homework on different higher end awd's and the X3 is on my list.
Good. Be sure to check other makes too. BMW isn't the only one with automatic transmission problems.



Quote:
Has this transmission problem ever been fully resolved?
Not yet. The 10/2007 update fixed the problem for some people. BMW continues to work on the problem. I don't know when the next update might be released.

Different cars have different symptoms, so there is likely more than one issue.

Quote:
The cold weather package really worth it? Does it do what it says in other words?
Do you mind asking in another thread? We are trying to keep this one transmission only.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 02-13-2008 at 10:07 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2008, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow-man View Post
I am not a BMW owner at this point, but interested as I would like something nicer than my current ride.

I am doing my homework on different higher end awd's and the X3 is on my list.
Depending on the weather I will be test driving an X3 this weekend.
It seems from the poll a large group of people have this problem.
Has this transmission problem ever been fully resolved?
The cold weather package really worth it? Does it do what it says in other words?

I would go for a stick but the Missus doesn't want to drive one anymore.
Anyone have any experience with Carbone BMW?
First off, Bimmerfest, or any other forum, is not representative of the population as a whole. Problems tend to be exaggerated on forums, because of course, people come here for help and answers. It's not all gloom and doom.

To answer your question, the manual gearbox on the X3 is a terrific mechanism. There's little reason not to get it. The brakes hold the wheels for 2s while on an incline (start-off assistant) to prevent the vehicle rolling back while you engage the clutch. The shifting is smooth, typical BMW. Plus, by buying a manual, you are telling BMW NA that there indeed is a demand for manual transmissions in the US. BMW took away the 3-pedal X5. Don't let the next X3 follow in its footsteps.

Secondly, the latest X3s do not appear to have any unusual problems with the automatic. They come with the latest software from the factory. So, if you order an X3 now, you'll get the latest build, the latest software for everything, and a big fat smile on your face because it's a terrific vehicle. The fix that came out for the older builds also fixed most vehicles, although a small number of those here are very vocal about the fact it hasn't worked on theirs.

Based on your location, I would not recommend sport package. I would recommend cold weather AND the heated steering wheel. The latter sounds silly until you try it. And then you start wondering why other cars don't have it. I wish my mom's 325i had this. The heated rear seats on the Cold Weather will come in handy, since the rear of the X3 does not have vents (cut it some slack, its based on the old 3-series from 1999). Xenon headlamps are very highly recommended. xDrive is a terrific system (when equipped with proper tires) and offers terrific control in many situations.

Last edited by AzNMpower32; 02-13-2008 at 10:21 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2008, 12:04 PM
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Hmm: let's see, mine was bought back. HunterZ was trade assist, HT in germany was bought back... sure that's only three, but those are the ones i can think of off the top of my head.

------------------------------------------------
I am not immune to the idea that someone may have a dud car. And I have had quite a few Bimmers and all had to go back in for something or the other. But, the cars are wonderful and the dealer (if competent) has always listed and fixed the problems.


But evl and the like agitate because they are out of touch totally and like to dish out and then shocked when they get it back.

I ask this:

What facts have you about BMW trade assisting people's X3 and for what reason?
Give me some solid info on that and then I can answer the question.

As it stands I have no data on the facts. Due educate, start a thread even.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
bimmerfest is not a scientific sample. People may come here and post because they have a problem. Likely the problem is not as widespread as the polls here make it out to be. However this is a real problem.
Amen.

And +1 to AzN's post above.

Last edited by HT417; 02-13-2008 at 12:26 PM.
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  #20  
Old 02-13-2008, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjboyd View Post
...HT in germany was bought back...
For clarification, my BMW assist was for multiple major mechanical defects that were present at delivery and during the first month of ownership, but none of these defects included the automatic transmission which is fine - build date 12/07.

Don't let my case scare you off - I'm an extreme exception to BMW's history of building quality cars.
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  #21  
Old 02-13-2008, 03:53 PM
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Don't scare easily even by the likes of most things. Now just to find a dealer that has both manual and automatic to do a proper A/B comparison. Would like to thank EE as his comments brought me to this website. So there is good in all things. Will let you know what I find if the weather will hold out as projected.
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2008, 04:50 PM
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Curious to know while I wait for paperwork to sort it self out.

After the last released update that scrambled the DME, have they decided on trying to re-release it?

I still have to put up with the unpredictable transmission for a while longer.

And thanks snow-man. I would advise to take one home for a weekend. The typical 15 minute demo drive is not enough time to see if you will or won't enjoy the automatic transmission.

Never drove a manual but have heard nothing but good things about it.

Personally I wish I had gotten the MT, but it's out of my hands at this point.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2008, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow-man View Post
Will let you know what I find if the weather will hold out as projected.
IMHO, you may want to test drive the X3 in bad weather.
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  #24  
Old 02-14-2008, 06:03 AM
Snow-man Snow-man is offline
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Sounds good, but I still need to open it up and run through the curves a bit as well. So maybe a two weekend test. Oh bummer, Lol.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:17 AM
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Sounds good, but I still need to open it up and run through the curves a bit as well. So maybe a two weekend test. Oh bummer, Lol.
Shouldn't that be "Oh bimmer"?.......
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