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

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  #1  
Old 07-16-2012, 09:40 AM
htlevine htlevine is offline
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Location: Berkeley, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i
2005 Transfer Case Whining Noise

I am a new member of the forum, but I have been reading this forum for years. I currently have a 2005 X3 which has 143K miles. She drives great and I have had little maintenance on her. I am pretty good with preventative maintenance and I'm the original owner.

About 2 months ago (after I got the transfer case oil changed....) I noticed a "jet engine like" whining noise when I let my foot off the gas. This noise has not gotten any worse, but it is there consistently. No lights have ever come on and the car drives excellent (i.e. no skipping, acceleration lags, etc).

My mechanic says this noise is coming from the transfer case, and it would be $3500 to change it. Fair enough, she's got 143K miles on her.

My question is: how long can I expect my car to be drivable? i.e. if no indicator lights are coming on, and I have excellent acceleration and no gear skipping, am I ok?
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2012, 11:22 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
My guess would be that as a transfer case operates much like a differential,
and diffs. can have a chronic whine for years from looseness without failing, you might be able to just live with it.

Better than having deeper sounding mechanical noises which are more likely to precede an outright failure.

But, may depend on whether that recent fluid change was the first it ever had, and if any metal particles were seen in the drained fluid.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2012, 06:16 PM
suthtow suthtow is offline
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There is a big chain inside the transfer case. You change replace the chain and guide for alot less. Have done a few and had worked out great do far.

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  #4  
Old 07-17-2012, 09:41 AM
htlevine htlevine is offline
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Location: Berkeley, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Thank you both so much for your reply. I will ask my mechanic if there was any debris in the old fluid, and I will also ask about replacing the chain.

My impression with BMW is that they like to sell the "whole part", as opposed to separate "workings". Was getting hold of a chain something my mechanic will be able to do? will it be a BMW brand part, or was this something that does not have to come directly from BMW?

I will probably be inclined to live with the noise unless it gets worse, or I notice that the car starts to drive differently. Right now as it stands, the only change in the car in terms of acceleration, response, mpg, etc. has been the addition of this strange noise.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2012, 10:06 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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I had the exact same sound when my front diff failed. Check for leaks and fluid level first on both front and rear diff.
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2012, 11:28 AM
suthtow suthtow is offline
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BMW offers only the whole transfer case. Inside parts will be after market

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  #7  
Old 08-26-2012, 09:56 AM
htlevine htlevine is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Update: I had the fluid levels checked and they were fine. The noise seems to have stabilized (i.e. not gotten worse). The car still drives great with lots of punch if I floor it.

The funny thing is that I have a 2013 X1 on order, and for grins I took the X3 to the dealership for a "trade-in" inspection, telling them nothing about this noise to see what they found with all their fancy equipment: they found NOTHING but a few minor "oil leaks" in the engine, which they told me they would fix for $800.

Soooo the only reason I ordered the X1 was to replace this X3, which has really been a workhorse . It's all good, the X3 will make a family member very happy.
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