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

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  #1  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:57 AM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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What do these warning lights mean?

Any ideas?
Sorry the pic is upside down.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:37 PM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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those look like the dreaded transfer case problem lights

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=566880
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Last edited by jdauria; 10-09-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:55 PM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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That is what I thought at first too, but the ABS light is not on. The auto transmission light is.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:56 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Are they on permanently, or do they go away when car is turned off and later restarted?

If the latter, most likely nothing to be concerned about - electronic gremlin, possibly caused by low battery.

If the former, you need to look up: The terrible triad (TTT).

The TTT is usually the 4x4, BRAKE and ABS lights, I believe.

But your combination occurs too, I think. Some have reported all 4 lights on - might depend on year or the actual source of the problem.

When the A/T light is on, the transmission seems to operate in a protected mode, and makes the drive really odd.

Turning steering wheel lock to lock while idling might fix it if it was the steering angle sensor that needed re-initialising.

If transfer case fluid has never been replaced that should be the next thing to do.

Third, might be worth the $100 for a diagnostic as it could be any of a number of sensors that have failed.

If it is the transfer case itself, or its actuator, you should hear some audible clues.

Can't see your odometer unfortunately in the picture - but this can happen at any mileage and any year.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:00 PM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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The car was shut on and off several times and the lights are still there. The mileage of the car is right around 59,000. When should the transfer case fluid be changed?
I have noticed a slight shudder lately under very slow acceleration when I take my foot off of the gas.

Last edited by Lost240; 10-09-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:10 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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BMW say it is lifetime fluid - but that just means the lifetime of the transfer case.

The lifetime can be short if the fluid doesn't get changed. Chains get worn if lubricant properties get exhausted.

Varying opinions here for change interval. Anywhere from every 25K miles up.

2004 models should definitely have had their fluid changed before about 50K miles (I'd guess) as initial fill appeared to be Dexron III ATF before the special BMW Transfer Case Fluid became available.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:15 PM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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do you think its fluid related or actuator related? I am just curious because I know my e83 has almost 60k on it and I want to make sure that this doesn't happen
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:20 PM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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I am dropping the car off this evening at my local shop. I will let you know what they find.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:11 PM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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Ok. I just went outside to bring the car to the shop and now all of the lights are off and everything is running just fine. I am hoping this was just an electronic Gremlin....
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:14 PM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost240 View Post
Ok. I just went outside to bring the car to the shop and now all of the lights are off and everything is running just fine. I am hoping this was just an electronic Gremlin....
Definitely have it checked out though by a reputable BMW Mechanic
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SuperSprint X-Pipe
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:11 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost240 View Post
The car was shut on and off several times and the lights are still there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost240 View Post
Ok. I just went outside to bring the car to the shop and now all of the lights are off and everything is running just fine.
From my experience, it takes a cold start, or at least an hour shut off, for you to see if it is a false alarm or the real thing.

My expectation would be that no codes will have been left, so you might want to hold off on the diagnostic hookup expense.

Your slight shudder on lifting off the gas could be checked out if you think it is something more than the usual effect.

Make sure your battery is fully charged and get the transfer case fluid done would be my recommendation.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:34 PM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
From my experience, it takes a cold start, or at least an hour shut off, for you to see if it is a false alarm or the real thing.

My expectation would be that no codes will have been left, so you might want to hold off on the diagnostic hookup expense.

Your slight shudder on lifting off the gas could be checked out if you think it is something more than the usual effect.

Make sure your battery is fully charged and get the transfer case fluid done would be my recommendation.
That's exactly what I was thinking. I had a feeling that dropping it off for the codes to be checked wouldn't make a difference. I think I will get the transfer case fluid changed and have the battery checked.
Thank you all for the quick responses.
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:21 AM
Lost240 Lost240 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
From my experience, it takes a cold start, or at least an hour shut off, for you to see if it is a false alarm or the real thing.

My expectation would be that no codes will have been left, so you might want to hold off on the diagnostic hookup expense.

Your slight shudder on lifting off the gas could be checked out if you think it is something more than the usual effect.

Make sure your battery is fully charged and get the transfer case fluid done would be my recommendation.
It turns out that you were right. My battery had a low charge and was replaced. No more dash lights!
They explained to me that if the battery is low, the car will begin sequentially shutting off modules in order to reduce the power draw on the battery so the car will still start. So in this case the DSC was off and a few other modules were off triggering the lights.

Thanks again for all the help!
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  #14  
Old 10-13-2012, 04:42 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost240 View Post
It turns out that you were right. My battery had a low charge and was replaced. No more dash lights!
They explained to me that if the battery is low, the car will begin sequentially shutting off modules in order to reduce the power draw on the battery so the car will still start. So in this case the DSC was off and a few other modules were off triggering the lights.

Thanks again for all the help!
And you would think a low/bad battery would trigger the battery light.... Good way to make us running around in circles !
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2012, 04:51 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost240 View Post
It turns out that you were right. My battery had a low charge and was replaced. No more dash lights!
They explained to me that if the battery is low, the car will begin sequentially shutting off modules in order to reduce the power draw on the battery so the car will still start. So in this case the DSC was off and a few other modules were off triggering the lights.

Thanks again for all the help!
That is probably the most logical explanation I have ever heard on why the random lights happen when the battery starts to go.
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:03 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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That is probably the most logical explanation I have ever heard on why the random lights happen when the battery starts to go.
Funny, I thought the same thing at first, then I realized that is misleading, thus my previous post.
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