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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 01-30-2014, 09:51 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is online now
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"Drive Train Malfunction" - Any Understanding yet?

I have a low mileage 2011 X3 purchased as a CPO last summer. It has been subject to a relatively harsh winter so far with temps regularly near zero and lots of snow. Until last night it did not give me any problem at all. It runs very smooth and quiet all the time and in spite of only two short trips two and from work everyday and lots of electrical load I have not had even a hint of an electrical problem.

Last night on the way home from work, in city traffic, I suddenly accelerated somewhat quickly and immediately brought in a "Drive Train Malfunction" alarm in addition to the check engine light. The car started running very rough and there was barely enough power to pull off the road into a parking lot. I stopped and then restarted the engine. The alarms cleared and the engine ran normally during the completion of the trip home and again no problem this morning with 3 degree temperatures.

What gives? I know from almosty 40 years of experience working with large complex machinery that this kind of stuff does not heal itself and it is not unreasonable to expect a repeat.

I have been trying to nuke out what could have caused this probelm and, of course, came up with nothing but just a wild guess.

The temp was 13 F degrees and the roads were very sloppy with snow and frozen dirty slush when the event occured. I am wondering if a large dollop of snow might have been kicked up and lodged against one of the heated oxygen sensors, causing it to temporarily malfunction. Since I do not know where the O2 sensors are located nor what the response of the car would be to a failed sensor, this guess is really just that, a guess.

Anyone have any thoughts what causes a "Drive Train Malfunction" that immediately clears after just stopping and starting the car?

Last edited by RhoXS; 01-30-2014 at 09:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2014, 11:17 AM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Sounds like you've finally been hit with the PDM that needs replaced. It's the same part that causes the discharged battery warnings and the Drivetrain Malfunction errors. Read here:

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=931162
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2014, 08:34 PM
04prox2 04prox2 is offline
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Had the same problem with mine three years straight. Had many hero's on this forum give me attitude over my post when I said all will eventually suffer from this defect. My pcm has been changed twice. BMW'S rule is the car is to be removed from service and wait for solution. That's BS. If it wasn't for the awesome mechanical performance of this 35i I would not recommend an x3 for anyone. power steering rack failure on way home 350kms, noticed blown rear speaker next day. Wind noise like the windows were open,Window malfunction 600km, I drive the suv 1 hour everyday @ 120km in the winter it sits in a heated garage have to charge the battery once a week. WTF? I feel this vehicle should never have been made in the US It seems to have caught a virus like most US built auto's.
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2014, 09:37 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04prox2 View Post
Had the same problem with mine three years straight. Had many hero's on this forum give me attitude over my post when I said all will eventually suffer from this defect. My pcm has been changed twice. BMW'S rule is the car is to be removed from service and wait for solution. That's BS. If it wasn't for the awesome mechanical performance of this 35i I would not recommend an x3 for anyone. power steering rack failure on way home 350kms, noticed blown rear speaker next day. Wind noise like the windows were open,Window malfunction 600km, I drive the suv 1 hour everyday @ 120km in the winter it sits in a heated garage have to charge the battery once a week. WTF? I feel this vehicle should never have been made in the US It seems to have caught a virus like most US built auto's.
Don't think it's a U.S built thing. Check out the latest 3 series forum or visit the 5 series forum. I'd say there are even MORE problems on those (esp the new 3 series) than I have seen on the X3. I do agree that BMW needs to step up to the plate on this cold weather issue. It's total BS.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2014, 07:38 PM
Masterx5 Masterx5 is offline
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Had this problem few weeks ago while the car was standing in the garage overnight. The engine shuddered when I turned it on and I quickly turned it off. Started the car again in less than a minute and everything was normal. Dealer checked out and said everything was normal - did not know what happened. so it has been a mystery !!
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2014, 04:13 PM
Noof Noof is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 F25 xdrive 35i
I just bought a 2011 xdrive 35i 3 weeks ago and had the problem after only having it for a week. Took it into the dealership and they found that there was an issue with the fuel pump. The replaced it and all is well now. The dealer told me that there are several things that could cause the issue and they have to scan and check the car our to see what is cauing it.
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2014, 05:07 PM
Masterx5 Masterx5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noof View Post
I just bought a 2011 xdrive 35i 3 weeks ago and had the problem after only having it for a week. Took it into the dealership and they found that there was an issue with the fuel pump. The replaced it and all is well now. The dealer told me that there are several things that could cause the issue and they have to scan and check the car our to see what is cauing it.
I had mine (fuel pump) replaced couple of months ago and the drive malfunction came after the repair work. Dealer had no clue.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2014, 09:04 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is online now
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Between a check engine light that would come in without apparent reason (and not readily clear) and the Drive Train Malfunction I described above, I decided to take the car to the dealer. Coincidently, on the way there late yesterday (a 33 mile trip), while briskly accelerating to somewhat beyond the 70 mph speed limit, it threw a second Drive Train Malfunction so the retained error codes were still warm when I arrived at the dealer (as before, simply shutting down and restarting cleared all the alarms and restored full driveability).

Just was called by the dealer and they found three error codes and diagnosed a bad intake manifold pressure sensor. Only 30 minutes to replace but part not in stock, days to get it, and they want their 2014 loaner back. I will have to go back nexct week but they said they will replace it while I wait.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2014, 09:47 AM
guyver626 guyver626 is offline
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So u are without a car??


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  #10  
Old 03-04-2014, 12:31 PM
guyver626 guyver626 is offline
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Nevermind. I just re-read what u wrote. Why would they call u now and tell you they want their loaner back if they haven't even fixed the issue yet?


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  #11  
Old 03-04-2014, 02:45 PM
RhoXS RhoXS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyver626 View Post
Why would they call u now and tell you they want their loaner back if they haven't even fixed the issue yet?

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That is a very good question.

They were at least honest and stated they were tight on loaners and didnt want it out for three days. I told them that the sudden loss of power presented a potential safety issue, like it did yesterday while driving there at 70 some mph with a semi behind me, and suddenly there was no problem keeping the car until Thursday. I also told them I was not going to push the point but they apparently saw my concern (or more likely, their potential liability). Just makes a lot more sense in many respects for both of us letting me keep the loaner until the part comes in the day after tomorrow.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2014, 03:19 PM
missedbass missedbass is offline
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I would keep the loaner until you got your x3 back. If they are short on loaners it will push them to get your car fixed instead of pushing it to the side
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2014, 06:22 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missedbass View Post
I would keep the loaner until you got your x3 back. If they are short on loaners it will push them to get your car fixed instead of pushing it to the side
I dont disagree with your comment but I also believe one must pick their battles and not go to war over issues with minimal gain, win the battle and lose the war, or unfairly expect something from a business that can only be fairly expected to meet my reasonable needs, not my every demand.

It did indeed make a lot more sense for me to keep the car both from safety and convenience perspectives. I also think, as you said, this certainly does provide an incentive to get the part that might not have previously had any sense of urgency associated with it. Nevertheless, other than a minor inconvenience (a 33 mile trip each way), and a safety issue I felt entailed some small increase in risk but was certainly manageable, I really did not feel inclined to do battle if they refused.

Believe it or not, I do understand their dilemma at this time with respect to loaners. They are a business so it is not reasonable to expect them to have enough loaners to meet peak demand as is now with all the cold weather related issues coming their way. It would also be irresoponsible management to be fat on loaner inventory. Therefore, I felt it was reasonable to make a valid argument to help influence their decision but not just take the perspective that they always have to meet my needs. Also, the next nearest BMW dealer is almost 100 miles away and I want to maintain a reasonable rapport with them unless there is some very good reason to do otherwise.

In other words, this dealer has treated me well so far and I am not inclined to go thermo-nuclear with them unless there is some really egregious issue that I am just not willing to tolerate. At no time have they left me or will leave me without great transporation and that is the big picture here.
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