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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:54 AM
bourneusa bourneusa is offline
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Location: NH
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 2.5i
VTG/Transfer Case "calibration" noise on shut off - NO triad of lights

Hello, forum members!

I purchased a 2004 E83 2.5i with under 60K, triad of lights on the dash, buzzing noise (2 distinct buzzes in a row) from transfer case area when shutting the car off. Based upon my research before buying, I assumed a bad transfer case actuator gear. The car was in great shape otherwise, and at the price I paid, it was well worth the risk.

I found, via DIS, that the transfer case control module, just above and in front of the battery, had been soaked with water from clogged sunroof drains, frying the module - badly. I found a used replacement, same part number, made sure all connections were solid, then replaced the bad unit with a good one. The triad of lights disappeared. The buzzing noise when the car shuts off did not, however. I removed and replaced the actuator gear, as I assumed that must have been bad as well, but the original part didn't look bad at all, barely worn. Put it all back together and still the buzzing noise. Used DIS to further diagnose VTG oil wear fault, so I replaced the TC oil, following the DIS procedure, recalibrated to "0" settings, cleared the fault, and the buzzing noise persists. It is the same sound as when the VTG calibration is run from the DIS software, consistently whenever I turn the car on, then off again.

I have no warning lights, no other faults related to VTG other than oil wear were noted. The car was great through the snowy winter here in New England. Is this noise typical, or could there be another place to look? Could the actuator motor be faulty without any fault present in DIS?

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Old 04-27-2017, 07:33 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Location: New Orleans
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,747
Mein Auto: bmw++many
post 847 .....the motor can fail too

the path to the fix often follows this track......read codes>change oil/check for debris, chain slack, slack in the drive shaft output>reposition the gear,clean motor,relube>change the gear>change the actuator and resistor>overhaul the transfer case

>post 847 and all the others in this mega transfer case actuator thread


>also post 848 from jbmdux

If you want to test your motor apply 12 volts to pins 1 and 8 on the actuator motor should spin smoothly. Do this before you put it together with grease as in service it will never spin very far and you don't want to spin the grease out of where it needs to be.

Last edited by swampX3; 04-27-2017 at 07:36 AM. Reason: add link
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:42 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Location: New Orleans
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Mein Auto: bmw++many
post 17 .....actuator wiring check

some good lessons in this link .....especially post 17


these quotes were on the way to the fix thru many blind avenues

I got the new Friction Plates and as soon as I took them out of the box I knew it would not fix it. The plates were just as thin as the existing ones.

I put them in and no help.
Got a salvage Transfer case computer and Programmed it using SSS Progman and still not help.
The code I get is 'VTG Mechanical'. As soon as I turn the key the lights go out, but as soon as the car cranks and starts the 4x4 comes on then seconds later the other 2 come on.
I've replaced the driveshafts, the Actuator, overhauled the transfer case with a new chain and new friction plates, new TCC module and still no help.
The only thing left is the resistor. I have a Class M resistor. I wonder if I can change it to another resistor value. I'd like to find out what the graduations are = 100 ohm at a time?

Anyone know where there is a chart that says what the resistor values are?
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