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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 09-17-2009, 06:17 PM
BMW_Dan BMW_Dan is offline
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Unhappy 2005 BMW X3 Grunt and 4X4 light Flash on Turns

About three weeks ago my 2005 BMW X3 started making a grunting sound and the 4X4 light would briefly flash when I would make a sharp turn. It is now occuring at slower speeds around sharp turns. It has 135,600 miles. Do I have a bad transfer case or rear differential? I know either problem will be expensive to fix. Any advice from the experts out there would be greatly appreciated.

Dan
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2009, 07:02 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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That's a lot of miles!

Doing a drain and refill of the "lifetime" fluid in the transfer case might be worth a gamble.

If no change, then same thing for rear diff., then front diff.

If still no change, review amount spent to date, and plan next step.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2009, 07:06 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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The grunting sound is the ABS system individually braking each wheel, and DSC was active when the light was flashing. Were you on gravel or cornering on less-than-ideal surface conditions?
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2009, 07:56 PM
BMW_Dan BMW_Dan is offline
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135,600 is a lot of miles for an 05, but my wife drives the BMW to work every day and the round trip is about 110 miles. When cornering I was on good surface conditions and I was not applying the brakes. I know I previously said it was a grunt sound. Maybe its better to say the sound is between a grunt and an urrrrrr. As soon as the turn is complete is stops. Any new thoughts?

Still think I should replace all drivetrain fluids?
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2009, 07:58 PM
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You should replace the drivetrain fluids, but I think there might be something wrong with the DSC sensors if it's activating when not needed.

I'm pretty sure the sound is caused by the ABS kicking in. Try this on an empty road: Accelerate to 20mph or so, then slam the brakes as hard as possible to engage ABS. If its the same sound, you've found the cause. And trust me, it will not damage anything.

Alternatively, you can switch DSC off via the button on the dash, and see if the problem persists.
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:02 PM
BMW_Dan BMW_Dan is offline
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I will try that right now, even though it is 11pm. I will sleep better if you are right. Be back in 15 minutes with the results. :-)

Dan
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:07 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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How are the tires?

You are probably on your 3rd. or 4th. set.

Any indications that they are losing traction for any reason?

(The ABS will kick in as part of DSC - you don't have to be braking at the time.)

Does the sound and the 4x4 light occur for both left and right hand turns?
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:18 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Any results? Work is too quiet today so I am bored!
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:24 PM
BMW_Dan BMW_Dan is offline
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I just test drove it and here are the results. The grunt comes from the left front, only when you are accelerating through a turn to the left only. When I pushed the DSC/Off button the 4x4 indicator stayed lit and the sound would not occur through the turns. New ideas?
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2009, 09:02 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Originally Posted by BMW_Dan View Post
I just test drove it and here are the results. The grunt comes from the left front, only when you are accelerating through a turn to the left only. When I pushed the DSC/Off button the 4x4 indicator stayed lit and the sound would not occur through the turns. New ideas?
If you are getting sound on one side only, it could be something as simple as a wheel bearing also. I had a lot of noise on my X3 and it turned out to be a bad bearing.

Could be enough play you hear it when you turn hard.

You could jack up the X3 and check for wheel play.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2009, 09:44 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
If you are getting sound on one side only, it could be something as simple as a wheel bearing
But would a worn wheel bearing invoke DSC?

Also, Dan observes the noise appears to go away when DSC is turned off.

Agreed, it is odd that with DSC on, as normal, that the noise appears to be just coming from the left front.

But that could be good news in that it tends to rule out the xfer case and diffs.
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2009, 10:03 PM
dharmadoggie dharmadoggie is offline
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Might also be a bad CV joint. Usually when they go bad they make noises mostly when turning. Check to see if rubber boot covering it it is torn and has lost lubricant. If the joint binds it might have some effect on 4x4 system; just guessing, mind you.
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  #13  
Old 09-18-2009, 10:13 AM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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Personal experience here has in my case shown me that in the turns where I'd hear the grunt and see the 4x4 light flash has been mostly in the winter.

I still drive spiritedly in the winter, so the grunt and 4x4 flash I see/hear are my ABS brakes that are keeping my wheels in line as I'm careening around a corner in 2 inches of slush/snow.

We still don't know what kind of tires are on it and if they're at their limits in terms of tread depth either, to which I would think that the easiest and cheapest thing to look for would be to see what conditions the tires are to see why the ABS (my assumption) is being activated by the DSC.
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  #14  
Old 09-18-2009, 10:32 AM
MerckxMad MerckxMad is offline
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This may sound stupid, but

check to see if there is a nail in one of the tires. I had the exact same problem a few months back only find a 3 inch nail planted in the tire.
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2009, 06:16 PM
BMW_Dan BMW_Dan is offline
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Smile You guys are great!!

You guys are the best!!! It was the tires. Got a new set installed today and the problem is gone. One had a nail but was not flat, just a we bit low. Winter is comming and since my wife drives so far to work I figured a new set would have been needed by December for the snow, so I bought them today instead. Thanks again, Dan

One other question......How do I set the clock on the radio? I have never been in a vehicle before that I could not figure out how to set the clock without instructions, but this one has me baffled. It is my wifes car which she bought before we met and I have never been able to figure it out.

Thanks in advance,

Dan
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2009, 08:26 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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The owners manual states how to change the time.

On the board computer (instrument panel), toggle to the Time display. Hold the clock button next to the S/R button for a few seconds. The Hour will be displayed (i.e 15: 16: 17 and one pushes the S/R to set the hour (I think.....it's one or the other). Then the minutes will be displazed, and one repeats the same process. The radio clock will automaticallz adjust to what you have set in the Board computer.
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2009, 10:27 PM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
... displazed,
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
...automaticallz
Forgot to switch the keyboard back to Englisch?
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:33 AM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Forgot to switch the keyboard back to Englisch?
Actually, the opposite. My dad's laptop, which I was borrowing, is set to English. Mine is set to Deutsch.
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