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

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:02 AM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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2005 X3 3.0 parking brake problem

My sister just purchased this car a few months ago. Her parking brake is not engaging at all. It seems to have full range of motion (up and down), but it isn't holding the car at a stand still.

We've tried to adjust the cable, but that doesn't work. A mechanic friend told us about the possibility of a "limp mode" or "service mode" feature that disables the parking brake in the event that it gets stuck.... that way the car can be driven to service center and the drve isn't stuck somewhere with the parking brake engaged.

Can anyone tell me if there is such a mode and how to turn it off/on?


Thankz.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2009, 12:47 PM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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Bump

Any suggestions or ideas?
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2009, 03:42 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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an, never heard of that, but all that proves is that I am probably not well informed. Have your sister call a BMW dealer's service department and ask an SA (service advisor) about the "limp home mode". They will almost certainly say to bring it in to check it out (at your cost of course) but at least you can find out if there is a "limp home" mode on the parking brake. Then take it to a good indy BMW shop for the actual repair and save about a third or so. I have had my '06 for 3 years and 48K miles now and can count the number of times I have actually used the parking brake on the fingers of one hand. I use "Park" and it works just find for me.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2009, 04:05 PM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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I think the limp home mode would be found on the newer cars with electric push button parking brakes

I believe the x3 is strictly a mechanical linkage. Any tension on the cable? Perhaps a broken cable? Is there any tension at all? and did you adjust the parking brake from the hole in the rear rotors,, or just the screws bye the handle?
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2009, 05:21 PM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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UncleJ... that's exactly what I did. I called the BMW service dept and they only mentioned that if the handle was stuck in the UP position, then there was a manual release to get it back down. Nothing about actually making the parking brake work.

Codog... seems like there's tension where the handle is inside the center console. We adjusted the brake with the screws by the handle. Can you provide a link on how to adjust the brake from the hole in the rear rotors? Thankz.
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2009, 05:46 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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I don't know how to resolve your problem, but the parking brake is a mechanical linkage so there's no emergency release like in the newer models with electronic P brake.
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2009, 06:14 PM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annguyen1981 View Post
UncleJ... that's exactly what I did. I called the BMW service dept and they only mentioned that if the handle was stuck in the UP position, then there was a manual release to get it back down. Nothing about actually making the parking brake work.

Codog... seems like there's tension where the handle is inside the center console. We adjusted the brake with the screws by the handle. Can you provide a link on how to adjust the brake from the hole in the rear rotors? Thankz.
go here then halfway down about to the parking brakes. The DIY link looks more complicated than it is. You don't have to remove the rotor - you remove the rubber plug on the rotor, stick a smaller screwdriver in and rotate the tensioner (not sure is it is up or down)

fyi you'd have better luck looking up diy's for the e39 or e46 - there's a ton of stuff on those models
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2009, 06:47 AM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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Codog... is there supposed to be a link in your post? I think I'm lost unless that's the case. lol
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2009, 07:47 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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an, go to the "bimmerfest - BMW Forums section and look down to the best of bimmerfest and click on the do it yourself category. You might have some luck there. If all else fails, a good shop can fix it for your sister. How are her brakes overall, perhaps it is time for a redo there too? Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2009, 09:32 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annguyen1981 View Post
Codog... is there supposed to be a link in your post? I think I'm lost unless that's the case. lol
yup - http://www.540i6.com/probsfixes.html
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2009, 07:24 PM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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Thankz Codog.
UncleJ... Brakes seem like they're good for now. I did look at the DIY section the other day, but nothing helped (unless I missed it).

Thankz everyone for the attempted help. lol
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2009, 03:10 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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the brakes for the emergency brake are different from the regular brakes. The regular brakes are disc brakes while the e brake is more like brake shoes. You can not see the condition the brake shoes without taken off the rotor.

Maybe the original owner drove around with the e brake accidentally on

Last edited by codog2; 11-04-2009 at 08:22 AM.
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2009, 06:20 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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an, I was thinking that you might post your question there. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I suspect that codog is right, the previous owner drove around with the ebrake on. Hope your sister enjoys her car otherwise.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2009, 08:05 AM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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The thing with this X3 is that when she bought it from a 3rd party dealer (aka NOT a BMW dealer) the parking brake wasn't working. She brought it back for them to fix it. Since they don't specialize in fixing BMW's, they brought it to a BMW dealer. The dealer told them that all it was was a switch.

But if the '05's didn't HAVE a switch to do that, then I'm at a loss. I've wanted to open the brakes up, but I'm just too lazy to do so. I'd rather be riding my motorcycle around than tooling on it. lmao
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2009, 08:24 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Bring it back and let them deal with it. A third party dealer should be able to fix it if it's just worn brake shoes. You don't want to deal with it because it is so much more of a PIA than disc pads. You have to remove the screw that holds the rotor to the hub and most likely the screw and rotor are rusted on.
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  #16  
Old 11-04-2009, 09:24 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1, have the 3rd party dealer fix it, after all it was not working when she bought the car. I believe the ebrake is a safety issue they are required to have working before sale. The 3rd party dealer needs to take responsibility for this, not your sister IMHO.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2009, 11:59 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
+1, have the 3rd party dealer fix it, after all it was not working when she bought the car. I believe the ebrake is a safety issue they are required to have working before sale. The 3rd party dealer needs to take responsibility for this, not your sister IMHO.
In Massachusetts you can't get your yearly inspection sticker without a working e-brake
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2009, 07:55 PM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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Yeah... after it failed inspection, she brought it back and they fixed it.

a month later, it happened again. But because the dealer is 90 minutes away and it basically takes up a whole day to just travel back and forth and waiting while they work on the car, I figured it'd be easier to do it myself.

But if it's a PITA like you guys say, I'll have them do it. The initial 60 day warranty is over, but because it was a problem DURING the 60 days, the dealer still has to take care of the problem. We've got an appointment this Friday morning to drive it there and have them look at it and fix it (AGAIN).
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2009, 07:31 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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an, hope they do the work right this time and it stays fixed. This is a part/system that is not known for failure or problems (unlike window regulators) so I wonder what they did the first time go get it past inspectin. I am sure you will document what they do Friday and keep the paperwork, the warranty for the parking brake repair should begin again when it is fixed.
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  #20  
Old 11-05-2009, 10:30 AM
annguyen1981 annguyen1981 is offline
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Yeah. We're definitely gonna get the details as to what they do to fix it tomorrow.

Considering the parking brake worked after the first time they "fixed" it, I'm guessing it's not the brake shoes worn out. Oh well. I'll be back this weekend to update this thread for future reference.
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