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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:23 PM
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Exclamation Transfer Case Fluid SIB

For the owners of any X3s out there, especially those of y'all just about to fall out of warranty: Ask your dealer about SIB 27 01 07 regarding the transfer case fluid. It was released 04/07.

I got off the phone with an indy shop who mentioned this service bulletin because the fault code 54C6 is stored in the module, warning about a high wear value on the transfer case fluid. The fix is for the dealer to replace the transfer case fluid. No warning light is illuminated on the dash.

The reason I bring this up is because my dealer glossed over it (although the car's out of warranty) and I wouldn't have known if they hadn't handed me the sheet of fault codes. I have a feeling that dealers won't want to deal with it, or mention it, since they'd have to bear the cost of replacement under warranty and there's no obvious indication on the dash. So make note!

Last edited by AzNMpower32; 12-15-2009 at 02:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:26 PM
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What build dates does this apply to?

What build dates does this apply to?
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:26 PM
rotty rotty is offline
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Is this just North America/Canada or worldwide?

I have had issues with my dealer in the past in quoting SIB's being told they are not applicable to Europe. This 'glossing over' seems to be a common thing, particularly now as I understand in the current economic climate BMW are getting tougher on the franchised dealers and not reimbursing for 'warranty' works quite as readily - or changing the rules.

Have you heard about the 'cracked alloys' issue in the UK? Thousands of owners with cracked alloys all being told to sod off by BMW & dealers Evidently they are not compatible with UK roads
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:39 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Good info. - fortunately it doesn't look that big a job for an indie shop or a D.I.Y.

The fluid is expensive at around $50 for a litre bottle, but you only need about 0.2L if the following E46 DIY applies equally to the X3.

PARTS: http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/83220397244/ES197388/

LABOR: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=715448

Not sure if the brass crush washers for the drain and fill plugs would have to come from the dealer, or are more generic.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:48 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Good info. - fortunately it doesn't look that big a job for an indie shop or a D.I.Y.

The fluid is expensive at around $50 for a litre bottle, but you only need about 0.2L if the following E46 DIY applies equally to the X3.

PARTS: http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/83220397244/ES197388/

LABOR: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=715448

Not sure if the brass crush washers for the drain and fill plugs would have to come from the dealer, or are more generic.
The DIY is very easy. Ask dealer for crush washer. I imagine on the X3, its even easier due to vertical clearance. I always had to contort my body to get to the E46 tranny fluid due to low vertical clearance with the car on ramps. While you at it, just do the rear diff as well.
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2009, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotty View Post
Is this just North America/Canada or worldwide?

I have had issues with my dealer in the past in quoting SIB's being told they are not applicable to Europe. This 'glossing over' seems to be a common thing, particularly now as I understand in the current economic climate BMW are getting tougher on the franchised dealers and not reimbursing for 'warranty' works quite as readily - or changing the rules.

Have you heard about the 'cracked alloys' issue in the UK? Thousands of owners with cracked alloys all being told to sod off by BMW & dealers Evidently they are not compatible with UK roads
Yeah, sorry since I'm based in North America I can't obtain any info on whether there is similar coverage in the UK and Europe. Mechanically I would presume the same problem exists and that it would be prudent to flush it. Whether BMW UK will cover it is another story. My guess is no.

As for cracked alloys, that does appear to the a UK problem, since we've heard of no such problems.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2009, 10:30 AM
PimoX3 PimoX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
For the owners of any X3s out there, especially those of y'all just about to fall out of warranty: Ask your dealer about SIB 21 01 07 regarding the transfer case fluid. It was released 04/07.
AzN,

Any chance you can check the SIB number with that indy shop again? That SIB is about a clutch fork lever inspection on Z4's/M Roadster's. I'm interested in checking the applicability of a SIB on transfer case fluid for our X3's (and will post here once I find details), but can't seem to locate an actual SIB for the issue.

Cheers!

PimoX3
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2009, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PimoX3 View Post
AzN,

Any chance you can check the SIB number with that indy shop again? That SIB is about a clutch fork lever inspection on Z4's/M Roadster's. I'm interested in checking the applicability of a SIB on transfer case fluid for our X3's (and will post here once I find details), but can't seem to locate an actual SIB for the issue.

Cheers!

PimoX3
2006 X3 2.5
2008 550i M-sport
THanks for catching the typo. The correct SIB is noted above.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2009, 02:35 PM
PimoX3 PimoX3 is offline
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Ok, as promised... with the actual SIB info, I was able to locate the following info:

E83 (X3) to 02/05 production

SITUATION
After interrogating the fault memory, as part of an Inspection I or II maintenance service or another repair requiring a diagnostics procedure, fault code 54C6 Oil wear Value too high is stored. This fault will not illuminate a warning lamp.

CAUSE
Transfer case fluid (non lifetime) wear value limit was exceeded.

CORRECTION
Replace the fluid in the transfer case.


So... I guess the early X3's had "non-lifetime" transfer case fluid.

Cheers,

PimoX3
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:12 PM
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bet you its the same darn fluid

they just changed the name to "lifetime" fluid. Now stop and think about it, who does this really benefit. BMW of course as they must pick up maintenance for the first 4 years and then get to replace tranny's and T cases etc as they wear out which occurs after the limited warranty period.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2009, 03:17 PM
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Anyone have DIY on how to replace this fluid?
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2009, 02:52 AM
madhatch madhatch is offline
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when I went in for scheduled service (70,000) w/extended warranty dealer changed it..guess it must have threw that code
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2009, 07:43 AM
Sonoman707 Sonoman707 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
For the owners of any X3s out there, especially those of y'all just about to fall out of warranty: Ask your dealer about SIB 27 01 07 regarding the transfer case fluid. It was released 04/07.

I got off the phone with an indy shop who mentioned this service bulletin because the fault code 54C6 is stored in the module, warning about a high wear value on the transfer case fluid. The fix is for the dealer to replace the transfer case fluid. No warning light is illuminated on the dash.

The reason I bring this up is because my dealer glossed over it (although the car's out of warranty) and I wouldn't have known if they hadn't handed me the sheet of fault codes. I have a feeling that dealers won't want to deal with it, or mention it, since they'd have to bear the cost of replacement under warranty and there's no obvious indication on the dash. So make note!

My service department identified and serviced mine during a regular service visit.

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  #14  
Old 12-21-2009, 07:49 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The early X3's didn't have the "lifetime" fluid.
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2010, 01:44 PM
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Hi. Newbie member here. Dealer wants to charge me $400 for this on my X3, so I'd like to just DIY. Looks straightforward enough on an E46, but has anyone tried it on an X3? Is the transfer case the same and is there anything in the way (crossmember, et al)? Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2010, 02:33 PM
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Simple

My indie did it and said it was simple, quick and straightforward. He had a bit of an issue with the rear diff in that the spare tire carrier was in the way.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2010, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X392131 View Post
Is the transfer case the same and is there anything in the way (crossmember, et al)?
It's probably much more accessible than on an E46 whether it's the same box or not.

Haven't done mine yet, but have confirmed there is no need to raise the vehicle, nor remove any shields, frame members, etc.

Have checked that a 5/8" open-ended flat wrench is a good tight fit on the fill plug, and it is easy to remove.
(The size must be 16mm. which would be a slightly looser fit.)

The drain plug is quite close to some other hardware, so that you wouldn't be able to get a socket on it,
but the 5/8" open-ended wrench is fine, and without using a torque wrench you can judge the right ft./ lbs. for tightening from the effort needed to break it free.

Not sure if the washers are the sort that have to be replaced every time,
in the event you cannot get a couple from the dealer. (part no. 07 119 9633 08)
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2010, 10:46 PM
X392131 X392131 is offline
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Thanks for the advice. Looks like I will be giving this a try over the long weekend. I'll attempt some pics of the process for the forum.
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2010, 11:12 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X392131 View Post
I'll attempt some pics of the process for the forum.
What would be most interesting is a shot of the difference in color between the old and new fluid.

If you have the time to put a sample of each in a glass or clear plastic container.

(I think you will find the process itself so simple that helpful pictures will be hard to create.)
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2010, 11:38 PM
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IDK About ya'll but in my Duramax pickup it is recommended you change your transfercase (part of the transmission) fluid 50k miles under severe service and 100k miles under normal service. Change the fluid. Nothing is lifetime fluid, that's BS.
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  #21  
Old 07-04-2010, 03:07 PM
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Agreed, Life time is a sales pitch, Fluid is a cheap way to stay on the road. All the fluids change fairly easily. Don't be afraid of the BMW logo. I work on other brands for a living and it took me a while to get over the logo..
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  #22  
Old 08-14-2010, 01:04 PM
X392131 X392131 is offline
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Sorry for the delayed reply. I changed the fluid over the 4th of July weekend, and here is the result. Note the huge difference in color. The old fluid had an incredibly strong burnt odor, and as you can see it looks very similar to used engine oil. This was at around 70,000 miles.

Also, I was experiencing quite a bit of driveline noise both before and after changing the fluid... whining that changes pitch/frequency with road speed and a strong groaning from the front during low-speed turns. After much investigation over the past few weeks, the dealer diagnosed as a faulty transfer case. I now have a fresh one, and very fortunately under CPO warranty.
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  #23  
Old 08-14-2010, 03:29 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Looks about the same color difference as in mine when changed at about 40K miles.

The lesson to be learned is that if the specs. for the fluid never actually changed when it suddenly became "lifetime",
it should be changed every 50K miles at least.

Regardless of model year, presence or absence of SIB's, and questions about who should pay to have it done.

Don't rely on the transfer case fluid monitoring function to throw a code when the fluid is degraded.

Particularly as only the dealer can check for the presence of that code.

Fortunately, the fluid change is very easy to do (see my recent post in the DIY sticky for more detail).
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:11 AM
enamoured enamoured is offline
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This may be a stupid question, but is TC fluid available only from dealer or outside as well? If so, what is it called out of dealership?

Supercourse,

From the text your pictures it looks like you made a DIY for it, would you be so kind to post it here please? Thanks in advance.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Originally Posted by enamoured View Post
This may be a stupid question, but is TC fluid available only from dealer or outside as well? If so, what is it called out of dealership?

Supercourse,

From the text your pictures it looks like you made a DIY for it, would you be so kind to post it here please? Thanks in advance.

Not widely available outside dealerships, but here is one:

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/83220397244/ES197388/
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