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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 05-27-2011, 03:02 PM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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Design flaw/limitation on 2011 x3: no ability to get into neutral after stall

Interestingly, today my wife's new 6 week old white x3 stalled while going into a stop sign, for reasons no one seems to yet know. Unfortunately for all of us, BMW decided to leave out a feature on the 2011 model to allow you to get the car into neutral after it shuts down. Apparently this feature was available up to this year. So she had to sit in traffic for 90 minutes, unable to push the car to the side of the road and out of harms way. When I asked the dealer why BMW decides to go this route, his comment was it saved $50 in manufacturing parts.

As a aside, the tow truck driver was unable to tow the x3. Apparently BMW manufactures some type of device put under the car to tow it, but this guy did not have it. I was not there but somehow they 'slide it sideways up the ramp to a flat bed' according to my wife. That can't be good for it can it?
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2011, 06:47 PM
bmw5151 bmw5151 is offline
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While not an X3, I had a stall out situation with my former E61 535xiT wagon inside the car wash tunnel. Not a good location. It died and would not restart, and it would not go into neutral as the electronic tranny had no power. BMW Roadside Assist arrived about 2 hours later, and evenually just pulled with a cable, and dragged it onto the flat bed.

Turns out that car wash employees (nor I) knew the proper way to jumpstart the car. If we had, we could have at least powered up the car enough to get the thing out of neutral. Just one of those BMW "quirks".
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2011, 06:59 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarienJim View Post
Interestingly, today my wife's new 6 week old white x3 stalled while going into a stop sign, for reasons no one seems to yet know. Unfortunately for all of us, BMW decided to leave out a feature on the 2011 model to allow you to get the car into neutral after it shuts down. Apparently this feature was available up to this year. So she had to sit in traffic for 90 minutes, unable to push the car to the side of the road and out of harms way. When I asked the dealer why BMW decides to go this route, his comment was it saved $50 in manufacturing parts.

As a aside, the tow truck driver was unable to tow the x3. Apparently BMW manufactures some type of device put under the car to tow it, but this guy did not have it. I was not there but somehow they 'slide it sideways up the ramp to a flat bed' according to my wife. That can't be good for it can it?
I remember reading about another users new X3 stalling when it came to a stop sign. They were eventually able to get it restarted. Please let us know what the dealer comes up with on this......being in that situation would suck! Thank goodness she wasn't on a main road at a light or waiting to get onto the freeway!
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2011, 07:24 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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BMW didn't forget. Assuming that the car defaults to Park as a safety feature, there is a release mechanism and tool in the toolkit. This will release the transmission interlock and the car will roll and steer freely.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2011, 08:15 AM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
BMW didn't forget. Assuming that the car defaults to Park as a safety feature, there is a release mechanism and tool in the toolkit. This will release the transmission interlock and the car will roll and steer freely.
Problem was it did not default to Park. It stayed in Drive. There is no transmission release for the 2011 model.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2011, 10:58 AM
RxCritical RxCritical is offline
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This does not sound like a good feature!
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2011, 01:26 PM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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Before we have another "red scare" of the 1950's , can someone call BMW customer relations and ask their take on the situation?

and maybe look at p 233 of the manual and see if that would have worked?
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Last edited by Glen E; 05-28-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2011, 01:46 PM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarienJim View Post
Problem was it did not default to Park. It stayed in Drive. There is no transmission release for the 2011 model.
Note that I was incorrect as I just checked with my wife--it did not stay in Drive, it went to Park in the middle of the road. Either way, she was unable to move it.
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2011, 06:52 PM
RxCritical RxCritical is offline
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From the way I read the manual one cannot engage N unless the ignition is on.
From page 233 and other pages:
"Transmission position P with the ignition
off
When the ignition is switched off, position P
is engaged automatically. When in an automatic
car wash, for example, ensure that the
ignition is not switched off accidentally.***9664;"

So it sounds as if you can only get to N if the ignition is on. So if your car is stalled, turn on ignition, shift to N, push car out of road.
If you can't get your ignition to come on, get out of car, get in safe area off of road and await tow truck.

Seriously though you would think that there should be a way to get to neutral without any electrical power.
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2011, 07:18 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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As mentioned above, if you can get the vehicle electrics on and shift into N, that would be ideal.

I looked at the F25 owner's manual and it looks like there is no more Transmission lock disable tool like on other previous BMWs (X5, 5er) so that's a hideously pointless omission.
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  #11  
Old 05-28-2011, 08:16 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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I have another dumb for you. This morning I got a simple screw dead center thread of my tire.

Ran over to the local car store picked up a kit for punctures (have my own compressor) and had it fixed in an hour.

Have that happen with an RFT on a Holiday weekend and expect to get it fixed on Tuesday at $300 plus if you didn't buy the insurance.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 05-28-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2011, 09:06 PM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarienJim View Post
As a aside, the tow truck driver was unable to tow the x3. Apparently BMW manufactures some type of device put under the car to tow it, but this guy did not have it. I was not there but somehow they 'slide it sideways up the ramp to a flat bed' according to my wife. That can't be good for it can it?
Is this different from the fact that no AWD vehicle can be safely towed without a flatbed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw5151 View Post
Turns out that car wash employees (nor I) knew the proper way to jumpstart the car. If we had, we could have at least powered up the car enough to get the thing out of neutral. Just one of those BMW "quirks".
What is the proper way to jumpstart the car?
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  #13  
Old 05-29-2011, 03:23 AM
h0mersimps0n h0mersimps0n is offline
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My neighbor actually had their 2008 X3 battery die in the garage parked face in (child left door open). It was quite a challenge getting to the battery or even the battery terminals when the vehicle is jammed in a garage and can't be shifted into neutral without juice.

She knew I knew BMW and asked me for help and I was shocked that there was no way to neutral that baby to gain access to battery for a jump.

Not a new issue.
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  #14  
Old 05-29-2011, 04:54 AM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RxCritical View Post

So it sounds as if you can only get to N if the ignition is on. So if your car is stalled, turn on ignition, shift to N, push car out of road.
Again, her problem was after stall, the engine would not turn over, rendering her stuck in the middle of the road.

That and tow truck problem.
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  #15  
Old 05-29-2011, 05:17 AM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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I don't think this problem is unique to BMW. The alternator on my Ford Explorer 4WD died when I was in the left turn lane of a busy intersection. I could not get the car into neutral. Rather than risk my life, I left and called a tow truck. I asked for a flat bed, but since I wasn't there, they towed it with a hoist.

Last edited by mibmwx3; 05-29-2011 at 06:29 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-29-2011, 05:57 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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That totally sucks!!!
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  #17  
Old 05-29-2011, 06:02 AM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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Flatbeds have been used for BMW/MB/Audi since around the intro of the 1st 7 about 10 yrs ago which used the electronic interface for the transmission - nothing new here...There is no "special harness" - you screw the tow eye in the front or back, winch it it up on the bed and drive to a dealer. The way I read it in the manual, as long as you have batt power, you can find neutral. If your batt is dead, a simple jump on the posts in the front or the back of the car will energize the car enuf to get to neutral. Still waiting the hear the "design defect" here.
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RTOM.....

Last edited by Glen E; 05-29-2011 at 06:04 AM.
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  #18  
Old 05-29-2011, 06:07 AM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen E View Post
Flatbeds have been used for BMW/MB/Audi since around the intro of the 1st 7 about 10 yrs ago which used the electronic interface for the transmission - nothing new here...There is no "special harness" - you screw the tow eye in the front or back, winch it it up on the bed and drive to a dealer. The way I read it in the manual, as long as you have batt power, you can find neutral. If your batt is dead, a simple jump on the posts in the front or the back of the car will energize the car enuf to get to neutral. Still waiting the hear the "design defect" here.
If the car is AWD and is stuck in Park, how does that work? It would seem if that all four wheels would be 'locked'.
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  #19  
Old 05-29-2011, 06:30 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarienJim View Post
If the car is AWD and is stuck in Park, how does that work? It would seem if that all four wheels would be 'locked'.
I've seen repomen just pull the car with it still in park.... It doesn't look very healthy
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  #20  
Old 05-29-2011, 06:31 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Its not just German 4WD cars that need to be flatbedded. Any 4WD car or truck is hauled on the flatbed now. I guess that "button" on the transmission that allowed it to be put in neutral was removed as a cost cutting measure by the bean counters. Too bad, even if you never had to use it -- it was comforting to have the capability.
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  #21  
Old 05-30-2011, 05:04 AM
06BMWX3 06BMWX3 is offline
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To the OP, is your X3 a 28 or 35?
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  #22  
Old 05-30-2011, 05:51 AM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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Originally Posted by 06bmwx3 View Post
to the op, is your x3 a 28 or 35?
28
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  #23  
Old 05-31-2011, 05:14 PM
mole7374 mole7374 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarienJim View Post
Interestingly, today my wife's new 6 week old white x3 stalled while going into a stop sign, for reasons no one seems to yet know. Unfortunately for all of us, BMW decided to leave out a feature on the 2011 model to allow you to get the car into neutral after it shuts down. Apparently this feature was available up to this year. So she had to sit in traffic for 90 minutes, unable to push the car to the side of the road and out of harms way. When I asked the dealer why BMW decides to go this route, his comment was it saved $50 in manufacturing parts.

As a aside, the tow truck driver was unable to tow the x3. Apparently BMW manufactures some type of device put under the car to tow it, but this guy did not have it. I was not there but somehow they 'slide it sideways up the ramp to a flat bed' according to my wife. That can't be good for it can it?
Guys....this is rediculous and is totally not the case so please don't jump to conclusions like this without researching....I have an insider at BMW and he told me that whatever your dealer told you about saving $50 is complete b*llsh*t and that he was going to email me an explanation later on and I could post it...stay tuned but there is definitely a way to get it into neutral..

And...from what I know, I believe there is some sort of law that mandates all tranny's have this nowadays...I may be wrong on that but I think it's the case. At any rate, when my buddy emails me I'll post, but rest assured there is a way to do it.
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  #24  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:39 PM
DarienJim DarienJim is offline
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A quick update: the dealer today determined that there is something wrong with the gas tank not getting fuel to the engine. They have to get a special part from Germany. X3 sitting for 2+ weeks while part is waiting to be shipped and clear customs.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:35 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
What is the proper way to jumpstart the car?
Open hood, connect red to red and black to ground post.
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