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

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012, 08:05 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Question Brake, ABS, AirBag, 4-Wheel Drive lights all on!

2008 X3

Earlier today the following lights came on.

Brake: RED
Air Bag: RED
ABS: Yellow
4WD: Yellow

All came on as I backed and turned from a parking space. I pulled back into the spot and restarted the engine, turned the radio off and backed out again. The lights were off until I started turning. I heard a slight popping in the rear, as if it was an old limited slip that was not totally disengaging as I turned.

I came home parked it, tonight I can not get the lights to come back on nor can I get the popping. Im not able to recreate anything!!

Please advice if any knowledge of this is available.

Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2012, 06:50 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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Check your battery..... Maybe it will die soon.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2012, 08:20 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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New battery a couple months ago. You only, normally, get three lights with the battery dieing..

Today this issue did NOT happen. The thing that worried me yesterday was the clucking noise in the rear end. This as well did NOT happen today or hasnt except for the one time yesterday.

I was hoping to get ahead of this issue a bit with others experiences and info.

Please advise...

Thanks,
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2012, 08:40 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Yes, the airbag light is not usually a member of the terrible triad of lights.

But I have seen it reported once or twice before.

My thought is that as the airbag system has nothing to do with xDrive, DSC, etc., it even more strongly points to a false alarm or transient electronic gremlins.

Not sure about the popping sound from the rear though.
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2012, 07:25 PM
raaizin raaizin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Yes, the airbag light is not usually a member of the terrible triad of lights.

But I have seen it reported once or twice before.

My thought is that as the airbag system has nothing to do with xDrive, DSC, etc., it even more strongly points to a false alarm or transient electronic gremlins.

Not sure about the popping sound from the rear though.

My wifes X3 had this happen about a month ago....Dealer replaced transfer case. There was a clicking from transfer case after we shut car off. Her car had 43k miles on it when it happened. It was out of warranty, not happy about that!!!!

Last edited by raaizin; 07-13-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:38 AM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Luckily this hasnt happen since I first posted the question. I know its not the battery.

The clicking/Clucking was from the rear end not the Transfer case. Im thinking with the heavy rain MAYBE it was a sensor that got wet or something like that??

All posts are appreciated because if this happens again I would love to know where to start other than the dealer on an out of warranty vehicle!

THANKS!!
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:29 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Update: battery tested bad! It tests bad from front of car but good at the battery? Replaced battery, lights reappeared.

Autozone came up with a good question: did I jump anyone off using jumper cables. The answer is yes! The day the lights came on.

So, does anyone know what I have damaged jumping someone off?
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:21 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpile View Post
Autozone came up with a good question: did I jump anyone off using jumper cables. The answer is yes! The day the lights came on.
This means you were the donor car for one with a dead battery?

And the Airbag light and others came on with the popping sound from the rear just after this?

Was it a similarly sized vehicle of similar vintage that needed the boost?

Recommended procedure for boosting can vary in the details, such as:
- use only 4 gauge cables or anything that is available
- should donor car idle for a few minutes while hooked up before start of dead car is tried
- should donor car be running or not when start is tried (12.6V or 14+V to dead car)
- once started should disconnection happen straight away
- with both engines still running
- or after dead car has run at fast idle for a few minutes to build up charge
- and after both engines have been turned off or not
- and in the case of some cars, like the X3, do you boost from the under the hood terminal or the battery itself

No consensus on the best practice, but I suppose the differences are because of the small but ever present risk to either vehicle's electrical and electronic systems, and to personal safety.

On personal safety, some pros. say that you should never boost a battery unless you can find your way to the eye wash station really fast with your eyes closed.

All of which makes some people reluctant to give others a boost, especially if they have complex 3V electronic communication systems controlling their car.

Don't know if there are several fusible links in the X3's battery safety terminal (BST), or just the one that turns the engine off after airbag deployment.

But it sounds like your BST has become partially (or intermittently) compromised.
Not fully blown or you wouldn't be able to start. Possible that is the popping sound you heard?

Sorry, don't know what to suggest in diagnosing it or what the fix is.
But if you can't get a proper voltage reading at all from under the hood, something is wrong.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2012, 07:47 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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New battery is testing good and I have 12.6 on the under the hood terminals with the car off, 14.x while running.

On startup the lights are not on. Once you drive for 5-10 the lift comes on BUT seems to come on when pulling away from a red light.

My new rule of thumb is to never boost anyone unless I'm in my old truck.

The BMW runs normally with and without the lights. I can't tell any difference. I just don't want to take it to the dealer if someone on here happens to know a possible solution.

Thanks!!
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2012, 08:13 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpile View Post
My new rule of thumb is to never boost anyone unless I'm in my old truck.
Good plan!

Was just wondering about how Europeans handle jump starting as opposed North Americans.

Seems it is a case of caution vs. full steam ahead if this British procedure is anything to go by:

http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice...jumpleads.html

Of particular interest is Step 3 which I hadn't thought about.

Step 6 answers one of the points I raised. They seem emphatic about that based on the bold typeface.

If you didn't shut off your engine before removing the jumper cables, maybe that's what the Autozone guy had in mind.

Just need to hone in on what electronic component, related to SRS, could have been damaged, and why the warning lights come on after running a bit, but go out later.

I'm sure someone here will have some insight.
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2012, 02:36 PM
Rusty86 Rusty86 is offline
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This exact same thing happened to me last night! I was pulling out of a parking space and the terrible triad of lights shot on as soon as I made a hard turn. I pulled back into a space and turned the car off and waited a few minutes. When I turned back on lights were gone as was popping sound. I might also mention that I had the terrible triad of lights for several weeks last month until I followed pburnett's tutorial on how to rotate the gear on the TC actuator (and reset faults). All seemed fine since - car drove fine with no issues.

What concerned me also was the loud popping sound. I'm hoping it's just a sensor somewhere throwing faulty info to the TC and creating a weird 4x4 compensation. Could this have anything to do with the steering angle sensor - since this is the second time they went on when making a hard turn. Also, are the X3's prone to rear differential issues?
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:09 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Did you have the airbag light with the other three?

I'm sure the jumping off has killed a sensor somewhere causing this issue but where to start?

Ideas??
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2012, 06:10 AM
x3oiler x3oiler is offline
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There may be error codes logged in the various modules that might suggest what the issue is.
In this respect options are:
a) buy a BMW specific code reader - maybe 80 USD - search for C110 - but may not read all the codes
b) dealer
c) independent service agent that can read all the codes
d) gear yourself up with the hardware and PC software (INPA and EDIABAS) to read the codes (not for the faint hearted)

If the codes do not make sense get them reset (the jump may have caused voltage related codes in its own right) and get the codes read again after the fault appears again.

If you jumped from the front terminals then most likely the ECU and associated electronics got the worst of it. They are driven by the thinner positive wire that runs from the positive jump point across the top of the motor to the funny plastic looking bin near the brake booster (left hand drive). Power is distributed from that box to all manner of places. ( I have a right hand drive so things may be reversed - not sure)

Cable KL30 here: http://wds.spaghetticoder.org/en/svg...74.svg?m=e8385

The rest of the car is powered from the lighter duty cable running from the battery - same reference as above - and as at the end of the cable and close to your battery you may have had a degree of isolation - maybe.

So my focus would be the engine electronics - fuses etc - inside that box up front.

Beyond that cannot assist much further.

ps I carry a "super mini booster" to jump start mine and other cars when required.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2012, 10:51 AM
Rusty86 Rusty86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpile View Post
Did you have the airbag light with the other three?

I'm sure the jumping off has killed a sensor somewhere causing this issue but where to start?

Ideas??
No, dp, I did not have the airbag light go on. Aside from that, might be likely that our gremlins have affected the same sensor(s) which caused the other 3 lights and the popping sound towards the rear. I brought up the steering angle sensor because I've read somewhere on this board (in one of the many transfer case/actuator threads) that sometimes the SAS is mentioned with TC case issues. Since the airbag is in the same general area as the SAS - the steering column - maybe it's plausible??

My mechanic neighbor owns a garage and said he would hook up my car to his computer later this week to check the codes. The lights are all gone and the car drove fine this morning on my 2 mile journey to the train station. I'll let you know what he comes up with.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2012, 03:54 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Please let me know. My wife and I are in the middle of a move and I havnt had any time to do anything about the situation.

THANKS!
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2012, 02:43 PM
Rusty86 Rusty86 is offline
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dp, my mechanic neighbor hasn't had a chance to take the car in yet, but I've been doing a little research on the possible cause of the popping sound and think it may be due to a stretched transfer case chain. From what I've read, it's a fairly common problem in the X3's/X5's - I pasted a link below with something I found from Cobra Transmissions. They also have a youtube video showing a breakdown/build up of an X5 TC.

I haven't really driven the car since I've heard the noise (almost 2 weeks), but when I tried to take it out this morning, I heard a grinding noise, which could be a damaged output shaft according to the link. I'm sure I'll be in for some big $$$ to repair everything - I already was in the process of buying a new TC actuator, now it looks like a TC rebuild. :-(

I'm sure you're airbag light is completely unrelated.

http://cobratransmission.com/index.p...7f1302dda523c3
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  #17  
Old 08-15-2012, 07:49 AM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Thanks for the info!

My condition is ever changing. I have never heard the popping since the first time. But when I shut off the engine I hear a clicking noise for about 4 seconds. It comes from underneath the car, seems in the center. I havnt had time to get under there to see where exactly.

The lights are a doing a few different things now as well. The 4wd light stays on almost all the time, yellow.

Still sometimes all four lights, 4wd, brake, airbag, and abs, will come on and stay on until restart. Seems to happen when pulling away from a red light or stop, after driving for a bit.

I also notice that I can NOT turn off traction control. Just a little test I thought of while driving the other day. I plan to check the fuses today, kinda a no brain'r, that I havnt done yet.

Please let me know more as you find out more on your end and I will do the same.

Thanks,
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2012, 06:26 PM
Rusty86 Rusty86 is offline
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Definitely check out the video on the bottom of this page that the member usaret posted on a stickied post. The clicking noise indicates you need to change out the actuator motor - I had the same noise.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...566880&page=11

Also, my recommendation would also be to change out the transfer case oil, especially if your over 75K miles. BMW says it's lifetime oil and should be changed at 100K miles (which I just reached), but it's better to play it safe. I also haven't been able to reproduce that original popping noise, but as I mentioned, I now get a constant grinding noise. Not sure if I waited to long to fix the actuator which affected the TC or if it was bound to fail anyway.

I hope you have better luck with yours!
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  #19  
Old 08-18-2012, 12:03 AM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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That video has to be my issue!!! That is exactly what Im seeing. Even though Im still getting the Airbag light in addition. I think I will try to track down one of these motors and swap it out. Let you know how this goes!
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  #20  
Old 09-11-2012, 05:10 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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So, I removed the actuator and rotated the gear 180 degrees. NO LIGHTS for over a week now. Fingers Crossed!!

I do however still have the red airbag light which is unrelated. Im still debugging this issue.
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  #21  
Old 10-18-2012, 07:43 AM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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7 weeks now and NO lights. The gear rotation works and is easy!
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  #22  
Old 10-19-2012, 05:38 AM
883sportster 883sportster is offline
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After you rotated the gear did the clicking noise stop after turning off your x3?

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Bimmer App
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  #23  
Old 10-19-2012, 07:11 PM
dogpile dogpile is offline
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Yes, of course... The clicking noise is the worn gear which is skipping. When you rotate the gear 180, it is now using the other side which is new/never used before. Now the old worn side is opposite all the action and is NOT used therefore the gears are all working properly and there is no noise.
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