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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 01-02-2013, 09:54 PM
Nickory Nickory is offline
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Exclamation 2013 BMW 328i Drivetrain Malfunction - Bought it Yesterday

I bought my BMW 2013 328i YESTERDAY (New Years Day) with 10 miles on it. I drove it 34 miles to work this morning. I drove it (almost) home ~33 miles this evening....

On the way home, while in Eco mode, I started getting yellow "Drivetrain Malfunction: Drive Moderately" alerts. When I got off the freeway on my exit home, it turned into a red "Drivetrain Malfunction" alert and said to pull over and put the car in park. I did so, and now cannot start it, cannot move it, cannot even put it in neutral.

Been waiting now for 2 hours and 15 minutes for a tow truck to arrive. I walked home. I'm really bummed out. Reading through these forums, I can't get a sense of what the issue might be - reading everything from "major transmission failure, get a replacement" to "change the oil filter(?!)"

Anything official from BMW or any experts out there on this one?

Sincerely,
Nickory "the sad new BMW owner"
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:25 PM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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No solid ideas, except that hopefully it is a computer glitch. Good luck and I'm sorry for your trouble.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:39 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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I thought I read something similar not too long ago. I did a quick forum search on "malfunction" and there are at least 2 threads that tell a similar story to yours. I think the common thread to them is that BMW identified the issue as a bad transmission. Good luck, and sorry for your troubles.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:35 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Bummer to say the least

The dealer had better treat you well. That's really a downer.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:07 PM
bbsaja bbsaja is offline
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I had the same problem on my 118i, I got it on January 16th, 2013, only had it for 2 days on my way to pick up my friend, suddenly the car was vibrating and the drive train error message came up. So I drove it down to the service centre in the next morning (because it was Sunday when it happened) but it got worse, it stalled a few times, so I decided to pull over half way through to bmw service centre and rang the road side assist, I tried ignite the engine again but it was completely dead.
After about a week they found out the cause. They said there was a rock in the drive shaft....The car is still with them. They said they had to order the part from Germany and it takes a while because it's rare. I'm already driving the loan car more than my own car. They gave me a brand new 2012 320i though, but still, it's better to drive my own car.
They don't want to give me a replacement for my car nor a refund.
This is my first time having a BMW. I'm worried something else will happen.
Do you think I should sell my car or just stick with this one?
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:28 PM
DavidM1975 DavidM1975 is offline
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BMW will "bring it to the original condition", right? If they do there's nothing to worry about. You were pretty unlucky that a rock got into your drive shaft but hey... things happen. I was once getting into a gas station driving a Mustang. I was going behind a Jeep Cherokee or something like that. It was a cold, wet day. There were leaves on the ground and at some point his wheels started spinning on the leaves. I didn't even feel anything hit me... but moments later I saw steam coming out from the front of my car. Pulled over, got out started looking.... didn't see it at first but when I realized what happened I didn't even know what to think - there was a metal rod sticking out of my radiator. It must have been laying on the ground among the leaves. When the Jeep's wheels spun they literally shot it into my radiator. What's the chance - one in a million? But it happened...
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:59 PM
doc_maverick doc_maverick is offline
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M.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2013, 01:13 AM
bbsaja bbsaja is offline
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Yup, they will bring it to the "original condition"

Yeah, the small chances that cause a big headache
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2013, 11:53 AM
bmisaccurate bmisaccurate is offline
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Drivetrain malfunction

I beat Nickory by at least 4 weeks and 500 miles! Then I started getting yellow "Drivetrain Malfunction: Drive Moderately" alerts on my new 328i. Imagine my glee. Mine came on upon cranking, and the car went into limp mode temporarily--for about a mile and fortunately on a city street--before driving off as usual.

The dealership has had the car for >2 weeks now. They are saying the VANOS unit will be replaced. At least they gave me a 2013 328i loaner, which has yet to act up. Maybe I can negotiate a trade.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2013, 02:03 PM
suneil suneil is offline
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328's?
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2013, 11:07 AM
polaris007 polaris007 is offline
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2013 BMW 535i - Drivetrain Malfunction warning

Recently bought a 2009 535i CPO from dealer. Had been driving for a couple of months and put in few thousand miles and suddenly one day the car didn't start and had it towed to the dealer. Dealer gave a brand new 2013 BMW 535i as a loaner. Been driving this for a week and today while on a highway driving about 55-60 MPH, the drivetrain malfunction warning light came on and the engine was shaking slightly would not accelerate. Thank God it did not stall and luckily was only couple of miles from home and made it safely. After pulling into driveway, stopped the engine and started backup. The warning light has not come up. Not sure if this problem will pop up again!! Worried to drive it on the freeway. The car has only about 500 miles Not sure what is going on with BMW quality
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2013, 11:49 AM
Pappy Pipes Pappy Pipes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukja View Post
I thought I read something similar not too long ago. I did a quick forum search on "malfunction" and there are at least 2 threads that tell a similar story to yours. I think the common thread to them is that BMW identified the issue as a bad transmission. Good luck, and sorry for your troubles.
Bummer Nickery... There was a similar post a few weeks back and it had to do with some innocuous failure unrelated to the drive train. With patience, time, and faith, BMW will sort it out. Good luck!
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2013, 04:52 PM
bmisaccurate bmisaccurate is offline
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drivetrain malfunction and more

I got my car back, after five weeks, and so far no "drivetrain malfunction". The dealership did replace the VANOS unit. Now I'm dealing with the brake light mechanism at the top of the rear window falling, while parked, simply the result of one plastic tab not being installed, I think. And the right rear inside door handle will undo the lock but won't unlatch the door. So, valet style exits are all that is available from that door. This was only discovered recently due to the infrequency of anyone ever riding in the back. One would think functioning doors would be a prerequisite to the car exiting the factory. In this case, one would be wrong.
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2013, 05:13 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmisaccurate View Post
[T]he right rear inside door handle will undo the lock but won't unlatch the door. ... One would think functioning doors would be a prerequisite to the car exiting the factory. In this case, one would be wrong.
One should check the child-safety lockout on said door, to be sure it is not engaged, before assuming the door is defective. When the lockout is engaged the interior handle will not open the door.
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2013, 06:40 PM
bmisaccurate bmisaccurate is offline
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drivetrain malfunction and more

Okay, you got me on the door handle. Given that the door handles operate differently from any other car I've owned, including several BMWs (didn't learn my lesson in earlier years with the frequent engine n.b. problems those presented), it was easily overlooked.

Besides, I've been having to watch too many videos on how to operate different devices on this advanced machine, i.e. car.

Would one assume there's a latch that keeps the brake lights from hanging by the electrical cord? Hope I'm not overlooking that. Maybe there's a video.
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2013, 08:03 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmisaccurate View Post
Would one assume there's a latch that keeps the brake lights from hanging by the electrical cord? Hope I'm not overlooking that. Maybe there's a video.
Do you mean you didn't notice the instruction label? It's plain as day, right next to the toolkit. In the trunk. Under the carpet. In German.

Seriously, my point is to not let a few rough edges annoy you to the point that you see problems and flaws everywhere you look on your car. Most leave the factory perfect or nearly so, some have repairs made at the port that we never learn about, some have more than their share of niggling failures and a few are outright lemons. All hail the bumper-to-bumper warranty: The odds are heavily in your favor that everything will be made right and you'll have many happy years with the car. Try not to let it get to you (because it might be trying ).

Oh, and if you get sick of videos, try the manual. "RTFM" is not just a snarky Interweb barb for a BMW--it's the best way to learn about a slew of features you may never discover by just poking around at the car.
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   N47 35' 30.13" E11 10' 33.36" - End of break-in...you can guess what came next. BMW CCA

Last edited by Zeichen311; 05-07-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2013, 09:55 PM
bmisaccurate bmisaccurate is offline
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You've sensed well my irritations with this new car (I suppose overuse of sarcasm is a good indicator), irritations never faced with any other make or model, other than a 7 and a 5 I owned in years previous. 3s always had better reputations, and that reputation made me return to the brand. I wouldn't describe suddenly being unable to drive over 20 mph a "rough edge" though, but rather a safety hazard unless you're cruising Sun City, AZ. And my drivetrain malfunction was mild compared to what others have posted here. Sadly, I've experienced this problem a few times before, and all in a 528. Having libeled the brand, I'll still concede that no other make does one thing as well as BMW--when you're going 70 it feels like 50. It's quiet and stable at high speeds, a good combo for a highway commuter, my principal use. Your image and sign-off indicate you do a quite a bit more with yours. Hopefully the big problems are behind me, but the rough idle off and on the past few days suggests otherwise.
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  #18  
Old 05-28-2013, 07:23 PM
AMMO Chick AMMO Chick is offline
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Thumbs down Drivetrain malfunction

So I too have a new 2013 328i and in rush hour traffic in the fast lane, in sport mode.......yep. It wouldn't go past 1st gear. I called my salesman and he told me to pull it over and restart it. Same issue. He said he had never before heard of this issue!? Told me to drive home, so limping back w my 4 yr old in the car and flashers on, he asked me to try using manual mode, it worked, well- ish. Not quite right. Dealer said park it for 30 min and try again, I said how about scheduling it for service! So.... We shall see. Com what I've read, this is either a computer glitch or a fuel pump issue? How common is this, and wth haven't hey issued a recall? total bummer. I gave up my e90 because of non stop computer glitches and swore I would never go back, 6 years later I try again and within 3 days....oi
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2013, 01:06 PM
abnfred abnfred is offline
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Bought our 2013 BMW 328i last month after trading in our 2007 328i which had a lot of problems also, Now after a month and less then 400 miles the drivetrain malfunction light comes on at the dealership now but that's not all after purchasing car we notice radio speakers were sounding weird so took it in they hade to replace amp that was bad WTF our last BMW spent more time at dealership then home LOL something must be wrong with this year or there has to be a recall on this year will find out what they say next week and wait another 2 for them to fix really thought Bavarian Motor Works was top of line vehicle!
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2013, 08:48 PM
ohnonotagain ohnonotagain is offline
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My brand new 2013 328i with 2200 miles just displayed "Drivetrain malf : Drive moderately" as i was driving. I would step on the gas and car wouldn't accelerate. I turned the car off and back on and seemed to have resolve the issue FOR NOW. What's the deal??? anyone? please help.
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  #21  
Old 07-26-2013, 09:36 PM
Elk Elk is offline
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Simple. Bring it in.
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  #22  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:17 PM
DavidM1975 DavidM1975 is offline
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From what we saw so far this message is displayed for many different reasons. In my case it was a turbo actuator gate malfunction. I took the car in three times and eventually the dealership replaced the entire turbo unit. I know other users had many other problems that prompted the same message. Just take the car in as soon as possible.
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  #23  
Old 08-21-2013, 09:09 PM
JohnGM JohnGM is offline
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Drivetrain Malfunction 2013 328i

Leased a new 2013 328i .. Within two weeks the car had a drivetrain malfunction at 325 miles .. Took it directly to the dealer .. They did not know what was wrong with the vehicle for two days .. Had to revert to calling Germany .. Dealer came back stating a new VANOS unit is needed .. Part is on back order .. Car has been a week in the dealer .. Don't expect it back within a week at least .. No ETA given .. from the posting string seems I am not the only one with this issue .. Happy I leased and didn't buy ..
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  #24  
Old 08-21-2013, 09:35 PM
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LarryboysUDM LarryboysUDM is offline
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All the six 328i owners in this thread should contact/inform to BMW USA and NHTSA (http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners) to report this issue...that could help generate a recall.
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2013, 09:41 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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So I can now add my new 2013 F30 to this thread..."drivetrain malfunction" warning indication at less than 100 miles.

The dealer called today and said that a "bolt" in the VANOS had to be replaced...huh? It went into "limp mode" after the warning but showed signs of "shuddering" (idle) at stops just prior to the warning.

Tomorrow will be three days in the shop, but not promised before the end of the day...a 20 mile test drive is required...they didn't sound optimistic...and (for some reason) indicated that BMW NA was involved with the repair.

What's going on?
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