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

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Old Yesterday, 11:23 AM
1Ken 1Ken is offline
Registered User
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2004 X3
puzzle, won't start +

Hello everyone, this is my first posting as is probably not uncommon, I have a problem.
I have a 2004, 154,000 miles. This is a strange problem, because it seemed that more than one system failed it once, or at least very close in time.
I was several hundred miles away from home (doesn't it always start that way?) and the car exhibited some weird behavior. At one point the automatic transmission would not shift even at about 4000 RPMs on a flat surface with no acceleration. I moved into semi automatic and then back into automatic and the transmission behaved normally. Later that night I was driving and on dry pavement my brake system, ABS, flat tire monitor, DSC lights all came on and the speedometer dropped to 0 mph; the headlights, dash lights and engine continued to function normally. The speedometer woke up after a few seconds and the warning lights cleared upon powering down and powering up the car.
Computer right?
A few days later, upon starting the car for the trip home, I noticed a gravelly sound coming from the front of the engine sounded like shaking rocks in a plastic container. Worried, I stopped the engine and immediately checked the oil which was okay. I restarted the car and the sound was still there but the engine was running smoothly. I was stuck and had to get home and began the roughly 300 mile trip. The car performed perfectly was getting very good gas mileage and took us 99% of the way home. I pulled into a supermarket and noticed that the gravelly sound was a bit louder. I stopped the engine and went to buy some groceries.
Upon returning the car would not start but would only give a couple of feeble turns with each attempt. I had thought the gravelly sound in the front of the engine could have been something like the alternator getting ready to go and this seemed to confirm it.
However, I could not jump start the engine either from another car or from two different AAA jump boxes, just got the one or two cranks and no more. I had it towed home, checked the battery voltage which was a hair over 12 V. I've had it attached to a trickle charger and the battery registers a little over 12.5 V but I still the same sluggish or non-cranking behavior.
So, did my alternator, computer, and starter all fail at the same time?
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