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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:42 PM
alecela alecela is offline
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4x4 system and DSC failed

This morning the car greeted me with a warning, after abt. 15km of driving:

4x4 system and DSC
Driving stability restricted
Drive with moderation
Have the problem checked as soon as possible by BMW service

4x4 system and DSC failed.

I'll be taking the car down to the garage to see what the problem is... In the meantime, any clue would be appreciated.

It's a 2008 3.0i w/ 65k km (39k mi) fitted w/ 20" breyton wheels and 275/40/20 + 315/35/20 Michelin rubber.

For almost a year now, I've noticed a sound coming off when I start the car, and this sound would come off INCONSISTENTLY but in all cases it happens ONLY when the engine is hot/warm. i.e. if I park the car for more than say 3hrs then I would never have this sound when I start the car. But I'll get it inconsistently when I restarted the car within the last 1 or 2hrs. The sound is significant and it almost sounded like some sound of an impact. I've had the BMW dealer looked into this and they found no problem. (Obviously the computer didn't show anything!)

I'm just wondering whether this may have anything to do w/ the problem I'm having now.

Honestly the car has been nothing but disappointment, in terms of reliability. I looked at the record the other day, for the past 2.5yr, I had no less than 10 visits to the garage. While there weren't significant damage, it all added up. And this car being the 5th BMW that is owned by me/my family, this is ABSOLUTELY the worst experience ever.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:34 AM
gcaa gcaa is offline
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I have had a similar error on my 2012. You can check this thread for some info http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...807&highlight=
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2013, 01:19 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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quick update: Brought the car to the garage, reset the computer, now I don't have the same error anymore. But instead I get transmission failed! :-( Upon further checking, apparently there's a part called 'valve body' within the transmission that's failing? And this part is somehow a computer that does some check & balances? Seems to be a big money item as it cost more than USD$2k USD... Is this common???

Last edited by alecela; 02-21-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:10 AM
tony(topaz,SMG) tony(topaz,SMG) is offline
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You can get both of those warnings from a weak battery.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:55 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alecela View Post
...Upon further checking, apparently there's a part called 'valve body' whtin the transmission that's failing? And this part is somehow a computer that does some check & balances? Seems to be a big money item as it cost more than USD$2k USD... Is this common???
If you're lucky, you can get away with just replacing plastic valves, and/or a plastic seal located above the mecatronic (sorry don't have its name handy, but it's a rather well known issue). It still involves dropping the pan and removing the unit, but on a plus side you can change oil & pan/filter at the same time.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:48 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony(topaz,SMG) View Post
You can get both of those warnings from a weak battery.
Somehow I would wish this is the case as it would be a much cheaper fix, however, given that the battery was only replaced last November, I would doubt I have such luck this time. Or else I'm dealing w/ something else as there's no way a brand new 100amp battery should go bad in such a short time, even in a city like HK where the average trip distance on the car is abt. 15km!!!
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:53 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyles View Post
If you're lucky, you can get away with just replacing plastic valves, and/or a plastic seal located above the mecatronic (sorry don't have its name handy, but it's a rather well known issue). It still involves dropping the pan and removing the unit, but on a plus side you can change oil & pan/filter at the same time.
I like the sound of it! when you said it's a well known issue, where can I research further? Or what's the keyword I should be searching for? When I keyed in DSC failure in the X5 forum here, I didn't find much hence I initiated the post. Apology if I'm raising an issue that's been beated to death...
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:47 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alecela View Post
,.. what's the keyword I should be searching for?
"mechatronics solenoid"
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2013, 09:48 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyles View Post
"mechatronics solenoid"
Actually didn't see much within the X5 forum, I presume this is a broader problem among other BMW's?
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:00 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alecela View Post
Actually didn't see much within the X5 forum, I presume this is a broader problem among other BMW's?
It's something that may break in ZF transmission that many BMW models use. Not a very common problem, but if you have issues with gear changes, etc., it's one of the most likely ones.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:03 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Actually I just noticed that I replaced the battery in Nov 2011 (Not 2012 as I indicated above) so it's been 1.25yrs since. So maybe it's indeed the battery!

BTW, I might as well list out all the works that's been done during this troublesome 2.5yr since the warranty expired!!! So in addition to all the routine services replacing oils, brake pads:

Sep 2011: replacing Radiator coolant pump & coolant tank
Nov 2011: new battery
Dec 2011: replace fuel tank pump
Mar 2012: replace Radiator (!)
Oct 2012: replace Coolant reseroir (I still couldn't figure out the difference between coolant tank & coolant reservoir!!!)
Jan 2013: replace front suspension flange & support bushings, all six ignition coils and alternator!
Feb 2013: now this!!!

Last edited by alecela; 02-25-2013 at 02:06 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:22 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Actually just read from another thread that mechatronics is also called Valve body? If so, then that's exactly what my mechanic's saying... So I'll try to see if replacing the plastic valves/seals would help and making sure the battery is good before actually replacing the mechatronics solenoid... Tx again for the help so far...
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:07 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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By "valves", I've ment solenoids, so it's the same thing.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:29 PM
alphaod alphaod is offline
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I think you need a new battery as I had those symptoms before I replaced mine.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2013, 05:00 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Ok, this is turning into a bit of a nightmare. My mechanic looked further and noticed that the oil cooler for transmission oil was leaking. So water was getting into the transmission!!! So I have two choices:

1) Replace the valve body & transmission oil cooler BUT fearing that the gear box might still be problematic given that water has already gotten into it
2) Complete rebuild of the transmission replacing the clutches + the valve body & transmission oil cooler.

Needless to say, #2 is MUCH more expensive and I'm hitting my head against the wall wondering how on earth a 4+yr old car w/ 65k km (less than 40k mi) could warrant a transmission rebuild!

Last edited by alecela; 02-25-2013 at 05:02 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2013, 05:57 AM
tony(topaz,SMG) tony(topaz,SMG) is offline
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I find it hard to believe that the oil cooler would allow water into the transmission fluid. I don't know who your mechanic is, but you might want to get another opinion.
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:46 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Is there anyway I can find the scheme/diagram of the part? Would like to understand a bit better of the situation...
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2013, 07:22 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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It's very unlikely you need any rebuild-type work on your transmission. Go with option #1.
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2013, 07:37 AM
jashearer jashearer is offline
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I would second finding another mechanic... how the hell would water get into a pressurized system that was leaking...

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  #20  
Old 02-25-2013, 08:18 AM
ard ard is online now
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Get a sample of your transmission fluid and send it off for analysis. Blackstone Labs is one here. Sure there is a lab somewhere new you.

The UOA will tell you what the wear metals look like and how much water is in it...essential info to make a decision, IMO
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  #21  
Old 02-25-2013, 08:50 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jashearer View Post
I would second finding another mechanic... how the hell would water get into a pressurized system that was leaking...

Jay
Apparently the tank for the coolant for the transmission oil is broken hence the coolant/water leaked into the transmission oil? Does that make sense?
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:09 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Get a sample of your transmission fluid and send it off for analysis. Blackstone Labs is one here. Sure there is a lab somewhere new you.

The UOA will tell you what the wear metals look like and how much water is in it...essential info to make a decision, IMO
What does UOA stand for pls? I took a quick look and it doesn't look like there're a lot of labs doing oil analysis here in Hong Kong.
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  #23  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:29 AM
ard ard is online now
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"UOA" used oil analysis.

As I recall, there is an 'oil to water' heat exchanger- if this fails you can get cross contamination.

if by "quick look" you did a google search, I suggest you look harder. Oil Analysis is commonly done by large companies maintaining heavy machinery. Diesel fleets, generators, large plants, etc. you will not find this retail- think "telephone call"...think "diesel fleet manager"....

or just put in a BMW remanufactured unit- only US$10k or so.
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:43 AM
alecela alecela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
"UOA" used oil analysis.

As I recall, there is an 'oil to water' heat exchanger- if this fails you can get cross contamination.

if by "quick look" you did a google search, I suggest you look harder. Oil Analysis is commonly done by large companies maintaining heavy machinery. Diesel fleets, generators, large plants, etc. you will not find this retail- think "telephone call"...think "diesel fleet manager"....

or just put in a BMW remanufactured unit- only US$10k or so.
Tx for the info. The mechanic did try to 'flush' the oil/water a few times, hoping to flush out all the watch 'contemination'. However, after a few flushes, he's still getting traces of water hence the suggestion for the transmission rebuild. In fact, the rebuild will need to be handled by another specialist.

In your opinion, if it's indeed that 'heat' exchanger that failed, and the transmission did get cross contamination, does it warrant a rebuild? I'll indeed work on identifying the lab a bit more tomorrow. USD$10k does mean a lot, especially in the context of the value & age of the car...
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