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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 03-06-2013, 07:23 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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Transmission Failure on 2013 X3 x35i

Hi All -

The transmission on my 2013 X3 x35i has failed at 4,000 miles. The error code indicates it is the clutch. My dealer has been in contact with BMW over the past two days and is now waiting to hear back from the technical support division with instructions on how to proceed. Apparently the issue is whether just the clutch gets replaced or the entire transmission.

Have any of you X3 owners had significant transmission problems?
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2013, 09:03 PM
zerovector zerovector is offline
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It's the first I've heard of one failing, and specifically failing that early. Keep us posted!
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2013, 10:13 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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First one that I have read about failing as well. I would be looking into the Lemon Law on this one......
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2013, 06:29 AM
noka noka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
First one that I have read about failing as well. I would be looking into the Lemon Law on this one......
There are requirements to be met and I seriously doubt that a failed transmission would qualify, unless other requirements are met. The OP has to read up on applicable state laws.
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2013 x35i (Space Gray, MSport, CW/CWII, DHP, Premium, Premium Sound, Technology, BMW-Apps)
Retired:'09 C300 4Matic, '09 GTI, '06 750i, '05 C55, '04 R32, '03 M5, '02 GTI, 01 M5, '00 M-Coupe, '00 540i/6, '99 M3 Coupe, '98 M3 Coupe, '96 328i, ..., '86 4000CS Quattro, ... too many to list
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2013, 08:17 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The good news (if any) is that it failed early so there is virtually no chance of BMW claiming "abuse" as a cause. It apparently is a bad unit (that happens) and the whole thing should be replaced with a new one -- not just the "clutch".
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2013, 09:54 AM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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There have been a few cases of F25 transmission failures of one sort or another reported on the various BMW forums. I haven't seen anything that would suggest a pattern.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2013, 12:22 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noka View Post
There are requirements to be met and I seriously doubt that a failed transmission would qualify, unless other requirements are met. The OP has to read up on applicable state laws.
That's why I suggested he look into the lemon law in his state. Who knows how long it will be in the shop. Parts seems to take FOREVER to come in from Germany as they are never in stock. I would be pissed that my brand new vehicle already had something major go on it.

Last edited by Want the Thrill; 03-07-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2013, 01:47 PM
noka noka is offline
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I agree that it makes sense to look into the "Lemon" details to be prepared in case it comes to that.
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Retired:'09 C300 4Matic, '09 GTI, '06 750i, '05 C55, '04 R32, '03 M5, '02 GTI, 01 M5, '00 M-Coupe, '00 540i/6, '99 M3 Coupe, '98 M3 Coupe, '96 328i, ..., '86 4000CS Quattro, ... too many to list
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2013, 03:44 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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Thanks for the comments everyone. Called the dealer for an update this afternoon and was told BMW is walking the dealer through a series of steps to determine scope of the problem. I'm reserving judgment on this approach until I hear their findings and intended plan.

As a couple of you have surmised: I'm not happy to have a problem of this magnitude at this stage of ownership. To say it has dampened my enthusiasm with BMW and the car would be an understatement - but, I'm holding out hope for a resolution that is satisfactory to me and restores my enthusiasm.

Regarding Lemon law options: Like every other state, Wisconsin has certain criteria that must be met. At this point, I'm well briefed on my options and will be documenting everything.

I'll keep you posted.
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  #10  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:08 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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xD, let us know the outcome please.
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  #11  
Old 03-11-2013, 09:32 AM
joebry joebry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
That's why I suggested he look into the lemon law in his state. Who knows how long it will be in the shop. Parts seems to take FOREVER to come in from Germany as they are never in stock. I would be pissed that my brand new vehicle already had something major go on it.
Would you be pissed if you backed your 2013 X3 out of the garage in a straight line, then got a light on the console saying "Steering Response Affected"? That is what happened to me Saturday morning and I could not steer. Had it towed to the dealer and am waiting for his call to tell me what it was.

I am hoping like hell he does not tell me it was a computer bug because that is bad news. A computer bug can pop up any time and anywhere. A mechanical failure is usually fixed by replacing the part. Not so with a computer bug.

Last edited by joebry; 03-11-2013 at 11:05 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:33 AM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebry View Post
Would you be pissed if you backed your 2013 X3 out of the garage in a straight line, then got a light on the console saying "Steering Response Affected"? That is what happened to me Saturday morning and I could not steer. Had it towed to the dealer and am waiting for his call to tell me what it was.

I am hoping like hell he does not tell me it was a computer bug because that bad news. A computer but can pop up and time and anywhere. A mechanical failure is usually fixed by replacing the part. Not so with a computer bug.

Yep, I'd be pissed about that too! Let us know how it turns out.
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2013, 07:49 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
xD, let us know the outcome please.
I decided to contact BMW's customer care department last week and I heard back from them late today. Long story short, they haven't even begun to repair the X3 yet. They confirmed what the dealer told me last week; that the dealer and BMW technical support have been discussing how to proceed with the repair. They refer to it as a "PUMA" order.

Does anyone know if the transmission used in 2013 is different than 2011-2012?
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2013, 05:23 AM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xDriven View Post
Does anyone know if the transmission used in 2013 is different than 2011-2012?
I don't think so. The automatic transmission has been a ZF-manufactured GA8HP45Z since the F25 was introduced. The ZF transmission, in various configurations, is used in many BMW lines, as well as by other manufacturers.
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:24 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Including Audi, Bentley, VW, Jeep, Dodge, Jaguar, and Ram among others. The Chrysler group has been licensed to produce the transmission at their Kokomo assembly and casting facilities as well. It will appear in the new diesel Jeep GC as well as the Dodge RAM and Challenger at first then expand to the Durango and other models.

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-12-2013 at 07:27 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:45 AM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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ZF is bringing or has brought a transmission manufacturing plant online in SC. "Beginning in 2013, the 975,000-square-foot facility will manufacture 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions for the North American market."

My '11 window sticker said that the engine was manufactured in Austria and the transmission was manufactured in Germany (or perhaps the other way around). Where do current window stickers say that the transmission was manufactured?

ZF also manufactures axle assemblies in SC for BMW.
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  #17  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:10 PM
bsavage bsavage is offline
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Xdriven has your dealership given you a car to drive since yours can not be driven?
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  #18  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:42 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
ZF is bringing or has brought a transmission manufacturing plant online in SC. "Beginning in 2013, the 975,000-square-foot facility will manufacture 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions for the North American market."

My '11 window sticker said that the engine was manufactured in Austria and the transmission was manufactured in Germany (or perhaps the other way around). Where do current window stickers say that the transmission was manufactured?

ZF also manufactures axle assemblies in SC for BMW.
My May '13 build X3's transmission was also manufactured in Germany with engine from Austria.
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:52 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsavage View Post
Xdriven has your dealership given you a car to drive since yours can not be driven?
Yes, they gave me an X3 28i as a loaner. Interestingly, it definitely feels peppier when starting from a stop than my 35i. It really is quite noticeable up to about 35mph. The X3 is primarily my wife's car and she has noticed this too.
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  #20  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:53 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Remember it is a lighter car. Had a brand new one for a service loaner and was amazed at how quick it was, much quicker than my old X3. Very impressed with the new turbo 4 banger!
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  #21  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:38 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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I picked up the X3 tonight. The dealership is not sure what the problem was. BMW had them run a series of tests over and over again. The notes on the invoice indicates that the "Test Plan" froze twice and they eventually cleared the fault codes. Another note at the beginning states that the "Oil is at the proper operating level and does not appear burnt at this time" but then there is a later note that states "Topped with one liter of 426 fluid." Why would they top it off with one liter (seems like a lot) when the operating level was normal to begin with?

When the service advisor called me today he basically just paraphrased the notes on the invoice and couldn't tell me what the cause was and what they did to fix it. There is a note in another section that reads "Programmed and encoded vehicle control units" and I'm wondering if that was essentially a reboot of the software. The service department was closed when I picked up the car so I'm going to have to follow-up with them tomorrow.

The transmission did a really abrupt shift at low speed on the way home (which it had never done before) so I'm not convinced it is right. I'm going to have to take note of everything over the next few days.

Thanks to all of you who offered thoughts over the past week. I appreciate it.
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2013, 04:40 AM
noka noka is offline
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Sounds like the transmission could be physically OK and maybe just a one-off computer glitch. Neverthess, still worrisome, I'm sure. Keep everything documented in case you need to seek further corrective action (e.g. Lemon Law, etc). Hopefully you will never see it again. I'm guessing 426 is transmission oil. Not sure how much it holds but maybe a liter is a small amount and they just wanted to be sure it was at the max, since there was a potential issue (just covering their bases I guess).
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2013 x35i (Space Gray, MSport, CW/CWII, DHP, Premium, Premium Sound, Technology, BMW-Apps)
Retired:'09 C300 4Matic, '09 GTI, '06 750i, '05 C55, '04 R32, '03 M5, '02 GTI, 01 M5, '00 M-Coupe, '00 540i/6, '99 M3 Coupe, '98 M3 Coupe, '96 328i, ..., '86 4000CS Quattro, ... too many to list

Last edited by noka; 03-14-2013 at 04:42 AM.
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  #23  
Old 03-17-2013, 08:58 PM
xDriven xDriven is offline
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Well, my transmission problem is unresolved. My wife was stopped with her foot on the brake on Friday and the X3 made a huge bang and lurched forward. It was so severe she thought she had been rear-ended (she wasn't).

This time I was able to drive it to the dealer where I bought the car. When the service manager downloaded the data from the car there was a new error code. They are going to begin work on it tomorrow.
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:32 AM
joebry joebry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xDriven View Post
Well, my transmission problem is unresolved. My wife was stopped with her foot on the brake on Friday and the X3 made a huge bang and lurched forward. It was so severe she thought she had been rear-ended (she wasn't).

This time I was able to drive it to the dealer where I bought the car. When the service manager downloaded the data from the car there was a new error code. They are going to begin work on it tomorrow.
I am far from a car wizard but it seems to me that all of the electronically-controlled things in a car now makes it harder to fix them when something is messed up.

The writeup by the dealer on my recent problem with my steering was a technical mish mash to read. It talked about diagcodes and "performing available test plan." Then, they had to program the vehicle twice because the first time failed. Then the 2 front windows were not initialized (whatever that means) so they performed a short test and performed power-window-anti-trap-initialization (what does that mean).

I am not kidding. This is part of the writeup on my 2013 X3 28i. Do you think I have any confidence that the problem is fixed? No, I don't.

So, when you think you put your car in gear to go forward, don't be surprised if you back up. But, this might be one time you cannot blame your wife for what happens to the car so she should like this car.
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  #25  
Old 03-18-2013, 06:34 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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xD-keep your documentation of everything up to date on this one. Methinks you may have a new car in your future here.
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