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  #1  
Old 07-12-2016, 04:49 PM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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2011 X3 Major Transmission Issues at 66K Odometer

Hi,

My 2011 X3 xDrive 28i is having major automatic transmission issues. It is "slipping" every time I step on the gas to go uphill or to speed quickly on the freeway. It feels like it is slipping and can't generate power. It slips 5 to 6 times before it engages fully. It happens mostly at 30-40 mph but it also also happens at all speeds but less frequently (even at 70-80 mph). The problem is greatly reduced or eliminated mostly when I drive in manual shift mode and shift at 2.5 - 3k RPMs.

When the problem started, I partially drained the transmission fluid (about 2 Qts) and put in ZF lifetime fluid and it worked perfectly for about 200 miles. Now the problem is back and coming more frequently. In fact, the "total powertrain failure" warning light came on twice and car was put in limp mode but after some driving, everything cleared up. I double checked the fluid and topped off. My next action is to replace the transmission pan and refill with 7 Qts of fluid to see if that would help. HOWEVER, since the X3 drives okay on manual shifting, I'm thinking it is a computer/software problem and not a mechanical or fluid issue. I'm buying a ODT reader (Foxwell NT510) just to see what it shows. I'm doing all this b/c I'm somewhat mechanically inclined and I don't want to take it to BMW of Alexandria, VA and get raked over the coals by high priced repair bills.

I am the original owner. It ran nearly perfectly for 66K miles until now.

Anyone have the same issue? Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2016, 05:30 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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2011 X3 Major Transmission Issues at 66K Odometer

How did you only get 2 quarts out? If you remove the drain plug from the pan 5-6 quarts should come out. That is NOT the capacity of the transmission as another 5-6 will still be forever stuck in the torque converter.

I'd drain it, drop the pan and replace the filter and see what that does. At 66k you're well overdue for fluid and filter anyway.

Continued slippage though will destroy the transmission. If you can, find a dedicated transmission shop.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:48 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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What type of driving did you do, racer or just normal? Once the tranny started showing issues, why didn't you do a full filter/fluid change out? Is ZF the correct fluid? There is probably a correct procedure for changing tranny fluid, included the use of a factory type diagnostic program. I am new to bmw, coming from an audi I know following procedure is an absolute must. When driving a vehicle hard, one has to increase maintenance routines. Not trying to upset you, just curious about the wear on the tranny. Like me, I will probably never use use the manual shift paddles.
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2016, 08:15 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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^correct on fill procedure. Drain using drain hole; if you open the full plug first, fluid will come gushing out. Use a pump to put fluid back in until it dribbles out the full hole. Start engine. Add another 3+ quarts until it dribbles out, and replace plug. Put transmission through all gears with foot on brake. Add fluid until it dribbles out. Take for a short drive, getting fluid temp up to 100-122*F. Add fluid to fill hole until it dribbles out.

Being the first year of the ZF 8 speed, mechatronic issues wouldn't be out of the question.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:17 PM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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2011 X3 Major Transmission Issues at 66K Odometer

Thanks guys.

Here is how only 2 qts came out: I ramped the X3 (kept level +-1 degrees) and kept the engine on. I unscrewed the fill plug thinking only a trickle will come out. I wanted to see if the fluid was low. When I opened it, brown fluid came gushing out. I collected all the fluid and when it finally stopped, it ended up as 2 qts. I had a problem at this point. I was not going to change the pan, filter, and fluid until later (when I get the parts). AND, how was I suppose to get all new fluid back in the unit if it was gushing out when I first opened it. There was no way to get it in the regular way. After some thought, I came up with a solution. I plugged the hole, took X3 off the ramp and removed the driver side ramp, and went up on the passage side ramp. Now, the X3 was tilted toward the driver side. I turned the engine on and pumped new fluid back in (2 qts). It was trickling out at the end of the fill. The first test drive made me happy. It was no longer slipping and I was thinking I didn't need to change the pan and fluid until later afterall. The next day, I drove over 300 miles on a road trip w/o any issues. On the return trip (stayed 3 days), the slipping came back and seemed even worst. I finally tried manual shifting and it stopped the problem by 90%.

As for driving style, my teenage son just got his permit so he has been driving the X3 with jerky starts and stops. Maybe that was the cause; I don't know for sure b/c he doesn't drive it that often. I put the right ZF fluid, whose part number, was on the sticker on the pan. I bought it from Autohauzaz.

I have the pan and filter now so I'm going to go and change it. I'll post update later. Thanks!
if this works!
Tommy
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2016, 02:38 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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Was the car hot when u pulled the plug? Did you pull the drain plug or was it the level check plug? If the bmw is the same there is a drain plug and a plug with a standpipe for checking the level. If you pulled the drain plug you would get more than 2 quarts as duke stated. When doing my audi, the car needs to be up to operating temperature, reading the measurement of the tranny pressure in bars if I remember correctly. You get to a certain pressure and fill until it starts running out, by the time I filled and watched the pressure the tranny had gotten to the check pressure, it was correctly filled. So if one was to just open the plug at no pressure the oil would flow out, like several quarts from the standpipe plug and almost all from the drain plug. You definitely need to get all that old oil out, clean the magnets, change the filter. The filter could be a possible source of your problem, not allowing proper flow through. I imagine the bmw is similar to the audi in procedure, but the audi tranny is a Japanese aisin product so I don't know. I have yet to purchase the x3 technical manual or diagnostic program. So I'm just assuming.

Last edited by rayms69; 07-14-2016 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:01 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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I was just asking about how you drive the car, like a race car or like a grandma, because usually trannies last a long time with good maintenence and healthy driving styles. I know some sh!t the bed early due to any number of reasons also. I just looking to get you to volunteer poor driving practices, I personally didn't change my audi q7 4.2 tranny fluid until 60k miles because of confidence in audis build quality, they say it's a lifetime fill, lol. Due to all the terrible problems I ran into with it, I didn't trust their recommendations. Still shifted herky jerky in D and perfect in S, they had updated the valve body for smoother shifts in later revisions to the tranny. I wonder if that's the case with your tranny. These are all reasons for choosing my 16 x3, should have all the bugs worked, fingers crossed.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2016, 06:52 AM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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Okay, here is the update. I changed the transmission pan with new filter built in. I added 5 qts because 5 qts came out. I test drove it and sadly, very sadly, the problem remains. I received my ODT scanner today and hooked it up. It scanned the car but the transmission was without any fault. I reset the learning transmission setting and made no difference. So, given all these data points, I think I can rule out a bad transmission. Also, if the transmission is bad, why does it drive okay on manual shifting?

As for driving style, we drive moderately. Now, I have to take it to a BMW indie to see what the real problem it. More to come. . .

Thomas
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2016, 08:18 AM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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Good luck
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2016, 07:31 PM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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Not the transmission after all

Update. I starting thinking that the problem was not the transmission but the transfer case. I came to this b/c the gears were shifting just fine and the loss of power came on while the gears were fully engaged (not when it was shifting). The "slipping" and loss of power or jerkiness came when strong torque was applied, e.g., speeding on the on-ramp or going uphill. I did more research and X3s have transfer case problems. I saw a video of a no-break gear for the transfer case. I may take out and open it up to see what the gear's condition is. More to follow.
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2016, 02:08 PM
abhi234u abhi234u is offline
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It might also be ignition coils. It happened to me twice and the drive train malfunction light came. Two of my coils were damaged.
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2016, 08:48 PM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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2011 X3 Major Transmission Issues at 66K Odometer

Thanks. I'm taking the X3 into the BMW dealer for a complimentary inspection so I'll let all know what they say.
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2016, 02:29 PM
rhiannon5020 rhiannon5020 is offline
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Have you heard back yet? It sounds like I might be facing the same issue.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2016, 08:38 PM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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Well, the complimentary inspection was only for oil, brakes, fluids, etc. so because I needed a diagnostic testing that was going to cost $170, I said no thanks. I hooked up my ODT sensor again and it found a fault code. It reads "Transfer box (VTG) Control Unit: Internal Fault" Code 44010F/Permanent. I did some research and the transfer box control unit cost about $750-$950. Sucks. For now, I'm drive the X3 on manual shift and the problem is greatly reduced (as stated before). Looking for the part at a reasonable price. I'm also looking for any info online (photos, illustrations) and YouTube videos . . . so far no luck. Most videos are of the older X3 model (E83 and not the F25). Not sure what I'm going to do next.

-Tommy
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2016, 03:30 AM
realtordc realtordc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_H View Post
Hi,

My 2011 X3 xDrive 28i is having major automatic transmission issues. It is "slipping" every time I step on the gas to go uphill or to speed quickly on the freeway. It feels like it is slipping and can't generate power. It slips 5 to 6 times before it engages fully. It happens mostly at 30-40 mph but it also also happens at all speeds but less frequently (even at 70-80 mph). The problem is greatly reduced or eliminated mostly when I drive in manual shift mode and shift at 2.5 - 3k RPMs.

When the problem started, I partially drained the transmission fluid (about 2 Qts) and put in ZF lifetime fluid and it worked perfectly for about 200 miles. Now the problem is back and coming more frequently. In fact, the "total powertrain failure" warning light came on twice and car was put in limp mode but after some driving, everything cleared up. I double checked the fluid and topped off. My next action is to replace the transmission pan and refill with 7 Qts of fluid to see if that would help. HOWEVER, since the X3 drives okay on manual shifting, I'm thinking it is a computer/software problem and not a mechanical or fluid issue. I'm buying a ODT reader (Foxwell NT510) just to see what it shows. I'm doing all this b/c I'm somewhat mechanically inclined and I don't want to take it to BMW of Alexandria, VA and get raked over the coals by high priced repair bills.

I am the original owner. It ran nearly perfectly for 66K miles until now.

Anyone have the same issue? Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!
Had a transmission replaced in my 2007 X3 at 182k miles last year at Wrights Complete Automotive (he specializes in transmissions) for about $2700 ($1700 for a tranny w/ 99k and $1000 for labor, fluids, etc.).. Can't beat that.. Shop is in Fullerton Rd, Springfield, VA near the Costco. I'd at least take it and let him run his diagnostic tool (it is not the same as OBD2, it is special to transmissions and possibly BMWs b/c it pulled codes my OBD2 did not) on it for free since you have no warranty. I would be interested to hear what he tells you, I can say he did not seem interested in attempting to repair it at all, but he's been doing this for a long time so maybe he just knew it was shot.... And we'll it did seem like it was shot to me b/c it just kept getting progressively worse for about 2 weeks until it wouldn't come out of limp mode. I am a car novice and ever-optimist was really hoping he could do some magic and get me out for a few hundred bucks.. Lol overall I was not expecting a transmission swap in a BMW for only $2700 though, however, I let him know my car had 182k on it I was looking to spend the minimum to get it back on the road.. 24k miles later it's still running great.

Last edited by realtordc; 08-02-2016 at 03:32 AM.
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2017, 01:35 PM
Brink5821 Brink5821 is offline
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Tommy,
Curious how you solved your issue. I'm having the exact same problems. Will send PM since this post is a year old
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2018, 05:47 PM
Tommy_H Tommy_H is offline
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Problem solved with rebuilt transfer case and new module.

Hi Mark,

Sorry about the really late reply but here is what I did after the dealer told me that the F25 OEM TRANSFER CASE MOTOR ACTUATOR LONGITUDINAL TORQUE MODULE was bad but when I asked about the transfer case, they said it could also be bad too and there is no way to guarantee that the actuator replacement would solve the problem. So, to save money, I found a guy in CA who sold rebuilt transfer cases for the F25 so I bought that for $1K (shipped my old one after it came out) and I bought a brand new module from BMW online for $1K. I gave both to my local BMW mechanic shop who charged me $1K to install both and reprogram the module (which needed to be done). By doing this, I saved $3.5K since the dealer's quote for a new transfer case and new module plus labor for all was $6.5K. Since the fix, my X3 has been running like new. It is Feb 11, 2018 today. Hope this helps you and others.

-Tommy
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:20 PM
gerald325i gerald325i is offline
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Having the same issue, 2011 F25 at 130,000 miles, all mine. Have never changed the transmission fluid as recommended. Changed all ignition coils (don't do this, just buy a scanner and replace the one that's bad to save $) and no fix, replaced all sparkplugs, no fix. Bought OBD Scanner...X3 has no faults. Tommy, I wish you would have changed one thing at a time ;P

Last edited by gerald325i; 02-27-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:56 PM
robin0806 robin0806 is offline
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Hi,
I have a 2012 X3 28i XDrive, and just have exactly the same problem last week at about the same mileage as you posted (mine is about 69K miles). Same as your, the problem happens mostly about 30~40 mph, but if drive with sports mode, then won't feel any transmission slip issue. I called my repair shop, the technician told me that could be caused by a plastic gear in a xDrive device (later on I know it is called transfer case), but it could also be other causes, they say have to check my car to make sure.
I brought my car to them for a test drive, after test drive, they said it doesn't feel like the plastic gear issue. Then they connect their computer to my car, after 5 minutes, the guy asked me if the spark plugs been replaced or not, I said never, because I thought it should be in 100K miles maintenance. And then the guy told me the engine has misfire issue, and it could cause shaky when driving, and then he checked and found this car need to replace spark plugs at 60K miles. So he suggested to replace spark plugs first (and the coil as well if needed), if the problem still there, then replace that plastic gear in the transfer case motor module.
Fortunately, after the spark plugs replaced, the problem is fixed, but the guy told me if similar problem happen again, the coil may need to be replaced.
This repair shop said BMW released an update part with metal gear (I think for E83 X3 only, haven't found for F25), and they can do just replace that plastic gear in the transfer case motor module. it would just cost 3 hours labor and the gear. I found the plastic gear is available on eBay for just $7, but the metal gear (for E83 X3) is about $30. It is so much less than a new motor module $1300.

Last edited by robin0806; 09-06-2019 at 11:02 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-09-2019, 03:55 AM
arocarty arocarty is offline
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Isn't there an simple test to determine if the transfer case is at fault - by unplugging the actuator on the transfer case? The dealership did this on my '07 X3 to determine the problem was with the TC.
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2011 x3 transmission problems, f25, failures in transmission, faults, issues, slipping, transmission, x3


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