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  #1  
Old 05-06-2018, 02:23 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Unhappy Surging/jerking upon acceleration / gear changes

Like I wrote recently, these X3s are never boring!

New problem (last was the water pump; N52 automatic, MSport):

A week or so ago, on the first day that got almost hot outside in the afternoon, upon driving home from work (after three miles or so, so the car had warmed up) it started surging/jerking upon mild acceleration. Releasing the gas pedal stopped it, but reaccelerating usually caused it to recurr.

Next morning, when cold outside again, no problem. But in the warm-afternoon it did it again. And now with all-day warmth, the jerking happens even in the morning, after driving a mile or two (so after the X3 has warmed up some).

To me it feels like either a transmission or transfer case problem, rather than engine. It also doesn't feel like a slipping transmission. The jerking occurs whether in regular or sport trans-shifting mode.

No error codes (Creator C310) for the engine, transmission, or transfer case. But ... my transfer case's "oil wear" error code, that I've had since I bought this E83 #1, is now gone (was there at first check after the problem started, but now consistently gone). There's no clicking, etc. from the transfer case.

Done already (in the past):

Engine plugs, coils, upstream O2 sensors, VANOS check valves and solenoids, valve cover
Transmission filter and fluid
Transfer case fluid and actuator gear

Done in the past week:

Checked the tires' air pressures (fronts were 3 psi high, one rear was 1 psi low, the other 1 psi high; corrected -- no effect)

Checked the transmission fluid level (full)

Checked the transfer case's fluid level (full/clean; doesn't smell burnt)

Cleaned all four wheel-speed sensors and rear reluctors (weren't too bad)

Did the (via the gas pedal method) trans reset procedure (relearned shift-points, but otherwise no change)

As last resort, then

Unplugged the transfer case (big plug, not the small one). The problem got much worse! (Starting at the 1-2 shift, where prior was maybe 2-3 and 3-4)

I had a couple of suspicions until this last test's result. Anyone else had this problem?
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2018, 07:10 AM
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Have you ever replaced the transfer case fluid? Space and how many miles do you have on it
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:45 AM
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Have you cleaned the maf sensor and throttle body???

05 X3 181k
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:52 AM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rav31 View Post
Have you ever replaced the transfer case fluid?
Yes, and the gear, as described above ... :-)

Quote:
Space and how many miles do you have on it
Space?

Odometer shows around 90K -- I've put maybe only 6K on it in 2.5 years.
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Since 3/2017, also restoring a
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2018, 07:57 AM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmurBrothor View Post
Have you cleaned the maf sensor and throttle body???
Yes the MAF sensor, with the special spray, but will do it again (getting desperate ... fortunately I have other cars to use). Was already very clean the last time. Never the throttle body.

Doesn't feel like an engine problem, however, unless it is sending a weird signal to the trans/TC. The problem occurring only when not-cold outside does make it interesting.
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2018, 08:20 AM
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frisbeeguy frisbeeguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWaufKS View Post
Yes the MAF sensor, with the special spray, but will do it again (getting desperate ... fortunately I have other cars to use). Was already very clean the last time. Never the throttle body.

Doesn't feel like an engine problem, however, unless it is sending a weird signal to the trans/TC. The problem occurring only when not-cold outside does make it interesting.
Don't clean the MAF too much. It's most likely not the issue. MAF's rarely go bad, especially the digital ones (even though many posts say they were bad and a "simple MAF" replacement fixed the issue). First prove it's defective with data.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:06 PM
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Your description sounds like how mine acted after doing a transmission reset in DIS. I documented my experience in the transmission sticky thread above. My understanding is that the accelerator pedal "reset" doesn't really do much - perhaps tricks the overall adaptations into thinking you're a more aggressive driver than you really are? Does the 310 let you reset the transmission adaptations?

Mine was pretty bad and, like yours, didn't show up until the car was driven a ways and at full operating temp. I could be cruising along at a moderate speed and when I tried to accelerate, it was as if the transmission got confused about which gear it wanted - felt at times like it jumped back and forth between two gears multiple times. Going through the tedious procedure I outlined in the transmission sticky thread is the only thing that solved my issue. Subsequently, my alternator died and resulted in a major low voltage situation. After fixing that, the transmission acted up again, but it seems to have come back out of it with some time/mileage. (Before going through the procedure, it seemed to only get worse with time/mileage).

Don't know if somehow that's your problem, but your description is awfully close to what I experienced.

AM.

Last edited by Attacking Mid; 05-07-2018 at 02:08 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2018, 05:15 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaBetaX5 View Post
2-2 If aforementioned trick didnít replicate the jerking, you are looking at a bad solenoid in your mechatronics.
This was one of the two things I was thinking, until unplugging the TC made it much worse. Still make sense that it could be multiple solenoids? (Due to it occurring for various gears)

Thanks all -- keep 'em coming, especially if you've dealt with this problem.

One I've read about elsewhere is bad trans fluid. So I may do another drain and fill, but won't pull the pan (and filter) if I can get the drain plug unfrozen (have a new plug in stock to replace it).
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
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Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2018, 05:27 PM
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If you have an issue somewhere, unplugging the TC is only going to make it worse.



What was the fluid you pumped in last time ?
What is your transmission type?


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  #10  
Old 05-07-2018, 07:58 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaBetaX5 View Post
What was the fluid you pumped in last time ?
Valvoline MaxLife ATF -- the recommended (by Valvoline) fluid for E83s with N52 engines and the six speed GM transmission.
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187

Last edited by BMWaufKS; 05-08-2018 at 12:26 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2018, 08:40 AM
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I doubt that's your problem, but the MaxLife fluid is not Dexron VI approved. Valvoline markets that stuff as some sort of miracle fluid that "exceeds" virtually every spec. It may in fact be a quality fluid (who really knows?), but Valvoline's marketing of it makes me a bit skeptical. I used it in my MIL's Rav4, as the Toyota fluid is not highly regarded, but I'm still not sure about it.

AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2018, 02:23 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Been busy with other things, but just changed the trans fluid and reconnected the TC's big plug. Didn't fix it.

Only took 4+ quarts of ATF, where I think it was 5.5 or so when I dropped the pan and changed the filter too. Car was leaning forward this time, so I suspect a half quart or so was still in the pan. Old fluid didn't smell burnt.

All sorts of error codes from running through the gears (forward, and reverse) while on jack stands today. After setting it back on the ground, clearing the codes, and doing the ~1/2 mile test drive (already hot from the trans fluid fill-job), no error codes returned.

Next I'll try the C-310's reset function, but not today.
__________________
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2018, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWaufKS View Post
Been busy with other things, but just changed the trans fluid and reconnected the TC's big plug. Didn't fix it.

Only took 4+ quarts of ATF, where I think it was 5.5 or so when I dropped the pan and changed the filter too. Car was leaning forward this time, so I suspect a half quart or so was still in the pan. Old fluid didn't smell burnt.


Next I'll try the C-310's reset function, but not today.
Tell me about that...the scanner reset function c310

05 X3 181k
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:53 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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I've had the exact same issue occur a few times this past winter. I thought it was the transmission or transfer case acting up and immediately scanned for failure codes and there were none. My son then drives the car and he said it feels like it's missing, yet there are no failure codes. Then I have my indy tell me it's bad gas and sure enough after I run through the bad tank of gas and fill it up, no more stall/surge problems.

Another added note: At 65k miles my fuel filter pressure regulator was changed by the dealer under warranty and I'm at about 129k miles now. Lately at start up there's no maintained fuel pressure so I have to crank longer to start even in the now warmer temps so that's next on my list to change.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:42 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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old but goody....fuel pressure check valve hack

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Old 05-16-2018, 10:02 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Probably very similar to what the BMW dealer did when I complained about the hard starting about 4 years ago when it was still under warranty. They had it in and out of the shop a few time telling me everything was fine. Well finally I said to my SA you keep it overnight and hook a pressure gage up to it and I'll pay for the time and labor, but if the fuel pressure drops overnight then it's on you. Sure enough they called me the next day saying they replaced the fuel filter pressure regulator, which in the N52's is one unit.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:38 AM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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I don't think mine is bad gas -- it only happens at gear-changes while accelerating, and only (so far) in warm weather after the car has warmed up for five or so minutes. And stops (briefly) after letting off the gas and then re-accelerating. Seems much more like jumping rapidly up/down in gears, or maybe the TC going on/off, or possibly traction control kicking in/out (improperly).

What are the symptoms when tires being worn enough (possibly unevenly) to cause X-Drive problems?
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187

Last edited by BMWaufKS; 05-16-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:41 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Originally Posted by BMWaufKS View Post
I don't think mine is bad gas -- it only happens at gear-changes while accelerating, and only (so far) in warm weather after the car has warmed up for five or so minutes. And stops (briefly) after letting off the gas and then re-accelerating. Seems much more like jumping rapidly up/down in gears, or maybe the TC going on/off, or possibly traction control kicking in/out (improperly).

What are the symptoms when tires being worn enough (possibly unevenly) to cause X-Drive problems?
That's exactly what mine felt like and I also thought it was the transfer case and/or transmission.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWaufKS View Post
I don't think mine is bad gas -- it only happens at gear-changes while accelerating, and only (so far) in warm weather after the car has warmed up for five or so minutes. And stops (briefly) after letting off the gas and then re-accelerating. Seems much more like jumping rapidly up/down in gears, or maybe the TC going on/off, or possibly traction control kicking in/out (improperly).

What are the symptoms when tires being worn enough (possibly unevenly) to cause X-Drive problems?
this is likely your fix for the problem you describe...
Look at this on eBay
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F112316598567

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Old 05-16-2018, 12:44 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Success! ??? CBS reset

Thanks for the ideas, and yes, a trans solenoid was one of my first guesses, as was uneven tire wear.

But ... I just did the Creator C310 "CBS Reset" -- I've just found on-line that this is reset of the "Condition Based Servicing."

Unfortunately, this site's search engine is still performing poorly. A Google search for "Creator C310 reset procedure" gave, as its first result ... my old thread on doing it! :-)

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=923305

I did post #9's CBS reset procedure, and as back then the engine ran poorly after the reset with lots of error lights and messages. After a five minute test drive (no shift-shuttering/jerking), turning the engine off then back on got rid of all but the CEL light, and the engine ran much better. And on another, longer (~5 mile) test drive the trans/TC worked great but is obviously relearning pedal-response. I then cleared the codes (lots in many places), restarted, and went for a short test drive. Drives fine now!

Somehow I suspect this is not over, but maybe it just threw a double-secret "Service me now, or else!" code that made it shift poorly? Until today, I hadn't reset any counters in the car (oil service, etc.) since my original post-purchase fixes of ~2.5 years ago (and maybe 7500 miles total). I'll carry the C310 with me in case ...
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187

Last edited by BMWaufKS; 05-16-2018 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:52 PM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Originally Posted by BimmurBrothor View Post
this is likely your fix for the problem you describe...
Look at this on eBay
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F112316598567

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Wouldn't one of these going bad throw a code? I forgot to mention when mine occurred I did take it to a very good honest transmission place by me and they kept it for a few days scanning everything while driving it and checking all the fluids and linkages and they couldn't find anything wrong with it in the driveline.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:55 PM
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Glad to hear the reset worked. Hopefully, now, it will re-adapt over the next 1K miles or so and result in smooth shifting (or at least as smooth as these transmissions get).

AM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:54 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Originally Posted by BimmurBrothor View Post
How old is your battery?
About 2.5 years. The big H8 one from Walmart (probably made by Johnson Controls).
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187
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  #24  
Old 05-16-2018, 04:12 PM
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About 2.5 years. The big H8 one from Walmart (probably made by Johnson Controls).
well you should be in the clear at that age..as you know things go wacky on these cars/computers when the power supply is sensed faulty.

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Old 05-17-2018, 02:44 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Originally Posted by AlphaBetaX5 View Post
Transmission jerking will (in many cases have) come back after adaptations are learned (learnt).
Hopefully not; time will tell!

Did fine on 10 miles of start/stop city-driving today.

Just looked -- we've only put 4400 miles on this X3 #1 in 2.5 years. Definitely has been multiple dollars per mile driven!
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Since 1/2016, restoring a
2008 BMW X3 M-Sport, N52, automatic ("#1")
Modifications:
All stock except dashcam

Since 3/2017, also restoring a
2008 BMW X3 base-model, N52, automatic ("#2")
Modifications:
Dashcam, cargo cover, cargo mat

Parts for sale: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1382187
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