BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
  • BimmerFest Mobile App is now available on iOS & Android, Learn More

Drivetrain Malfunction

7783 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  SexieWASD
Has the issue with the everlasting problem of “DriveTrain Malfunction” ever been resolved? I have a 2011 X3, 35i, with only 25,000 miles. The day before my warranty expired that message popped up. Took to the dealer and picked up the next day saying “Bye Guys I hope this doesn’t happen again after the warranty ran out. During the years, five loaner cars, many many hours at dealerships, NO BMW SERVICE CENTER HAS FIGURED OUT THE PROBLEM. I have dealt with Corporate and the decision was NOT to fix it or even offer me an extended warranty. That was QUITELY whispered to me. I wish I knew about this site before the purchase as I am thoroughly disappointed with my “dream car” I saved for a loooong time!! I’m petrified to drive long distances as it appears to pop up RANDOMLY!! I wish I had reported this car as a lemon. On top of that the glove compartment fell apart, the moonroof material split in half, and the wonderful drive train malfunction. This happened under warranty. What have others done with their X3 having this issue? I’ve read about all of the problems on this site since 2013. I would tell individuals NOT to ever buy any X3. It’s a shame because I love the car, but it’s no point, as of today, to have a car sitting with only 25,000/2011, with a drivetrain malfunction popping up intermittenly. WHAT HAVE OTHERS DONE (SOLD, TRASHED, REACHED A RESOLUTION)? I’m very very interested in your responses.
1 - 2 of 15 Posts
Issues are more typical with the 2.8 engines - timing chain etc. My '13 x3 3.5, now at 45K miles, has never given me any issues other than a rattling moonroof (common) and the glovebox door separating, both of which were repaired at no cost to me. These 3L sixes are solid as rocks. If you are covered under warranty, great (I'm assuming you haven't put any money into the car. You say you love your car - with that issue and the time/effort you've put into it to try to resolve it, I'm not sure I would. If the problem can't be found, personally, I would trade the car on something else. If you've begun to pour money into it, the decision should be a no-brainer.
This was recently posted and may help.

"The 35i is a straight 6 cylinder turbocharged engine, the N55. Worry about systemic problems with the water pump, the thermostat module, and an oil leak around the oil filter housing, but not the timing chain.

The original F25 X3 28i engine was a straight 6-cylinder normally aspirated engine, the N52. I haven't seen any common problems reported with the N52, but I wouldn't have been looking for them either.

Somewhere around end-of-year 2011, for the 2012 model year, BMW changed the 28i engine to the N20, a straight-4 turbocharged engine. The N20 is the engine which people are currently talking about, with failed engines due to problems with the timing chain guide.

Somewhere around the 2014 model year, which would have begun with April 2013 production, BMW modified the timing chain guide in the N20. That may or may not have cured the problem - time will tell.

So, bottom line, your 35i may have different problems, but they're significantly less expensive to repair then the N20 timing chain issue. You're potentially looking at $2000 or so if you experience all three. N20 owners are looking at $15,000 - $20,000 if they have a timing chain failure and can't get any assist from BMW NA."

I have the 3.0L six in my 3.5i and have had no significant issues to date (46.6K miles), and no engine issues. Time will tell for sure.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.