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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife's 2013 X3 just stopped and gave a drivetrain malfunction error in the middle of the road while she was driving.

I was unable to move it and could not push it.

I tried the emergency electronic release but after 20 minutes realized no matter what I did it would not work.

Then I remembered the manual release screw under the car!

This video helped.... But I had to remove the panels underneath with a 8mm socket to gain access to the Allen wrench screw.

Let me say..... what a pain in the ass!

Finally got the car out of gear and towed home. To make matters worse warranty just expired 3 months ago, car now has 53,000. I swear BMW does this on purpose.

No I am trying to diagnose the problem..

I am hoping its something simple... I have seen where the ignition coils have failed locking out the transmission to prevent damage...

ANy help would be appreciated. I cant believe how dangerous this car is designed. I was stuck in one spot for 1 hour trying to disengage the gear lock. I hope this helps someone else. The car was unable to be moved or towed until the lock is disabled.

Anyone have any idea on what it could be?...

***UPDATE***
The timing chain and or timing chain guards failed resulting in a total loss of the engine.


I have had many people with the BMW N20 issue email me of similar failures and am keeping a list here...
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W-8OS20dHFYuGzbW3o6asbA61aiNC7nSjO0qMWTYAH4/edit#gid=0

Please add your comments to this forum if you had a similar experience.
 

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Ran into something similar except luckily I ended up on the shoulder out of traffic. The starter wouldn't crank, could not get it into neutral, so the tow truck had to drag it up the ramp. Ugh. Bad design to not be able to move a disabled vehicle in case of emergency, that's for sure.
 

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Must Read. Stuck Car! Drivetrain malfunction and how to disable it..

Do you have a link to the video? Or was it just the pictures you were referring to?

Thanks! Good luck with the fix! It happened to me and it was the megatronic module. One day my car was working perfectly fine and the next day it wouldn't shift out of park. No warning nothing. Car would turn on and everything would work as normal just wouldn't get out of park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Problem is having to have all the tools available and the time.
I am trying to get the car to a service computer tomorrow. Bmw dealer will likely charge an arm and a leg. Will see what my local Bmw mechanic will say.
Didn't even know what a megatronic module was until you mentioned it. Then I noticed alot of posts on them failing.

What did the repair cost. I'm assuming you were under warranty.

Looks like this is my next project
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rJw7RWGl0Qw
 

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My wife's 2013 X3 just stopped and gave a drivetrain malfunction error in the middle of the road while she was driving.

I was unable to move it and could not push it.

I tried the emergency electronic release but after 20 minutes realized no matter what I did it would not work.

Then I remembered the manual release screw under the car!

This video helped.... But I had to remove the panels underneath with a 8mm socket to gain access to the Allen wrench screw.

Let me say..... what a pain in the ass!

Finally got the car out of gear and towed home. To make matters worse warranty just expired 3 months ago, car now has 53,000. I swear BMW does this on purpose.

No I am trying to diagnose the problem..

I am hoping its something simple... I have seen where the ignition coils have failed locking out the transmission to prevent damage...

ANy help would be appreciated. I cant believe how dangerous this car is designed. I was stuck in one spot for 1 hour trying to disengage the gear lock. I hope this helps someone else. The car was unable to be moved or towed until the lock is disabled.

Anyone have any idea on what it could be?...
You need to get the BMW codes read out - this can be caused by many things.
 

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Problem is having to have all the tools available and the time.
I am trying to get the car to a service computer tomorrow. Bmw dealer will likely charge an arm and a leg. Will see what my local Bmw mechanic will say.
Didn't even know what a megatronic module was until you mentioned it. Then I noticed alot of posts on them failing.

What did the repair cost. I'm assuming you were under warranty.

Looks like this is my next project
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rJw7RWGl0Qw
Don't know what the repair would have cost as it was under warranty. Big headache to deal with.
Good luck with your issue. And let us know what the problem is
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Opened the oil cover... the car is turning but not starting.
When I look in the oil cover the timing chain is not moving!

Now I'm thinking the car is got a big mechanical failure...

For some reason the mechanic's code reasder could not communicate with the computer to pull the codes with his BMW scanner.

Ill keep updating as I figure it out. Any suggestions are welcome.
 

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Opened the oil cover... the car is turning but not starting.
When I look in the oil cover the timing chain is not moving!

Now I'm thinking the car is got a big mechanical failure...

For some reason the mechanic's code reasder could not communicate with the computer to pull the codes with his BMW scanner.

Ill keep updating as I figure it out. Any suggestions are welcome.
So the engine is turning over, but looking into the oil cap nothing is moving?

Sounds like a timing chain failure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Latest update....
First it was 100 dollars to diagnose the problem at the dealership.
Then they needed to do an "deep" inspection. Another 790 dollars.

I was told they have found metal shavings in the oil filter and still don't know what the problem is.

I think the gear of the timing chain failed, but I hope I'm wrong.

Lets see what Bmw does.

I can say I am very disappointed so far and hope bmw extends the warranty. :mad: for the 3k miles is over.
If not this is the last time I make the mistake of buying and not leasing. Also it will be the last BMW I drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So they took the care apart and found the plastic timing chain alignment guard was shattered. They are charging 6k for the repair or 17k if they need to replace the Motor.
The said I can try to contact Bmw America if they will help. And maybe give a 10% discount.
Bad news.
 

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Omg. This freaks me out....I hope BMW helps you. How could this have been avoided, or can't it? Is this a rare occurrence or a known fault? Why is there a PLASTIC piece in there tha, if broken, can cause failure of the entire engine?
 
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