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E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
18-03-2020, 09:47 PM,
#1
E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
Evening All

So I would like to get some info from you guys.
I have a late 2009 e83 x3 20.d msport.

I had an issue a little while ago with the auto gearbox what felt like it jumped out of gear for a second or 2 then went back into gear.
Transmission yellow light came on and it seemed to slip but had drive.
Stop the vehicle turn it off for a couple seconds back on and it is perfect to go. So I had an oil service done on the box as it was never done ( 160 000km). So had new oil and filter/ gearbox sump replaced.

All felt good driving around town.

Now my issue:
Taking a drive about 120km out of town, when I was about to over take another vehicle the car hit a slight pothole and again the vehicle seemed to jump out of gear for a couple of seconds before it re-engaged with the yellow transmission light coming on again and it felt like it was locked in about 5th gear. So I drove it like that for about 10km ( no slippage). Came to the T junction I turned the car off for about 20 seconds back on and the gearbox seemed to reset itself, as the light went off and the car drove perfectly normal.

On the way back it all seemed fine until I went over the various speed bumps, then you would feel a slight rumble while accelerating for 2 or 3 seconds then it was all fine again.
As I was coming back into town there is a small ( step) in the road again I was starting to accelerate when I hit. the vehicle did the same thing again but this time it felt like it was stuck in 2nd gear.

Now I knew not to turn the vehicle off as it would clear the fault.
So I got home 1,5km from when it happen.
I plugged in those Bluetooth ELM 325 units ( yes I know cheap junk but had 1 around) and the only code it had was a P0401 code ( Exhaust gas recirculation "A" insufficient detected) and of course I had to turn the car off and directly back on and everything has cleared again and the gearbox works fine.

So any ideas what the hell it could be.
I am thinking of disconnecting the transfer case ( I read on here),
but I would really like to know what it could be as this vehicle was bought so that my daughter (almost 18) can take it and use it when she goes off to university.

Extra info I did put 4 new tyres on it and have done just over 1000km on them, before having this issue. They are the continental run flats ( I am not a fan of runflats but for the safety of my daughter I went that route).

Would really appreciate some feed back with ideas and advise.

Thanks

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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19-03-2020, 08:37 AM,
#2
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
Being an Msport, presumably staggered size tyres - 255 rear and 235 fronts? If so, you will very likely find the difference in circumference of the fronts and rears of those Conti's is sufficient to cause transfer case issues, if it is actually the transfer case that is the source of your problem, that is.

If that is the case, you can fit the front size (235's) on the wider rear rims without problems. I did that on mine some time ago, as the correct size Dunlops I had been using were often wearing unevenly, and were getting seriously expensive. Absolutely no problems since fitting same size tyres all round. My 2009 X3 Msport is a manual though.

I know you probably don't want to be buying more tyres, but buying another two of the fronts and fitting them on the rear may just sort out your issues. If the problems appeared immediately after fitting those tyres, there is a good chance that's the issue. Also make 100% sure the tread pattern is the same front and rear. Don't fit different make or model of tyres front and rear, they must be the same.

Dave

Daily: 2009 E83 X3 2.0d MSport manual
2005 E90 330i sport manual
2007 E86 Z4 3.0Si Coupe manual
[Image: 20170809_154744editsml_4351660320.jpg]
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19-03-2020, 08:45 AM,
#3
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
OK, I just noticed you mentioned those tyres have been on the vehicle for 1000 km already. If the circumference difference was really the problem, I would expect you to have encountered problems soon after fitting them. Puzzling. Perhaps more likely a gearbox issue then?

Daily: 2009 E83 X3 2.0d MSport manual
2005 E90 330i sport manual
2007 E86 Z4 3.0Si Coupe manual
[Image: 20170809_154744editsml_4351660320.jpg]
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19-03-2020, 09:54 AM,
#4
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
(19-03-2020, 08:37 AM)davelo Wrote: Being an Msport, presumably staggered size tyres - 255 rear and 235 fronts? If so, you will very likely find the difference in circumference of the fronts and rears of those Conti's is sufficient to cause transfer case issues, if it is actually the transfer case that is the source of your problem, that is.

If that is the case, you can fit the front size (235's) on the wider rear rims without problems. I did that on mine some time ago, as the correct size Dunlops I had been using were often wearing unevenly, and were getting seriously expensive. Absolutely no problems since fitting same size tyres all round. My 2009 X3 Msport is a manual though.

I know you probably don't want to be buying more tyres, but buying another two of the fronts and fitting them on the rear may just sort out your issues. If the problems appeared immediately after fitting those tyres, there is a good chance that's the issue. Also make 100% sure the tread pattern is the same front and rear. Don't fit different make or model of tyres front and rear, they must be the same.

Dave

Hey Davelo

The thing is around town the car is perfect and behaves like it should. That being said Vryheid is a very small town.
It seems to be when driving a longer distance. Only then does it happen.
The time before we had driven the car to Durban and back in a day round trip of just over 700km.
That is why I had thought to do the gearbox oil service.
Also it could be the tyres or the transfer case. What also makes me think that is that when I went over the speed bumps coming back from Newcastle it made that funny rumble noise.

So maybe when the oil in the transfer/ gearbox gets hot or above operating temp that it could start to do the funny things.

Also a quick question would or could the transfer case make the gearbox go into neutral and make it so that you can't do any selecting with the gear lever.

Thanks

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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19-03-2020, 09:55 AM,
#5
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
(19-03-2020, 08:45 AM)davelo Wrote: OK, I just noticed you mentioned those tyres have been on the vehicle for 1000 km already. If the circumference difference was really the problem, I would expect you to have encountered problems soon after fitting them. Puzzling. Perhaps more likely a gearbox issue then?

Gearbox problem.

That is what is scaring me.

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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19-03-2020, 09:58 AM,
#6
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
I did take it to a gearbox repair place here in Vryheid but they can't pick up any fault codes as it clears itself as soon as you turn off and restart again.

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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19-03-2020, 10:24 AM,
#7
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
If there is someone who can do a proper scan for codes, maybe that's the best place to start. The problem is there are various possible causes.

I changed my X3's transfer case fluid at about 190 000 km and it was very dirty. It only takes just over half a litre (I think I paid around R600 per litre from the agents some time ago). Ideally you then would also need to find someone who can reset the case's adaptation values to account for the transfer case disks friction difference with the new fluid. Otherwise the electronics can detect the change as being caused by wear, which may throw an error code.

In terms of gearbox issues, I've never even owned a torque convertor auto (wife has a Golf DSG) so have no experience in that dept. I have heard anecdotal evidence that changing auto gearbox fluid at high mileages can sometimes cause rather than fix problems, but it sounds like you encountered this problem before doing the gearbox fluid change?

Hopefully someone with more knowledge of this will chime in...

Daily: 2009 E83 X3 2.0d MSport manual
2005 E90 330i sport manual
2007 E86 Z4 3.0Si Coupe manual
[Image: 20170809_154744editsml_4351660320.jpg]
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19-03-2020, 11:00 AM,
#8
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
Check that the electrical connections between the gearbox solenoid pack and the control module are secure.

Hitting a pothole or speedbump could dislodge the electrical plug if it is not 100% secure.

Nothing comes at a higher price than that which is free.

330i
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19-03-2020, 11:41 AM,
#9
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
(19-03-2020, 11:00 AM)Blue Shirt Wrote: Check that the electrical connections between the gearbox solenoid pack and the control module are secure.

Hitting a pothole or speedbump could dislodge the electrical plug if it is not 100% secure.

That could be something to look at.
Any idea where in blue blazers would I find that.

I can do basic services and stuff on vehicles so not tooooo stupid ( I hope anyway)

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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19-03-2020, 11:55 AM,
#10
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
Get the car on a lift, look for the wiring harnass running to the back of the gearbox where an electrical connector is plugged in. There will also be smaller wires running to speed sensors and temperature sensors.

Nothing comes at a higher price than that which is free.

330i
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19-03-2020, 05:57 PM,
#11
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
If the gearbox plug is secure and the car still does the odd "jump out of gear" thing again i would just unplug the transfer case electrical connection and drive the car like that for a while to make sure the problem does not surface again. If it does not surface then you can assume it is the transfer case at fault. I have driven for about two years with the transfer case electrical plug unplugged and had not a day's problem. Car felt the same as with the transfer case connected but did not have any clunking or other issues. Only problem is the transfer case warning light will be on on the dash all the time (small triangle with arrow circle inside iirc.) I took the cluster apart and taped black masking tape (about three layers) over the light as it was annoying me. Cluster is difficult to open so i opened it just enough for me to be able to reach the bulb/led with a tweezer and stuck the tape over that. Car drove fine until i sold it. New owner knows about the problem and has no complaints.
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19-03-2020, 06:54 PM,
#12
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
(19-03-2020, 05:57 PM)Solo Man Wrote: If the gearbox plug is secure and the car still does the odd "jump out of gear" thing again i would just unplug the transfer case electrical connection and drive the car like that for a while to make sure the problem does not surface again. If it does not surface then you can assume it is the transfer case at fault. I have driven for about two years with the transfer case electrical plug unplugged and had not a day's problem. Car felt the same as with the transfer case connected but did not have any clunking or other issues. Only problem is the transfer case warning light will be on on the dash all the time (small triangle with arrow circle inside iirc.) I took the cluster apart and taped black masking tape (about three layers) over the light as it was annoying me. Cluster is difficult to open so i opened it just enough for me to be able to reach the bulb/led with a tweezer and stuck the tape over that. Car drove fine until i sold it. New owner knows about the problem and has no complaints.

Hi Soloman

Yes I did read that you had done that.
I am definitely thinking along those lines to see if it is a transfer case or gearbox.
for the moment I am not to worried about the lights.
At least it might let me know which direction I need to go in.
Transfer case or gearbox

Thanks

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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20-03-2020, 08:53 AM,
#13
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
I have the same issue on my E90 320d. It only happens on bumpy roads. Switch off and start and it clears. It hasn't happened in a while but still worrying. I feel its an electrical or sensor issue as under any other circumstances the box operates 100%. I hope you figure it out.

Current: 1998 BMW M3
2012 E90 320d Msport
Ex: Astra Coupe Turbo
Ex: Honda civic Vtec
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20-03-2020, 09:00 AM,
#14
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
A faulty transfer case would not normally put the gearbox into limp mode. You will rather get the yellow triangle 4x4 error light which will open up the clutch in the transfer case and you will lose the AWD. Most often it is only the plastic drive gear that has stripped in the actuator and is easily replaceable but this is unrelated to any gearbox issue.

My money is on a faulty electrical connection somewhere around the gearbox harness.

Nothing comes at a higher price than that which is free.

330i
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20-03-2020, 09:26 AM,
#15
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
(18-03-2020, 09:47 PM)andrewh Wrote: Evening All

So I would like to get some info from you guys.
I have a late 2009 e83 x3 20.d msport.

I had an issue a little while ago with the auto gearbox what felt like it jumped out of gear for a second or 2 then went back into gear.
Transmission yellow light came on and it seemed to slip but had drive.
Stop the vehicle turn it off for a couple seconds back on and it is perfect to go. So I had an oil service done on the box as it was never done ( 160 000km). So had new oil and filter/ gearbox sump replaced.

All felt good driving around town.

Now my issue:
Taking a drive about 120km out of town, when I was about to over take another vehicle the car hit a slight pothole and again the vehicle seemed to jump out of gear for a couple of seconds before it re-engaged with the yellow transmission light coming on again and it felt like it was locked in about 5th gear. So I drove it like that for about 10km ( no slippage). Came to the T junction I turned the car off for about 20 seconds back on and the gearbox seemed to reset itself, as the light went off and the car drove perfectly normal.

On the way back it all seemed fine until I went over the various speed bumps, then you would feel a slight rumble while accelerating for 2 or 3 seconds then it was all fine again.
As I was coming back into town there is a small ( step) in the road again I was starting to accelerate when I hit. the vehicle did the same thing again but this time it felt like it was stuck in 2nd gear.

Now I knew not to turn the vehicle off as it would clear the fault.
So I got home 1,5km from when it happen.
I plugged in those Bluetooth ELM 325 units ( yes I know cheap junk but had 1 around) and the only code it had was a P0401 code ( Exhaust gas recirculation "A" insufficient detected) and of course I had to turn the car off and directly back on and everything has cleared again and the gearbox works fine.

So any ideas what the hell it could be.
I am thinking of disconnecting the transfer case ( I read on here),
but I would really like to know what it could be as this vehicle was bought so that my daughter (almost 18) can take it and use it when she goes off to university.

Extra info I did put 4 new tyres on it and have done just over 1000km on them, before having this issue. They are the continental run flats ( I am not a fan of runflats but for the safety of my daughter I went that route).

Would really appreciate some feed back with ideas and advise.

Thanks

Move to Transmission related discussions

Current Rides
2013 Audi Q7 3.0 V6 TDI S Line
2006 Audi A3 Sportsback 2.0T S-Tronic Ambition FRC ECU & S-TRONIC TUNED

(Ex BMW'S 2006 335i, 2006 X3 30d 2003 330i, 2002 325i 2000 540i, 1998 318i MS, 1992 325i MEX)
(NON BMW'S 2006 A4 AVANT, 2003 POLO 1.6, 2000 200 STI, 2000 RSI 20V, 1999 GTI, 1998 RSI 20V)
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21-03-2020, 05:00 PM,
#16
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
So a quick update:

Yesterday I disconnected the 2 plugs from the transfer case.
More for a process of elimination.

So quickly maybe I am being stupid but after disconnecting the wires and taking the car for a short drive around our small little dorpie.
The car felt quicker and smoother. Nothing major but definitely something that felt noticeable ( maybe that I was driving my ranger to much).

So I did a round trip of 240km today.
I was almost happy and excited. On the way back it did it again.
There was no rumbling after hitting the speed bumps and it felt smoother. It did once where it seemed to kick down hard then jumped into neutral and back into gear but stayed in top gear. Had to stop turn car off restart and carry on again.

Something I did notice on the drive today was that at times when I put my foot flat ( not past the kick down point ) the gearbox felt like it would downshift twice hard then jump back up to the original gear and if you hold your foot down it would just stay in that gear.
If you lift your foot off the accelerator and put it down again it would kick down as normal and off you go.
At times I would notice that when it downshifted that it felt "hard" for a lack of a better word.
Once or twice on the way back it also felt a little hard when it shifted from 2nd to 3rd ( we have stop and go for road works in our area).

So what I think in my very limited knowledge that it is definitely the gearbox but having the strain on the gearbox from the transfer case made the situation worse.

My question I would like to ask is:
Why is it around town no issues at all but on open road after a long enough distance does it start to act up?

On a side note I definitely prefer the drive with the transfer case disconnected.

I am curious to read your thoughts.
Thanks

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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22-03-2020, 03:51 PM,
#17
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
Did you at least take the trouble to check if the electrical connectors at the gearbox are secure?

Nothing comes at a higher price than that which is free.

330i
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23-03-2020, 09:57 AM,
#18
RE: E83 x3 weird gearbox issues
(22-03-2020, 03:51 PM)Blue Shirt Wrote: Did you at least take the trouble to check if the electrical connectors at the gearbox are secure?

Hi
Yes I did check the connections for the gearbox diesel filter and a couple others while I took off the covers underneath.

1 thing I did find was that the transfer case connection comes off very easily compared to the other connections.

LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!Angry
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