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BMW E83 X3 2004-2010 (Sport Activity Vehicle) X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem


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Last Post: Dec 4, 2015 2:48 AM Last Post By: HIZ4M
gdking32

Posts: 19
Registered: 07/21/08
X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 15, 2015 8:11 PM
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I replaced the servomotor gear using the Odometer gear replacement part. Prior to the repair I had the ABS, Brake and 4x4 lights illuminated on the dash and a clicking sound when the engine was turned off. The original gear was worn in a section of the gear suggesting that the gear does not use the entire gear for its function. I performed the original repair (October 2014) before I had purchased the Bentley X3 manual. I did not change the transfer fluid nor did I reset the wear adaption since I was unaware of the requirementt. After I installed the repaired servomotor the 3 lights went out and the car drove fine until this week. This week the three lights are back however there is no clicking noise when the car is turned off. Prior to the problem that surfaced this week there was an occasional jutter at slow speeds.

The ABS, Brake and 4x4 lights illuminated on the dash are intermittent. They appear and disappear in a random pattern. Once they are on they remain on until the engine is restarted and they may remain on or turn off. There does not seem to be a clicking noise when they are on and the car is turned off.

Is it possible that the new problem is either oil or software related. Or it it possible that the problem is the servomotor and not the gear. I have only 92k the car and only 5k since the gear was changed. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Edited by: gdking32 on Mar 16, 2015 7:21 PM
mijaca71

Posts: 1
Registered: 03/25/15
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 25, 2015 11:48 PM   in response to: gdking32 in response to: gdking32
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Hello, other than the lights did you have any other symptoms? Like failure under acceleration, something like car loosing power or going on fail safe mode, usually from 2500 to 3000 rpm?
gdking32

Posts: 19
Registered: 07/21/08
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 26, 2015 2:50 PM   in response to: mijaca71 in response to: mijaca71
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Thanks for your reply to my post. There are other symptoms that are typical of the X Drive system being disabled such as increased braking distance, judder at low speed, changes in the handling and rear end chatter at low speeds when turning 90 degrees. I have had a number of situations when I start the car and the Service Engine Soon (MIL) Light appears and the engine runs rough. If I turn the engine off and restart the engine the MIL light goes off and the engine runs smoothly. Currently the 4x4, ABS and Brake light are all on when the car is running. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Charlie

Posts: 4,783
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 31, 2015 8:58 AM   in response to: gdking32 in response to: gdking32
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The first thing I'd do is look at the fault code information. you'll need access to a BMW scan tool. BTW, many independents have such equipment as do the BMW stores. www.bimrs.org is one place to find a listing of reputable independent BMW repair facilities.
Find out what faults are stored and go from there. Next I'd pull the servo motor and inspect the gear. It is possible that it may have split.

If the servomotor looks fine and the faults codes don't point to the clutch actuation, try changing the oil and resetting the adaptations. The oil wear fault is set when the clutch plates wear and the servo motor has to travel further than expected. The judder may be the result of a slipping clutch. Resetting adaptations builds the wear into the servomotor travel range. Not the most scientific explanation, but hopefully you get my point.

Have you watched our video?

Let us know what you discover.

Good luck,

Charlie

Edited by: Charlie on Mar 31, 2015 8:58 AM
gdking32

Posts: 19
Registered: 07/21/08
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 31, 2015 12:57 PM   in response to: Charlie in response to: Charlie
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Thanks for your post and advice. Are you familiar with the Bavarian Technic Diagnostic Scan software for BMW? I have been researching the market for an affordable diagnostic scan tool that will work with BMW's after purchasing the Bentley X3 Service Manual. The Autologic Diagnostics Scan tool featured in the X3 Service Manual is prohibitively expensive even on eBay. Since the X3 is no longer under warranty I plan to do as much of the routine maintenance (water pump, plugs, belts) as possible so a good scan tool that can detect DTC's and reset CBS is something that I am looking to invest in. As for the current problem with the Transfer Case Servomotor I plan to remove the actuator from the car and inspect the Odometer gear as suggested and will let you know what I discover.
Charlie

Posts: 4,783
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 31, 2015 4:11 PM   in response to: gdking32 in response to: gdking32
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The Bavarian Technic Diagnostic Scan software looks impressive, though I have not used it. They never used CBS on the E83, but I get the point. Smart to do things yourself. Not too hard with good information and the right tools and equipment.

-Charlie
gdking32

Posts: 19
Registered: 07/21/08
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Mar 31, 2015 8:42 PM   in response to: Charlie in response to: Charlie
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Thanks for the reply. I was unaware that the X3 E83 does not make use of CBS which leads me to ask what key features beyond detecting and reset DTC's should I look for in a Diagnostic Scan tool for my car? Your advice is greatly appreciated in advance.
gdking32

Posts: 19
Registered: 07/21/08
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Apr 21, 2015 7:06 PM   in response to: Charlie in response to: Charlie
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I purchased the Bavarian Technic Diagnostic kit which is basically a USB cable and software. Prior to purchasing the Diagnostic kit from Bavarian Technic I removed the actuator motor and took it apart. The replacement gear I had installed a few months ago showed zero signs of wear. The only concern was some grease on the Odometer gear where the gear interfaces with the worm drive. I had purchased a replacement gear in case the other one was defective so I decided to install a new gear. Installed the rebuilt servomotor a second time but the problem remains. The ABS, Brake and 4x4 lights are all on consistently. I am getting a 55C4 DTC from the 4WD system and a 5EBF DTC from the DSC. I am wondering if it is possible that grease from the servomotor rebuild caused the motor itself to fail. The problem was initially intermittent, but is now persistent. Looks like the Bentley manual only has the DTC's for the Engine and not the rest of the system. Any guidance on the source of the problem is appreciated in advance.
gdking32

Posts: 19
Registered: 07/21/08
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: May 1, 2015 3:18 PM   in response to: gdking32 in response to: gdking32
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I finally broke down and took the vehicle to the local BMW dealership for a diagnosis. The problem turns out not to be with the Transfer Case Servomotor, it is the DSC control module. Apparently these modules fail and take the wheel speed sensors with them. It is my understanding that only the dealer can repair the vehicle since the new control module must be programmed. When the DSC control module fails the X Drive system is deactivated and the ride characteristics of the vehicle change dramatically. Since I recently replaced the Transfer Case Servomotor at 92k, having the DSC control module fail is further evidence of the significant decrease in quality at BMW. Rather than call the 4 wheel drive system X Drive it would be more appropriate to call the system X Jive. In researching the problem I uncovered a number of owners who have had similar problems on low mileage vehicle. The lesson learned is that if you purchase a vehicle with X Drive get the 100k warranty and sell the car before the warranty expires, other wise you are looking at a tsunami of expensive to repair problems.
HIZ4M

Posts: 1
Registered: 08/06/05
Re: X3 Transfer Case Servomotor Problem
Posted: Dec 4, 2015 2:48 AM   in response to: mijaca71 in response to: mijaca71
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Hello...This is exactly what I had happen..."Like failure under acceleration, something like car loosing power" AND "went into fail safe mode" (RPM was from 2500 to 3000 rpm, this last time. The first time it was at 5000 - 6000RPM (I tried passing a vehicle....)" I put the engine in neutral, turned the key to the off position and then restarted the engine (ran ok). Then pulled over, placed transmission in park, turned the engine off, took out the key. I sat for a few minutes, then restarted the car and went on my way. This has happened about 4-5 times.

Thank you for any assistance....


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