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03-05-2012 12:58 PM #21
03-05-2012 10:21 PM #22
I was able to get the best price by going to a local mechanic in town who had BMW experience. The BMW dealers are out to lunch with their quotes. The cost would have been $3000 if I required a new transfer case but the problem was the actuator. According to BMW the actuator on this years model of 328xi AWD was flakey and had a manufacturers flaw. Its too bad for me that the flaw did not manifest itself while it was still on warranty.
03-07-2012 10:10 AM #23
I have a 2005 X3 and all 3 lights went on (ABS, 4x4, Brake). The car seemed to be running fine and after stopping and starting the car the lights were gone for a few days. They wereintermittent for about a week and then started to appear regularily after i drove a short distance. I had the problem diagnosed electronically by a BMW (non-dealership) mechanic using their electronic computer set up. he told me that it came back that the tnsfer actuator motor needed to be replaced. He dsaid he had seen the same thing in 3 other X3's with around 100,000 miles over the last few months. he also said the oil in the transfer case was dirty. I took it to the dealership who originally thought that it was just the dirty oil that set the lights off. However after they hooked it up to their computer the same read out indicated that i needed the motor to be replaced too. I gues s I could have kept driving it relying just on rear wheel drive and non computerized braking. The motor apparently distributes the drive to the front wheels for braking and drive. However I bit the bullet and got it fixed ($1600). The dealer claims this is rare but the other mechanic thinks it is a problem for all X3's built after 2004. This sytem was the only addition to the 2005 X3 compared to the 2004 (which doesn't have theis problem. Also the identical transfer motor assembly system is used in BMW sedans but never has a problem. It's just in 2005 and newer X3, X5's.
03-10-2012 06:35 AM #24
I have x3 2004 3.0 balck now it 235000 KM and i have a problem in my trasnfare box, i change it by used on but i surprised that its not working and ABS, 4x4, and Brake warning lights all on with mintion that before i wasnt have any lights on.
what can i do now
i am planing to change all whts inside the box by mine and to fix mine
03-21-2012 10:54 PM #25
I have a BMW 2006 X3 with 105K on it.
I researched this issue times and time again on the internet.
It is an awful design inside the actuator. A poly made of plastic that keep breaking.
BMW refuse to acknowledge its a faulty design and owners pay between
a $1000.00 to $4000.00 to replace the damaged part.
I saw a post on the Internet where the poly can be replaced for real cheap.
am going for dealer to come up with the true diagnostics
taking it from there to my mechanic
08-13-2012 10:26 PM #26
I followed the instructions explained in this link and the issue is solved free.
A couple weeks ago, I got the "terrible triad" of lights (ABS, 4x4, and Brake). Recently, I got the clicking noise after turning the car off and was able to determine that it was coming from a transfer case. Using several posts from here, especially this one:
I bought a new transfer case actuator and installed it. Problem solved, no lights, no clicking, all better. It is not a cheap part at 720 bucks from getbmwparts.com, and 900 bucks elsewhere, so the engineer in me wanted to figure out why they were failing.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I disected the old actuator to find out what the heck is going on inside it. I appologize for the huge pictures, but some sort of resolution was needed to describe what I was trying to say.
What the actuator looks like when off the car:
And broken down into the pieces: Bottom right is the motor, top right is the brush assembly, top left is a guard of some sort that pops off (albeit bent and unusable once you have it off) and the bottom left is the gear assembly (we'll focus on this one)
After I popped off the oil guard piece, here is what the inside looked like, a ton of shavings and grease.
So you can see the motor turns a worm gear which is mated to a black gear (which is made of plastic !!!) Eventually, this gear wears down like crazy and doesnt have any teeth left to grip the worm gear. This is what causes the slipping, and the error lights, and especially the clicking sound.
In this photo, you can see the change from good gear area to the bad area. The good area is on the left, and as you follow the black gear around to the right, you can see where it has been worn down from sitting all the time.
So, I went farther. I took off the black gear to see what it looked like:
Good side (what it should look like everywhere):
Bad side (Cause of the problem)
So now we know what the cause is, how can we fix it? It has been (from my research) that everyone just buys a new actuator. Yes, it fixes the problem, I can vouch for that, but I don't know how many other people looked into what CAUSED the problem.
I bet you could unbolt the motor from the gear housing assembly (it is held on by 4 torx bolts that come off quite easily compared to trying to remove the actuator from the car).
Mark a location of the current position on the white plastic gear you can see in the first photo. After the motor is unbolted and removed (ONLY THE MOTOR, DONT DESTROY YOUR ACTUATOR AND TAKE THE WHOLE THING APART!!!!), turn the white plastic gear 180 degrees from its current location. This takes the bad part of the gear and puts it where it will not get used, which means that a good part is now in contact with the worm gear.
Re-insert the motor and bolt back together. This should give you, say another 65k miles (when mine failed) or so before you likely have to replace the actuator. Re-install on your transfer case, and voila! you should be good to go with only an hour or so of your time wasted instead of time and 900 bucks.
I haven't tried this, so try it at your own risk, but with pulling everything apart, it seems like a pretty safe bet, but obviously I can't be held responsible if something does go wrong.
Hope perhaps it can save someone almost a thousand dollars. I believe my logic is sound, but I look forward to your comments!
01-11-2013 11:34 PM #27
4x4,break, and abs light all on!!
I have a 04 2.5i x3 with the light problems. From what I can tell the problem comes down to the transfer case shift motor. With a metal worm gear to a plastic receiver it's only a matter of time before it wears out. This all goes back to BMW over engeniering things to make them so complicated then just throwing plastic parts were ever. I have found a replacement mottor for 375$ as the cheapes price and is something most people can replace in there drive way with a couple jacks. I will be trying to do what the last poster said and rotate to plastic reciever to exspose it to new plastic. Would like to contact BMW with this information, but doubt it would do anything. This is the second over priced piece of plastic I have had to replace on this x3 that BMW seems to think is ok to put on a 50,000$ car. If I want cheap plastic ill by Asian import.
05-23-2014 10:08 PM #28
2008 BMW X3 4x4 and Brake warning light on
This has been occurring over the last couple of years randomly. We find it mostly when the car has been sitting and it is really hot out (sitting outside in the sun) and the car is hot inside. The lights come on when you start the car and then after driving some, they go off. The original dealer had no explanation. My wife had the car in Florida this week (May 2014) and had the problem occur. The dealer put it on the diagnostic equipment and said it indicated one module was okay but the steering column needed to be replaced. The dealer could not guarantee it would fix it. We chose not to replace the steering column. The lights are now off again. I suspect there is some sensor or wiring issue in the car (could be steering column) that trips when it gets too hot. Car seems to drive okay.
08-06-2014 07:18 AM #29
X3 warning lights all come on
I have the same problem, and found this on youtube. it might help.
05-29-2016 04:32 AM #30
06-06-2016 03:43 PM #31
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