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'07 X3 Auto Transmission Shifting Problems

Discussion in 'E83 X3 (2004-2010)' started by aamanzio, Mar 25, 2009.

    aamanzio guest

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    I've just taken our X3 to the dealer for the third time. The shifting program is awful and has not improved after 2 previous visits for software downloads. The shifting is so off that one would never guess they were driving a BMW, if it were not for the badges. The problem occurs when trying to accelerate through a turn or after coasting to a slower/slow speed or when trying to accelerate up an incline. During these events the tranny (software?) is trying to decide which gear to downshift to (while keeping Al Gore happy??) and the delay can be 2-5 seconds. At times it can be a real safety issue.

    I have 2 question. How many others have or are experiencing this in our group, and can anyone confirm whether or not the same tranny is in the '09 X5? (My dealer believes it is.)

    Thanks,
    Tony Amanzio

    Autohaus guest

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    How can the dealer not know this answer? Have the dealer install a new transmission. What is your mileage?

    aamanzio guest

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    The dealer seemed sure that the same tranny is in the '09 X5 but a couple of my acquaintances disagree. I was just wondering if anyone here knew for sure. All I know is that they've given me a new '09 X5 loaner and the tranny has similar issues as mine.

    As to my expectations, my understanding from external sources is that this is not an uncommon problem in the '07 X3, so a new tranny (or computer module probably won't do much more for me). They're going to have to step-up or: I'm either stuck w/ this or I take a bath and trade it for another brand or I go the CT Lemon Law route. The last three outs are really unappealing but......

    Tony Amanzio

    BIMMIR guest

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    Good luck! I keep hearing these issues with automatics. It scared me off. I have an 07 X3 with a stick, and other than the slow 1-2 shift (which I could fix with a valve) it's great. From what I've heard from others, depending on your miles, it could be the tranny, if the miles are low, you are probably on the right track with software.
    The bad news, I'm not sure if they have it sorted out yet.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Automatics are never a good idea, IMO. Too many things to go wrong with them.

    Have you tried driving it in manual mode (Steptronic)? Try it out and manually select a lower gear and see if it engages immediately like it should.

    aamanzio guest

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    The tranny does work pretty good, in the Sport mode. That said, Sport mode isn't for all the time or for everyone - and it does get you dirty looks when you're cruising through your residential neighborhood at 4,000RPM because you want to stay close to the speed limit but the tranny wants you to accelrate more before it agrees to upshift. To answer your question more precisely - the tranny works fine, in the full manual mode, as one would expect.

    All in all, if there are current X3 owners here that don't have this tranny problem - God Bless. Ultimately though, there are many who do have this "problem", which, to me, is so un-BMW like. And to hear BMW say (after previous maintenance visits) "well, drive the car in Sport or Manual mode." What?! (My actual response is not suitable for this forum.)

    Tony Amanzio
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    az3579

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    If I had a Steptronic and I didn't hang myself first, I would always drive it in manual mode. lol
    Why wouldn't it upshift at 4000rpm? Are you seriously telling me that I can upshift in manual mode on a 2003 Nissan Maxima (I once drove one) at about 2.5k rpm but you can't do that in a BMW???


    This software is definitely messed up. When you went to get software updated, was it really updated twice or did they update once and just reapply that same update the 2nd time? Can they go back to the original version, or was it problematic even then?

    aamanzio guest

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    It'll upshift after 4,000 (in Sport Mode) if you accelerate thru that point. Unfortunately, at "that point", if you're in a residential neighborhood, you're already too loud and too fast. My whole point is that you shouldn't have to resort to full-time Sport or Manual modes to get a transmission that works properly. The software (latest patches) has been reloaded now 3 separate times. Yes, its been problematic since day one. And yes, in effect, they are loading the same patches each time because its the only one they have from BMW and there's no word re: new patches.

    lazoh guest

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    Same problem here!!

    I also have taken my 07 X3 to the dealer for this issue 3 times, I continue to have the issue and I'm ready to ask for a dealer trade assist!

    The tech is telling me that this super computer in the X3 remembers driving habits and that is where the problem originates. In other words this transmission cannot withstand driving pattern changes and it makes it a safety issue. My wife refuses to drive it since she almost got rear ended due to an abnormal upshift.

    This is a common problem in the 07 X3 and BMW NA does not want to work on a permanent fix. I recommend that you also try and get a dealer trade assist and get a manual X3 or another model.

    Good luck to you and me as well!
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    az3579

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    If this is the case, then I think the only solution might be to have the program wiped/reset so that it has to relearn your driving habits. It might have to come down to who drives the car: you or your wife, not both.

    aamanzio guest

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    I'm dreaming of a trade-assist too. In the meantime, its obvious to me that one has to do the entire dance first, which for me now includes a face-to-face/test drive w/ the Tech Rep. After that will be a meet w/ the dealer GM, to see if he wants (really) to keep me in the fold, both for his dealership and BMW (I've leased/purchased 3 new BMW's from them since 2002). After that, I either am pleased/somewhat pleased or I just have to punt. I hate to say this but I'm thinking "punt". This based on how over-the-top adamant BMWNA has been, so far, in assessing the situation, in so many words, as: "it sounds like typical operation of the GM6 transmission and the manufacturer (GM!) states that there is nothing wrong w/ the transmission." "P.S. the driver should change his driving habits."

    If one manages to get out from under this problem and wants to consider another BMW replacement - BEWARE, as this GM6 is used in other models, as well. I believe its in the naturally aspirated 3 series too, so check.
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    az3579

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    Is there a reason that BMW using an inferior GM made transmission instead of the ZF trannies they've been using? Does anyone know?
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    Tennis Dad

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    I just had the fluids changed in transfer case and both differentials as well as a drain and fill in the 6 speed auto transmission; what a surprise when the mechanic told me the transmission was clearly stamped "GM".
    After fluid change things are definitely smoother, though not all that bad to start with.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    Terry Sayther

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    Botond Pal asked: Is there a reason that BMW using an inferior GM made transmission instead of the ZF trannies they've been using? Does anyone know?

    I don't think BMW is using inferior GM transmissions---I think they are the best GM transmissions that the lowest bid can supply. They are, in fact, gauranteed to last as long as the warranty period!

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