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F25 transfer case issues

Discussion in 'F25 X3 (2010-present)' started by rayd, Dec 2, 2014.

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    rayd

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    Just had to have my transfer case replaced at 43K miles. Just squeaked by under warranty. I really have no idea why it failed and can't really find any strong evidence on the 'net that points to systemic issues. However, I was speaking to the salesman that sold me the car about this and, as it turns out, he also has an F25 and he also blew his transfer case. His theory is puddles. Puddles entered at high speed can cause enough of a rotational difference in the transfer case to cause it to fail over time, according to him. Does anyone out there think this is a viable cause for failure?
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    MGarrison

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    No idea, but if BMW's engineering & design capabilities yield an end result of a transfer case that barely squeaks it's survival to just past a warranty mileage due to unheard-of contingencies like, oh, let's say, rain and puddles, I'd say that's pretty disappointing. I hope there's a more definitive answer, and that you have better luck with the second one!
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    charlson89

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    Most likely just a poor manufacturing problem that caused the issue. The transfer case is actually quite complex for your vehicle amazing it works at all.;)
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    rayd

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    Thanks much for the replies. I agree the puddle theory does not hold water (ouch). If standing water really did expose an issue like this in the transfer case there would also be a potential problem with ice or gravel. At any rate, I do like this SUV and was able to order it optioned the way I wanted so I was seriously thinking about keeping it past lease, but this issue is giving me second thoughts. I do need to make a decision within the next 3K miles so I'll be able to buy a factory extended warranty if I decide to keep it.
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    nweigen

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    I have a 2013 X-3 with about 18,000 miles purchased new. But my 2004 X-3 which I still own, did suffer a transfer case motor issue. With an eye on saving the 04's transfer case at 45,000 miles(out of warranty) we drained the case oil, and boy was it dirty.
    I plan on draining and changing the case oil on the 2013 before it reaches 20,000 miles just for insurance. I truly believe that the transfer case is a weak component link in the drive train machinery, be aware.
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    rayd

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    Good idea. I believe I'll do the same when the time comes. Also, my X3 just turned 50K so I think I'll get the tranny fluid and filter changed and the coolant changed. I think "lifetime fill" items are BS.
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    ahalpern

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    This is really disappointing I just sold my 2008 X3 and purchased a 2012 X3 In doing this I was hoping to get away from the Transfer Case issues. In the E83 X3's there is a plastic gear that rotates about 15 degrees back and forth. The gear is located in the actuator assembly, which is easy to remove from the transfer case. Well guess what happens after 50k to 80k the gear wears out and the transfer case doesn't engage and you get the lights display on your dash. The dealer will say something like "we could replace the actuator assembly at $1.5k, but to be sure you should just replace the Transfer Case for $3.5k. Well if you look hard enough on the web you will find video on how to do this job, and if you look on eBay you will find the gears for anywhere from $30 to $80 (caution they are not all created equal I went through 2 before finding one that lasted. Some people report just turning the old gear 180 deg.

    I thought this was the last of the transfer case issues but no. About 88k miles I started to get a grinding noise that sounded like worn out brake issue. After some more research I find that there is a chain inside the transfer case that stretches after time and brushes against the aluminum case as it turns. This will need to be replaced but if your ambitious enough to pull the transfer case you may as well replace the bearings, chain, and clutch. Nothing's easy.

    Now I'm worried that I may have a repeat of this process as my mileage increases. Not a good thing, you would think in the newer model they would have figured out how to make these units last, think Jeep? Does anyone really know if they are using the same transfer case??

    Al
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    kevinheap

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    I have just bought a CPO x3 xdrive35i 2017 do I need to worry about this also? Thanks for the post. Had this problem on my 2005 X5.
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    charlson89

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    Your car does use a newer version of the mentioned transfer case. I recommend doing fluid services at 50k to maintain the wet clutch in the case. Definitely don’t have as many issues as we did with the early variable transfer cases.
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    kevinheap

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    Thanks charlson89. I asked the dealer where I bought the car how much for the fluid service on the transmission and they could not even give me a price as BMW does not recommend changing the fluid. I have a good indy but since we are doing maintenance and extended warranty with this dealership I thought it would be good practice to also have them do the fluid too. I have a feeling that if they do a fluid change on the car it is kind of letting down on their stance on lifetime fluids. So I am kind of stuck unless I want to have my Indy do it which is fine but do we have a possible loophole for CNA the warranty underwriter now when a non recommended service is performed? Thanks again for the long read here.
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    MGarrison

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    Which brings up the question, should I be looking forward to such issues with the transfer case in my '13 X1 35i? Fluid change @ 50k?
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    charlson89

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    I have not had a third party warranty have issues with changing lifetime fluids. Newer all wheel drive BMW's will have a fault code set for when the fluid should be changed. I recommend doing it a set mileage of 50k.

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