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F25 transfer case issues

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

    • Member

    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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    • Technical Service Advisor

    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.;)
    • Member

    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.
    • Member

    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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