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Old 09-04-2020, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 13
rootehound is on a distinguished road
Odd "Triad Light" Symptoms

I have an '05 X3, with approximately 187,000 miles. It's well maintained.

A few years ago, at around 145,000 miles I had the ABS, Brake and 4x4 lights come on. The cruise stopped working. Replaced both rear brake sensors and everything was good again.

Last night I was on the highway doing around 75 and the same lights came on again. The cruise control still worked, though. When I got off the highway I had to stop at a light. When I started driving again the car was in limp mode.

I called my mechanic this morning who said it was probably OK to drive it to work today, since it's only about a mile and at 30 MPH, but I shouldn't do much more with it until he sees it next week.

I got in the car and started it up. The lights were still on. I drove about 20 feet and all the lights went off. It wasn't in limp mode anymore. It was driving as if nothing happened.

The diff and t-case oils were replaced at the time I did the brake sensors. I have to assume it's still good with only 40K on it. I don't hear any clicking from the actuator motor when I shut the car off.

I'm an old guy who has owned a number of BMWs over the years and know that these cars rarely heal themselves.

Anybody have any ideas?

Last edited by rootehound; 09-11-2020 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:36 AM
getty150's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: GB
Posts: 209
getty150 is on a distinguished road
How old is that battery!. More than 3 years... Start thinking of changing it out or at least give it a good charge. That's my shot in the dark today... Cheers!

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Old 09-11-2020, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 13
rootehound is on a distinguished road
I've been driving it regularly since the lights went off without any problems. I didn't think about the battery. It is just over 3 years old. I'll get a new one this week, if for no other reason than winter is coming. Maybe that will prevent whatever happened from happening again. Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:41 AM
Join Date: May 2019
Location: florida
Posts: 171
tmat1977 is on a distinguished road
few things to look for one how long where you driving when went into limp?
it could be your oil transmission cooler thermastat happen to me tramission oil is too hot and triggers limp mode

might be your abs module getting ready to go and need rebuilt 139 bucks on ebay few companies do it

yaw sensor might need replacing

if scanning does throw a actual code go with transmission oil cooler thermastat for limp mode problem
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2
jmalouin is on a distinguished road

When you replaced the rear sensors, did you notice if they had any evidence of rubbing at the end of the sensor? When I mean sensors, I mean the ABS sensors, not the pad sensors.


Last edited by jmalouin; 09-13-2020 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 634
c-bass is on a distinguished road
I had similar issues with mine that turned out to be a slowly failing actuator motor
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 13
rootehound is on a distinguished road
Sorry about taking so long to get back to this...

jmalouin - When I replaced the ABS sensors at 145K, we noticed tiny scrapes on the old one. Almost imperceptible, but there. There was rust under the reluctor rings. I found new reluctor rings from a place in the UK on eBay. That seemed to cure that issue.

Everything was fine for a few weeks, until last night. It did it again, but did not go into limp mode. Just the triad of lights came on. This time, for kicks, I pulled over and turned the steering wheel lock to lock a few times. Drove a few feet and it was fixed. Now I'm thinking steering angle sensor, or, as getty suggested, battery.

I haven't looked into the transmission oil cooler thermostat yet. Too scared to. ;-)
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