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Old 09-17-2020, 11:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Woodinville, WA
Posts: 88
Corellian Corvette is on a distinguished road
2003 X3 - Replaced transfer case gear, still 3 lights and "actuation error"

Before spending money on rebuilt transfer case. Bought my parents a nice 2006 X3 with the trifecta lights. Assumed it was a bad gear in the actuator motor since the car was otherwise in fine shape.

Pulled the motor today and the gear was actually fine. Replaced it anyway.

I wanted to test the motor, so I hooked up my Launch and went the Actuation Tests to try and spin the motor. I connected the electrical connections but didn't put the motor back on the vehicle - left it hanging. Did the test, and the gear spun for a second then the Launch said "actuation failure"

I thought the problem might be that the motor needs to be connected to the transfer case itself. I reconnected the motor, and ran the tests again "actuation failure"

The Launch also had a "recalibrate transfer case motor" procedure (start the car, idle, and in Park) and I tried the calibration test - once again "actuation failure"

So now I'm stumped. The motor spun for a very short time. After that, every other test I got the same failure error.

So my question is - is there a good process to determine if the problem really is the transfer case? Or if perhaps the motor itself failed.

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Old 11-17-2020, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: In my body
Posts: 27
Bimmer876 is on a distinguished road
Try doing a adaptation reset
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: louisville, KY
Posts: 16
bbaxter18 is on a distinguished road
By trifecta lights, im assuming you mean 4x4, ABS, and Brake in all yellow? If so try to adjust your brake light switch, it should be sensitive to the point, barely any movement will trip the brake lights on. I just had a similar issue on my X5, The lights were coming on late in comparison to the brake pressure applied, The modules saw this and tripped the trifecta lights. When it happens it assumes there is a DSC issue and will cause the lights. Let me know.
2000 e46 323i
2004 e53 X5 4.4i
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