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Old 08-25-2007, 08:48 PM
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X3: xDrive Transmission Poor Driveability Always Hunting for Gears

X3: xDrive Transmission Poor Driveability Always Hunting for Gears

Dear Friends,

I recently purchased a new 2007 X3 3.0, xDrive, 6-speed automatic transmission. Ive only driven it ~500 miles. I love the car, but, to me, the transmission is very difficult to deal with at low speeds. When accelerating or decelerating, the car is balky, surges, and seems to be hunting for the right gear. I have two other BMWs a 2002 530i with 5-speed auto trans, and a 2003 M3 with 6-spd manual, so Im familiar with BMWs. Its so bad, that I need to drive in the Sport Shift semi-manual mode to enjoy the X3.

Heres my assessment.
The X3s All-Wheel Drive causes some drive-train drag that makes it decelerate faster than a RWD car.
The X3s first gear is very low. I could pull a stump with it. It wants to shift out of 1st very quickly, so Im getting a gear change at maybe 5 mph. In manual mode, I typically start from a stop in 2nd gear, and then get a smoother acceleration.
With 6 speeds, the computer shifts through the gears quickly, for best gas mileage. Unless the car is under a load (like going up a steep hill) it wants to get to 6th gear by about 30mph. With that slow speed and high gear combination, any acceleration causes the car to down-shift, then up-shift again, so its constantly going down and up, down and up Putting the trans in Sport Shift automatic mode helps some, keeping it in lower gears longer.

My questions:
Is this normal?
If not, Ill take to the dealer for a check (but I bet its normal)
Can the dealer re-map the computer controlled transmission, for improvement?

Thanks. I appreciate any feedback.

Doug
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:14 PM
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Wecolme Doug-

Your problem is very very common with 2007 X3 owners. This is a transmission defect.
It is not normal. You need to bring it to a certified SAV center as soon as possible. The dealer will do several reporgrams, and the issue will resolve itself and the car will drive normal.
I suggest you look at the following links:
http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203584
http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224576
http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209534

Good luck and keep us updated. :xoutpost:
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:34 PM
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This is a common problem, as trueX5er pointed out. Bimmerfest has a larger X3 board and I've read many complaints from those with the 3.0si.

http://www.x3world.com/x3-e83-forum/...x3-owners.html

I've mentioned my reasoning on Bimmerfest, but basically BMW screwed up on both the programming and gearing. They dropped the 6-AT with shorter ratios into the X3 for '07 and paired it with an even shorter final drive than previous models. The result is gearing that is far too short, especially considering the N52 engine has more power than the M54 motors.

There have been a couple dealer service bulletins re: the auto gearbox programming. However, sad to say.....not all the reprograms stick, and results may vary. There is no guarenteed fix, except to purchase a manual X3. Indeed, it has gotten to the point where I am steering friends and forum members away from the '07 X3 6AT and recommending a manual gearbox, or else look elsewhere.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:28 AM
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:56 AM
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Try one last thing before going to the dealer for resolution - clear out the adaptive throttle and transmission settings.

With the car in park and the engine shut off, turn the ignition to position 1 and step on the accelerator pedal for 30 seconds, then release it. The adaptive settings should be erased. Drive it as you normally would, but keep in mind you're still in the break-in stage.

This may or may not help but it's worth a shot. From reading the threads supplied by TrueX5er, it might be something more. If it helps, that's great, if not, good luck...
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asawadude
Try one last thing before going to the dealer for resolution - clear out the adaptive throttle and transmission settings.

With the car in park and the engine shut off, turn the ignition to position 1 and step on the accelerator pedal for 30 seconds, then release it. The adaptive settings should be erased. Drive it as you normally would, but keep in mind you're still in the break-in stage.

This may or may not help but it's worth a shot. From reading the threads supplied by TrueX5er, it might be something more. If it helps, that's great, if not, good luck...
clearing it won't help.
Bring it to the dealer.
(sorry adude, but us 07 x3 owners have been struggling with this for months now...it's been a huge pia... )
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fast
X3: xDrive Transmission Poor Driveability Always Hunting for Gears
Good luck--my '07 has 9000 miles and still does not shift properly--yesterday it went into "limp mode" while I was turning a corner--i almost got rear-ended--in Limp mode you only have 2 gears--and when it downshifts if feels like you got rear-ended--its at the dealers now and I have an '04 X3 3.0i for a loaner--this vehicle with the 3.0i and 5 sp auto drives soo much better than my '07 ever did--shifts smooth and the low speed torque is better--but the '07 is much better in all other aspects--Ok ya I tried the "reset" thingy--seems to improve for a short time then it goes back to doing what it wants to do..hope they get it right--other than the trans, I like the vehicle....
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:32 PM
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I don't recall the mileage we had on our but it went into limp home mode around that same mileage and I had it towed to the dealer. They reprogrammed it and ran the first update that was released.... it seemed better at first but now it is a lot worse than before. I'm hoping our service interval comes up soon and I can get it updated again then. My 07 525 with the 6 spd auto is sooooo much smoother than this POS. We'll see what this update does later.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
Good luck--my '07 has 9000 miles and still does not shift properly--yesterday it went into "limp mode" while I was turning a corner--i almost got rear-ended--in Limp mode you only have 2 gears--and when it downshifts if feels like you got rear-ended--its at the dealers now and I have an '04 X3 3.0i for a loaner--this vehicle with the 3.0i and 5 sp auto drives soo much better than my '07 ever did--shifts smooth and the low speed torque is better--but the '07 is much better in all other aspects--Ok ya I tried the "reset" thingy--seems to improve for a short time then it goes back to doing what it wants to do..hope they get it right--other than the trans, I like the vehicle....
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek
I don't recall the mileage we had on our but it went into limp home mode around that same mileage and I had it towed to the dealer. They reprogrammed it and ran the first update that was released.... it seemed better at first but now it is a lot worse than before. I'm hoping our service interval comes up soon and I can get it updated again then. My 07 525 with the 6 spd auto is sooooo much smoother than this POS. We'll see what this update does later.....
I don't like the sound of that---Don't ya think that the 525 and the X3 would have the same 6 sp trans--if thats so then its the programming that is the problem.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:05 PM
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Transmission issues...

I'm wondering when some of you got your X3's. Or more accurately when they were built.

I picked mine up in July (mid July), I ordered it the first part of May.
Could there have been some changes in the time this problem was first noticed and when my car was built?

My car shifts fine in "D" though maybe a little more "stiff" than my 06 did.
In Sport Drive the shifts are at a much higher RPM (that what it supposed to do) and much more firm. The down shifts in SD are also "quicker" and more firm, but for the most part I like that. I tend to drive the car pretty hard.

In manual mode, I agree that 1st gear is all but useless except that it gets you moving very quickly ( which is what it's supposed to do ), but you need to be quick to shift to second.

But in general I think driven properly when driving somewhat aggressively the transmission seems to get the engine in the upper RPM band quickly.
Which it should since this is a somewhat higher revving engine; and keep it there.

I have noticed that you need to be somewhat light on the throttle when in Drive or Sport Drive if you want to drive the car away from a stop "easy" or you'll get the usual g force and "head snap" feeling.

My car has never had a hesitation when starting out or when accelerating at speed, in fact it pretty much the opposite. I need to be easy on the gas if I want a "smooth" start.

In general I like the way the car drives, though the down shifts in SD are a little aggressive at times. I'm wondering if some of the transmission problems aren't more a result of the increased performance this engine and transmission package provide, performance which may not be expected from this type of car. Or did I just get lucky???

When I picked up my car I took along the service bulletins on the transmission that I got from here and a couple of other sites. The service manager at the dealership told me those bulletins were done because of customer "complaints" not necessarily because of a "problem". He said if they did them I would notice a difference in the car and a degradation in the performance. His suggestion was to drive the car and if I wanted them done bring it back. I have to say so far I don't have any problems.

Now, as for the navigation system.... that's another story
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