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  #1  
Old 01-29-2011, 12:49 PM
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Unhappy 2010 X3 Diff Oil Blow!

So I bought a new X3 and drove it five days (300Km) and noticed when pulling out of the garage that there was a large (> 1 foot diameter) pool of clear fluid on the floor. Took in for service. They advised me this was due to driving in cold weather - yes I live in Calgary Canada and there are thousands of X3s and X5s around here and yes it sometimes gets cold here. So what?

They queried their PuMA system for a cause. The system came back with a Measure (fix) 36480052-02. It says to replace the front diff. (differential) vent hose and hanger bracket. They also replaced a connector, seal and hanger clamp.

31-50-7-628-084 Vent Hose
31-50-7-628-085 Connector
07-58-9-062-376 Seal.Comp.dlr.use q
07-12-9-92-104 Hose Clamp L12-15

Anyone else hear of this problem? I do not trust this will fix anything and am demanding they take this thing back. They of course will not. I think it is unacceptable that a major failure occurred to the vehicle and I haven't even used a tank of fuel and that BMW will not acknowledge or accept they could have prevented this in the first place. ***RANT****
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2011, 02:25 PM
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Update: after a month of operation this happened again. Same issue; differential oil all over the garage floor. So the 'fix' was not a fix which does not surprise me but is disappointing. Stay tuned for update from BMW.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:15 PM
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Thanks for the update.

Sorry to hear about the problem. This hasn't been something that has been reported before, to my recollection. From the parts list, it does sound like a vent line problem (freezing up) more than a differential problem. I don't think a vent hose problem, as frustrating as it will be on a new vehicle, is a major mechanical issue. It just seems more like a very annoying problem.

Let us know what they find.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:46 PM
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I don't know if Alberta has a Lemmon Law provision as we do here in the States. You might want to look at this option, in the unable to use or repair catagory.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:57 PM
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There are no provinces with lemon laws in Canada. There are various consumer-protection laws, but nothing that looks like what individual states have enacted in the US.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:59 PM
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Just a thought!
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:13 PM
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Unfortunately it is a little more than annoying. It was -29C outside and my wife was supposed to drive 300km for a business meeting. If this HAD occurred while underway on the road BMW has 'said' that there is no way the diff oil could syphon or get too low to be a safety issue and 'should' be okay to operate. I am pretty sure they may not stand by those statements in a court of law.

As to the 'Lemon Law' - no I don't have that. After the first episode at 300Km I met with the sales management team at my dealership and offered to trade the vehicle back (since it had almost no Kms on it and was... new) and would even go up a level and purchase a new X5 since there was no parts commonality and I now miss-trusted the basic design. They could sell the same vehicle twice and get commission twice, etc. They declined and played hardball saying my X3 had devalued $20,000 and in any case they didn't want it back at all and that I was welcome to sell the X3 on the open market.

Now we have failure round two because they were disingenuous and did not in fact fix anything. If this is truly due to cold weather then why do their ads on TV and magazines show X3's full of happy families going skiing. Sorry but it tends to get cold in Canada (and dozens of countries around the world) so any issue that causes the vehicle to be unusable as method of transportation just because it gets cold is IMHO very serious.

I do believe that automobile manufacturers have been putting differentials in cars since the beginning when they found out one could not negotiate a corner without something to alter rotational speed of wheels on either side of the vehicle. This is not new technology. BMW should be ashamed. <END RANT>
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:35 PM
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I do understand your frustration.

I don't think it is a differential design issue, since it hasn't been widely reported. If it applied to all vehicles in a serial number range it would be more widely reported. It sounds much more like an assembly issue or parts problem with the vent, but we need to wait and see how it is finally resolved to know for sure.

They would be disingenuous if they knew the repair wouldn't fix it, and didn't say so. It appears they found a PUMA case, tried that repair procedure in good faith, and it didn't work. They may actually need time for figure out what the real problem is and how to fix it.

Differentials have been around for years, as you say, but so have plugged differential vents, and I remember them being not limited to any one brand. I googled that phrase. The top eight hits (in order) were related to Toyota, Ford, Mercedes, Chev, GMC, Honda, Isuzu, and Dodge. They weren't all necessarily frozen, but they all had oil leaks due to a plugged vent. It can happen to any brand of vehicle.

Yes, it is frustrating. You could ask them for a loaner and to keep the car until they are sure they have fixed it. They are unlikely to want a used car back though, for something like this. Hope you get it resolved quickly.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:28 PM
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Yes, the dealership will take the vehicle in for another look (they had it for two weeks last time) and will provide a loaner.

Bye the way, I am a big BMW fan and this is my third car - the others were a 320i and a 330xi. I also own two BMW motorcycles - both R1200RTs... The one thing that I depend upon since I travel extensively around North America is a reliable mode of transportation. Never before have I received a different answers from every person that I have interacted with in the service department. The original failure did act like a frozen/plugged differential or a simple overfill, but since it was only -1C at the time and had barely been driven (300Km) I was simply shocked.

I will report back after this service outcome - hopefully there is some simple explanation for the re-occurrence of the issue. There can be no doubt that if this is a vehicle that cannot be driven in winter I will have to find a replacement that can... as unfortunate (for me) as that is.

Stay tuned.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:07 PM
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Our 2007 X3 does fine in -30, and did fine on our last trip to Calgary as well. They can be driven in winter. Your dealer service department just needs to get their act together and find the problem. Good luck.
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