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  #1  
Old 11-30-2018, 08:22 AM
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X5 wont move in gear but Drive shaft is turning.

Hi,


Just bought a used 2001 X5. The other day, -15 degrees celcius outside, I was on the highway doing a steady 120 km/h suddenly the car redlined so I released the gas. I pressed the gas again and the same thing happened so I coasted it off the highway up to a red light where it wouldnt move. The car seemed to be in neutral no matter if I put it in Drive of Reverse. I turned the car off and turned it back on and played with the steering wheel back and forth and for some unknown reason the gears engaged again and it drove like nothing happened.


I drove it to a residential area out of the way in case it happened again and it did about 2 km from the first stop. This time no changes so I had it towed back home.


The car rolls even in park or gears. The transmission prior to this was very smooth and didnt feel any issues occuring. Now when I put it in drive or reverse the front drive shaft turns and makes a sort of metallic, broken bearing type noise near the front differential.


I bought a bmw scanner and it shows now issues with the transmission but says the "VTG Gearbox Control" has a "Communication Error: 1 System Equipped? 2. Cable Connected?" I thought it might be because I dont have the xdrive model and therefore no transfer case actuator motor, am I right to assume this? Not sure whats going on, going to pull the drive shaft tomorrow to check the splines but the noise is not comming from the splined end at the transfer case but from the front diff.


I just dont understand how the car was running steadily, then failed out of the blue and stopped. Then for no apparent reason started working again and driving normally then failed again so Im inclined to believe its an electronic issue although the sound leads me to believe otherwise.


I also checked the battery which was slightly low voltage yet the alternator is working fine. I ran the car boosted off my Subaru Forester to give it more juice after giving the X5 battery a full trickle charge to 100% and still no change.


Any ideas?


PLEASE HELP!!!!!:'(
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:36 AM
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X5 wont move in gear but Drive shaft is turning.

A few times recently people have reported their front CV axle popping out of the differential. Cross your fingers that's your best case scenario. How it worked itself back in is a bit of a mystery but I think you said you turned the steering wheel back and forth which could have done it. It will be quite easy to see where the slipping is happening.

Lift both front wheels and try to turn one then the other. You should be able to see the drive shaft twist a bit on one side not the other if I'm correct. If one side is not connected you should be able to spin the wheel more easily on that side (the connected side will still turn after tensing up the drive shaft through the differential).

At least 3-4 xoutpost members have posted this scenario happening to them, at least one had the CV axle pop back in as you described to drive home after.
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Last edited by andrewwynn; 11-30-2018 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:48 AM
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Just rotated both front wheels and they turn freely without much resistance asside from a bit of pad/rotor friction, the drive shaft doesnt tun in either case. I do hear some muffled clicking though while turning both wheels.

While running the X5 in gear, should the rear drive shaft be rotating as well as its an AWD?

I confirmed there is no transfer case actuator motor present.

Whats next?!? Push it to the mechanic?
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:57 AM
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If the problem (as suspect) is front differential, putting car in gear will spin the front drive shaft and since not x drive no way to disengage to get rwd.

If you get no movement on the front drive shaft when turning the wheels it's higher chance the problem is inside the differential but the fact it came back to life suggests it's a loose CV axle.

Pull/pry on each inner cv axle and see if you can tell it's actually lose enough to pull out of the differential.


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Old 11-30-2018, 12:02 PM
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I just had the car running and turned left and right and the noise is much more present when turned on the left side. I put the car in neutral and into Park quickly after and there was a long clicking noise like a card in a bike spoke.

I’ll need to refer to the manual to see what the cv axle is and get back.

Your knowledge is much appreciated!��
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:07 PM
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The shaft that goes from the differential to the wheel hub is the CV axle. Look for the rubber boots and see if the inner part near the differential will move in/out if you pry on it.


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Old 11-30-2018, 12:47 PM
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Its pretty much impossible to move although the tires do move towards and away from the body when jacking up and lowering the vehicle. I forgot to say the day before it happened I changed all four tires to winter tires and while driving I noticed the "litres/100km: gauge was giving me readings higher than usual. Typically I was in the 13L/100km and after I was seeing closer to 19-20L/100km which eventually came back down closer to the usual.



I feel like this job might be beyond me especially if winter is about to hit hard and Im working outside.


So its either the CV axles (best case scenario) or front diff. (cost me a small fortune)?
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:16 PM
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Some have had a problem where the rear end of the front driveshaft (that connects the transfer case to the front differential) pops out of the transfer case due to a design with too little spline overlap. The "fix" is to get a slightly longer front driveshaft that has the splines fully overlapping.

I'm not sure of the exact symptoms of that problem, but if you search on here you should be able to find more about it and see if your symptoms could fit that problem.

Be careful when you're under the car when it's in gear, with an intermittent problem like this.
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:17 PM
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I would not be surprised if the tire change was related as you mentioned the CV axle will be pulled on when lifting the car you may have just released the c clip and the axle wired itself out when driving


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Old 11-30-2018, 01:19 PM
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He originally suspected exactly that but said the noise seems to come from front differential. If when turning front wheel and getting drive shaft doesn't turn it's not the driveshaft


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