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      10-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #1
Nayook
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X3 Auto gearbox: Problem or normal?

I have had a new F25 since 18th August this year.
The car has been driving normally ie like an automatic and once on the freeway I use to go to work the transmission locks up to a solid connection to the road. If I accelerate in auto or using manual in 7th or 8th gear at 70mph the engine picks up speed with the car and the engine revs increase with the car as if it were a manual. Normally the car does 1600rpm at 70 mph.

About every fifth day I drive the same route and the car is using a lot more revs for the same speed, if I accelerate the engine revs increase by about 500rpm without changing down, as if the power is going through a fluid connection and the lock up has not functioned. If I change to manual gear changes the lock up does not occur either. I can drive all the way to work (30 miles) without the transmission locking up. When this is happening the car does about 2100rpm at 70mph.

If I pull over and stop the engine then restart and drive off the transmission then operates as normal with a solid lock up through to the wheels.
I normally don't drive with auto stop start on. If I did the stop start would probably have prevented me from experiencing this.

Initial discussions with the dealer have highlighted that it could be the adaptive gearbox "learning" even though the car now has 7500 km on the clock.

Strange thing is, this only happens on the first drive of the day. Once I have stopped the engine it does not happen again that day.

Hopefully readers understand what I am describing but does anyone else have any ideas what is going on?
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      10-25-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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So you are saying that the transmission feels like its slipping (i.e. engine revs increase but roadspeed does not) or you are saying that the transmission doesn't seem to upshift as early as you are used to (i.e. its holding a lower gear for more revs)?

Just trying to ensure we all understand what you are describing.
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      10-25-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for that Lotus7. I agree with your diagnosis that the transmission is either locked or unlocked. What I am finding is that it is not always locking when it should.
Today I entered the freeway with the transmission unlocked and eventually pulled over, switched off and restarted then the lock up worked properly.

In answer to epiphone3 question when the transmission is not locked, accelerating inceases engine revs and road speed but there is not a direct relationship between engine rpm and road speed.

The dealer looking at this issue is going to test the car on the same route I drive so I hope it demonstrates its inconsistent function.
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      10-25-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Lotus7, many thanks for the excellent information and diagram. I may need this to support my argument about the problem.
I wonder if this gearbox is designed by Jan Kretschmer as shown in the BMW X3 brochures?
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      10-28-2011, 06:02 AM   #5
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Just a thought - could the car be going through a DPF cleaning routine when it does this?

I've not noticed my 3.0D doing this yet, but my previous Merc used to do something very similar about once a week (raised RPM and slightly odd engine/gearbox running) for a few miles..

Dealer told me it was normal when the DPF was burning off.

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      10-28-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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I Have The Same Problem

hey,

Received my X3 5 weeks ago.
After 1500 km, a morning, it was like the gearbox was slipping. It didn't go higher than 6th. This happens usualy in the morning when I haven't drove the car for more tan 24 hours.
I have the same solution : stop the car, stop the engine and restart. Then everything goes normal.

The car is to the dealer right now for three days. They effectively saw an ERROR on the gearbox-log when plugging-in their computer. They say they have to reprogram the gearbox.
I'll sent further information when I'll get it back.
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      10-28-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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I have the same issue, my car has 10 000km on it. It happened just a few weeks back for the frist time. After reading this its back to the dealer. I also have some interior noise from the front panel, probebly around the center speaker.
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      10-31-2011, 01:16 AM   #8
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Others are having the same issue

Interesting that others are having the same issue.
I don't think it is meant to happen, I have never owned a car before where you have to pull over and reboot on the first drive of the day.

It is always the first drive of the day but not every day. I "suspect" and could be wrong that the transmission fluid temperature is not being reported to the transmission control unit. So it thinks the transmission is still cold and won't allow the lock up to occurr. The reboot opens the communication and then lock up works for all drives for the rest of the day even if the car has been standing cold until night time.

Using auto stop start on, the reboot process does not occurr. It is necessary to turn off the ingnition and turn on to get the temporary fix.

It is going to the dealers on November 7th, let's hope there is an error message to convince them the car is not supposed to be doing this.

Today I drove 40km with the TC unlocked. It was not going to lock until I rebooted.
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      11-07-2011, 12:55 AM   #9
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Update on my X3

Today I dropped the car in to the dealers and hoped they would identify the problem.

Once they put a computer on the diagnostic plug up came all the gearbox errors and they followed a testing sequence which has resulted in the car needing a replacement of the torque converter which is now on order.

I was hoping it would be something much more minor but it was progressively getting worse with only 1 day in a week with torque converter locking up.
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      11-07-2011, 03:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colojim View Post
Thanks for that Lotus7. I agree with your diagnosis that the transmission is either locked or unlocked. What I am finding is that it is not always locking when it should.
Today I entered the freeway with the transmission unlocked and eventually pulled over, switched off and restarted then the lock up worked properly.

In answer to epiphone3 question when the transmission is not locked, accelerating inceases engine revs and road speed but there is not a direct relationship between engine rpm and road speed.

The dealer looking at this issue is going to test the car on the same route I drive so I hope it demonstrates its inconsistent function.
It has a fault for sure, take it back, I have had two 8 speed auto BMW's and driven many more, NONe did that.
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      11-15-2011, 01:25 AM   #11
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Question to gauthier and Johan

Hi gauthier and Johan, have you had any progress with your gearbox issues?

Mine is due to go to the dealers for a torque converter exchange when the new part comes in. After the dealer confirmed the problems the gearbox did not function properly for the next two days but since then, each day it has been OK. That makes 6 days in a row OK so far. This does not mean the problem is gone as it was happening once a week and the rate of occurrence became almost daily by the time I got the car to the dealers.
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      11-15-2011, 12:34 PM   #12
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Hay,

the car went 3 days to the dealer. They wanted to change some parts in the gearbox but Germany refused. They first wanted to try to reprogram the gearbox, and make software updates. That's what they did. I took the car back and drove about 1500 km since. I didn't notice any problem anymore. The dealer said if it would happen again they will replace some parts in the gearbox.

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      12-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
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Update on my gearbox

BMW diagnosis concluded that the torque converter had to be replaced. For the next five days after that diagnosis the torque converter did not lock up unless I restarted the car, then after that it appeared to work normally.

The dealer replaced the torque converter as a result of the diagnosis and so far after two weeks it is still locking up as it should.

The previous torque converter took just over a month to start showing problems so if this one can go for over two months trouble free I will start to conclude that the problem is fixed.
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      12-17-2011, 08:44 AM   #14
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Don't want to come off to negative but it's threads like this that scare me on purchasing my first BMW? In all my years of driving and between me and my wife purchasing NEW cars (Honda, Pontiac, 3-Chevys, 2-GMC's,) only had to go back to the dealer for squeaks & rattles. Thanks again for sharing and updating us with this info to all. I use to work for a Chevy dealer who strived to recieve & maintain the service supremacy award every year from corporate, it's that type of dealership I guess we are all gonna have to find & start a relationship with, but a 50k+ vehicle and having these issues, please tell me it's VERY RARE ?
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      12-17-2011, 09:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas View Post
... but a 50k+ vehicle and having these issues, please tell me it's VERY RARE ?
my guess is that the data you want is only available at the bmw corporate level. also, no one starts a thread titled "no problems." i.e. you have self selection of who joins and then posts on this kind of board. so i read these things and have the same anxiety about them that you do, but remind myself i haven't learned about the probability of me experiencing the issue discussed.

at that chevy dealer you worked at, as good as it was, i would bet there were still calls complaining of problems. and i would also bet there were many fewer calls saying "no problem."
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      12-17-2011, 11:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas View Post
Don't want to come off to negative but it's threads like this that scare me on purchasing my first BMW? In all my years of driving and between me and my wife purchasing NEW cars (Honda)?
German cars will never be as reliable as a Honda on the other hand BMW is the more reliable of the bunch, sometimes you could be unlucky and people mostly post negative stuff on forums, if you visit the Honda forum you will also find negatives. Have had 4 bimmers and have Been pretty reliable and the drive cannot be compared to any Japanese car, very much worth it.
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      12-17-2011, 03:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk View Post
my guess is that the data you want is only available at the bmw corporate level. also, no one starts a thread titled "no problems." i.e. you have self selection of who joins and then posts on this kind of board. so i read these things and have the same anxiety about them that you do, but remind myself i haven't learned about the probability of me experiencing the issue discussed.

at that chevy dealer you worked at, as good as it was, i would bet there were still calls complaining of problems. and i would also bet there were many fewer calls saying "no problem."
This is very true and it's not a very sensible way to choose a car by looking at problems reported on forums unless you are comparing the number of reported problems with the total number of X3s sold

However, this isn't true!

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=610609
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      12-17-2011, 04:00 PM   #18
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Gearbox not Unique to BMW

The ZF gearbox 8speed in the 20D is not unique to BMW, it is manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen as the GA8HP transmission and could be installed in plenty of other vehicles.

BMW service was excellent, I can't complain about the support I got.

I did ask them to check diagnosis again before they did all the work just in case it was no longer necessary but they were pretty sure about the diagnosis work they did.

Anyway hopefully that is the end of the problem.
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      12-28-2011, 04:57 PM   #19
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Update on my X3

Well my X3 is up to its tricks again.
On December 25th while I was driving, it unlocked the transmission so that I had to pull over and reboot.
Today it started off unlocked and would not lock up until I stopped and rebooted.
It is going in for service next week so I will inform them of the problem and that the replacement of the torque converter has not made any difference.
I believe them when they say they actually replaced the torque converter so what ever is wrong is intermittent and I will be advsing them to go searching for a loose connection between the gearbox and its control unit, it is probably nothing more than that causing this not serious (yet) but annyoing issue.
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      08-03-2012, 04:12 AM   #20
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Hey, Colojim Ive got the same problem, had you got fix it? What was the solutions? Thx
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      08-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #21
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Finally the mechatronics unit was replaced and the car has worked properly for over two months now. It is interesting to read about the ZF gearboxes and how they work so hopefully it is case closed.
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      08-05-2012, 04:34 AM   #22
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Colojim, thanks a lot, you have been helpfull to me, good luck
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