Welcome to Xdrivers
Please login or register.

Author Topic: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)  (Read 3955 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

May 18, 2017, 10:34:04 PM

elsathelion

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Country: gb
    • View Profile
I have a 2011 30d. Transfer box needs replacing. Judder when steering at low speed/on tight lock etc. 
I am arguing with BMW about it and trying to get it repaired under their goodwill scheme.  It will help me if I can get evidence that this is a known issue.
Any help much appreciated.
Thanks!
ps - what will eventually happen to the car if I DON'T fix it? Will something catastrophic happen one day?

May 19, 2017, 12:22:13 PM
Reply #1

Nine468

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 221
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 12:22:13 PM »
Hi.
Im sure THE first question BMW asked was,,,,what tyres do you have fitted to the car.
Are they Star marked [BMW approved] AND what are the tread depths.
Differences in the rolling radius can cause issues.

It seems there is an issue with X5,s around the 2011 year I have heard of a few transfer box problems, although ive been told the X3,s are more prone to this problem.
How do i know, ive just had mine replaced, thankfully under BMW insured warranty...
Im sure BMW know about this issue, but whether they are willing to accept it is another matter...
Do you not have any form of warranty on the car.?
I wish you well with your challenges.

Oh and ive no idea what will happen if left as a fault, i would think it wont be a good outcome...
Dave W.
BMW E70 X5 40D

May 19, 2017, 03:41:36 PM
Reply #2

X5Sport

  • Lifer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15847
  • Country: england
  • Location: Planet X6......
  • Gender: Male
  • Über Geek in Chief
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 03:41:36 PM »
Definitely a known problem on all the X cars with staggered wheel setups.  It is showing up more and more often now cheaper tyres are being fitted as the car value drops.

'*' marked tyres really are a must, as is changing tyres as a set to keep the tread depths within a limit.  Wide tread depth variation seems to cause trouble too.  Different patterns in an axle and between axles causes upset it seems.

Not dealing with it will result in diff failure and that could be very serious if at speed.

These cars have weak transmissions!  Given the weight of the car, and torque that can be delivered, BMW designers need to look at this.  They will never admit there is a problem though.
:type: Never anthropomorphise computers. They hate that.

May 19, 2017, 07:31:56 PM
Reply #3

kkx5

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • Country: pl
  • Location: accrington
  • Gender: Male
  • x5 4.4i, 318i, 525i, 120d, 318d, alpina d3
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 07:31:56 PM »
2nd generation of the xdrive system on 2011 x5. Dont think bmw will do it as a goodwill. Its a known issue on all high tech 4x4 cars, not only bmws. Eventually it will start vibrate badly on strait, on reversing etc and then will break completely...

May 19, 2017, 08:32:29 PM
Reply #4

Nictrix

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: scotland
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 08:32:29 PM »
Are customers told that tyres must be replaced as a set when buying these vehicles?
Surely if there is no warning and the box is wrecked through a difference in tread depths after one tyre being changed BMW should be liable?
Basically what BMW are saying is that if your tyres are worn a few mm and you get a puncture then all tyres must be replaced at a cost of around £1000 or there is a risk of damaging the transfer box.
Is it only me that thinks that this is absolutely scandalous.
Its almost like its a design fault.
I had new tyres put on the fronts after a blow out wrecked one and got so paranoid about reading about transfer box problems I changed the rears too.
I now have 3 tyres with around 3-4mm tread on them in my shed that are almost useless.

May 19, 2017, 08:48:22 PM
Reply #5

kkx5

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • Country: pl
  • Location: accrington
  • Gender: Male
  • x5 4.4i, 318i, 525i, 120d, 318d, alpina d3
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 08:48:22 PM »
How would you design a sharp, responsive 4x4 system which can compensate 4 different rolling radius????? ???

May 19, 2017, 10:38:01 PM
Reply #6

X5Sport

  • Lifer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15847
  • Country: england
  • Location: Planet X6......
  • Gender: Male
  • Über Geek in Chief
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 10:38:01 PM »
Are customers told that tyres must be replaced as a set when buying these vehicles?
Surely if there is no warning and the box is wrecked through a difference in tread depths after one tyre being changed BMW should be liable?
Basically what BMW are saying is that if your tyres are worn a few mm and you get a puncture then all tyres must be replaced at a cost of around £1000 or there is a risk of damaging the transfer box.
Is it only me that thinks that this is absolutely scandalous.
Its almost like its a design fault.
I had new tyres put on the fronts after a blow out wrecked one and got so paranoid about reading about transfer box problems I changed the rears too.
I now have 3 tyres with around 3-4mm tread on them in my shed that are almost useless.
No!
Like your thinking but No!
They'll blame the roads and driving style!  Stop going around corners.... >:(
Absolutely not - it is appalling.  Some form of limited slip system would help but they are heavier and that means emissions.
As long as you keep the variance between and across the axles to less than 2mm you will be fine.

The final bit is that BMW 'life' a vehicle at three years.  After that it's scrap......and not their problem!  Wrong it may be but there is nothing Buyers can do except not buy them, or cars with 4x4 type drive systems.
:type: Never anthropomorphise computers. They hate that.

May 20, 2017, 12:41:06 AM
Reply #7

CondorX5

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1391
  • Country: gb
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 12:41:06 AM »
Or keep the car under extended warranty.....been a godsend for my E53, will do the same with the E70 when the time comes.

My Jan 2012 E70 (2011 build) had a transfer box failure within 2 months of buying it (AUC ).  Was replaced under warranty but as above it was a long haul through oh its the tyres etc etc.  The tyres and wheels were exactly as purchased from BMW 2 months previously, star marked and equal tread depths.  They insisted on swopping them out with a different set from an E70 they had in stock and then the Master Tech told me he was unable to replaciate the fault -the judder.   So I suggested he hop in the passenger seat and come for a short spin and after I had demo'ed the judder about 10X in a row, he was quite redfaced and embarassed.   Agreed it was TF box and said he would disconnect it just to make sure (problem goes away but you lose 4WD while disconnected).

Got the car back the next day with a lovely new TF box and its now smooth as silk. And I am now paranoid about tyres!   Mine are 21" summers, so the thought of replacing all 4 at once is definitely not appealing!  Have just put the summers back and had to bin two rear winters with scrubbed off inner shoulders.  Will replace all 4 winters and keep the old ones as emergency tyres if there is a puncture as tread depth is around 5mm still. I got around 20000 miles .   Had a 4 wheel alignment done last week on one of those Hunter machnes and reduced some of the neg camber , it drives even better than it did previously so hope the hig expensive 21" tyres last a bit longer than the winters!

X5 2005 Le Mans Blue 4.8is
Fully loaded but Now semi-retired! 

X5 2012 Alpine White 40d MSport 21" style 215 black alloys, rear entertainment, media package, comfort seats and a load of other options.

May 20, 2017, 08:16:00 AM
Reply #8

Nictrix

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: scotland
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 08:16:00 AM »
How would you design a sharp, responsive 4x4 system which can compensate 4 different rolling radius????? ???
I have no idea but I don't design and build cars for a living :)
If you get a puncture and ruin a tyre that is half way through its life and take it to BMW for a new tyre, will they just replace one or advise that all four are replaced?
That could be an interesting conversation if someone had went back 2 months after buying a brand new X5/X6 and receiving a bill for £1000 for a puncture!
Just wondering how many cars BMW have sent onto the road after changing one tyre that could potentially damage the box.

May 20, 2017, 09:38:49 AM
Reply #9

X5Sport

  • Lifer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15847
  • Country: england
  • Location: Planet X6......
  • Gender: Male
  • Über Geek in Chief
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 09:38:49 AM »
An interesting point, but I suspect BMW Dealers are either not told about issues or choose to be forgetful.  Either that or the failures are done outside the network as the cars aren't under warranty/BMW charge too much, so the word doesn't get out.  BMW are very good a replacing rather than repairing at the Dealer level - hence their 'technicians' not having in depth knowledge - and the failed parts vanish back to Munich!

More and more car manufacturers seem to work this way.
:type: Never anthropomorphise computers. They hate that.

May 20, 2017, 09:43:16 AM
Reply #10

Nictrix

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: scotland
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 09:43:16 AM »
They are not really mechanics these days, more like parts fitters.
Things even basic like seized calipers are replaced rather than stripped and rebuilt. Probably due to the extortionate hourly rates that its cheaper to replace than repair.

May 21, 2017, 09:21:40 AM
Reply #11

elsathelion

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Country: gb
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 09:21:40 AM »
Thanks all. I don't know how far I will get with them but it appears that this inherent weakness is a scandal that is being neatly covered up.
On the tyre front; So, say you have a puncture and replace the affected tyre - should you therefore be replacing ALL the tyres even if the rest have years left in them? That's madness.
I was told by a main dealer that BMW don't support cars over 80,000 miles. Yet another scandal.

May 21, 2017, 09:39:51 AM
Reply #12

CondorX5

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1391
  • Country: gb
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 09:39:51 AM »
Not accurate about BMW not supporting cars over 80,000 miles - my E53 is over 130k now and still covered by extended warranty - however, they do tend to play more of the "wear and tear" card as the mileage racks up. 
The AUC warranty is unlimited mileage from purchase as well.     Not that I am a fan of maindealers at all,  but my E53 has certainly benefitted from thousands and thousands of pounds of warranty-covered repairs so far - I would not have been able to fund all the repairs easily myself.
My E70 is still in its first year of AUC warranty and is cracking on to 80000 miles in the not too distant future given my huge mileage and all repairs have so far been no quibble under the AUC warranty as I would expect.   Indivdual dealers can be inconsistent as to how they deal with these claims though, some are far worse than others.
X5 2005 Le Mans Blue 4.8is
Fully loaded but Now semi-retired! 

X5 2012 Alpine White 40d MSport 21" style 215 black alloys, rear entertainment, media package, comfort seats and a load of other options.

May 25, 2017, 11:09:00 AM
Reply #13

Nictrix

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: scotland
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 11:09:00 AM »
Something else that I thought about a while ago but never put it on here.....
BMW can supply a space saver wheel in case of a puncture.
This wheel will never be the same rolling diameter as the other wheels on the car.
If a space saver is used, would BMW try to void the warranty or would that really be pushing it?

May 27, 2017, 09:11:38 PM
Reply #14

kkx5

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • Country: pl
  • Location: accrington
  • Gender: Male
  • x5 4.4i, 318i, 525i, 120d, 318d, alpina d3
    • View Profile
Re: Transfer box problems; a known issue? (I'm having a nightmare!)
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2017, 09:11:38 PM »
Space saver wheel will have same rolling as normal wheel.