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Author Topic: Trio of warning lights (ABS, 4x4, Brake) - transfer case gear replacement?  (Read 306 times)

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May 21, 2018, 03:20:28 PM


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Afternoon All,

On my 2005/55 3.0d I am getting all the common symptoms of the failed transfer case plastic gear, where the 3 warning lights come on at different times after start up and there is a clicking after the engine has been shut off, which appears to my uneducated ear, to be coming from the transfer case.

I have found some great articles/videos that suggest it is an easy fix to take off, take apart and replace the worn gear, but am a little bit nervous about tackling it, mainly about getting under the car and trying to remove it in the first place!

Does anyone have any recommendations for garages or people local(ish)to Manchester who would be able to replace as a first option?

Everywhere I have tried just want to replace the whole transfer case at a high cost

Cheers, Griff

May 21, 2018, 06:38:04 PM
Reply #1


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Kkx5 is a specialist and a member on here so may be able to offer guidance/advice.

June 13, 2018, 06:42:04 PM
Reply #2


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By strange coincidence I have just had exactly the same problem (including clicking noise) and have replaced the plastic cog - all is now perfect  :)

Some tips and words of advice:

If you have this problem, get it sorted ASAP because if you ignore it then you run the risk of burning out the motor in the actuator which will set you back £700+ for a new one from BMW. Yours is probably OK as it’s still clicking (I drove mine for 2 weeks like that...)

Removing the actuator on an X5 E53 is simply a matter of removing one plug by hand, another plug using a small Torx socket to remove a retaining bolt, and 4 more larger Torx bolts holding the actuator on (much simpler than the X3, where you have to place a jack under the transmission unit). I did find a friendly garage who put the car on their ramp and removed it for me - a simple 5 minute job. Then I returned a couple of hours later to have them refit the repaired actuator. The best X5 E53 video showing the repair is here:


Looks easy in the video, but removing the C-clip is a slight pain without the correct tool. Follow the video carefully when you separate the two parts of the actuator to avoid pulling the motor brushes out of their housing. The biggest pain is levering up the silver metal plate which covers the plastic cog - I used a sharp flat bladed screw driver and worked up one of the corners and then inserted a second screw driver to ease up the rest of the plate (a bit like using two tyre levers). The rest of the job was fairly easy.

I could have just spun the cog round 180 degrees and reused it, but I went for a plastic/carbon fibre mix cog which cost £29 from here:


They also give some good instructions, but show an X3 so you can ignore some of the removal instructions (jacking up etc):


So at the end of the day I paid £29 for the cog and £20 for 1/2 hour’s labour from the garage. I think a BMW main stealer would have charged getting on for £1k  :blink:

Thanks to everyone on this forum and elsewhere for the knowledge.  :thumbsup:

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June 14, 2018, 10:00:57 AM
Reply #3


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Many thanks for the reply and write up.
This is how the Forum should work, you help me, I help you.

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June 14, 2018, 12:54:44 PM
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As Lez said well done Hoppo

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June 15, 2018, 01:52:14 PM
Reply #5


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Hoppo, fantastic write up - thank you.
I've been driving it for a few weeks as well and the clicking is intermittent once engine is shut off, so fingers crossed I haven't burnt the actuator  >:(

My problem is still finding a garage near Manchester who will just do the swap (I've bought the same replacement gear you linked to!) - I don't have any jacks, axle stands or access to a ramp.

Any Manchester recommendations for garages who won't look at me in a daft way when I turn up with this bit of plastic?


June 15, 2018, 03:11:37 PM
Reply #6


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If your North Manchester try Adrian at Advanced motors, he sorted mine when I had all the lights on
2011 Kia Sorento KX3  2.2D 60 Plate Auto in black ( mine )
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