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June 20, 2018, 05:34:37 AM


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Loss of drive
« on: June 20, 2018, 05:34:37 AM »
Hi all

I have a problem with a 2005 X3 2.5i auto and would like a second opinion.

Driving in semi-auto at about 45-50 MPH in traffic, the car was in 5th, then I noticed that the revs were too high, 4000-5000, I lifted my foot off the pedal, expecting some engine braking, but the revs went down to 7-800 tick over, so I pulled over.

I put the car in first but there was no drive, I turned off the ignition and then restarted, and was able to drive again! However the car would not go higher than 3rd gear, then would slowly over the next couple of minutes, lose drive again. I pulled over and restarted again, and again drive was resumed for about quarter of a mile, then it went again.

I had the car recovered to BMW main dealer in Swansea, they told me there was a long standing oil leak from the gearbox, but the oil seal was no longer available! And I would have to take it to another garage for them to “fix” it, so they refilled the gearbox oil, expecting that to be the problem, but again on the test drive it would only change up to 3rd gear and after a short distance would lose drive all together.

BMW’s conclusion was that the gearbox is broken beyond repair and would need to be replaced.

I am no expert, but I do not agree with this diagnosis.

There was no unusual behaviour, noises or smells coming from the car leading up to this point.

Why would the car change up to 3rd gear, then lose drive totally?

Why after stopping does drive resume, only to repeat the failure?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


June 20, 2018, 06:45:08 AM
Reply #1


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Re: Loss of drive
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 06:45:08 AM »
Unfortunately the gearboxes in that age car are known to fail and it will need rebuilding.  BMW do not rebuild, only replace - hence them telling you what they did.  I am pretty sure all of the parts will be available, just not from BMW.

There are however places that will rebuild the box for you and offer a warranty.  You are looking at a cost of at least £1,500.

When mine failed there was absolutely no warning, just a sudden loss of drive.  Mine was caused by a torque converter failure which then caused a cascade failure of the box itself.

3rd gear is one of the ‘emergency’ gears that the box will lock into if there is a problem.  The oil leak has probably caused a drop in fluid level to the point that operating pressure cannot be maintained and the internal clutches start to slip.  Once that happens then a rebuild is your only option regardless of any fluid changes.

You will need to find a transmission repairer in your local area.  Not good news unfortunately  :(
:type: Never anthropomorphise computers. They hate that.