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BMW X3 hesitation on acceleration



  • kesnowkesnow Posts: 20
    You are exactly right. I've had every "software update" known to BMW and both my dealership and BMWNA tell me that it is supposed to drive the way it does. The last upgrade got me jerky shifts, slow shifts, no shifts. My lease is up in 6 months and my next car WILL NOT be a BMW. They've lost me for life. The last thing they did was replace the "mechtronics" and it is no better. The transmission is, I believe I read some time ago, a GM product they are trying to adapt. I'm not 100% sure that's true, but I've never seen a GM transmission operate this poorly. The real problem is the adaptive software. I don't see why they don't just scrap it altogether and get rid of the adaptive logic like the one on my '05 325. It shifted like buttah. Also, they tried to blame it on too high a concentration of ethanol in my gas tank--and would change the gas filter, clean the injectors and drain my tank (of about 2 gals) for $1000, even though they found no damage. I'm not that stupid. So, be prepared for grief until you can get rid of it.
  • I'm really not sure what the deal is about this transmission issue, so I'm very curious. Don't get me wrong. My first '06 with only 12K miles on it left the front differential on the side of I-25 in -5 degrees, so I am not saying I think this is the best, most reliable car on the road (tow truck driver told me they tow more BMW and Mercedes than anything else.) but I haven't had the tranny issues.

    I had just purchased it pre-owned and they said it was simply a "unusual mechanical issue" and the car was fine. "We've never heard of this happening before....." I still had almost 2 years of warranty left, but I was having nothing of that so they took it back.

    So in the mean time, I did more research and have seen many threads about this transmission problem, and I drove several more to get my confidence back. I drove a couple of 2007's and 2008's and never noticed this transmission hesitation problem in any of them, at all.

    What I ended up with is an '07 with 22K miles on it. It has the sports package with the M3 detailing and I'm thrilled with it. With the tighter suspension, it drives like an "ultimate driving machine" and I have absolutely no issues with the transmission or anything else for that matter. (Well, the "climate control" doesn't work very well as far as I'm concerned and the blue tooth sorts my phone book in a strange order, but other than that....) I live in Colorado so when it's really slippery, I use the manual transmission anyway, and it hugs the road.

    So a) they are not all like that, and b) if anyone has any input on the climate control and blue tooth deal, I'd be happy to hear about it.
  • kesnowkesnow Posts: 20
    You won't see the problem with the shifter in the "M/S" mode or shifting manually. That's now I drive mine to get it warmed up, then shift it back to full automatic. Seems to shift better then. The '06 had a 5 speed, the '07-'09 have a six speed, so that's why you didn't see the problem with your '06, plus it wasn't adaptive. All I can say is good luck.
  • I knew that the problem didn't present intself in the "M/S" mode or shifiting manually, but I have never had the problem when in full automatic regardless. Thanks for the good luck though. From all these posts, there must be something there, so perhaps I'm lucky......So Far.
  • BaitBait Posts: 12
    Well, mine almost got me killed again this morning. Heading down the freeway in the middle lane and needed to get into the left lane to avoid an old lady in a Toyota in front of me. Knowing the (non-existent) problem with this car I took extra care making sure the left lane was open. It was, I made my move and the car started debating whether it wanted to shift into a gear to do what I was asking it to do. By then I was already committed to the left lane. Again, this is a very old problem and one I've told BMW about for almost 2yrs....a problem that's extremely well documented as I don't throw away anything. The guy who came very close to ramming me in the rear didn't (at 70 mph) think this was very funny either, then again, neither have a few others who almost took me out (and my wife a couple times) while making a left through an intersection. Then again, I've told BMW about all those instances too and I still have the car and absolutely NO help on ANY level from BMW.
  • billmvbillmv Posts: 142
    kesnow.....Do you, or any automotive / transmission software gurus reading this forum, know if it's possible to disable the adaptive software which controls the shifting? If you can, would the transmission then operate like the '06 version, which doesn't suffer from this problem?
  • Haven't been in here in a while, but see nothing has changed. The only way to get this resolved is to get another vehicle. Plain and simple. There is no magic bullet. To do that you will need to get a lawyer. Lemon laws start from time of first complaint, and if you have made at least 3-4 attempts at letting them fix it they are done. BMW will never admit on paper there is a problem-----never! So you can either put up with the problem until the car is gone, you are dead, or get a lawyer. BMW does not listen to anything else. You put an American designed tranny, built by the French and programmed by Germans, of course they won't play well together.
  • 'Disabling' the adaptive function wouldbe difficult, baring extreme intervention from Dinan or some other tuner that has 'cracked' the transmission controller, and probably the rest of the engine/drivetrain controllers, who could disassemble the software, modify it and re-burn it. Further, its not clear whether the problem lives only within the transmission or has the other drivetrain controllers and the communication busses between them at the root of this problem. Its a complex system with a breakdown lurking somewhere and it is not clear where. While it sounds pretty straightforward to get rid of the adaptive system and go back to a economy/normal/sport shifting paradigm, BMW engineering is the place that this would happen most expediously in (to borrow FDA terminology) a safe and efficacious manner.
  • I hope this works for you all as it did for me. I have lived with this delay thing for about the first 3500 miles. Went to the dealership and he test drove it and said he could install the latest updates but he also said that he's had mixed results so I was reluctant to fool with it. So I found a guy online at another forum who said that there is a way to clear the adaptive memory by yourself and it worked for me ..... yahoo !! Here's what you do. Put your key in and hit the button without having your foot on the break (so engine does not start ) or in my case I hit the button twice such that power is on, radio is on even the charger for my cell phone has power then hold the accelerator to the floor for about 45 seconds then turn off the power and then start as normal & and that 's it. It really made a difference and has not changed at all in terms of reverting back to the delay. My cousin tried it and it worked for him as well in a 328i. Mine is an 2009 335i. Enjoy.
  • Check out message 154 it might help
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,970
    X3s don't have push button start.. :(

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Then use the key to do the same thing by turning it just short of making the engine turn over then floor it for 45 seconds. Turn it off and then start and go. This problem is BMW wide it seems. The 5 series has the same problem too.
  • dallas49dallas49 Posts: 2
    A month ago I bought a 2007 X3 (AT, 20k miles) from a local BMW dealer. The transmission problem was not prominent on my test drive. After driving the vehicle and experiencing most of the reported drivability problems for a week, I had the vehicle towed from my home to the dealer. The service dept. reported to me that they had checked the vehicle for all possible electromechanical problems and had found none in addition to having two technicians test drive it. I picked up the vehicle and continue to have problems. If there are software updates that fundamentally fix this problem why would a dealer offer a pre-owned vehicle for sale without performing the updates or complying with existing service bulletins?
  • kesnowkesnow Posts: 20
    The software updates don't fix it. BMW does not "admit" there is a fundamental problem with the transmission/engine control software. BMW engines use valvetrain control to increase/decrease fuel and air to the engine, thereby speeding up or slowing down engine. I've been told every time I took it in that BMW corporate had to "approve" any software updates, therefore the dealer will not voluntarily update the software. You'd be better off filing a lemon-law complaint. You have a case of deception and neglect. I've leased mine for the last 2 1/2 years and cannot wait to turn it back in. I will not own another BMW product. Good luck.
  • dallas49dallas49 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your input. I took the car back to dealer service yesterday for my second attempt to get problem fixed. Car has about two years of factory warranty remaining and I had judged that this would protect me from major grief or costs. Apparently, not so, This is the 4th BMW I've owned after a 23 year hiatus driving other makes. Back in the early 70's a dealer tried to charge me for a fix on my 2002 and the regional BMW service rep interceded on my behalf and had the repaired charged to BMW. The good old days.
  • MLB6MLB6 Posts: 12
    D49, you think the transmission problem was not "prominent" on your test drive? May be there were none during the test drive. The 2007 X3si I have for the last two years, its behavior is constantly changing. The consistency is the inconsistency. And BMW believes my BMW experience should include going to the dealer more than ten times on the same complaint, while they perform the same routine of updating the software. And they finally confirm final characteristics in September 2008. OK may be the dangerous "characteristics" are mostly gone. But most other problems remained. It's not bad all the time: 80% of the time it drives OK, not great but OK. 19% of the time not good with jerks, some hesitations, and smooth accelerations and decelerations are just not possible. And 1% of the time, it's a real mess. It's worst when it's near freezing temperature or raining. Some days are better than other. Interesting that I took it to a local transmission shop specialized in rebuilding transmissions in luxury brands and just drives it for a few days. They told me I have a great truck, and they didn't notice any problem. Is it beauty in the eye of the beholder? I don't think so. Somehow, I believe my back and neck problems are due to my body adapting to the unjust interventions from the DME computer. I have to get rid of this X3, and I will feel sorry for whoever ends up having my X3. May be the newer software version v.32 would help, and I will have to ask them nicely to see if they are willing to put it in... D49, see if you can trade it for another X3 with no cost, may be a 2006 with more options. You bought it "used", I don't see why they can't take it back, at least you should be able to exchange it for another one. Good luck!
  • Suggest you check out message # 154 thru #157 it might help.
  • jayvisjayvis Posts: 76
    Well folks, this is one example of many why I don't own a BMW. To be truthfull, I've always lusted over the thought of someday owning one. I test drove a 3 and 5 series back in the late 90's and was impressed with the handling and performance but was not keen on the stark interior designs. Since then I've finally reached the point financially where I can afford this class of vehicle and was very close to buying an X3 a few months ago. But after doing tons of research on the vehicle and BMW as a whole, I ended up buying a new Lexus RX350. I know, it's a totally different vehicle but I'll be damned if I'm going to put up with arrogant BMW sales people, pay a luxury price for a vehicle with a non-luxury interior and then have to endure the performance and quality issues that seem to be inherent with these vehicles. No, my Lexus can't corner at excessive speed but I'll bet it spends more time on the road and less time in the shop than an X3. I've lost a lot of faith in German car design.
  • daddymandaddyman Posts: 14
    It amazes me that no matter how many web sites post that there is a serious problem with the 07 AT people continue to buy them and then are dumb-founded when it happens to them. The fact that they have released multiple updates and still have issues says volumes. There is only one resolution to the AT problem should you have it. Lemon law --and an attorney. Both are free and will quickly get BMWNA's attention.
  • I bought an 8000 mile '07 X3 3.0si for my wife in May '08. It was a Dealer car (loaner). $41k sticker, bought it for just under $29k in great shape with 8k miles. The Transmission is and has been flawless so far for about 15k miles we have put on it. I think it is a fantastic little truck/car and can get about 22 MPG out of it. I have not had a single issue with the Transmission and my wife has mentioned nothing. It takes off like a stinkin' rocket when I want it to, and drives perfectly with very slight foot pressure. I even tow a little trailer with it with my son's 1/4 Midget on it. Great vehicle and certainly not a Lemon by a longshot.
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