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BMW X3 hesitation on acceleration



  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 126,124
    X3s don't have push button start.. :(

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  • 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.
  • kesnowkesnow Posts: 20
    You must have the best luck in the world--or you work for BMW....LOL Hope you never have any problems with it. I wouldn't wish them on anyone.
  • szimdahlszimdahl Posts: 5
    I also have a 2007 X3 CPO that I bought in April 2008. It was also a dealer loaner that I bought with 6300 miles on it. I haven't had any transmission issues either as far as not shifting or hesitating to make a turn. If I press the accelerator it goes! The only thing I can say about the transmission is it is a little "quirky" for an automatic. The downshifting as you reduce speed and let off the accelerator makes it feel like you are driving a manual tranmission and are downshifting through the gears. I also have a Volvo S40 and if you let your foot off the gas it does not downshift through the gears. This probably allows for a slight increase in gas mieage as well. Anyway, I think my X3 is a great vehicle and I guess I have just been lucky so far like the last guy!
  • MLB6MLB6 Posts: 12
    Folks, this thread is for those whose X3 are a little bit less perfect or a lot less perfect than those who are more "lucky". BMW would hope that after all the updates, you would agree with them that there are "no problem". For those continues to be dissatisfied with their X3, unless they are in the States in which Lemon Law rules, it would be an uphill battle to either wish for a better fix in the future or go though the legal system of their respective country.
  • kesnowkesnow Posts: 20
    It has probably had the updates with that many miles. The previous owner probably couldn't have lived with it otherwise. The quirkiness is what I have after the V30 update. Does anyone know if there have been any more? My dealer and I aren't very "close" any more, so we don't talk much......6 more months and I can give it back!!!!!!!
  • redferoxredferox Posts: 1
    Fun times... my wife has the 07 x3si model and it had simply shut down while in motion on a turn for an on ramp :mad: . After weeks at the dealer and tier 3 evaluation - no sign of any issue. The X3 transmission now feels choppy and the buttons get a FAIL yesterday :confuse: . After getting in and activating the bluetooth for the drive home, buttons on the wheel and dash would redial the last number (stereo mode button), the voice activation would dial in alphabetical order... the only thing I like about this car is the sound system. It's a lease that's up soon and won't do that again. So I gave the wife my keys (LX470 w/ air suspension). Beside it serving as the mall cruiser, is also used for search and rescue in Oregon, Washington and California. Toyotas/Lexus have never left me, nor let me down but more importantly, the wife and kiddo feel safe. :)
  • kesnowkesnow Posts: 20
    Paid off lease early due to crappy service from both BMWNA and my dealer. They are lemons and BMW won't admit it. Whoever writes the software for it should be sentenced to life in one. I kept getting updates but they always had some little issue that made it either better but no different in annoyance or more of a safety hazard. Pay if off and get rid of it; it is a death trap. You wont' get any kind of trade, so pay off your lease and let them deal with it. I was offered $23500 for it with a 28500 lease payoff. They don't even want them...... :lemon:
  • hb92647hb92647 Posts: 4
    Watch the video of accident that just happened in Huntington Beach California. I wonder if the car had similar problems ....
    I had one accident due to transmission problems so far (the car suddenly wouldn't move and the car behind me hit me) and narrowly escaped two more .... my husband was driving, stopped on red light, then the car wouldn't move on green and then jumped forward. d=24673786001
  • patc3080patc3080 Posts: 4
    as soon as i test drove my 07 x3 i was captured by its bmw pedigree,I bought it without doing my homework,it was a used model a loaner 7500 miles.Why didn't I wonder why there was so many to choose from on the lot.The initial problem was wind noise from the sunroof.which took 3 visits to fix,but the ongoing problem is the way the tranny responds to small grade increases.Its so hard to put your finger on exactly whats wrong,but something is definitly wrong.I told the dealer I thought there was something wrong but they told me it was nothing,Im glad I found this site now I can start accumulating my service calls for this repair for which ther seems to be no cure
  • daddymandaddyman Posts: 14
    Pat, go to There is a whole thread dedicated to just this problem. Start tracking every detail as most people have had to call lemon law attorneys to get any real resolution. There is no "Fix" should you have one of the problematic transmissions.
  • daddymandaddyman Posts: 14
    And for the hundreds of others that have a $40k rock or death trap they need to know how to get out of the thing. We are glad to hear that you hae not had to face down the equivalent of being stuck on a train track with a roaring train barreling down on you while you try to get out of the way. The vehicle is great when it operates. It is the 5% time it decides to exhibit the "I Don't Wanna'" attitude that is scary. Not frustrating, not maddening, down right scary. Once BMW comes up with a permanent fix and admits wrongdoing maybe people will stop slamming it, but this is not something that is made up for the fun of it. :lemon:
  • New X3 2009. Super bouncy ride at low speeds which I now think is the GM6 AT problem that is in the 2007-08 models.

    When coasting to a stop it shifts abruptly into low gear and can almost stop itself. When going over minor road imperfections it bounces around like a carnival ride.

    Apparently there are some software fixes as this appears to not be a mechanical problem and not a problem on the manual transmission. The fixes may or may not work and there doesn't appear to be a complete fix for the problem.

    Since there have been a number of s/w updates, BMW obviously knows about the problem but chooses to, what, ignore it? This is outrageous.

    I am livid.

    I will take it in (again) and see what can be done but if one other person tells me that this incredible jostling, teeth knocking ride is 'normal' I think I will sentence them to ride in the cargo compartment where they can hit their head on the ceiling.

    :lemon: ????????? :mad: !!!!!!!!!!
  • If you didn't buy then you are lucky.

    I did. I am furious.

    This is ridiculous. It is less than a month old and has had problems from the very beginning. I thought it was a very stiff, sporty suspension but that is it. It is probably the same, ridiculous transmission problem that BMW has seen fit to inflict on paying customers.

  • What I have heard:

    1. It is just the difference between a smaller wheelbase and a taller car.
    2. It is just bouncy but in a refined bouncy way.
    3. It is in your head.
    4. It is your driving.
    5. It is a brand new car, it will settle down.
    6. You will get used to it....I would have to be numb and blind because I can both feel it and see the effects of things falling to the floor and things hitting the low speed.
    7. It is what you put up with in order to get the handling - most ridiculous statement ever.
    8. IT IS NORMAL.

    If this is NORMAL then NORMAL is UNACCEPTABLE.

    This is ridiculous. I guess it is time to find a lemon lawyer.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    I vote for reason number 3.
    Anyone else?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • "live in Colorado so when it's really slippery, I use the manual transmission anyway, and it hugs the road."

    Apparently it isn't a problem with the actual MT car or when you use the manual shifting but who wants to do that in city traffic?
  • " I've have numerous 'near misses' with other cars and I've almost ended up on someones trunk when the car surged while stopped at a red light. "

    New problem just showed up today. Driving along at 30 mph then sudden acceleration that comes and goes for no reason. The car surges forward, luckily no one in front, and then backs down.

    This is weird.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    My wife has reported that her X3 speeds up when she pushes on the accelerator(far right) pedal and slows to a stop when she pushes the left pedal.
    Be careful out there!

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I didn't hear about the AT problem before I purchased. Sometimes it is Google's luck of the draw as to what comes up and what does not.

    I am now documenting the entire sorry experience and will post what happens next. Since this is the end of the style, I would think they would bother to test drive these cars and see if they exhibit these problems rather than selling them to the unsuspecting and having the problems come out in the first days of ownership.

    They might end up with a handful of extra cars but now they end up with tons of irate customers who are so irate (most people just suck it up after all) that some actually complain to the public. I don't get the bad PR.

  • " On the evening of 4/22/2007, I was traveling over the GW Bridge when the X3 lost all forward mobility and started to slow completely down in the middle of traffic. I pushed the gas pedal and the engine revved but it didn’t help. I noticed that the D indicator wasn’t showing. I also noticed a transmission waning indicator was amber on the console. I shifted the X3 into S for sports drive and the D came back up (not the S) and the vehicle continued to move staying in one gear until I was able to exit off of the bridge. When I pulled next to the curb and attempted to put the X3 in reverse it wouldn’t move. After turning the X3 off and letting the vehicle rest for 10 minutes, I was able to resume driving and the warning indicator did not appear again.

    “In DRIVE mode the trans software is programmed to start off in second gear as an economy measure to help save gas. BMW did that on purpose. If you're fairly light on the throttle it will stay in Second, accelerate, and eventually shift into Third, Fourth and Fifth. Try it out and count the shifts. (You may need to watch the tach to notice the shifts, this trans can be really smooth at very light throttle and the higher gear shifts may only vary a few hundred rpm)

    But if you put a little more foot into the throttle on take-off (i.e.: from a dead stop) the trans will shift down from Second to First to give you better acceleration. This is what it is supposed to do. It happens in an instant but you can still feel the car start to move, then "hesitate" from the shift, and then take off. If you have a light enough foot it may never even happen to you. If your foot is rather heavy you may notice it more at first but it will "teach" your trans really quick that you want a fast start most of the time.

    Now in SPORT mode the trans ALWAYS starts in first, thus no "hesitation". The drawback to always using SPORT mode to avoid the "hesitation" (gear change) is that it almost NEVER shifts into Fifth gear in city driving. The vehicle has to reach a certain speed before it will upshift to Fifth. That can really hurt your mileage in town if you never get over 35-45 mph. AND your trans never gets a chance to "adapt" to your style in DRIVE mode.”

    Nevertheless, what really sticks out is the concern about how dangerous many of the X3 owners feel the hesitation problem is. I have experienced it first hand and am afraid to pull out of a gas station onto a highway without a very large open window in the road – people honk at me, but I can’t trust the car. Moreover, my wife feels she cannot put our grandchildren safely in it.

    Next, let’s discuss the other issue – I hit the jackpot – I have both of the major, hidden problems that BMW has with this vehicle. The transmission failure I experienced and the resulting inability to shift into reverse. It’s all over the place, Consumer Affairs knows it and it’s been there for several years – good job BMW on the PR front, if a potential buyer doesn’t do their homework on the internet, they’d never know there was a problem.

    By Joe Benton


    I am light on the throttle with my new X3 because of the stuttering acceleration. A regular push on the pedal caused it to lurch and stop, lurch and stop until it hit a gear it liked and then went forward. There was no lead footing going on as would be indicated by the: Down to 1st fear and then up to 2nd gear fuel saving idea.

    That fuel saving idea doesn't make much sense either as how much fuel can it save by being down 1 gear for a second or two? It still uses fuel to change the gears and why would saving a penny on gas would be worth hesitating while making an unprotected left turn or hesitating while merging into traffic or avoiding a collision?

    I do not buy this explanation as it makes no sense trading safety for a few pennies in gasoline.
  • You must be done on your lease next month.

    Unfortunately, I bought mine...outright. What a ridiculous situation.

    It has under 400 miles on it and it was a problem right off the bat. It went in for a drive last week and is now in the shop after another drive. I might have gotten a red light ticket (don't know if there is a camera there) as it wouldn't accelerate through the intersection to make the left turn until the light had turned red. Couldn't go backward, had to go forward.

    I get much more bucking motion than others have experienced and all of this fun in a BRAND NEW CAR.

    What is up with this?

This discussion has been closed.