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BMW X3 hesitation on acceleration



  • As in the post above, I have experienced the inability to accelerate from a stop and a small surge of acceleration going down a flat to slightly hilly road at moderate speed.

    What is up with this car?

    The problems seem to center on the transmission although mine may actually have a problem with the suspension or something else entirely.
  • Wow, I wish you guys were still active on this thread as it would help those who purchased to have NOT.

    Someone with IIRC a defective LR plastered it with signs and left it parked on the road in front of the dealership. It really isn't the dealership's fault if they get a defective car although it is their fault if they string a customer along hoping they will just go away. This kind of thing has a mind of its own especially in premium brands.

    If those with the 07-08 problems are still active on Edmunds, it would be great to hear what your resolutions of the X3 AT problems have been. It seems as if most were leased and so people just toughed it out until the end of the lease and gave up.

    Those of us who own them do not have that option.
  • So in doing more :lemon: research, here's an interesting thing. Other BMWs are/were having severe transmission problems using another GM transmission! In this case, people couldn't get their cars into REVERSE.

    Now, who needs reverse on a car after all? Is it a requirement of safety laws for cars to actually go in reverse? Just park on the street or ask the kids to push you back out of the driveway...will that work?

    Decades of being a BMW customer...D-O-N-E. What does it cost to put in a new transmission?

    "This is the ONLY website that is solely dedicated to helping BMW owners voice their opinions and gather data on the KNOWN reverse transmission issue that prevents the cars from going in reverse. Oh, the wonderful feeling of no reverse.

    Consumers from all over the U.S. are reporting the failure. Without notice, the reverse gear stops working in BMWs, many of them the popular 2000 323i luxury sedan."
  • The X3 is doing this again.

    While turning and decelerating from a 35 mph road into a side street, the X3 is downshifting hard and slowing itself down to nearly a stop. In order to complete the turn and go the 15 feet to the stop sign (another turn ahead) you have to put your foot on the accelerator.

    This is bizarre. One answer is that the X3 figures that if you are slowing down at lower speeds you want to slow down and brake. What? X3 as nanny car? The real answer is that no one knows why this is acting in this odd manner.

    From my experience, any other AT car would just coast itself to a stop and you have to apply brakes to stop, not accelrate into a stop. Defect? Beginnings of the AT problem emerging again? Feature? Operating within specs?

  • Almost got hit today. From a stop, no acceleration, no acceleration then acceleration.
  • How absurd is this?

    I have a brand new 2009 X3 AT and was almost hit tonight due to the car's refusal to move forward until it darn well decided to.

    The last s/w update appears to be in late 2007, what has happened since then?

    ------------------ reprise

    "This issue has nothing to do with the gas pedal. What is happening is that the car acts like it has run out of gas at times. Other times it simply shifts with a jolt. You are fortunate tha tyours doesn;t act that way, but many others wish they had never purchased this vehicle. "

    "Adjust your driving style vsaxena? Cmon! I think that something fishy is going on here. Vsaxena sounds like a BMW representative to me!

    We all know how to drive! I am 42 and all of my previous cars where fine. And yes, one was a BMW. I do not think the accelerator pedal is any different than most cars.

    The X3 has transmission problems-period.

    It hesitates from a dead stop, and also while going if you take your foot off the gas, then reapply it, it will sometimes hesitate. Also the downshifting could be quite rough. Mine was in twice already for programming. The first time it seemed okay for 3 days, then got much worse. The second time in...well I just got it back. Seems okay, but I cannot tell yet since I have to wait a week or two.
    Dont jump to conclusions on this after you get your service software update done. It takes a few hundred miles to adapt. I already had it hesitate twice. I will let you know. I have my doubts. If it gets bad again, then I will definitely be looking into Lemon Law rights before the third service attempt.
    I hope this is fixed! "

    "Well is has been 450 miles since my 2 month old x3 has been in for service 2 times for the transmission hesitation problem. To be honest, it is MUCH better than it was, but it still hesitates intermittently. Unfortunately the hesitation pops up in the worst place-right in the middle of an intersection while making left hand turns-did it again yesterday! I guess it would do it on right hand turns as well. THe sd mode in my opinion has gotten worse on this program update-seems terribly erratic and rough.
    I guess I will wait awhile until they get another software update-(or if they do). I think twice before pulling out in traffic, and that sucks, because this is a BMW, its expensive, and it is SUPPOSED to work properly every time! "
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    If you're going to quote people, even if it is from two year old postings, I think you should at least indicate whom you are quoting or provide a link to the message. Dropping anonymous quotes without context tends to be confusing. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • OK, here is a link for my last post. I would add it to the post but I don't think I can edit it any longer. I am looking at postings from June of 2007 but, how odd is this, I am having similar (not exactly the same) problems in my brand new 2009.

    What a mess. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • #47 of 194
    Try maintaining constant pressure during turns by vsaxena
    Jun 26, 2007 (7:30 am)

    "To improve mileage, it also will try to anticipate when you are trying to brake/stop and reduce fuel flow. During a turn many drivers tend to reduce the pressure on the gas pedal. This is not a conscious decision but happens with everyone. If you are taking off from a stop, and turning, and reduce the pressure on the gas pedal, the car might be anticipating that you are about to brake. The electronic throttle might be reducing the gas flow, in anticipation of the brake. So try and keep constant pressure on the gas pedal during turns."


    Why does the X3 require this much fine tuning OF THE DRIVER? Blame the customer, blame the driver is all over these threads.

    My car, sometimes but not every time, slows itself down to nearly a stop on turns. So sometimes it understands that you are slowing down and sometimes it does not?

    Is the X3 just that stupid?

    90 degree turns are generally done at the same speed, you do not take a turn at 50 mph for example. So when does the X3 decide to brake itself and when does it not? Is it the incline? Is it how fast it was going a few minutes ago? Is it the ambient temperature? What exactly causes the X3 to decide to brake itself sometimes but not at others?

    Is the X3 just that stupid?

    My X3 also jerks when accelerating slowly. When accelerating quickly it is much more smooth. So the answer is to lead foot it and hope you do not hit something? The answer is to continuing accelerating into turns and hope you do not hit something?

    So my X3 can only be driven dangerously? You can get better gas mileage but you have dramatically increased the risk of hitting something?

  • pjd5pjd5 Posts: 1
    2007 X3. Just took delivery two days ago. Forget hesitation between gears - all the posts I've read seem like child's play compared to what happened to me last night! While driving, it just slipped completely out of gear - as if it were in neutral. No gears engaged AT ALL! Only revving engine. This happened at a stop light with cars behind me, but I think it slipped out of gear even before I came to a stop. I put it in park and then back into drive and that didn't seem to do anything - still just a revving engine. Probably after maybe 5-6 seconds (seemed like an eternity, actually), it went into gear, and I was able to pull away from the stoplight. The transmission malfunction light went on and stayed on, but the car seemed fine. Then I got to my destination, parked it, turned it off, came back out 5-10 minutes later, started it up and the transmission malfunction light was no longer on. Drove okay on the way home. Anyone else ever had this happen????????? Taking it into the dealership today....
  • MLB6MLB6 Posts: 12
    Mine is an ultra crappy transmission and drive "quality" that BMW says it's normal and cannot do anything else for me. But looks like your's is a malfunction. Can we hear your purchase process? Did you do any DD on this. Did you do any research in the internet? Still wish they can fix it for you though. Good luck!
  • Due Diligence?

    Stop blaming the customer. Why is it your fault or my fault or his fault for this psychotic transmission. Blame BMW for making this ridiculous car AND for saying that this is normal. Normal?

    The only reason to buy a BMW is for its ride. The X3 does not have the ride so it is an over priced, under performing HOJ.

    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    This is new. Going uphill at 20 mph, push accelerator down - no acceleration, push down harder - no acceleration, tachometer suddenly springs up and down between 2 and 3K and acceleration commences.

  • None of these problems are new. Quit posting over and over again and go do something. I posted detailed circumstances so that people would NOT fall into the same problems I had. The 2007 was a brand new vehicle when I bought it so there was no prior issues. Had you read any of the thousands of posts people have made since then, over multiple web sites you might not be in the trouble you are in. That is Due Diligence.Now go get a Lemon Lawyer, decide what you want (buy back or trade assist) and take it from there.

    Sorry, you are having these problems, but we cant resolve this--you can. And we have now told you how!
  • I totally agree. It is a waste of time posting the same issues over and over again. Its is simple, if you are not happy with the problems these vehicles have you need to do something about it YOURSELF.

    Now one is going to wave a magic wand and it is all going to be fixed for you, I KNOW. It took me getting off my backside and starting legal action and after long months of headaches and lots of evidence and finally the problem was gone!

    My fight was with BMW in another country and we don't have the protection of lemon laws like you guys!

    Im not having a crack here at anyone, but you need to understand that BMW as a company are NEVER going to admit there is a fault, they are one of the most arrogant companies around and could not give a f%^k about their customers, only their bottom-line!

    These people who come on here and who are still considering buying one must be totally mad.....YES THESE LATEST CARS STILL HAVE THE ISSUE, BMW wont make a special X3 for you to buy that wont have the problem if you buy one. :lemon:

    Sorry but I have been watching this thread for so long now and its the same thing over and over.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    Actually, that acceleration failure is new to me. That is fact. People are always entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts.

    The entire point of threads such as these is to see what others have experienced and to see what the solutions are. Otherwise, they are useless. Most of the threads on these and other forums are talking about the 2007s and 2008s as if the problems WERE FIXED. Obviously, that is false and goes to the problem of DD.

    Since temperatures have fallen about 30 degrees since I bought the X3, I am interested in finding out why acceleration failures appear to get worse with lower ambient temperature. If the problem is a s/w failure then why does ambient temperature affect the transmission problem? Isn't the s/w programming of gear shifts a function of speed and rpms?

    If you do not have an actual answer to my probs then kindly ignore my posts. If you have an answer then I would appreciate that. Thanks in advance.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    So this is what it comes down to. The BMW X3's hesitation on acceleration is NORMAL for the car.

    It isn't an issue, you just have to work around it because you the driver are less important than the car. So drive it in SD so that it doesn't get you hit when turning on an unprotected left or trying to merge into traffic or trying to avoid an accident. The stopping short while heading towards a stoplight or stop sign is also normal. The surge in acceleration is normal. It is all normal. It is designed to be this way.

    Feel stupid yet?

    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • Hello there, I have been reading countless posts all over the place in regards to the X3 acceleration problem. I ready to purchase a CPO '06 for my wife from a local dealer. I test drove an '06 in another dealer and did not feel anything strange. Now just yesterday test two more '06s and did not notice anything as well. Is this problem related to the '07 and up X3s? is the '06 model not included in this mess. I know BMW changed the engine and trasmission on the '07. I am very confused and concerned to put my wife and kids on this car, even if she loves the car.

    Your comments are greatly appreciated
  • The problems started with the 2007 X3's, the 2006 ones are fine. My wife had a 2006 X3 that was terrific, quick, smooth steady power and acceleration. You could barely feel the automatic transmission shifting. The 2007 models on...not so much.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    The X3's before 2007 had the 5-speed automatic transmission.
    The X3's after 2007 have the 6-speed automatic transmission.

    The gripes are around the 6-speed AT. I do not know about the 5-speed AT.

    If you drive with a lead foot or spend your time mostly on the highways, you may not feel anything. It never hurts to see if you can take an extended test drive and see if you can feel any odd behavior at low speeds. Some say that a rolling stop - not stopping completely at a stop sign - can cause the hesitation.

    I would take it for a drive down some hills and see if you feel any 'binding' or hard pull back from the engine brake or the transmission downshifting hard. Again, this seems to be more of an issue at lower speeds. This is also more pronounced in SD mode.

    There were supposedly changes to the ride in 2005 and then again in 2007 but if you do not feel that the ride is harsh or bouncy then it won't bother you. You should also check the bolts under the seat for rust just in case the car developed a leak in the pano roof. Other problems that may or may not occur are radio reception while the back defroster is on and maybe some damage to interior or exterior that are not always noted even in a CPO.

    I would also take a hard look at the suspension and listen for any creakiness or clunking sounds.

    Since you have several to choose from, it pays to be picky-picky-picky and to drive a hard bargain.

    Good luck.
  • IT DOES AFFECT THE 2006 MODEL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dont be fooled, how do I know, I had one and BMW paid me out! BTW mine was a 6 speed diesel
  • MLB6MLB6 Posts: 12
    If not because of the Internet, I would have thought the problems with my 07 X3 AT is an isolated case. It takes BMW over 2 years with continuous software updates to find out mine not only a software problem. It's much better now, but from time to time, problems still like to come back to remind me of its very troubled past. I am still very worried about when this X3 would become out-of warranty, because the fact that it had these hesitation and jerky shifting problems, it may have already made some damage to the transmission and its reliability would be iffy.

    I would stay away with all 6-speed automatic BMWs, not only X3's. The 5-speed ATs on the other hand, is totally different, there is generally no driving issues that are not fixable for the 5-speeds. I heard about the "No-Reverse" problems but not sure how common it is that with the 04-06 X3s.

    Buying a BMW is no longer a sure-bet anymore with its quality control problems especially with problems that can creep-up on you without notice. It pretty much like a "leap-of-faith" when you order a new BMW and wait for it to arrive. Thankfully, the Internet is your friend, so do your DD and accept the risks before you buy (or not to buy).
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    I've had BMWs for a long time and they have never been a particularly reliable car. If the X3 does not have the plethora of suspension and transmission problems then it appears to be better than the average BMW from a reliability standpoint. Who knows though since the bulk of them must still be under 100K.

    If reliability is the most important thing, avoid ALL EUROPEAN makes and go with the Japanese. There is still a significant difference IMO even though the Japanese have their glitch cars as well.

    I agree that getting a BMW is a roll of the dice. If it does break out of warranty then the maintenance costs run easily into the thousands. Pop the hood, pay a grand...good rule of thumb.

    I think the Subaru hatchbacks get good marks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,191
    I've owned nine BMWs since 1983, and I currently have three in my garage. If you use a good dealer and/or a good independent BMW tech your running costs wont be bad at all. I have a 2004 X3 2.5 with 85,500 miles and non-scheduled maintenance has consisted of a passenger SRS sensor(warranty), one set of tires at 50,000 miles, and one set of brakes at 60,000 miles. Maintenance and repair costs over four years of ownership have averaged $56 per month- hardly a money pit. My 1995 3er has averaged $33/month since I bought it new 14 years ago- and that number includes four sets of Z-rated track tires.

    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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,191
    Two and one-half years ago I bought a Mazdaspeed 3 because I thought it might be fun to try some thing different. Here's my experience:

    Blown LF strut at 25,000 miles. That cost me a week of instructing at Watkins Glen.

    Smoking turbo at 26,000 miles. The turbo was replaced, but now Mazda claims that the smoking is actually caused by an inadequate PCV system. Five months ago they promised that a PCV revised system would be available in 90 days. Now Mazda is saying the fix won't be ready until March at the earliest.

    Variable Valve Timing Actuator became noisy at 46,000 miles. Replaced per TSB.

    At 51,000 miles the car is now throwing a P0401 fault code(EGR flow insufficient) on a regular basis. This repair-$600-will be on my nickel as it seems that the EGR system is not covered by either the powertrain or the 49 state emissions warranty. Oh yeah, I also suspect that the remaining three shocks are also packing it in as I'm starting to hear some loud knocks from the rear suspension.

    Yep, I'm sure glad I didn't buy another BMW...

    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

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    Amazingly, no one else believes that BMWs are cheap and reliable cars to own.

    I still have that bridge to sell along with brakes, rotors, head gaskets, water pumps, air conditioners and assorted dead electronics.

    Delusion runs hot and heavy from time to time though. :shades:

    These are mostly about the transmissions but there are some eye popping numbers on other maintenance issues as well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Edmunds True Cost to Own tool calculates maintenance and repair costs. Here's a sampling:

    Make/Style/Maintenance/Repairs (all over a 5 year period):

    2009 BMW X3 xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M) $3,185/$2,362
    2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A) $3,886/$951
    2009 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A) $3,288/$724
    2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A) $4,806/$2,362

    Repairs run a bit higher for the BMW and the MB than the CX-0 and MDX for the small sample set I ran. The '99 Audi Q5 is $4,630/$2,794.

    Pick your own "best" X3 comparison and run the numbers.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 126,124
    ... are ZERO for the first 50K miles... :)

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,191
    Well, as I said, my comments are only based on 26 years of ownership experience and owning everything from a Bavaria 3.0 to an E24 M6 to an E39 528iA- and I'm providing hard numbers taken off my spreadsheet. Here are some examples of service on my X3 performed at my local dealer(Swope BMW Louisville, KY):

    Change ATF and transfer case oil- $207.38
    Inspection II, brake fluid flush, repair curb rash on LF wheel- $423.66
    Oil Service, coolant flush- $128.00

    I will note that Swope does give me a BMW CCA discount of 10% on parts and labor.

    Now, I'll be the first to admit that service costs can be high if you have a questionable dealer and you simply walk in, hand over your Visa, and grab your ankles- but if you use some common sense and do some research the operating costs won't be bad at all.

    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

  • There are exclusions to what is covered, tires being one of them. I believe the battery isn't covered as well? So it really should be thought of as "Almost $0 for the first $50k miles."
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