The BMW X3 is also known as the e83, and was sold in the United States from model year 2004 to 2010. This was the first-generation of the car, which BMW deemed a Sport “Activity” vehicle. It featured all-wheel-drive, and therefore is built with a transfer case, which moves power from the transmission to the rear and front axles. Unfortunately, the X3 has been known to have transfer case problems, especially in the 2004 and 2005 models.
Many owners have been noted a “whining” noise that appears after the vehicle has about 10,000 miles. Typically this could be attributed to aging belts or deteriorating front bearings. An old serpentine belt makes similar noises. However, since this was first noted in the ‘04 and ‘05 models when they were low-mileage, chances are this is a common problem inherent in the X3.
The transfer case is integral to all-wheel-drive vehicles, and if not repaired, it could also affect the transmission. Both of which are quite expensive and time-consuming to repair. Some owners claim that they can prolong the life of their car’s transfer cases by changing the fluid about every 10,000 miles. This can become costly though, and is not guaranteed to prevent this common problem.
Most BMW service centers are aware of the transfer case problems in the X3, and probably have experience fixing this problem. So rather than wait, or try to fix it yourself, we recommend that you visit your local independent BMW service garage and have it repaired by the experts.
Search for a local, independent BMW repair shop with BMW mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.