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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,191 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2007 BMW X3 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2007 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #15

Sep 252015


  • 85,000 miles


While driving on interstate 72 in Illinois, we noted a low coolant level light. Checked the owner's manual, and it stated that this was not a major issue, but we should check it at the next opportunity. Coincidentally, the other party we were traveling with asked if we wanted to stop for coffee at a location 1.5 miles off the interstate. When we stopped, the low coolant light went off. Before getting back on the road, noticed that coolant was dripping from the front right side of the engine. A repair facility was nearby, and they investigated the leak and determined that it was emanating from a crack in the water pump. Also determined that the cause of the crack was the engine sagging. Further investigation determined that a lower engine mounting bolt was missing entirely. This was replaced along with the water pump, when the engine was jacked back into proper position. At this point it was discovered that the upper mounting bolts had sheared off inside the engine. This is a serious issue. We were one mounting bolt away from the engine sagging excessively, likely causing drive train seizure.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #14

Oct 142014


  • 92,538 miles
I was driving on an interstate highway going about 65mph when the engine started cutting off and on and the eml warning indicator light came on. My car did completely cut off and fortunately I was able to get over to the right shoulder of the interstate. I waited for a few minutes and the car restarted. I called my husband and he met me at my planned destination an hour later. We took the car to the nearest BMW dealership. On the way it cut off again. We finally made it and had the service department run a diagnostic analysis. It showed a malfunction with the eccentric shaft sensor, which basically deals with throttle control. The total cost for replacement was quoted at $1,707.08. The vehicle (a BMW X3 ) has 92,538 miles on it. This was a very dangerous situation and expensive to repair. I want this on record in case other BMW owners have had a similar problem.

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #13

Aug 032014


  • 134,530 miles
I was driving on the interstate, exiting an off ramp, decelerating in speed when the engine died, the car stalled and I lost power steering. This very same thing happened 5 weeks prior while I was on the interstate traveling 60 mph.

- Lake Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

Feb 182014

X3 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


I purchased the vehicle on February 07, 2014 and while driving home from work my vehicle started jerking. It would jerk really hard and when you would try to stop by pressing on the brake the vehicle would jerk harder as if it is about to break down. The second time was in April, I believe the 5th I was having the same problem and then several warning lights came on. I called the dealership and brought the car in. As soon as the service advisor checked on the vehicle she said the car is not drivable and how it is unsafe to drive. There was another problem with the vehicle. I brought the vehicle in may for an oil change but when I was driving the vehicle towards the end of June it said I was really low on oil. I went to turn the vehicle in and it would not start.

- Menifee, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 272013

X3 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Severe acceleration and deceleration issues with transmission on 2007 BMW E83 X3. Once the engine has reached normal operating temperature, transmission issues are more noticeable. My vehicle does not respond immediately to throttle input when starting from a dead stop. Several hesitative jerks are felt and then the vehicle accelerates very slowly. Often times during this sequence, the exhaust emits a huge plume of smoke, blinding drivers behind the vehicle. Upon deceleration, my vehicle may downshift harshly, generating a forward surge of acceleration because the transmission fails to match engine revs with the lower gear; I have only experienced this particular characteristic at low speeds (<20 mph). Also while decelerating, my vehicle may lose power, which results in a loss of power steering, making the vehicle very difficult to turn. I have not been able to determine a deceleration rate that "triggers" this behavior. I am a test engineer and a performance driving instructor with BMW cca. I have regularly driven bmws over the past decade and have never experienced this issue with any other models that I have driven (E46, E39, E63). I also have limited racing experience in E30 bmws. I.e. I know how an engine/transmission is suppose to accelerate and decelerate under a wide variety of conditions. These acceleration/deceleration issues are very concerning to me.

- Mound, MN, USA

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problem #10

Jan 282012

X3 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The vehicle hesitates when starting from a stop despite pressing the accelerator pedal. The hesitation ranges from 1-3 seconds before the vehicle accelerates. The hesitation is often accompanied by the dynamic traction control activation light illuminating. This is particularly troubling when accelerating through an intersection or making a turn from a stop through an intersection. I do not feel safe letting my family drive the vehicle with this problem.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #9

Aug 042012

X3 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


The transmission on our 2007 model year is a 6 speed automatic transmission. There has been gradual increase in upshift kick and downshift kick affecting the accelerator foot pedal feeling. At times it feels like the vehicle is ready to move from a dead stop, this is specially concerning on stop and go traffic where the transmission is constantly upshifting and downshifting in low gears. The downshift kick is more prevalent in the lower gears 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st. The upshift kick is more prevalent in 2nd to 3rd. A sense of concern has creeped up on my wife every time she drives the vehicle with no sense of security as she tries to make left turns or in slow stop and go traffic that the transmission will not react and be involved in an accident.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 032012


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 BMW X3. The contact stated that while driving various speeds and attempting to engage the accelerator pedal, the vehicle would hesitate and then lunge forward abnormally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 64,000.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #7

Mar 012011

X3 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
There is a delay in throttle response through the 1-2, 2-3 upshift when accelerating from a stop; there is a lack of power or hesitation when reapplying throttle, during either a 4-3 or 3-2 tip-in downshift. This may occur after slowing and coming to a stop on a hill and then continuing into a turn; harsh downshifts when slowing on a roadway with hills; downshifts become violent. BMW dealer has looked at vehicle twice for same concern but seems to be getting worse. This all happens under light acceleration. The vehicle has almost stalled 3 times in the last 2 days, once making a left turn with oncoming traffic at an intersection with no light, and the other two times while entering a roundabout. BMW na says see a dealer and the dealer does nothing.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #6

Jun 122010

X3 6-cyl

  • 38,800 miles
Transmission continues to hesitate @ low gears, especially at initial accelerations while stopped @ a stop sign or signal light. Automatic transmission hesitates, car jolts trying to find the right gear. The car then jumps into a higher gear and dangerously accelerates rapidly. In addition, when driving on a steep downhill decline, the car adjusts well; however, when transitioning to a level surface street after a steep downhill, the gear will not shift into the appropriate gear (I.e., was stuck in previous gear). On 6/14/2010, took car to dealer. They "performed BMW diagnosis control unit function, there is no fault record in control unit, and at test drive I9 could not duplicate customer complaint at this time." No fix was provided. After years of minor jolts when accelerating (I believe in 1st and 2nd) & then a rapid kick acceleration to 3rd, no major incidents have occurred but safety on road has been compromised. I have learned to ease into accelerations with this car and do not allow anyone to drive this car because of unexpected hesitations/accel. On 1/14/2012, I had a close call entering an intersection after I was stopped at a light. As I proceeded into the intersection to turn left, the car hesitated & stalled in middle of intersection, then jerked forward and yellow transmission light came on. I parked on the side of the road, put it in "P" & turned engine off. Turned it back on and tranny light remained on and car would not accelerate in "D"; however, it would allow me to "reverse." It took three attempts (on/off engine) and the car went into "D" with hesitation. I attempted to drive home and car stalled at the next light. Was stuck in middle of road for 2 minutes trying to get it in gear. "D" finally worked. I parked in a lot, turned engine off for 15 minutes. Car has been working ok rest of day but it is not safe! this is seriously dangerous!!!!!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 012011


  • 45,000 miles


In acceleration the car will hang and hesitate, and lunge. In a slow down situation the car will violent lerch from one gear to the next, and can not things out of the seats.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #4

Feb 262010


  • 21,000 miles
After multiple attempts to remedy the situation, BMW has been unable to resolve the transmission and the intermittent loss of power and most recently "limp-home" mode occurrence associated with the drivetrain on the 2007 BMW X3. The symptoms 1st presented itself as a loss of power from a start. Upon pressing the accelerator, the vehicle did not respond and then responded with a surge or lurching forward. This makes for unpredictable and dangerously erratic vehicle performance. After multiple visits (+4) and multiple complaints along with the sound of gear or differential noise, the dealership finally did some type of ECU update that appeared to resolve the problem. The noise never subsided and recently the car was inoperable forcing a tow after upon pressing the accelerator the vehicle went into transmission limp-mode. As usual, the symptoms "can't be duplicated" once codes are cleared yet the ECU is throwing multiple codes for transmission limp-mode and code 56be for clutch gears 2 and 6. I believe that this is a very dangerous situation to either press the accelerator and for it to be non-responsive then have a delayed vehicle surge not proportional to the input and timing of the accelerator depression and/or press the accelerator and experience significantly curtailed vehicle power due to the "limp-home" condition. This has been a recurring issue since the purchase of the vehicle on 5/31/2009.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 242011


  • 78,000 miles
Transmission shudders in second and third gear around 2000 RPM uphill. The shudder gets worse and worse as miles add up. They have had the car two weeks this time and still not fixed.

- Kona, HI, USA

problem #2

Sep 152009

X3 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
Over a year ago I began hearing loud noises underneath my 2007 BMW X3. I have had it serviced four times for the following: Loud popping from underneath especially with slow driving (5mph ), problems with jerking with acceleration, & a significant rattling and or shaking from under the car between 35-45 mph. The first two times it was taken to the dealership they claimed to hear nothing. The 3rd time they told me the tires were to blame. Wherein they further told me that if it was transmission issues ( I told them each time it was taken in we thought it was a faulty transmission) then they would not be responsible because the tires were causing an issue with the transfer casing. The fourth time was the same as before with still no resolution.

- Mustang, OK, USA

problem #1

Nov 202008


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 (na) BMW X3. The contact stated that the brake lights illuminated automatically several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for service, but they found no failures. The light illuminated again and the contact was able to reset the system by turning off the vehicle. The light illuminated again and remained lit. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the electrical switch failed. In addition, the brakes failed while driving at an unknown speed. The contact drove onto a curve and crashed into a tree. There were no injuries. The gear shifter failed and stuck to the floor when it was pulled. The transmission is also failing. During acceleration, the vehicle pulls backwards violently and the contact's hands released the steering wheel. The instrument panel indicators also illuminate. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that nothing was wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage was 7,300 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

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