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bimmaster
bimmaster, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1882
Experience:  3 years dealer experience, master bmw tech
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BMW X3 3.0i I HAVE A 2004 BMW X3 AND THE YELLOW 4X4 LIGHT

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I HAVE A 2004 BMW X3 AND THE YELLOW 4X4 LIGHT CAME ON ON THE DASH AND THE WHEELS ARE BREAKING AND THE STEARING PULLS...IT SOUNDS LIKE THE ABS IN ENGAGED CAUSE THE ENGINE IS KIND OF GROWLING...PRESSING THE DCS BUTTON DOES NOTHING..HOW CAN I GET THE SYSTEM TO DISABLE? THANKS ROD
Hi, welcome to just answer.
Can you inspect your wheels and tires for me? I need to know if the tires and wheels are all the same size. The info is printed on the sides of the tires. Also check the tire pressures for me. Let me know what you find.
Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE, BUT WE HAD TO LEAVE THE CAR IN A PARKING LOT BECAUSE IT WAS FELT LIKE HE BREAKS WERE ON AND IT DIDNT FEEL SAFE TO DRIVE SO I SORRY BUT I DONT HAVE THE CAR HERE UNFORTUNATLY...HOWEVER THE TIRES ARE ABOUT 1 YEAR OLD, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME SIZE, THEY ARE 17'S AND THERE IS NO LIGHT ON FOR LOW TIRE PRESSURE...HOPE THAT HELPS...

Ok, thanks for the info, that helps.
There are a couple problems that you could be experiencing.

  1. The first being a stuck brake caliper. Your x3 has a brake caliper at each wheel, on occasion the piston in the caliper will get stuck to the housing, leaving the brake applied on one wheel. If one wheel is dragging, this can cause all kinds of subsequent problems. The abs/dsc system will think the stuck wheel has poor traction, and it can try to compensate by pulsing the brakes. Also the vehicle will pull to the side with the stuck caliper. To check for this, the vehicle needs to be lifted and each wheel spun by hand to see if one is sticking.
  2. Another problem could be with the 4x4 transfer case, these sometimes fail internally and will cause odd growling noises. The fault codes will need to be read from the transfer case computer (vtg), to determine the cause of the 4x4 warning.

It sounds like the vehicle will need to be towed to a bmw shop. The only thing you could try is to push and hold the DSC/DTC button for a few seconds. This should turn off the system, as much as possible.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

BESIDES THE OBD2 TERMINAL INSIDE THE CAR, IS THERE ANOTHER TEST TERMINAL UNDER THE HOOD FOR THE TRANSMISSION? AND DO YOU THINK IT WOULD HELP RESET ANYTHING TO UNHOOK THE BATTERY? THANKS AGAIN

Since 2001, BMWs only use the obd2 connector in the car for diagnosis. The older models had a round 20 pin connector under the hood. All the computers (including the transmission) now communicate through the 16 pin obd 2 connector.
It's possible the problem could be reset if the battery is disconnected, if the issue is purely electrical. The battery is in the trunk, under the removable floor. It wouldn't hurt to disconnect it for 15 min, and recheck.
Also you can try putting the vehicle in neutral, then have a couple people try to push it forward to see if any wheels are locking up.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I HAVE AN OTC GENESIS SCAN TOOL, DO YOU THINK THIS WOULD DIAGNOSE IT OR IS IT DEALER LEVEL ONLY?

The otc tool may be able to see faults in the vtg, and dsc, if you have the proper european software for it. In some cases, there are proprietary faults that will only show with the bmw factory scan tool.
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