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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 01-04-2017, 08:06 PM   #1
Gunner_e46
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Aberdeen
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My Ride: 2001 e46 325xi
Car not moving when put into any gear

Hi I am new to this forum and I am in need of some help. I have a 2001 325xi 5 speed manual. I was driving my car today and it started making this grinding and clanking sound right by the passenger front door. I turned a corner and all of a sudden my car started shaking like the front right tire was loose and it made a terrible clunk. As I turned the corner I downshifted into second and all of a sudden I can't drive anywhere and the clutch seems to be fine. When put in to gear and try to take off it just clunks under the passenger side front. If anyone has any information that would help me I would gladly appreciate it THANKS!!!
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:09 PM   #2
shiftyshadow17
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It would have to be something with the drivetrain, like the transmission/front differential/ or transfer case, you said the clutch is fine?
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:10 PM   #3
bmwbob89
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Sounds like you lost a front axle. Turn the wheel and look in there with a flashlight. Should be obvious.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:11 PM   #4
shiftyshadow17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbob89 View Post
Sounds like you lost a front axle. Turn the wheel and look in there with a flashlight. Should be obvious.


Thought about that also but wouldn't you still be able to move or no?
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:33 PM   #5
Gunner_e46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbob89 View Post
Sounds like you lost a front axle. Turn the wheel and look in there with a flashlight. Should be obvious.
If I would lost a front axle wouldn't my car still be able to drive?
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:36 PM   #6
Gunner_e46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiftyshadow17 View Post
It would have to be something with the drivetrain, like the transmission/front differential/ or transfer case, you said the clutch is fine?
Yes the clutch is fine I don't think it's the transfer case I believe that only send power to the front wheels. Are there any input shafts that are likely to bust?
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:46 PM   #7
Gunner_e46
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It almost seemed like something was out off balance in the transmission or somewhere along the drivetrain
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:56 PM   #8
shiftyshadow17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunner_e46 View Post
Yes the clutch is fine I don't think it's the transfer case I believe that only send power to the front wheels. Are there any input shafts that are likely to bust?


How can you tell the clutch is fine? A broken front axle shouldn't prevent the car from moving. You can't roll it or anything?
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:04 PM   #9
LD330XI
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Originally Posted by shiftyshadow17 View Post
How can you tell the clutch is fine? A broken front axle shouldn't prevent the car from moving. You can't roll it or anything?
A broken front axle will prevent the car from moving under its own power. The drivetrain on e46 Xi's is open.

Sounds like a front axle to me.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:05 PM   #10
shiftyshadow17
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Car not moving when put into any gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by LD330XI View Post
A broken front axle will prevent the car from moving under its own power. The drivetrain on e46 Xi's is open.

Sounds like a front axle to me.


Never knew that, thank you for correcting me. I'm still learning, this is my first car also, so since the axle is broken it can't move? any reason for that, or is it just because the car has open diffs?

Last edited by shiftyshadow17; 01-04-2017 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:11 PM   #11
Gunner_e46
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Yes the car is able to be pushed we had to push it 3 blocks back to my buddies house and when being pushed the car didn't make any weird noises only when put into gear and I let the clutch out
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:14 PM   #12
Gunner_e46
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So check the front axle and Tha may be the problem?
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:37 PM   #13
shiftyshadow17
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Originally Posted by Gunner_e46 View Post
So check the front axle and Tha may be the problem?


Yes check it
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:08 PM   #14
WilloCO
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Check all the axles, diffs and driveshaft. Should be easy to find the root cause if you have a jack and a friend handy.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:26 PM   #15
jmo69
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If an axle pulls out of the dif just a little the car will not move, that's why the axles have to be driven all the way in when changing them. This has been discussed before on this forum.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:41 PM   #16
gordo325xiwagon
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Originally Posted by Gunner_e46 View Post
If I would lost a front axle wouldn't my car still be able to drive?
No, if the front axle is broken, or the splined shaft broke a clip and slip out of the front diff, the car will not move. We don't have locker diffs.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:18 PM   #17
Gunner_e46
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Car is already fixed and it was the front driveshaft that busted

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