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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 05-23-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6
My Ride: 03 BMW 325xi

I drive a 03 325xi and all was normal, one night driving down the common road I always do at 50 MPH in the middle of the winter I noticed a shake. I had pulled over within 1/4 mile and looked for ice build up underneath the vehicle. As I drove away from being parked there is a shake that had vigorously increased and had shook for about 3/4 mile at about 10-15 MPH, then shortly it suddenly stopped for about a 1/4 mile period and i could even go 40. I have now turned on my buddies “dirt” (snow) road and the shake is very vigorous at 15 MPH again. I had pulled into his driveway and instantly I had no throttle response with the wheels, only the RPM gauge.
Engine starts and runs great, transmission had no hard shifts or slips prior to this, but that grinding noise under the car sounds like an input shaft bearing and I’m trying to determine that for a fact, an experienced mechanic (GM Dealership) 20+ years said it may even just be an axle, but that doesn’t explain no wheel response in any gear

Just Looking For Help, Thank You

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Old 07-16-2019, 12:55 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 16
My Ride: 2003 325xi
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4,783
My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Year: 2003
Model: 325xi
Transmission: Steptronic
Could be an axle failure and check to see if one has popped out of the front dif. The xi AWD is a completely open system, if one component fails the car won't move.

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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings

Bad outer xi ball joint?

2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:07 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Omaha
Posts: 107
My Ride: E46 xiT manual
I've got the same issue. Came out of nowhere last Thursday. Any gear, no wheel rotation. I removed the front wheel driveshaft yesterday and still no movement, so doubt its an axle. I smell the metallic scent of a burned clutch. So, it's likely the bearing or clutch. Removing the tranny during the course of this week.
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, and torque is how far you take the wall with you.
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