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  #1  
Old 03-29-2012, 03:24 PM
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Lost a driveshaft today..

Literally. That sucker is lying somewhere along the highway about an hour outside of Atlanta. Fortunately, it was the front shaft, so I still had power to the rear wheels and got to a place where I could call BMW assist and get a tow to a dealership.

Has anybody gone through this before? How likely is more extensive damage to the transmission? I experienced vibrations in the front for about 5-10 minutes, before it popped off. The car ran smoothly until I pulled over to take a look. At that point, transmission fluid started leaking out into a large puddle.

I've got 37k on the car (May 2010 build), so high mileage for a 2011, but still early for these sorts of problems. Car is completely stock, so no additional stresses beyond the occasional spirited drive.
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2012, 03:30 PM
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Depends where it broke, but if fluid is leaking it sounds like the yoke that joins the driveshaft to the transfer case. That would make it transfer case fluid. Not likely to be transmission fluid. Not a common failure, but this is why you have a warranty.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:36 PM
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WoW that sucks!

Luckily you got everything covered under warranty. My 35i is built roughly the same time as yours but it has less than 15k miles on it. I hope they don't give you a hard time for running your 50i 24/7.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by xoutpostking View Post
WoW that sucks!

Luckily you got everything covered under warranty. My 35i is built roughly the same time as yours but it has less than 15k miles on it. I hope they don't give you a hard time for running your 50i 24/7.

Yes, glad to be under warranty. I would be disappointed to be stuck in the rental for an extended period if the required repairs were more extensive. Love driving the 50. Not quite 24/7, but working on it.

JCL - Thx for clarifying. Hope that is the case..
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:00 AM
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i've come across this many times, what ive seen is the u-joint that connects to the transfer case on the front drive shaft siezes and breaks off because it is unable to flex correctly, most of the times, it contacts the side of the transmission and you will hear metal to metal contact and you will see wear marks on the side of the transmission casing.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by killcrap View Post
i've come across this many times, what ive seen is the u-joint that connects to the transfer case on the front drive shaft siezes and breaks off because it is unable to flex correctly, most of the times, it contacts the side of the transmission and you will hear metal to metal contact and you will see wear marks on the side of the transmission casing.

There was a loud ping/pop when it disconnected. Hoping secondary effects are limited to the wear you described. Thx.

Just curious - if the front drive shaft and transfer fluids are gone, any impact on the rest of the drivetrain/system if for some reason the car was driven for an extended period, say an hour or more?
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:46 PM
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That is pretty rare on a new vehicle,

Please keep us posted on the exact cause and damages...
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killcrap View Post
i've come across this many times, what ive seen is the u-joint that connects to the transfer case on the front drive shaft siezes and breaks off because it is unable to flex correctly, most of the times, it contacts the side of the transmission and you will hear metal to metal contact and you will see wear marks on the side of the transmission casing.
Could you please post the part number of the joint you mentioned? Thanks.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killcrap View Post
i've come across this many times, what ive seen is the u-joint that connects to the transfer case on the front drive shaft siezes and breaks off because it is unable to flex correctly, most of the times, it contacts the side of the transmission and you will hear metal to metal contact and you will see wear marks on the side of the transmission casing.
I suppose it is hard to tell after such damage, but did these failures you have seen seem to be due to a torn boot and resultant lost of lube/exposure to the elements? I ask as if so, it would seem periodic inspection of the boots might avoid an on the road breakdown and I might start doing it more frequently.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
I suppose it is hard to tell after such damage, but did these failures you have seen seem to be due to a torn boot and resultant lost of lube/exposure to the elements? I ask as if so, it would seem periodic inspection of the boots might avoid an on the road breakdown and I might start doing it more frequently.

i have yet to see a front driveshaft with a boot. so periodic inspection of such boot would not avoid any breakdown. you may start periodic inspection more frequently after you retrofit a boot on the driveshaft.
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