Strange electrical issues - need help [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Strange electrical issues - need help

01-14-2007, 06:29 PM
Hello everyone! First time posting on these forums. Probably because my wife drives the X3, and not me :confused: , and I'm always under the hood of my play toy.

Anyway, it has already been to the dealer for some of these issues, but now it's starting to get worse. The bad part is the dealer cannot find anything wrong, and cannot duplicate the problems.

Here's what's happening:
- Climate control temp resets to 69 degrees at random.
- When set in driver's memory position #2, driver's mirror resets to position #1 at random.
- Passenger mirror will at random not point downward while in reverse.
- Every now and then, driver memory buttons do not work.
- Sometimes the door actuators are unresponsive, both with the key fob and dash button.
- At random, only the driver's door will unlock, no other doors will unlock, both with key fob and dash button.
- Rear wiper fluid spray quit working.
- Rear wipers only work sometimes.

The rear fluid and wiper issue just started recently. The front wipers and washer fluid spray works just fine.

What's got us concerned now is less than 2 weeks ago the car wouldn't start. My wife was on the phone with me, and she tried off and on for 10 minutes trying to get the car to start. Finally it did catch, and fire up. But for a minute it ran extremely rough and didn't idle right. Suddenly it smoothed out and ran just fine. This happened while it was in the garage, with temps in the 40's.

I'm trying to figure out how to approach the dealer with these issues again. The only thing right now that can be repeated every time is the rear wiper fluid spray, since that simply quit working. Everything else happens at random. The last time it was in they couldn't duplicate any issues, and there were no DTC's stored. I have AutoEnginuity on my laptop, and so far I have not pulled codes either.

Hopefully someone has some good advice. I would hate to have my wife stranded, especially with this cold weather we are having lately. I'm a good wrench turner, but these electrical issues have me stumped. :dunno:

Thanks! :D

01-14-2007, 07:04 PM
Maybe a loose ground connection somewhere? If it is, I bet the dealer will never find it. :rolleyes:

Have you tried unhooking the negative battery terminal, cleaning the post and connector then reconnecting snugly. I'm unfamiliar with what resets on the X3 when unhooking battery, but I know on my VW the ECU resets and the radio needs a security key afterwards. You might want to have the dealer do the work for you if DIY is not your cup of tea.

01-14-2007, 07:47 PM
I found this in the 2007 X3 manual:

Power failure

After a temporary power supply interruption some equipment is subject to limited use and must be reinitialized. Individual settings are also lost and must be updated again:

Panorama glass sunroof

It may be only possible to raise the sunroof. The system must be initialized, refer to page 24.

Power Windows

The pinch protection system must be reinitialized, refer to page 23.

Seat and mirror memory

The positions must be stored again, refer to page 31.


Must be set again, refer to page 47.

01-15-2007, 05:11 AM
Agree with Bobert sounds like a missing loose grd but could also be bad power, go ahead and clean both battery posts cables and have the battery tested

Note: most of your issues are key specific
Wife key will set radio, temperture, seat etc to her settings
Your key will set radio, temp, seat etc to YOUR settings


X3 Skier
01-15-2007, 12:16 PM
I had some really strange electrical happenings as listed in this thread.

As noted, it was a failure in the Instrument Panel which was replaced under warranty. :yikes:

Take it to the dealer and let them work it out. This is a not uncommon fault.


01-16-2007, 05:34 AM
Interesting post Skier, thanks.

Enjoy the cooooooooooooold here in CO.

Also Judy, the batteries and alternator test fine. No issues there. All the problems happen with either key. I haven't been able to find any common factor with any of the problems. Everything but the rear wiper fluid issue is completely random.

I'm going to schedule another appointment with the dealer to get the rear wiper fixed. Also I have them look at all the gremlins again. I'll just keep presenting these problems to them, so they know there is an ongoing issue. Eventually they'll see it.

X3 Skier
01-16-2007, 01:17 PM
Interesting post Skier, thanks.

Forgot to mention, about a week before all the strange electrical problems, I had a very long crank and misfiring on trying to start. After that one time, it fired first few revs with no hesitation. No worries and then the spooky electrics started. Since the Instrument Cluster was replaced, no problems of any kind.

BTW, Will be in Steamboat Springs the end of the week for the rest of the season.