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View Full Version : 2008 528i Staring Problem & Engine malfunction - reduced power


deepbmw
06-24-2012, 11:10 PM
My 2008 528i (45000 miles) suddenly had starting problems today. It sounded like low battery - it was trying to start the engine (ie no click sound), but wouldn't start. After a few tries, it started. I took it for a ride, stopped, started again. A few times it started fine, but a few times, it had same problem. While I was trying to start again, it started after many tries, but then it showed "Engine Malfunction", "Reduced engine performance" and a few other messages. I drove slowly and carefully. While I was going slightly uphill on a flyover, I could feel thud thud noise and it seemed like engine not able to keep power. After pulling the car over, I switched off the engine and started again. This time, car went on and no warning/error messages were displayed. Has anyone seen this? What could be wrong?

1) Could the battery have died/lost power? Is it supposed to display any warning message/light for low battery? I did not see any warning. How long does the 528i Original battery last?
2) Could low battery result in Engine malfunction/reduced power message?
3) I got a recall notice recently for Battery Cable connector. Haven't done the repairs yet. ANy connection?
4) Are independent mechanics able to read computer code etc to figure out the reason of problem? Or do I need to take the car to dealer? I was considering "Motorspeed West in Santa Clara".

I glanced through threads and found reference to HPFP and vanos solenoid. Not sure my problem is related to these.

Thanks,
DS

burnie35
06-25-2012, 08:46 AM
I've never had the problem (yet) ... but many posts on this forum seem to indicate that the first thing to check is the battery.

I don't believe non-turbo engine has an HPFP or vanos, so no problem there.

Any reliable indy should be able to read the codes ... in fact, you can purchase code readers yourself.

hadokenuh
06-25-2012, 01:05 PM
My original 2008 528 battery failed around at 3.5 years (40K miles). Dealer tried to re-charge it but the problem came back (could not start), so they replace the battery for free under warranty. Did the date/time get reset?

bimmerstien
06-25-2012, 02:13 PM
I have an 08XI but haven't I experienced this occurrence.

You ought to get attention as soon as possible. You don't want to be in the middle of nowhere and then have the car not start at all.

At least let the dealer have a look at it.

Are you still under warranty, or have extended warranty?

deepbmw
06-25-2012, 03:40 PM
Thanks all. Car is out of warranty :(. I called indy and they feel its not battery since the LCD is fine (not blinking) and date/time are fine and starting noise is like engine thud and not like click. They feel it may be fuel pump. Anyway have an appointment tomorrow to figure out whats wrong. I tried starting the car today, car started but still got these warning messages :

Engine Malfunction! Reduced Power
DBC Malfunction! Drive carefully
Drive Control System
Start off assistance inactive

It shows Engine icon, Exclamation mark in a circle icon and a triangle in a circle icon lighted.

Is it safe to drive to mechanic under these conditions or better to get it towed?

DS

BrothaJoe21
06-26-2012, 02:17 PM
I Purchased a preowned 2009 535i a month and a half ago. I been currently using 89 or midgrade gas. I have been taking care of the car and not beating on it or anything crazy. The car has been running perfect with no problems at all. However, I get a message on my dash that says Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power. Now my vehicle doesn't seem to act crazy or anything and runs fine when the message comes up. I notice this message comes on once in a while, it seems like once every 2 weeks. I notice it when I turn the vehicle on and drive for about 10 seconds. When the message randomly comes on, I pull over and turn the car off and turn it back on and it dont come on again untill randomly happening a week or 2 later. I have the Turbo Charger and drive to and from Boston every day (long commute). I have made sure I tightened the gas cap when filling up and when I turn the car on I wait 2 mins before driving just incase something dont register. Is it a myth that we cant use 89 instead of 91 AKI gas? Are we forced to buy premium gas? Could This simply be a sensor issue since I am not noticing anything at all happening during the light up of the message? I also checked the vehicle status and it indicates there is no problem what so ever. If anyone had a similar issue as me and the car doesn't drop in performance and the light don't come on after the vehicle is turned on again. I would greatly appreciate any help anyone has to offer me.

Thanks!

Mac Hadley
06-26-2012, 03:50 PM
I Purchased a preowned 2009 535i a month and a half ago. I been currently using 89 or midgrade gas. I have been taking care of the car and not beating on it or anything crazy. The car has been running perfect with no problems at all. However, I get a message on my dash that says Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power. Now my vehicle doesn't seem to act crazy or anything and runs fine when the message comes up. I notice this message comes on once in a while, it seems like once every 2 weeks. I notice it when I turn the vehicle on and drive for about 10 seconds. When the message randomly comes on, I pull over and turn the car off and turn it back on and it dont come on again untill randomly happening a week or 2 later. I have the Turbo Charger and drive to and from Boston every day (long commute). I have made sure I tightened the gas cap when filling up and when I turn the car on I wait 2 mins before driving just incase something dont register. Is it a myth that we cant use 89 instead of 91 AKI gas? Are we forced to buy premium gas? Could This simply be a sensor issue since I am not noticing anything at all happening during the light up of the message? I also checked the vehicle status and it indicates there is no problem what so ever. If anyone had a similar issue as me and the car doesn't drop in performance and the light don't come on after the vehicle is turned on again. I would greatly appreciate any help anyone has to offer me.

Thanks!
I use shell 93 octane and have the identical problem. Tomorrow is the second trip to the dealer for this issue. I'll post the results.
Sidebar: Is Jim Fagan still practicing law there?

NoQuarter
06-26-2012, 04:15 PM
I Purchased a preowned 2009 535i a month and a half ago. I been currently using 89 or midgrade gas. I have been taking care of the car and not beating on it or anything crazy. The car has been running perfect with no problems at all. However, I get a message on my dash that says Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power. Now my vehicle doesn't seem to act crazy or anything and runs fine when the message comes up. I notice this message comes on once in a while, it seems like once every 2 weeks. I notice it when I turn the vehicle on and drive for about 10 seconds. When the message randomly comes on, I pull over and turn the car off and turn it back on and it dont come on again untill randomly happening a week or 2 later. I have the Turbo Charger and drive to and from Boston every day (long commute). I have made sure I tightened the gas cap when filling up and when I turn the car on I wait 2 mins before driving just incase something dont register. Is it a myth that we cant use 89 instead of 91 AKI gas? Are we forced to buy premium gas? Could This simply be a sensor issue since I am not noticing anything at all happening during the light up of the message? I also checked the vehicle status and it indicates there is no problem what so ever. If anyone had a similar issue as me and the car doesn't drop in performance and the light don't come on after the vehicle is turned on again. I would greatly appreciate any help anyone has to offer me.

Thanks!

With 89 octane you might as well not have a 535 AND you are likely getting worse gas mileage and therefore paying the same or more for gas as 91. Your car is smart enough to handle the low octane gas you are
Buying without damaging itself but it is crippled and not happy.

When you get the reduced power message it is because something is wrong for sure and the error causes the turbos to turn off and stop making extra power.

Take car to Autozone and ask them to read the error codes and post the results here. We can help diagnose the problem. However as a 2009 no reason not to take it to the dealer because they will fix it under warranty.

BrothaJoe21
06-26-2012, 05:19 PM
I have a service appointment set up for this Friday. I did take it to Autozone and they were giving me vague information and stating that they cant find any errors in the BMW. I went to another Autozone with a gentleman more immersed in knowledge of BMWs. He claims that there is some type of issue with the power in my BMW; perhaps having to do with the battery (which is more than 3 years old, similar to the gentleman's post above me) or alternator (possibly a worn or frayed connection). In my appointment on Friday the BMW dealer did say they were going to fix a recall related to the setting of the battery or some type of component to prevent corrosion. Thanks for the replys everyone to my post. As soon as I find out, I will post the results of what happened. You are right I am still under a warranty so I should be ok. The vehicle has 55k and is covered until 100K which I asked several times for reassurance. ****, I never had any problems with my 2010 Toyota Corrolla!

burnie35
06-26-2012, 05:35 PM
****, I never had any problems with my 2010 Toyota Corrolla!

But did you have as much fun driving the Corolla?

Mac Hadley
06-27-2012, 01:16 PM
The hoses to my intake manifold pipe had been eaten by rodents. This caused my engine malfunction/reduced power warning. Car seems to be running stronger, will give it a good test Friday.

BrothaJoe21
06-27-2012, 02:52 PM
Hell no, The driving experience is worth the money! The cosmetic exterior and interior is a much higher quality. Being able to breeze down the highway and on ramps is an experience of its own! I had 2 subs running in the corolla one 4 channel for the speakers and a 2 channel for the subs and it didnt nearly sound as loud or clean with the bmw speaker system just having the 2 channel for the subs. (note: I got the reduced power issue a month before I got the subs installed so I know that's not pertinent to the issue I am having). All in all, I wouldnt not go back to the lower end cars after owning a BMW. I never been in a mercedez or Auddi but I feel that the BMW is engineered excellent! I learned my lesson though on the gas and I am sticking with premium (91 AKI). I am wondering why the oil last for 15,000 miles instead of the norm of 3000k to 5000k. Frankly I am hoping that this isn't a ploy to mess up the car to get more service. I will have to do research on it. Does anyone have extensive knowledge on the oil that BMW uses or recommend waiting the full 15k for a change in oil?

bmwblack55
06-27-2012, 06:00 PM
Msg for 528 owner...problem likely is your battery

Msg for 535 owner... Your issue is HPFP ...go to dealer have it replaced

BrothaJoe21
06-28-2012, 06:53 AM
I did inquire about the HPFP and they did replace it on february 2012 before tey sold the vehicle to me. Thanks for bringing that to my attention! I am bringing it in today and getting a rental. I also was told that if it wad a power issue with the battery my clock would show up with lines or the time and or the battery light would flash. Considiring I drive 70 miles a day I should be ok with charging it. The battery recall consists on putting a coating over thr hose to prevent leak or corrosion. So that wont help it. It is partially suspected that it may be a sofware issue. Ill know more information by tomorrow. I hope this helps anyone that has similar issues wem i get the results.

Thanks everyone for the info!

NoQuarter
06-28-2012, 08:28 AM
Hell no, The driving experience is worth the money! The cosmetic exterior and interior is a much higher quality. Being able to breeze down the highway and on ramps is an experience of its own! I had 2 subs running in the corolla one 4 channel for the speakers and a 2 channel for the subs and it didnt nearly sound as loud or clean with the bmw speaker system just having the 2 channel for the subs. (note: I got the reduced power issue a month before I got the subs installed so I know that's not pertinent to the issue I am having). All in all, I wouldnt not go back to the lower end cars after owning a BMW. I never been in a mercedez or Auddi but I feel that the BMW is engineered excellent! I learned my lesson though on the gas and I am sticking with premium (91 AKI). I am wondering why the oil last for 15,000 miles instead of the norm of 3000k to 5000k. Frankly I am hoping that this isn't a ploy to mess up the car to get more service. I will have to do research on it. Does anyone have extensive knowledge on the oil that BMW uses or recommend waiting the full 15k for a change in oil?

Hey Joe... you are right on target with the 15,000 mile oil thing. No reason to go that long especially with our turbo cars. 7,000 maybe but not 15k for me. You can order the oil filters in a bulk pack along with the filter removal tool and make these changes much more affordable by doing it yourself. Check out ecstuning.com

BrothaJoe21
06-28-2012, 11:21 AM
Thanks I appreciate that! Do you happen to know if bmw uses any special oil what brand it is, and if i get a synthetic 60 dollar oil change does it matter? I usually get an oil change at 5k so the 7k sounds good!

racooper3
06-28-2012, 11:29 AM
Thanks I appreciate that! Do you happen to know if bmw uses any special oil what brand it is, and if i get a synthetic 60 dollar oil change does it matter? I usually get an oil change at 5k so the 7k sounds good!

Now BrothaJoe21... what brand of Oil is a religion question on this forum. Please search don't go down that rat hole on this fine thread. :thumbup:

deepbmw
06-28-2012, 06:14 PM
Update on my 2008 528i starting issue - took it to indy. Its not battery. Seems he is suspecting "Valvetronic Eccentric Shaft Sensor" issue from the error code he sees - approx $900 hit :(, but part not available - will be getting 2nd opinion from dealer tomorrow. Noticed that starting problem happens more when engine is cool, eg in morning or after lying idle for a while. Once it starts and I drive little bit, dont see the problem. A bit disappointed about BMW quality - just 45K miles and just out of 4 yr warranty!

BrothaJoe21
06-28-2012, 10:19 PM
Haha I bet everyone would recommend different kinds. I spoke with a rep at BMW. He states synthetic 50. But, i still dont have faith in relying on 15,000 mile oil changes, thats the work of the devil!

BrothaJoe21
06-28-2012, 10:37 PM
deepBMW,

Wow! That sucks, I had an issue with a Chevy Cobalt in 2007 where the engine would randomly shut off while I was driving and the rpm and tachometer would flatline at 20 mph, trying to kick into 2nd gear. Then the rpms would go to 4000 and it would kick back on. Id be driving sometimes and the tachometer would jump all over the place. I took it to the first Chevy dealer, nothing found. I took it to a second dealer, nothing found. I took it to a transmission shop where they tested it thoughly, nothing found. Finally I traded it in. I had no luck, but i still feel its very important to get a second opinion on any expensive fix like that. What could it hurt to find out that 2 different BMW dealers either diagnose the vehicle and discover the same problem, or they discover different problems. Whereas, I bought the 2009 535i a month ago and if its a serious issue, I hope they take care of it.

deepbmw
07-02-2012, 01:45 PM
For my 2008 528i starting problem, Dealer has found these issues:

1) Eccentric Camshaft Sensor failed - same diagnosis as indy ($900 indy vs $1910 dealer quote)

Not related to starting issue, but other issues found:

2) Fault indicating thermostat failure ($770)
3) Fluid leak from transmission pan ($790)

Have asked dealer about Goodwill warranty/coverage for 1) above - they will be contacting BMW NA about it.

NoQuarter
07-02-2012, 03:22 PM
For my 2008 528i starting problem, Dealer has found these issues:

1) Eccentric Camshaft Sensor failed - same diagnosis as indy ($900 indy vs $1910 dealer quote)

Not related to starting issue, but other issues found:

2) Fault indicating thermostat failure ($770)
3) Fluid leak from transmission pan ($790)

Have asked dealer about Goodwill warranty/coverage for 1) above - they will be contacting BMW NA about it.

How many months are you out of warranty?

borderchris
07-02-2012, 03:44 PM
Haha I bet everyone would recommend different kinds. I spoke with a rep at BMW. He states synthetic 50. But, i still dont have faith in relying on 15,000 mile oil changes, thats the work of the devil!

Synthetic 50? :confused:

NoQuarter
07-02-2012, 04:27 PM
Synthetic 50? :confused:

Me too.

Joe,
I dont recall seeing that in any literature. I think you should double or tripple check that. ;)

deepbmw
07-02-2012, 05:45 PM
Its 6 month out of 4 yr factory warranty (exp Dec 2011 end), but has only 45000 miles (5k short of 50K).

BrothaJoe21
07-04-2012, 05:57 AM
When I took my vehicle to the dealer I found out that the "Intake Vanos Solenoid" had to be replaced. Luckily it was covered under the preowned certified warranty. I had to pay the deductible of 50.00 which is no big deal, the part alone was 500.00. I found a video on how to access and reset the oil service light if you get an oil change outside of BMW. Does anyone have extensive knowledge on the other things you are able to check out in those settings? The dealer ship said that the oil I should use would be 50w30 but did he mean 5w30 or 50w30?

repoman75
07-11-2012, 10:49 AM
So I finally took mine it as the error kept popping up whenever I would accelerate quickly or accelerate over 80mph.... though no real loss of power (just a bit sluggish).

Apparently, the hoses that pull air from the turbo to the engine? are shot... so new hoses being put in. $300, out of warranty - $85K miles.

NoQuarter
07-11-2012, 11:14 AM
When I took my vehicle to the dealer I found out that the "Intake Vanos Solenoid" had to be replaced. Luckily it was covered under the preowned certified warranty. I had to pay the deductible of 50.00 which is no big deal, the part alone was 500.00. I found a video on how to access and reset the oil service light if you get an oil change outside of BMW. Does anyone have extensive knowledge on the other things you are able to check out in those settings? The dealer ship said that the oil I should use would be 50w30 but did he mean 5w30 or 50w30?

He meant 5w30 for sure.

The VANOS solenoids are about $110 each. Pretty easy DIY for those that are out of warranty and it is a common failure point in the 535s. These solenoids are responsible for changing the camshaft timing as the engine speeds up or slows down. If the computer detects the cam does not reach its target position when it is supposed to then it displays the fault and reduces the power output for safety.

NoQuarter
07-11-2012, 11:16 AM
So I finally took mine it as the error kept popping up whenever I would accelerate quickly or accelerate over 80mph.... though no real loss of power (just a bit sluggish).

Apparently, the hoses that pull air from the turbo to the engine? are shot... so new hoses being put in. $300, out of warranty - $85K miles.

I have never of this. It would take a critter like a mouse or something to damage those pipes. Or just a loose connection causing a boost leak.

Was this a BMW dealer where you took it?

repoman75
07-11-2012, 11:26 AM
I have never of this. It would take a critter like a mouse or something to damage those pipes. Or just a loose connection causing a boost leak.

Was this a BMW dealer where you took it?

Not pipes, but rubber hoses... and he said not that they have a hole, but they have collapsed.. so it's restricting the air intake into the engine (or turbo)...

Yep, BMW dealer.

NoQuarter
07-11-2012, 11:44 AM
Not pipes, but rubber hoses... and he said not that they have a hole, but they have collapsed.. so it's restricting the air intake into the engine (or turbo)...

Yep, BMW dealer.

Thats what is interesting... there are no rubber hoses that route air for the turbos. There is a flexible accordian type plastic connection from the air box to the hard plastic pipe that goes in front of the engine and one in back to each of the turbos.

repoman75
07-11-2012, 11:58 AM
Thats what is interesting... there are no rubber hoses that route air for the turbos. There is a flexible accordian type plastic connection from the air box to the hard plastic pipe that goes in front of the engine and one in back to each of the turbos.

Maybe that's what he meant... as he did say it was plastic and it collapsed... not metal though.

Sharkhunter
07-11-2012, 01:05 PM
I received the same Engine overheat error and took the car to the dealer. The dealer said that he couldnt find anything wrong with the car and it seems to have passed all the available tests.

Do you think such an error could be intermittent.

Please advice.

repoman75
07-13-2012, 05:26 AM
Well I got my car back... no error codes. It appears the vacuum tubes from the turbo to the engine were the issue.