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mycabrandz 01-24-2013 12:55 PM

Drivetrain malfunction
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Attachment 359065

Just got this Drivetrain malfunction alert. Anyone know what would cause this? How would you folks interpret "drive moderately?" GT feels sluggish though. :(

Fish23 01-24-2013 02:43 PM

What are the climatic conditions at the time this message appeared? I ask because I just had something lke this happen twice in two weeks at exactly the same location. Both times the temperature was -20C (about -8F) and my GT would not start after being shut down after a four-mile trip. I also received a low-battery indication with the message to charge my battery that a charger could not overcome. Neither could the regenerative braking system because I don't drive far enough. On both occasions the car started after letting it sit for 20-25 minutes but I took it in both times to my dealer. The second time I had a Check Engine light as well as the low battery warning. After leaving it all day, the tech decided to replace the battery. My service advisor said all my symptoms were battery and frigid weather-related. If you are under the dome of Arctic air that might be the cause for the symptom you observed.

mycabrandz 01-24-2013 03:45 PM

I live in SF Bay Area. Although we've been experiencing relatively colder weather (20-32F lows), it doesn't get as cold as your neck of the woods. That rules out the malfunction as being weather related.

I wasn't going to bring it in for service until my set appointment date later next week, but my brother ran the GT through a diagnostic scanner and found a "Fuel Rail System Pressure - too low" code (P0087). He suggested I bring it in sooner since it may be a safety issue and a possible leak may trigger something a lot worse. GT is at the dealer now and being checked. Will find out more tomorrow and update the thread with details.

My SA did manage to finagle a brand new X1 for me to whip around town until I get my GT back. That and their excellent service is keeping me positive and optimistic about this.

Fish23 01-24-2013 07:27 PM

If you live in SF then it can't be the cold weather. Still you did the right thing in going to your dealer like I did. Yours sounds like mine, willing to satisfy the customer (and a loaner to boot). I look forward to finding out what caused your issue as I have learned so much about the GT from joining this forum.

Noodles23 01-25-2013 03:02 AM

I've had similar problems with anything below freezing. Turning the car off, waiting a few minutes and restarting always fixes it, and it only ever happens at this time of year.

Fish23 01-25-2013 06:03 AM

Noodles23, good choice for a two-digit number in your forum ID. :)

Thanks for that input. I am glad I am not alone and once again this forum helps me understand my GT better especially in terms of cold weather performance. My weakened battery, frigid temperatures (that reduce any battery's capability) and a regenerative braking system (RBS) that is not designed to work until the car is 'warmed up' (according to my SA) makes for the problems I experienced after a 15-minute trip. I also learned that the electric alternator will only charge the battery at highway speeds with full charging taking place at 3000 RPM! My GT is doing 75 MPH at 1900 RPM so to charge a depleted battery would take a long trip.

For the duration of this cold snap I am using use an inexpensive solar charger during the day and with a plug-in charger on Trickle while at home overnight to keep my new battery in peak operating condition. This is also recommended for any longer periods in any weather where the car is parked in a " fully-shut down" condition since there are enough functions operating in a quiescent state to deplete the battery.

For what it is worth, here in Ottawa, Ontario my dealer saw so many situations of battery problems (not related to the actual battery itself) that telling clients to drive more no longer cut it. Now, since 2012, the dealer is pro-actively installing a trickle charger in the trunk of every new Beemer it sells and puts a $200 cost on the sticker and recommend it to people like me. I preferred an actual charger I bought myself that sits nicely in the space at the left front of the engine bay of the 535 and run the cord out to an extension cord to the house. That way I can use one of the 6 amp Fast, 4 amp Medium or 2 Amp Trickle charges. The charger goes to Trickle automatically when the battery is "full".

None of the above was explained to me and I learned the hard way so I have recounted it for the benefit of our F07 group and and any other Beemer owner with the RBS.

Noodles23 01-25-2013 06:49 AM

Not quite as cold here, but it's definitely battery related - mine manifested itself as a gearbox problem alert last year

Fish23 01-25-2013 07:23 AM

Odd that we are getting that type of message raising the spectre of a serious drivetrain problem when it is caused by the battery. That said, I will fully report the details of my last service visit once I switch to a computer that has larger keys than the iphone I am using for this post.

Fish23 01-25-2013 11:53 AM

As promised, here is a summary of what was done to my GT two days ago after the cold-weather incident 9(-27.5 C, -17.5F) previously described in this thread.

Symptoms: Drivetrain error message (with inability to start) low battery warning, 'battery discharged/charge battery' message, check engine light on. After about 25 minutes I was able to start the car but lost it twice. On the third attempt, I kept the accelerator pressed down to keep the revs up until it settled out and then drove straight to my dealer.

The battery was addressed first based on the symptoms above and the belief that all error indications stemmed from it. It was put on fast charge as it only held 8V. After five hours, it still read 8V. That led to the decision to replace the battery (under warranty). I would also explain why there was a problem after I had put the battery on a 6-Amp Fast charge for 14 hours and somehow started the vehicle but ran into difficulty starting and the drive train and discharged battery messages after a 3-4 mile trip where I shut the car off. Even with new battery I now just leave the vehicle running and lock the car doors if I am just 'in-and-out" for a takeout coffee as I was that day.

The Check Engine light was still on after the battery change and that was traced to a defective VANOS solenoid. It too was replaced under warranty.

I almost two days I have had no problem and yesterday after considerable city driving I put the battery charger on after arriving home and saw immediately that the battery was charged and the charger stayed in Maintenance Mode so I left it on the Trickle setting.

One other point - when the battery gets low for any reason the system shuts down selected non-essential systems like the heating system (except Defrost), A/C (though I didn't care about that) and any other electrical load it is programmed to in order to save power for starting.

I hope that my experience has proven to be enlightening to any Fester that has the Regenerative Braking System.

jadnashuanh 01-25-2013 12:14 PM

I had left my vehicle for about 3-weeks while away on a vacation, and when I got back, it popped up a message that it had gone into battery save mode. It 'forgot' my stored radio stations, the seat position memory, and probably a few other things. It did start, and seemed to work fine afterwards, though. A couple of months later, after having some issues with my rear hatch switches, I took it to the dealer, and they replaced the battery and replaced the switches for the hatch. In my case, I had occasionally noticed the hatch wouldn't pull itself fully closed for a long time every time, and once in awhile, I'd get in, and get an indication that the hatch was open. I think the defective switch was activating the system occasionally, and if left long enough, draining the battery. This is the second defective switch I've had on my vehicle...the first one showed up a day after I bought it - the emergency brake switch would sometimes say it had failed and wouldn't turn off (but it actually did, but didn't know it). There are few switches in this vehicle that actually perform the function they appear to most cases, they send a signal to the computer, and the computer completes the actual operation. This allows the switches to be smaller since they don't need to carry much of any current, but makes life miserable for control issues when one is intermittent.

FWIW, I replaced the headlight switch to get the rear fog light functionality, and the small plug to it had wires probably at 24g.

I researched chargers awhile ago, and ended up picking up a Bosch C7 unit that's quite slick. About the same price as the one BMW sells (if you shop carefully), but has more features.

mycabrandz 01-25-2013 02:55 PM

Just a quick update on the Drivetrain Malfunction issue:

Got a call from my SA and he said that it was in fact the "Fuel Rail System Pressure - too low" causing the malfunction. They have to order "a part" :dunno: from Germany, and planned installation of said part by Monday.

They won't be able to do a complete "cold start" test until the part is installed and they will advise me if any additional issues come up thereafter. Will update then with more details.

I miss my GT. X1 loaner falls short of what the GT can deliver many times over. :(

Fish23 01-25-2013 04:27 PM

As long as it costs you no money. Not surprised at all that you find the X1 lacking compared to the GT. My sales guy let me drive an X3 after my GT test drive because I had targeted a loaded X3 and he showed me that the CPO GT with only 2500 miles in a year that he was offering was so much more vehicle for slightly more money. I have never regretted it.

mycabrandz 01-28-2013 03:35 PM

Well, here's another update:

1. Sensor received and installed.
2. Full system check completed.
3. HPFP (High Pressure Fuel Pump) Failure - Needs replacement.
4. Will get reunited tomorrow (hopefully).

Will update again if there are more details on the work order once I pick her up. Sad that I am now in that small group of N55 owners with a low mileage HPFP failure. Glad that at least its been found and resolved without any runarounds. I started researching this failure and can't believe what some have had to go through.

Also as a side note, although my GT was driving fairly smooth and buttery, it did have some quirks that I just chalked up as intermittent and random slow throttle response. After I get a good week in I will provide another update if there is indeed a difference with the new HPFP.

mycabrandz 01-29-2013 03:27 PM

Picked her up today and I gotta admit, the new HPFP gives a noticeable punch to throttle response. Power is just there all the time. No more lag and, quite frankly, a much more enjoyable ride.

I am not technically inclined when it comes to cars (I am aware of a lot of things but don't go into detail), but I am pretty observant and attuned to how a vehicle "feels." When I picked up the GT in Munich, I didnt think any of it when the response was lagging because it more than made up for it once I opened it up. It had a sweet ride. Now with this change-a-roo with the new HPFP, its an even sweeter ride. I would suggest anyone who remotely thinks they may have lag to have their SA do a courtesy check of the Fuel delivery system in case the HPFP is not up to snuff.

Attaching a couple of the work order pages with the notes from the tech and repairs performed to correct the malfunction.

Hope this helps someone else in the future.

gmblack3 01-30-2013 08:36 AM

Thanks for the info!

Fish23 01-31-2013 06:33 AM

My thanks as well. This forum is great for increasing the "know your vehicle" principle.

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