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-   -   Car wont Start - New battery, New Alternator (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=673124)

ckryptor 01-29-2013 12:21 PM

Car wont Start - New battery, New Alternator
 
I drive a 2004 545i Sport

So i got a new battery and a new alternator installed 2 weeks ago from a bmw dealer. Cost me $3000 ++. Last night i drove the car just fine. Today in the morning the car won't respond. Had to manually unlock the car. When i insert the key no response, no light no nothing as if the car had no battery.

Took it back to the dealer who read all the fault codes and several hours later informed me that the active steering control unit is acting up. Last night after i went to bed it switch on to prepare the car for a driver. it kept switching off and on overnight which eventually killed the battery. I am now told that i have to replace this unit which might or might not fix the problem. The unit costs $2300.

I have already spent $3000+ don't want to spend more. Any creative suggestions? Need help guys

bimmerfan52 01-29-2013 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ckryptor (Post 7346180)
I drive a 2004 545i Sport

So i got a new battery and a new alternator installed 2 weeks ago from a bmw dealer. Cost me $3000 ++. Last night i drove the car just fine. Today in the morning the car won't respond. Had to manually unlock the car. When i insert the key no response, no light no nothing as if the car had no battery.

Took it back to the dealer who read all the fault codes and several hours later informed me that the active steering control unit is acting up. Last night after i went to bed it switch on to prepare the car for a driver. it kept switching off and on overnight which eventually killed the battery. I am now told that i have to replace this unit which might or might not fix the problem. The unit costs $2300.

I have already spent $3000+ don't want to spend more. Any creative suggestions? Need help guys

If a new battery and alternator is all the dealer installed before taking an industrial vacuum and sucking 30 Ben Franklins out of your wallet then you need to find a new dealer, or better yet a good indy. A replacement aftermarket battery is $125-$150. Battery registration is around $50. A brand new Valeo OE alternator costs around $285 delivered. Labor should be around $600 or less with an Indy, or free if you do it yourself like I did.

If what the dealer is saying about the active steering control is true, then either you didn't need a new alternator and battery in the first place, or the alternator and the active steering control were both bad in the first place. Why didn't he find the active steering control problem when he first had it?

And after a battery dies or is replaced the active steering system commonly needs to be reset anyway.

What were the original symptoms that caused you to replace the alternator and battery in the first place?

I would run far away from that dealer and find someone who can troubleshoot, not just throw very expensive parts (that he overcharges for) at a car to see what might fix it.

ckryptor 01-29-2013 02:12 PM

How do i reset the active steering system? AND since this is an optional extra can't i just switch it off and not use it?
Im picking up my car from them tomorrow morning. Problem is im scared if i leave it off overnight the battery wont have juice the next morning.

Originally, i got a red signal: low battery. Normally this would be in the morning when the car was cold. After about 10 minutes the warning would go away and everything would be normal. after two weeks of first occurence, i drove the car (warming it for only 5 minutes), got a few errors like active steering malfunction. Assuming this was due to the battery i pulled over, like i used to before, swtiched off the car and tried to switch it back on. Since the car was cold, the battery hadnt charged properly and the car wouldnt turn on. Had the car towed to bmw when they replaced the battery and programmed.

a week later i left the country and came back after a month. Similar issues when i got back. Got it towed again to them when they told me it was the alternator. Got a new alternator. Now again im facing issues.

You are quite right. It's quite possible that my alternator didn't go bad at all. here's my theory: The control unit or wtv drained the battery overnight, in the morning when i switched it on the battery was low, after warming it the alternator would charge it and everything would be fine. SO perhaps i didnt need anythign but this control unit fix.

Anything i can do about it at this point?

bimmerfan52 01-29-2013 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ckryptor (Post 7346442)
How do i reset the active steering system? AND since this is an optional extra can't i just switch it off and not use it?
Im picking up my car from them tomorrow morning. Problem is im scared if i leave it off overnight the battery wont have juice the next morning.

Originally, i got a red signal: low battery. Normally this would be in the morning when the car was cold. After about 10 minutes the warning would go away and everything would be normal. after two weeks of first occurence, i drove the car (warming it for only 5 minutes), got a few errors like active steering malfunction. Assuming this was due to the battery i pulled over, like i used to before, swtiched off the car and tried to switch it back on. Since the car was cold, the battery hadnt charged properly and the car wouldnt turn on. Had the car towed to bmw when they replaced the battery and programmed.

a week later i left the country and came back after a month. Similar issues when i got back. Got it towed again to them when they told me it was the alternator. Got a new alternator. Now again im facing issues.

You are quite right. It's quite possible that my alternator didn't go bad at all. here's my theory: The control unit or wtv drained the battery overnight, in the morning when i switched it on the battery was low, after warming it the alternator would charge it and everything would be fine. SO perhaps i didnt need anythign but this control unit fix.

Anything i can do about it at this point?

You won't get your money back from the $tealer, if that is what you are asking.

I have never heard of an active steering error draining a battery but anything is possible with these complicated beasts.

The active steering system is so integral to the whole car that it cannot be easily turned off. If disconnected it will act like a regular rack and pinion steering system, but the warning light will not go away, and I am not sure of the possible effect of it being off on the DSC system as a whole.

TO RESET Active Steering
Disconnect your battery (neg first then pos, using caution not to damage the IBS or BST which is explosive).
Leave disconnected for an hour. Reconnect battery.
Start the car.
Active steering initializing message will show, then error message - turn the wheel all the way to the left, hard, give it a jerk. then all the way to the right, then center, then turn off the car.
Get out of the car. Lock the doors with the key fob. Wait 15-20 seconds.
Get in and restart car and see if active steering warning is still present. Sometimes this cycle will reinitialize it.
(Not sure if getting out and locking the car is important, just that some said going this far past the normal turn-to-lock worked better for them).

However, if there is an actual active steering fault due to something wrong with the system this will procedure not clear it.

There is a wire coming off the active steering mechanism that some complain comes loose and throws a fault. You may also want to look at fuse #4 in the glove box fuse panel as another option.

The fact that your new battery died after a month of no use while you were in Europe is not at all uncommon, and you ought to invest in a battery tender, which keeps a trickle charge on the battery when you are gone.

Chances are if you get the active steering to reset you still have not solved you problem of what is draining your battery. Post back and we'll continue to troubleshoot.

Another good investment for electrical issues is a plug-in voltmeter such as the one below. It allows you to monitor system voltage during starting and throughout the drive from the comfort of your seat. It is especially good for ferreting out voltage regulator problems which can mysteriously come and go.
http://www.rvplus.com/prime-products...FYp_QgodEzUASg


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