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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:03 AM
creamclean creamclean is offline
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Location: SC
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 100
Mein Auto: JB 335i Coupe
Security lockdown?

This problem has been resolved by my mechanic, but I was wondering if anyone has ever had a similar experience. I searched the internet at length but I was unable to find any information on the subject.

The situation was that I went out to go start up my car as usual, and usually it jumps to life instantly, but this time it did not. Even with the key turned all the way for an extended period, the engine wouldn't even spark. There was a clicking sound emanating from behind the radio and the front of the car, with the dash lights flickering. The battery had died before (from playing the radio with the car off) so I thought it might have been that, but usually the car would attempt to turn over and the headlights nor radio would work (admittedly I did not try the radio this time). After being jumped via the engine ports, the car still exhibited the same symptoms, so that eliminated dead battery. One suggestion was that it was the sparkplug, but there had been no previous problem.

Stumped, we called our mechanic. He explained to us that he thought it had something to do with the security features connected to the driver's door. When the car is under the impression that it is trying to be stolen, the system will lock itself down, and even with the correct key with microchip, it will not start. This was puzzling to us. I live way out in the boondocks, a mile back on a dirt road, and the night before there had been no problem with the car, the alarm hadn't gone off, etc.

The solution? The car had to be hauled away on a flatbed to our mechanic's garage where it took them a few good hours to completely reset the onboard computers. To say the least, it was a hassle. In the words of our mechanic, "Sometimes, these things are just possessed". I will say it was a unique experience to back out of all my obligations by saying that my car had gone on extreme lock-down because of an imminent security threat.

Has anyone else every experienced this? It seems like a very rare problem, as in 10 years it has never done anything like this...although this model seems prone to electrical problems (rewired the tail lights and headlights after numerous problems).

Last edited by creamclean; 07-08-2011 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:05 AM
Brandon500 Brandon500 is offline
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Location: Worthing, UK
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: X5 2004 3.0d
I had something similar after a couple of months of the battery regularly running falt. Once it was so low (think it had a duff cell) that I heard the click noise that you described. This was the noise of the stater motor sticking, and I had to have it replaced at 200 for the more expensive deisel version. I should have changed the battery sooner, as I believe the starter motor had to work overtime for months, each time I started, due to insufficient battery power to turn the deisel engine. It used to start as soon as the key was turned but as the battery failed it took longer and longer.

I think I read somewhere that a sudden power loss before the car shuts down it's software systems propery (it can take 30 mins after you remove the key) can need resetting. Reset the system by diconnecting the battery for say 40 mins and then reconnecting it. I'm sure I seen the procedure instructions on on of the forums.
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