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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #51  
Old 08-17-2010, 02:21 PM
zimmerrk zimmerrk is offline
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Not Recommending This, But Curious

Funf, you've helped me before and you're active on the DEF related forums so maybe you have an idea regarding this speculative question.
Imagine that for some reason(s) a diesel owner has ignored the warnings and the mileage count down, finds himself in the middle of nowhere with the urea tank empty and the warning stating that his X5 will not start once he shuts it down. Could you fill the tank with water and would the vehicle start, or is there some advanced sensor that can determine that it is not merely the level of fluid but tests for ammonia content? In an emergency could this procedure work and would there be any damage to the system?
Might not even be an emergency, maybe the local dealer says they won't top off the tank to get to the next oil fill and the owner just doesn't want to pay for the solution and so he wants to get by for the next 1K miles or so.
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  #52  
Old 08-17-2010, 02:30 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmerrk View Post
Could you fill the tank with water and would the vehicle start, or is there some advanced sensor that can determine that it is not merely the level of fluid but tests for ammonia content?
No.

DEF is available widely, such as at many parts stores (AutoZone, Advance Auto, NAPA, etc.) VW dealers, Ford dealers, Dodge dealers, and almost all truck stops. It typically cost less than $10 a gallon.

"Sensors in DEF tanks will notify the driver if volume is low or
if the product concentration is not of good quality. Another sensor will
indicate if the NOx level in the tailpipe exhaust is too high."

The EPA would not approve an SCR system which would allow the use of plain water.
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  #53  
Old 08-17-2010, 05:32 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmerrk View Post
....Could you fill the tank with water and would the vehicle start, or is there some advanced sensor that can determine that it is not merely the level of fluid but tests for ammonia content? In an emergency could this procedure work and would there be any damage to the system?....
What Penguin posted

Funf Dreisig
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  #54  
Old 08-11-2011, 04:50 PM
Zingo06 Zingo06 is offline
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335d exhaust warning

My 2011 warning light came on at 20,000 miles. Went to a dealership out of town. Oil was low. The dealership said BMW engineers thought the service could take place during scheduled maintenance. At 22,000 miles the warning light came back on. Scheduled service call next week. Anyone else with this problem?
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  #55  
Old 08-11-2011, 05:22 PM
d geek d geek is offline
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Originally Posted by Zingo06 View Post
My 2011 warning light came on at 20,000 miles. Went to a dealership out of town. Oil was low. The dealership said BMW engineers thought the service could take place during scheduled maintenance. At 22,000 miles the warning light came back on. Scheduled service call next week. Anyone else with this problem?
Do you mean DEF instead of oil? Did the dealer add DEF when the light came on at 20K mi? Did they completely fill or just put a bit in there?
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  #56  
Old 08-12-2011, 03:19 PM
Zingo06 Zingo06 is offline
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335 d def

Yes, sorry I meant diesel exhaust fluid. The warning is DEF remaining in the reservoir. At 20,000 miles the dealership filled the reservoir.
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  #57  
Old 08-12-2011, 03:21 PM
d geek d geek is offline
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If they did completely fill it and it is low again in 2K mi, then I think they need to find a leak or replace the metering unit.
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  #58  
Old 11-05-2013, 01:03 PM
PIXLFIX PIXLFIX is offline
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How hard is to replace the DEF tank? Any TIS or documentation for this?
I believe I have Check Engine light because of faulty sensor in the tank.
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  #59  
Old 11-05-2013, 01:25 PM
ard ard is offline
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Have you tried flushing the tank, maybe cleaning the sensor??
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  #60  
Old 11-05-2013, 01:31 PM
PIXLFIX PIXLFIX is offline
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Not yet. The vehicle is by the dealer. They just called to make me happy.
I did a quick research. This dealer has it in stock for ~$730+tax, the other one has is for ~$600+tax. Found it online for ~$500 without tax and free shipping. Also found, that Xemodex is rebuilding those for approx $500.

Do you know where this tank is located? Is the access hard?

Last edited by PIXLFIX; 11-05-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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  #61  
Old 11-05-2013, 02:07 PM
ard ard is offline
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I think I posted earlier that initially with BMW paying, there was no impetus to figure out a better solution...now that you write there are 'rebuilds' it seems market pressures are coming up with solutions...

Ive not had to get at one, so I cannot say. My opinion, looking at parts diagrams, etc, is that it isnt particularly difficult, but not a 10 minute job. Right front fender area as I recall. have you searched for this info????

I still think running a hose and flushing that tank is worth a try before $500.

A
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  #62  
Old 11-05-2013, 02:40 PM
PIXLFIX PIXLFIX is offline
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Do you propose just to flush it with the water?
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  #63  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:29 PM
ard ard is offline
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Originally Posted by PIXLFIX View Post
Do you propose just to flush it with the water?
That would be my initial guess...It is a 'urea in water" solution, so water is compatible- and might do the trick if it is crystallized urea getting deposited there. (Warm water has been recommended in other publications on maintenance and removal of crystallized urea deposits) Again, all WAG...but someone is going to figure this out!
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  #64  
Old 11-06-2013, 07:36 AM
PIXLFIX PIXLFIX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
That would be my initial guess...It is a 'urea in water" solution, so water is compatible- and might do the trick if it is crystallized urea getting deposited there. (Warm water has been recommended in other publications on maintenance and removal of crystallized urea deposits) Again, all WAG...but someone is going to figure this out!
Thanks. Hopefully will get the car back today from the dealer. It's really getting interesting, if somebody already started to do some business with it (Xemodex).
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  #65  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:39 AM
WWONG WWONG is offline
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Originally Posted by PIXLFIX View Post
Not yet. The vehicle is by the dealer. They just called to make me happy.
I did a quick research. This dealer has it in stock for ~$730+tax, the other one has is for ~$600+tax. Found it online for ~$500 without tax and free shipping. Also found, that Xemodex is rebuilding those for approx $500.

Do you know where this tank is located? Is the access hard?
The main tank is next to the fog light on the passenger side. If you pull off that black plastic vent with the fake mesh, you will easily spot it. You'll likely need to remove your bumper to remove it. Not sure about where the second tank is though.
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  #66  
Old 11-06-2013, 12:45 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmerrk View Post
Funf, you've helped me before and you're active on the DEF related forums so maybe you have an idea regarding this speculative question.
Imagine that for some reason(s) a diesel owner has ignored the warnings and the mileage count down, finds himself in the middle of nowhere with the urea tank empty and the warning stating that his X5 will not start once he shuts it down. Could you fill the tank with water and would the vehicle start, or is there some advanced sensor that can determine that it is not merely the level of fluid but tests for ammonia content? In an emergency could this procedure work and would there be any damage to the system?
Might not even be an emergency, maybe the local dealer says they won't top off the tank to get to the next oil fill and the owner just doesn't want to pay for the solution and so he wants to get by for the next 1K miles or so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin
No
Im not sure sure about this....

There is a lock out, that once you run out of DEF the engine wont start.

There is also a 'functional test' that verifies proper DEF fuel is being used....

BUT, the 'test' for DEF is based on the DDE injecting fluid and FAILING to see the approporiate response in the exhaust stream.. hence the car CANNOT determine if the fluid is DEF until it is actually running.

I think just water in the tank may trip the fill level sensor, allow a start, but later give you a 'bad def fluid' code.


Waddaya think?

A

PS and yes, I know I am responding to a years old post.... just came to mind.
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Last edited by ard; 11-06-2013 at 12:47 PM.
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  #67  
Old 11-06-2013, 01:36 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
I think just water in the tank may trip the fill level sensor, allow a start, but later give you a 'bad def fluid' code.


Waddaya think?
Think you are right.

When I made my first answer of "No," I assumed there was some sort of quailty sensor that used conductivity or other qualities to verify the correct fluid was used. Subsequent to that time I came across BMW documentation that said DEF quality was monitored by measuring the NOx response of the fluid injection as an indirect method of measuring DEF quality (as you described in your message).

Quality sensors for DEF are available, but it does not appear BMW is using that technology... yet.

http://www.transliquidtechnologies.c...-guest-blogger

http://www.ssi-sensors.com/wp/tulc-sensor/

So, in retrospect, my original answer of "No" might well be wrong.

I wonder how long it would take the system to notice pure water vs. DEF and throw an error message? I believe an "incorrect fluid" message starts a 999 miles countdown, the same as when you run out of DEF, so you'd still have to get DEF within the next 999 miles and would also have the added task of removing the water put into the tank, to avoid subsequent dilution when adding the DEF, resulting in yet another another "incorrect fluid" message.

Anyone up for testing it on the Diesel?

Last edited by Penguin; 11-06-2013 at 01:37 PM.
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  #68  
Old 11-06-2013, 03:31 PM
d geek d geek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
...
I wonder how long it would take the system to notice pure water vs. DEF and throw an error message? I believe an "incorrect fluid" message starts a 999 miles countdown, the same as when you run out of DEF, so you'd still have to get DEF within the next 999 miles and would also have the added task of removing the water put into the tank, to avoid subsequent dilution when adding the DEF, resulting in yet another another "incorrect fluid" message.

Anyone up for testing it on the Diesel?
Why would you want to do this? Is this just for the sake of curiosity?
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  #69  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:48 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d geek View Post
Why would you want to do this? Is this just for the sake of curiosity?
easy, we're diesel geeks just trying to figure out how this stuff works!

Urea is probably as easy as antifreeze of oil to find, so no real reason... other than maybe getting stranded in the yukon territory, or between Perth and Darwin!



A
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  #70  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:59 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d geek View Post
Why would you want to do this? Is this just for the sake of curiosity?
I should have put a smile after my last comment for clarity, i.e. it was meant to be more of a wry rhetorical question than an actual request....

Last edited by Penguin; 11-06-2013 at 09:01 PM.
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  #71  
Old 11-07-2013, 12:09 PM
PIXLFIX PIXLFIX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
That would be my initial guess...It is a 'urea in water" solution, so water is compatible- and might do the trick if it is crystallized urea getting deposited there. (Warm water has been recommended in other publications on maintenance and removal of crystallized urea deposits) Again, all WAG...but someone is going to figure this out!
Quote:
Originally Posted by WWONG View Post
The main tank is next to the fog light on the passenger side. If you pull off that black plastic vent with the fake mesh, you will easily spot it. You'll likely need to remove your bumper to remove it. Not sure about where the second tank is though.
The vehicle is back from the dealer.
I did remove the front bumper and found that thing below the right fog light. I was thinking it is much smaller size.
I have 2 questions now - how to drain that thing for flushing purpose and which one is the fill level sensor.
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  #72  
Old 11-09-2013, 03:28 PM
PIXLFIX PIXLFIX is offline
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Ok, I drained it and flush it. Probably used 15 gallons of warm water. Error is still there.
Does anybody know where is the fluid fill sensor in the tank or at least what wire pigtale is coming to it?

Last edited by PIXLFIX; 11-10-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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  #73  
Old 06-30-2014, 05:48 PM
avilla02 avilla02 is offline
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I paid $26 for 2.5 gallons of DEF, and the port is easy to find so added it. My only issue is that there appears to be no way to reset the low volume sensor once it's been replenished. I will let it sit overnight and try a start in the morning to see if the CBS can pick it up and reset it automatically. If not, then I am going to have to plug in and parse the code to send to reset it. Not worth a dime taking to the dealer since all they do is plug it into a computer and follow the intructions they are given. There is ZERO mechanic expertise at the dealer, they follow what ever the computer tells them to do and bang you for the labor plus the $26 worth of urea.

If you know anything about computers and interfaces, figure it out and invest in cheaper ways to reset simpler codes and spare the $$$ you dump out to the dealer. If not, then buy the extended warranty and bypass this forum! lol

just sayin....
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  #74  
Old 06-30-2014, 11:27 PM
henrycyao henrycyao is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avilla02 View Post
I paid $26 for 2.5 gallons of DEF, and the port is easy to find so added it. My only issue is that there appears to be no way to reset the low volume sensor once it's been replenished. I will let it sit overnight and try a start in the morning to see if the CBS can pick it up and reset it automatically. If not, then I am going to have to plug in and parse the code to send to reset it. Not worth a dime taking to the dealer since all they do is plug it into a computer and follow the intructions they are given. There is ZERO mechanic expertise at the dealer, they follow what ever the computer tells them to do and bang you for the labor plus the $26 worth of urea.

If you know anything about computers and interfaces, figure it out and invest in cheaper ways to reset simpler codes and spare the $$$ you dump out to the dealer. If not, then buy the extended warranty and bypass this forum! lol

just sayin....
When I ran low on DEF, I added into the tank. The warning message goes away as soon as I start the engine. It seems odd if it has not clear yet. Perhaps you need to clean the sensor as suggested earlier.
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  #75  
Old 07-01-2014, 03:40 AM
avilla02 avilla02 is offline
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Yeah likely the silly sensor, I'll run it for a few and see if it resets. If no go I'll have a look at the sensor. Good stuff!
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