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E63 / E64 6 Series (2003 - 2013)
The E63/E64 BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #26  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All-Or-Nothing View Post
Small world. I used to be stationed at Beale AFB when I was in the Air Force. I have some INSANE stories of my times there.

Easy check with a multimeter. At idle the alternator should be putting out 13.5 to 13.7 volts. It should be around 14.3V when you rev it.

If it is low at idle and above idle it's a bad alternator. If it's low at idle but raises with the revs it's a bad regulator.
Small world indeed. I've only been here a few weeks. Compared to living on European roads for 3 years.. I'm already ready to leave.

Here's where I need a little specific help guys. I can find a multimeter at work, but where exactly am I connecting to on the alternator (don't even know where it is). Also, HerbP, I'm assuming that I'll need to take the car in for a diag for someone to test with DIS or INPA? ..You can see I'm learning all of this as I go, so forgive me for not being knowledgeable on even the obvious.
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  #27  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:09 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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Take the car to any auto parts store, & ask them to test for a bad alternator or battery. They should be able to do this for free. If you should need to use a multimeter, most parts houses would have one to use. Do the cheap test first, then let us know what the results are.

Good Luck!
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  #28  
Old 03-29-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
Take the car to any auto parts store, & ask them to test for a bad alternator or battery. They should be able to do this for free. If you should need to use a multimeter, most parts houses would have one to use. Do the cheap test first, then let us know what the results are.

Good Luck!
Hey guys, sorry for the delay. So here's the update:

I was riding to a friends house about 30 minutes away when my system went haywire. Idrive flashing again, ABS light came on, dynamic drive malfunction, then the power steering disabled! I pulled over just in time, restarted the car and never saw that again.
I tested the alternator, and I got 13.8V at idle, but the mechanic said I "averaged" 13.8 when rev'd. According to all or nothing and my latest incident.. I would say the alternator needs replacement. Is the car safe to drive lightly? The battery tested fine- it is still getting charge, and all diodes were fine.
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  #29  
Old 03-29-2013, 11:00 PM
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Nitrogen Nitrogen is offline
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It is your alternator I just had the same problem. I had it replaced and all is good. Mine would charge for 3 minutes then die out, and suck up battery power. Yours is intermittent and could go at anytime, like mine did and I had to get towed home, not fun.
Just change it I had mine done for $400. parts included. Car drives like never before, I have my valve covers leaking I think the oil dripped into the alternator and caused it to fail. Are your valve covers leaking too!!!
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  #30  
Old 04-02-2013, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Nitrogen View Post
It is your alternator I just had the same problem. I had it replaced and all is good. Mine would charge for 3 minutes then die out, and suck up battery power. Yours is intermittent and could go at anytime, like mine did and I had to get towed home, not fun.
Just change it I had mine done for $400. parts included. Car drives like never before, I have my valve covers leaking I think the oil dripped into the alternator and caused it to fail. Are your valve covers leaking too!!!
Where did you go for $400 parts included?? My lowest quote from dealers are $1300..
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  #31  
Old 04-02-2013, 08:57 PM
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It was actually like $468.00 my cousin works at sears auto and they have a master tech there that has tons of BMW experience his son is BMW tech as well. I asked my cousin to give me a quote and it was cheap so I said go for it! I used my cousins discount to knock off about 40 bucks.
They put in the exact same part that was in it too. They did a great job!
Dealer wanted 668.00 just for the part !!!
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  #32  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nitrogen View Post
It was actually like $468.00 my cousin works at sears auto and they have a master tech there that has tons of BMW experience his son is BMW tech as well. I asked my cousin to give me a quote and it was cheap so I said go for it! I used my cousins discount to knock off about 40 bucks.
They put in the exact same part that was in it too. They did a great job!
Dealer wanted 668.00 just for the part !!!
This is great news- I'm near Sacramento.. where in California is this Sears? If its a reasonable distance I want to call and bring it to the same tech!
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  #33  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:36 PM
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It's in Modesto about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from you. PM me I'll give you more details!
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  #34  
Old 04-04-2013, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
It's starting like you could have an alternator or regulator starting to fail. If you took it to a BMW dealership, they should have run the diagnostics regardless. It is possible that the battery was not charged, prior to installation. If you have a multimeter, check the voltage of the battery while the car is off, then on. If the alternator is charging, you should see a difference.

Good Luck!
Hey guys, need some optimistic advice here. Me and Nitrogen found it odd that my car would dish out all of those errors (Dynamic drive, power steering fail, idrive dimming), yet after waiting an hour, it would start up again. Everything I'm experiencing is intermittent. The serpentine belt was brought to my attention, as I have been noticeing a louder hum while my car is idle. I intend to replace both the belt and alternator, but the question is;
Is it possible for a faulty belt to be giving me all of these electrical problems? Keep in mind:
  • Battery is brand new
  • 50k miles
  • Alternator test was good (12v off, 13.8v idle, 13.8 average when rev'd)

I want to efficiently eliminate possible issues rather than dealing with them as they come.
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  #35  
Old 04-05-2013, 05:19 AM
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As I mentioned before, these alternators fail when they get hot enough. I've seen it hundred times. This is why it is often misdiagnosed. They also fail due to leaking upper timing case covers, oil soaks the voltage regulator on the back of the alternator.
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  #36  
Old 04-05-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwoem1 View Post
As I mentioned before, these alternators fail when they get hot enough. I've seen it hundred times. This is why it is often misdiagnosed. They also fail due to leaking upper timing case covers, oil soaks the voltage regulator on the back of the alternator.
Ok. What would you recommend as far as trying to keep it as cool as possible?
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  #37  
Old 04-05-2013, 03:27 PM
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I'm not saying they fail because of the heat. I'm saying the voltage readings fluctuates out of spec when they get to normal operating temperature due to failed voltage regulators. Why the regulators fail, I don't know. I do know its very common on the N62, N62tu engines. It could just be crappy alternators. I would say half of the ones I have replaced were soaked in oil due leaking upper timing case cover gaskets, so that could be the cause also.
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  #38  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:23 PM
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This thread is 36 posts too long.

Alternator. /thread.
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  #39  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by petriej View Post
This thread is 36 posts too long.

Alternator. /thread.
Not exactly. I just replaced the alternator today. OEM Valeo, brand new from buyautoparts. After installation, all voltages checked out fine with AC running, radio, lights.. everything. 30 minutes driving home, dynamic drive malfunction (keep in mind, I bought a CTEK 3300, and charged it to green LAST NIGHT). Battery is fine- AGM, 1 month old and registered.

I took the car immediately back, and the tech ran a diag. The only thing that even showed as semi-suspicious was a "low voltage on the DCS" .. first time I'm heard of this. Also, before the alternator replacement, my DMTL pump caused the increased emissions light to come on. Tech told me it shouldn't affect driveability. He cleared the faults, restarted the car nothing. I drove away.. 15 minutes.. dynamic drive again. Does anyone have ideas outside the alternator now?
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  #40  
Old 04-21-2013, 07:47 PM
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There is a chance you have a bad IVM (integrated voltage module). I've seen a few people with this problem. Similar to having a bad alternator. Do a google search for more info.

You could also have a problem with a bad ground or a bad connection (corrosion) on one of the main battery cables.
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  #41  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:38 PM
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While troubleshooting my Dynamic Drive problems, I found that the circuit 30 which powers the Dynamic Drive module, was seeing high voltage spikes. These spikes are basically seen when the voltage regulator is seeing very little load. This was after a 20 minute drive, when the battery is fully charged. For some reason it happens more in colder weather. I was looking at buying that same alternator, but decided to replace just the voltage regulator. If the Dynamic Drive is showing faults while driving, you could have a bad Lateral Acceleration problem, or a bad new voltage regulator. There is a thread posted in my thread worth reading. Testing the Dynamic Drive might show a over voltage error, which would not allow the Dynamic Drive to reset. The system should also be re-commissioned after clearing all errors related to the Dynamic Drive.

Hope this might help!

Good Luck!
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  #42  
Old 04-21-2013, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
While troubleshooting my Dynamic Drive problems, I found that the circuit 30 which powers the Dynamic Drive module, was seeing high voltage spikes. These spikes are basically seen when the voltage regulator is seeing very little load. This was after a 20 minute drive, when the battery is fully charged. For some reason it happens more in colder weather. I was looking at buying that same alternator, but decided to replace just the voltage regulator. If the Dynamic Drive is showing faults while driving, you could have a bad Lateral Acceleration problem, or a bad new voltage regulator. There is a thread posted in my thread worth reading. Testing the Dynamic Drive might show a over voltage error, which would not allow the Dynamic Drive to reset. The system should also be re-commissioned after clearing all errors related to the Dynamic Drive.

Hope this might help!

Good Luck!
Feels like I'm going to class again with you and Yorgi on here- very appreciative of the feedback. I'll check what I can and hopefully post a fix.
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  #43  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:36 PM
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Check Engine Increased Emissions

bmwoem1 is exactly right I'd say. Right after passing my state emissions testing, I started receiving Tghten Gas Cap message, I tightened gas cap and light went away. Later that day I went over speed bumps and got hat flash of light on my dash as I went over each opne. With continued driving the next few days that light flashing briefly with a speed bump seemed erratic. Then I suddenly got Check Engine Soon light, increased emissions for about a week now. Car drove OK, no loss of power, stuttered only once or twice when I started it. I was thinking Emissions all the way. So I removed, replaced (new gas cap)and tightened gas cap, filled up tank with "new gas" drove about 400 miles (this was suggested by a mechanic) but error would not budge.

I went to the dealer on Friday and they found bad alternator and thermostat stuck open. They also asked when wa steh last time I replaced the battery (cant recall) but think battery might be OK once alternator is installed and battery rechecked.

Car is still at dealer until tomorrow. But I think it's interesting I had the exact same issues mentioned and my dealer (after running full diagnostics) came up with bad alternator, just like bmwoem1 suggested. The damage BTW is around 2K. Ouch!!
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  #44  
Old 01-27-2014, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarius52 View Post
bmwoem1 is exactly right I'd say. Right after passing my state emissions testing, I started receiving Tghten Gas Cap message, I tightened gas cap and light went away. Later that day I went over speed bumps and got hat flash of light on my dash as I went over each opne. With continued driving the next few days that light flashing briefly with a speed bump seemed erratic. Then I suddenly got Check Engine Soon light, increased emissions for about a week now. Car drove OK, no loss of power, stuttered only once or twice when I started it. I was thinking Emissions all the way. So I removed, replaced (new gas cap)and tightened gas cap, filled up tank with "new gas" drove about 400 miles (this was suggested by a mechanic) but error would not budge.

I went to the dealer on Friday and they found bad alternator and thermostat stuck open. They also asked when wa steh last time I replaced the battery (cant recall) but think battery might be OK once alternator is installed and battery rechecked.

Car is still at dealer until tomorrow. But I think it's interesting I had the exact same issues mentioned and my dealer (after running full diagnostics) came up with bad alternator, just like bmwoem1 suggested. The damage BTW is around 2K. Ouch!!
I strongly suggest you get a good indy and don't let the dealer do the work. Now that my extended maint/service is up, I've been using a great indy shop here in Marietta. For example, Global quoted me $650 to replace the spark plugs and my indy did all of them with the same plugs for $239. Happy to recommend them to you if you send me a pm.
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  #45  
Old 01-27-2014, 03:52 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarius52 View Post
bmwoem1 is exactly right I'd say. Right after passing my state emissions testing, I started receiving Tghten Gas Cap message, I tightened gas cap and light went away. Later that day I went over speed bumps and got hat flash of light on my dash as I went over each opne. With continued driving the next few days that light flashing briefly with a speed bump seemed erratic. Then I suddenly got Check Engine Soon light, increased emissions for about a week now. Car drove OK, no loss of power, stuttered only once or twice when I started it. I was thinking Emissions all the way. So I removed, replaced (new gas cap)and tightened gas cap, filled up tank with "new gas" drove about 400 miles (this was suggested by a mechanic) but error would not budge.

I went to the dealer on Friday and they found bad alternator and thermostat stuck open. They also asked when wa steh last time I replaced the battery (cant recall) but think battery might be OK once alternator is installed and battery rechecked.

Car is still at dealer until tomorrow. But I think it's interesting I had the exact same issues mentioned and my dealer (after running full diagnostics) came up with bad alternator, just like bmwoem1 suggested. The damage BTW is around 2K. Ouch!!
Yep: I paid $1074 for a new alternator from the dealer here in New Orleans. About $500 in labor costs alone. That is where they really get you, the labor. It is $150 an hour here.

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  #46  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:07 AM
Aquarius52 Aquarius52 is offline
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Indy in Marietta

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Originally Posted by gregb View Post
I strongly suggest you get a good indy and don't let the dealer do the work. Now that my extended maint/service is up, I've been using a great indy shop here in Marietta. For example, Global quoted me $650 to replace the spark plugs and my indy did all of them with the same plugs for $239. Happy to recommend them to you if you send me a pm.


To gregb

Thanks for the suggestion re indy dealre in Marietta. I tried to pm you and it's saying your mailbox is full. Please pm me here instead. Or use aquarius52@aol.com. Thanks.
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  #47  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:22 AM
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To gregb

Thanks for the suggestion re indy dealre in Marietta. I tried to pm you and it's saying your mailbox is full. Please pm me here instead. Or use aquarius52@aol.com. Thanks.
Ok - sending message now
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  #48  
Old 02-15-2014, 10:59 PM
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I had some electrical problem that were intermittent. My BMW was under warranty but after three-four attempts, I was feed up of driving it back there. I had what appeared to be some type of voltage or grounding problem. The SRS air bag light would come on, transmission failure, dash warning lights coming on, the dome lights flickering, and a few other strange things would going on. I figured it was some type of voltage problem or a module going bad. Since I worked on vehicle electronics in my earlier days, I decided to try to track it down my self. It was a huge task and I checked every ground point looking for loops or corrosion. I also hooked up a volt meter and drove the car looking for drops or spikes. No problems with the battery or alternator was detected. It was hard to trace since the problem was intermittent. Sometimes the car would run fine all day, sometimes a few hours. I finally traced it to the ignition switch. I can't remember which pin or wire it was, but one of the ignition contacts had a bunch of carbon from arching. The carbon cause resistance and would it heat up. As it heated up, it would only allow for 7.8 volts to get to the other side. This caused a bunch of components to fail due to the low voltage. I ran a jumper wire bypassing the switch to confirm the problem. I replaced the ignition switch and the problem was solved.
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  #49  
Old 02-16-2014, 03:09 AM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
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I think this post should be pulled out and put into the DIY section as I believe it has significant relevance to many issues that other members experience with this problem. Otherwise is will get lost in the mass of threads.
When people come up with proven and solid solutions then they should be held in a section of their own.
Often it is so hard to find the "Pearl" lost in the land of inexperience and searches!!!!
What do others think????
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  #50  
Old 02-16-2014, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h.chi View Post
I had some electrical problem that were intermittent. My BMW was under warranty but after three-four attempts, I was feed up of driving it back there. I had what appeared to be some type of voltage or grounding problem. The SRS air bag light would come on, transmission failure, dash warning lights coming on, the dome lights flickering, and a few other strange things would going on. I figured it was some type of voltage problem or a module going bad. Since I worked on vehicle electronics in my earlier days, I decided to try to track it down my self. It was a huge task and I checked every ground point looking for loops or corrosion. I also hooked up a volt meter and drove the car looking for drops or spikes. No problems with the battery or alternator was detected. It was hard to trace since the problem was intermittent. Sometimes the car would run fine all day, sometimes a few hours. I finally traced it to the ignition switch. I can't remember which pin or wire it was, but one of the ignition contacts had a bunch of carbon from arching. The carbon cause resistance and would it heat up. As it heated up, it would only allow for 7.8 volts to get to the other side. This caused a bunch of components to fail due to the low voltage. I ran a jumper wire bypassing the switch to confirm the problem. I replaced the ignition switch and the problem was solved.
Excellent info. Thanks for posting!
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