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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #101  
Old 02-06-2014, 09:13 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
BTW, I think I (at least me personally) can close on this battery issue. I have a solid proof both stalls we had have absolutely nothing to do with the battery. So it was all BS from the service to get me out of the door, at least the first time. After the issue with PDM was identified I have stopped charging the car frequently. Recently I did a test: did not charge it for a week, driving my usual routes, turning all the heating stuff I needed without any hesitation. So? At the end of that week we had pretty warm day and the car was doing ASS when it was about -0.5C outside. Not that I liked the fact that it was stopping the cold engine (!) when it was less than +3.5C, but the fact that it was doing it proves that the battery charge was quite sufficient. And after that I have connected the CTEK charger. So it went from the phase 3 to phase 4 very quickly, which means that the battery was most likely at 90% or more.
I have been avoiding making any more comments because too many people still seem to think the system is poorly designed. However, I think what you said above validates my argument. The electrical system in the X3, including the charging function, when everything is functioning properly, is robust, works very well, is capable of charging the battery, and easily handles a heavy vehicle electrical load. If there is a need to charge the battery with an external charger, then something is not working properly and needs to be fixed. Obviously, from the large number of posts regarding this topic, there are some components that do not appear to exhibit the high degree of reliability that we have every reason to expect. There appears to be an especially high failure rate in very cold weather. Nevertheless, when everything works as designed, the system needs zero driver attention either to manually charge the battery with an external charger or to manage/minimize electrical load. Since automotive batteries are designed to recharge quickly and the total starting energy is delivered in a very short period of time (just seconds), the battery gets recharged to the desired state during even relatively short trips. Needeing to charge a healthy battery at highway speeds for long drives is a myth. By the way, starting an engine only uses, worst case, less than 5% of the total battery capacity.

Last edited by RhoXS; 02-06-2014 at 10:33 AM.
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  #102  
Old 02-06-2014, 10:43 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
I have been avoiding making any more comments because too many people still seem to think the system is poorly designed. However, I think what you said above validates my argument.
Yes and no, I think. From my recent experience - it is not as bad as the dealer (!) presented it to me. Look, they themselves started blaming the battery and "poor profile" first, while the issue was different, a components, as you said. So, the dealers themselves use this explanation as a blanket to get rid of some complains that, in fact, require deeper investigation. That's one thing. The dealers themselves sometimes artificially make this issue appear to be worse than it is!

As for the quality of the design, I still believe that anything that fails that frequently is poorly designed. I am not a car engineer, I am a software engineer. If I was to design the system, I would first ensure that whatever is expected to sleep sleeps well until it is needed. And that the system includes enough watchdog timers and diagnostic tools to detect any unwanted activity that drains the battery. Battery, started, basic car components - this is the most important stuff. GPS, telematics, media player etc is extra. The car is locked, start the countdown timer and watchdog. If the current exceeds certain value after that - check individual components, force their shutdown/restart/whatever. 3 failures like this - write diagnostic code, display the service light. I would rather have navigation or bluetooth not working than having a car that cannot be started while I am 300km from home because of some software glitch. All these (or similar) design principles of the embedded systems are well known for many years, look at the cellphones like Nokia that can work days on a single charge.

I would not release a system where this rule is not properly enforced. So, to me it is an example of bad design - not necessarily of the entire system, but some of its components. I think it is about the ability of a particular company's engineering department to make an advanced, complex and, yet, simple and reliable system.
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  #103  
Old 02-06-2014, 12:48 PM
poker838 poker838 is offline
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  #104  
Old 02-06-2014, 03:09 PM
gregwym gregwym is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
Yes and no, I think. From my recent experience - it is not as bad as the dealer (!) presented it to me. Look, they themselves started blaming the battery and "poor profile" first, while the issue was different, a components, as you said. So, the dealers themselves use this explanation as a blanket to get rid of some complains that, in fact, require deeper investigation. That's one thing. The dealers themselves sometimes artificially make this issue appear to be worse than it is!

As for the quality of the design, I still believe that anything that fails that frequently is poorly designed. I am not a car engineer, I am a software engineer. If I was to design the system, I would first ensure that whatever is expected to sleep sleeps well until it is needed. And that the system includes enough watchdog timers and diagnostic tools to detect any unwanted activity that drains the battery. Battery, started, basic car components - this is the most important stuff. GPS, telematics, media player etc is extra. The car is locked, start the countdown timer and watchdog. If the current exceeds certain value after that - check individual components, force their shutdown/restart/whatever. 3 failures like this - write diagnostic code, display the service light. I would rather have navigation or bluetooth not working than having a car that cannot be started while I am 300km from home because of some software glitch. All these (or similar) design principles of the embedded systems are well known for many years, look at the cellphones like Nokia that can work days on a single charge.

I would not release a system where this rule is not properly enforced. So, to me it is an example of bad design - not necessarily of the entire system, but some of its components. I think it is about the ability of a particular company's engineering department to make an advanced, complex and, yet, simple and reliable system.
Haha, like ur logic. Im a software engineer too!


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  #105  
Old 02-06-2014, 03:22 PM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
... it is an example of bad design - not necessarily of the entire system, but some of its components. ...
I think you hit the nail on the head. This appears to me to be a hardware issue, not a system design issue. In my opinion, and it is just an opinion based on what I have seen a properly working system do, it is indeed a very well designed system. However, one or more of the components (different from system design) have some hardware weaknesses that become apparent in cold weather. Also, based on what I have seen in these forums, I think the hardware issues are limited to a module called (I think) a PDM that is located in a relatively unprotected area of the engine compartment.

Even if 99.99% of X3s never have a problem, there are so many out there that the very small percentage of failures that do occur become very visible. IMO it is remarkable that automotive manufactures are able to build cars as reliably as they do considering how incredibly many they manufacture.
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  #106  
Old 02-07-2014, 11:09 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
And that the system includes enough watchdog timers and diagnostic tools to detect any unwanted activity that drains the battery. Battery, started, basic car components - this is the most important stuff. GPS, telematics, media player etc is extra. The car is locked, start the countdown timer and watchdog. If the current exceeds certain value after that - check individual components, force their shutdown/restart/whatever. 3 failures like this - write diagnostic code, display the service light. I would rather have navigation or bluetooth not working than having a car that cannot be started while I am 300km from home because of some software glitch. All these (or similar) design principles of the embedded systems are well known for many years, look at the cellphones like Nokia that can work days on a single charge.
What you are describing is very similar to BMW's existing power management system, if you leave a dome light on for example, there is a watchdog timer, it will shut the light off after it times out. If battery is getting low, it will start to shut down non-essential components and keep shutting components off according to priority. Along the way there are numerous warning on the I-drive screen telling you that your battery is low.
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  #107  
Old 02-08-2014, 02:54 PM
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mscamp mscamp is offline
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Just purchased a Deltran Battery Tender for our 2011 X3. It has been so cold here in Central Illinois and I have been only driving 20-30 miles per day. Went about 3-4 days without driving it as we used our new 2014 Siverado Z-71(replaced our 2008 Z-71 that was destroyed by tornado in November ( - yea it's been that kind of winter) to plow through the snow and cold. That's when the 'Low Battery Charge' warning appeared. Really don't want to be stranded in a parking deck.
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2006 X3 - Purchased BMW of Peoria, IL September 10, 2007 - Black/Black
2006 330i Purchased BMW of Peoria, IL October 12, 2005 Arctic Met/Beige

Last edited by mscamp; 02-08-2014 at 02:56 PM.
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  #108  
Old 02-08-2014, 04:53 PM
Gouda Gouda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscamp View Post
Just purchased a Deltran Battery Tender for our 2011 X3. It has been so cold here in Central Illinois and I have been only driving 20-30 miles per day. Went about 3-4 days without driving it as we used our new 2014 Siverado Z-71(replaced our 2008 Z-71 that was destroyed by tornado in November ( - yea it's been that kind of winter) to plow through the snow and cold. That's when the 'Low Battery Charge' warning appeared. Really don't want to be stranded in a parking deck.
I do the same thing with the same Deltran. Our X3 often sits for 3~ 5 days without being used. That coupled with extreme temps we have been having lately makes it just seem like a wise decision. Also, the SA at the nearest BMW dealer told me that I can expect 24 months additional service out of the battery by using a trickle charger. That alone makes it worthwhile to me. Never have seen a error message in winter. Might be a bit of a overstatement, but who knows.
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  #109  
Old 02-15-2014, 11:01 AM
PapaRocco PapaRocco is offline
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Fed up

I, too, am having issues with my 2013 X3's battery. I really have a problem with a car that cost over $55k that requires that I regularly charge its battery in cold weather. The car is in a garage at approximately 35 degrees and it loses its charge if I don't drive it for a few days. Then it will not allow me to turn my heater on--only the defroster. Is anyone else fed up a luxury car that won't let you turn the heat on?
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  #110  
Old 02-15-2014, 01:36 PM
Jennifer Natzel Jennifer Natzel is offline
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Won't start periodically

I have a 08 x3 and I was out running errands and came out of the last store and my car wouldn't turn over. I got a jump and it fired right up. About a month later the same thing happened with no problems in between. I went and got the battery tested and it registered about 38% charge and the volts were fine they said. We have only owned the car since December and they put a new battery in it just before we bought it. Any suggestions?
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  #111  
Old 02-15-2014, 01:58 PM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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Jennifer, for an '08 X3 you might get a better better response by asking your question in the 1st Generation X3 forum at http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=65 This forum is for the 2nd generation X3, 2011 and later.
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  #112  
Old 02-17-2014, 01:36 PM
PapaRocco PapaRocco is offline
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What is a PDM?

My dealer was not familiar with PDM. Said he'd check, but I'd like to know.
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  #113  
Old 02-17-2014, 03:09 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaRocco View Post
My dealer was not familiar with PDM. Said he'd check, but I'd like to know.
Power distribution Module
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  #114  
Old 03-05-2014, 02:36 PM
desi_guru desi_guru is offline
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PDM replacement

I have brand new 2014 x3 with less than 5000 km and 2 days ago I received message on dash board for drive train malfunction. We ha cold weekend with -30 for 3 days in row. I have my car park outside but I do plug it in, since I live in Edmonton.

Monday I took my car to dealership and they informed me to leave car and have it checked.

Got back my car today with new PDM installed. Girl wouldn't tell the real cause o he system and she mentioned that lot of x3 having this issue.

So much trouble for having brand new car!!
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  #115  
Old 03-05-2014, 02:48 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desi_guru View Post
I have brand new 2014 x3 with less than 5000 km and 2 days ago I received message on dash board for drive train malfunction. We ha cold weekend with -30 for 3 days in row. I have my car park outside but I do plug it in, since I live in Edmonton.

Monday I took my car to dealership and they informed me to leave car and have it checked.

Got back my car today with new PDM installed. Girl wouldn't tell the real cause o he system and she mentioned that lot of x3 having this issue.

So much trouble for having brand new car!!
Welcome to the club

"lot of x3 having this issue" - to me that would be the reason for the recall.

And, I am wondering, what are you going to do about that? How are you going to tell BMW about your "experience" ? NHTSA? Facebook?
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  #116  
Old 03-05-2014, 03:12 PM
jeff_K jeff_K is offline
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The severe cold weather and snow must be really testing your cars. BMW has a lot to learn. I wonder if other brands of cars are facing similar issue. And I am sure you guys are aware that Jade Rabbit is also suffering from the extreme cold on the lunar surface; immobile and in hibernation if not already "dead".
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  #117  
Old 03-05-2014, 05:52 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Originally Posted by jeff_K View Post
The severe cold weather and snow must be really testing your cars. BMW has a lot to learn. I wonder if other brands of cars are facing similar issue. And I am sure you guys are aware that Jade Rabbit is also suffering from the extreme cold on the lunar surface; immobile and in hibernation if not already "dead".
Snow's not a problem unless you need to dig your car out first...and it's the problem for the back anyway Severe cold weather....well, that's something we have every year since the dawn of the history Fair, other brands probably face some other issues. So it is up to their owners to get angry - according to the severity of the issues.

As for Jade Rabbit...We are talking about the consumer products here (e.g. BMW cars), not about bleeding edge R&D devices. My life somewhat depends on the quality of this product. Literally, its bad design has a slim but real chance to kill you and your family. As horrible as it sounds, that's real. Jade Rabbit's failure on the moon could not kill anyone, unless there is some life out there
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  #118  
Old 03-12-2014, 02:58 PM
CA328 CA328 is offline
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E70 X5 diesel here - I also got drivetrain malfunction and airbag malfunction warning 1.5 weeks ago. This was after it sat outside one night where overnight low was -42C with windchill. Normally the truck is parked inside in finished but unheated attached garage.

After 4 days it still wouldn't start (would crank but not fire), so had roadside assistance tow it to dealer. Dealer got it back to me same day (great service) - diagnosis was dead battery, which was replaced. As an aside they also performed a recall and oil change at same time without me asking - much appreciated.

Truck has run fine for the last week no problem. Outside temps have also warmed up significantly since that weekend the truck died.

Our other vehicle, 2013 328i, also warned us of increased battery discharge about a month ago on a cold day - but hasn't displayed the same warning since.

Other than the above incidents the vehicles have been flawless (aside from a flat tire on the X5, but that could happen to anyone).
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