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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 09-22-2016, 08:15 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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2004 X3 Stalls Under 900 RPM's - No Codes - Everything Checked. Help!

Hi... I'm new here and not a DIYer when it comes to wrenching, but fairly knowledgeable about my car and doing research when there is a problem.
2004 X3 2.5 with 160,000 miles. I've owned it since 80,000 and maintained it very well.

My X3 has been un-driveable for 7 weeks. Below is entire story. The car has 160,000 miles and is in great shape (except that I can't drive it anywhere - LOL) . First is the overview that I sent to the Euro Specialist Mechanic after I had the car towed 200 miles from my small mountain town after the local mechanics all gave up. Second is a brief overview from the Euro Specialist. There are no more codes. It drives great until a stop sign or traffic lights and then dies below 900 RPM's and then starts right back up again .

Part 1 :IMPORTANT – The runs great when cold. It can take up to 40 minutes of actual driving and two hours of idling in a shop for the problem to present itself. Thus…it can appear “fixed” in a normal 5 – 15 minute test drive.

Car started “hesitating” “hiccouphing” “skipping a beat” at highway speeds early this summer. I thought it had something to do with running the A/C, so I ignored it. It drove great and no warning lights.

One day it stalled at a stop sign. Just shut off. No warning lights. I thought it was user error and ignored it.

At the end of July all within a day or so, all the symptoms got worse.(About a week after an oil change and changing out the air filters). It stalled numerous times coasting to a stop sign. (Always started right back up again and drove off with no problem) . It skipped a beat often on the highway – and finally some warning lights came on.

SERVICE ENGINE and EML light flickered. Then went off. Then it did it again and again. If I turned off the car and waited a few minutes I could then drive off and have it not happen for the next 15 -20 minutes or so. Then it would happen again.

Drove to the local mechanic. They pulled code 283B and 145, and told me it was a computer problem and they could not touch it. (Basic mechanic happier with Fords, Chevy’s and Subarus!)

(Note...Isolated small mountain town..closest Euro car specialist or dealer =200 miles)

Brought it to another mechanic who is a BMW fan and works on them on the side. He checked it over – wiring, grounds, etc… and researched the code, as did I and we guessed it was the DME – as BMW had a bulletin form 2006 about that code.

Pulled the DME and the ECU security module and sent them along with the key to a DME specialty shop who fixes or replaces. Paid for them to assess it. They checked it out on the bench and then put it into a actual BMW and ran the car and could not duplicate the problem nor the codes. I had them do it twice and run the car for a long time. They told me they’d love to sell me an DME, but that mine is not broken. They sent all the pieces back.

Called BMW in Denver and spoke to service manager who has been there for a long time. He said he has seen these symptoms in older X3’s and had me do a test to see if it was related to the alternator surging, causing the DME to shut down the car. We put full load on the alternator by running every peripheral device and let it idle for hours. The car did not stall. Turned off the peripheral devices and idled the car and it did stall. REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR AND ALTERNATOR BELT.

Now I have a new alternator, but the problem is not solved.

Also removed both Oxygen sensors before the catatytic converter and the car seemed to run better – so maybe it could still be the DME - was told that was one DME “test”.

Next checked the fuel pressure. Put on a gauge and idled the car until it stalled. Pressure remained steady. Bummer – hoping it was the fuel pump.

Had the car towed to the Euro Specialist . Below is part 2 - what has been done based on codes indicating the MAF sensor and Throttle Actuator.

Part 2 (written by Euro Shop)
To date we have replaced the maf and throttle actuator. There are no longer any codes that re-occur. Fuel pressure remains consistently in spec even when it dies. We have substituted known good idle control valve, cam sensor, crank sensor, ign switch, dme relay, throttle body (due to cruise fault code (no cruise control on this car)). Craig has monitored the r circuit on the ignition, voltage stays in spec even when it dies. There are no vacuum leaks, all sensors are staying within range.


The guys at auto-logic have no clue, Craig has called guys he knows all to no avail. Our continued work consists in checking all input signals to the dme and related components.

Anyone have any idea? Anyone seen this before? I'm still wondering if it could be the DME. Or a soft fuel pump failure not showing up in codes or pressure. Or ????


Update. ECU pins being checked and cleaned today. They definitely have ruled out the fuel pump and vacuum leaks. We are discussing trying a new DME, based on a 2006 BMW bulletin and earlier codes when it was throwing codes. I have a place that will set up the DME and if it doesn't fix the problem, will take it back for a 30% restocking fee... So it's basically an educated guess experiment if I do it. Car is drive-able for 30-45 minutes before stalling...and after that only below 900 RPM's. No sputtering, no rough idle. Just shuts off as if someone pushed a kill switch.

Do I try a new DME?
Do I go to a car place and trade in the car ( I love my car).
I'm $2000 in to this adventure which is about 50% of the book value of the car - but still way less in so many ways than something new.

Thoughts?
Ideas?
Questions?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2016, 04:16 AM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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Had similar issues but it was cold sensitive instead of heat. Would not idle when cold. Changed out plugs, O2 sensors, throttle valves. Turned out to be the DME.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2016, 05:47 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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good link for dme etc swap

maybe try this .....give "em a call and borrow a kit .....dme / ews /keys etc etc


get an idle control valve and throttle body too ?

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  #4  
Old 09-23-2016, 06:00 AM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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The Indy shop I went to could diagnose the DME. They said it was bad RAM I believe.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2016, 10:17 AM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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Thanks LegalFree and SwampX3. The DME checked out fine. It was the first experiment 8 weeks ago. But my understanding is it could still be the problem as checking it out on the bench is not always accurate...or even in another car. The DME company I used will send replacements to try. But if it doesn't solve it, I have to pay a 35% restocking fee to send it back.. It's not small change..but at least not the entire cost.

ICV was replaced and didn't solve it. So original was put back on. Throttle body same thing.

The question of the day...Do I go for it - possibly risking another $500 for nothing..and easily $1000 if it fixes it? Or drive to a dealer and trade it? I'll be into the car for this particular adventure for $3000 - car is worth $4500 on the high side in a private sale...probably $2000 in a trade. I love it. But there is no question that once I fix this there will be something else big coming up behind it with 160,000 miles. On the other hand... I love it!!!
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2016, 11:10 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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combination of things

>the reason I suggested the combo ews/dme and key try was because sometimes we experience one of the three is kaput and can't tie it down for sure because of heat/cold etc etc


>also don't need to re code any of the kit because it's the same family

>maybe give the guy a call and see if he can loan you a trio of that kit for a try for much less than a 35% re stocking fee ?????

>also ....when you say "bench tested the DME"....a good outfit could tell you at what spot it was failed and not just "its OK".....gotta be more precise like Legalfee ram issue

>also .....did y'all check the small fuse box in the E box on your X ?????

>also ....not good to think even new parts are good ....always double check....we've had three ICV's in row be bad out of the box ....and several throttle bodies
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2016, 11:12 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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go by for injector relay/e box fuses/dme etc etc

>did y'all swap the injectors relay ????


Last edited by swampX3; 09-23-2016 at 11:15 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2016, 05:28 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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cleaned the ignition switch ??

swapped or cleaned the ignition switch ?????


FESTCHIVE post 6 below

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...errerid=343410


good generic looks inside an older bmw ignition switch


Last edited by swampX3; 09-23-2016 at 05:36 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2016, 07:25 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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SwampX3... Yes..the ignition switch was swapped. All relays were checked as far as I've been told. 3 different mechanics have been involved with the car.. One initially and then recently a man whose been working on Bimmers for over 20 years..and he consulted with the guy who worked on my car in San Diego who owns a 3rd generation Bimmer only shop. The DME place put it in another BMW and ran it and never had a problem. They cleared all the codes it came in with and could not re-create any of them. Yet I have heard that it could still be the problem. That is why we are back to this conversation. The DME is where we began. The shop you gave me the link to has nothing in stock at the moment for the E83 X3 engine - though that would have been a good idea.

I will ask about the fuse box you mention. I do not have the car. I don't work on it myself...eons ago the man I dated before I married my husband used to buy older bimmers and porsches and I would help him fix them up and sell. But that was over 25 years ago and I have not worked on a car besides super basic stuff in decades. I don't think I can ask the shop to recheck parts they have already checked. They have done close to 15 hours of work on my car without charging me, as their philosophy is that all of what they are doing falls under "diagnosis". I've only paid for the parts and labor that actually threw a code and for which the code was fixed once it was replaced.

I really appreciate all your suggestions!
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2016, 07:38 PM
bmwbob89 bmwbob89 is offline
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Can you get the BMW bulletin number and make sure you have the correct fault code number. I have a 04 X3 i bought a few years back and it needed a DME. The fault code you posted above doesn't match the one on the bulletin I have. The one I have is bulletin # 12 49 06. It does sound like a bad DME. If it had a ram fault you need a new one. I put one in mine and problem was solved.
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2016, 07:45 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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The problem BMWBob is that there are no longer ANY fault codes. No codes at all . Turns out that the code that was read by the generalist snapon tools computer (that caused me to send in the DME for testing in the first place) was not the same code that the Euro Specialist pulled with the correct BMW tools and software. The codes they got were for the MAF sensor which we replaced first and the Throttle Actuator which we replaced second. Those codes then completely cleared and NO others showed up. We are back to the DME by pure process of elimination. Every wire and relay has been tested. The ECU pins have been cleaned. All parts that could have anything to do with this have been swapped out and the car driven. Still the problem of stalling under 900 RPM's. There is no shudder, or hesitation. The car just shuts off so quietly that can be surprised when the light turns green and your realize that the engine isn't on. It starts right back up and away we go.

I just looked at that bulletin number BMWBob and it is the same one I saw.. about 2/3 of the way down the page it says...
CAUSE Fault codes 28B2, 28AA and 28AC indicate an internal DME RAM fault

My original code was 28B2

Last edited by itsallsuccess; 09-23-2016 at 07:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2016, 08:29 PM
bmwbob89 bmwbob89 is offline
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I would say you need a new DME. 99%. I am not sure which of those codes mine had but it was one of them. They bought a bunch of DME's with bad ram.
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2016, 08:32 PM
bmwbob89 bmwbob89 is offline
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I did a lot of searching and BMW didn't have any new DME's in the country and they were on backorder. I finally found a company with a couple of them. They coded it and I sent them my key and ews control unit and they mated it all up. Plugged it all in and it started right up. I believe it was about a grand. Much cheaper than BMW. Google is your friend.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:30 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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high mileage X3's

>check this link ....loads of very very high mileage X3's around ......they are very tough if kept up and you can get over some maintenance headaches like you're having now

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=291640

>maybe get bmw bobs contacts for his issues

>also ....there are folks who will remote hook up to your X with the real bmw software for a good diagnosis......check the coding/programming section of this FEST

>also .....if anyone around you is a little computer savvy you can download BMW latest diagnostic software onto your laptop and DIY it......sometimes the best Snap-On and other scanners will not get all the codes

>also ......your codes may not always come back till you've had a good level failure for a period/drive cycle.....so .....don't give up they may reappear

>also .....when we're in the trenches and can't solve an issue like this we take advice from any place we can.....don't be hesitant to offer suggestions or ideas from sites like this to your techs .....everyone gets stumped from time to time
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2016, 08:35 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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software links

give this info to your local techs .....they will thank you for the access to real bmw stuff

older BMW DIS 57 software will get your bmw codes

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=866684&page=6

shopping .....this guy has helped many remote folks like you by wifi etc


http://stores.ebay.co.uk/bmw-diagnostics


newer FEST link to ask for new software link ....commonly called Rheingold

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...3&goto=newpost

Last edited by swampX3; 09-24-2016 at 08:37 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2016, 09:12 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Festchive coding and programming link

great gurus on these links....get plugged in and work remote.....only need a reasonable laptop and ability to use a cell phone

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=175
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2016, 09:24 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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DME nuggets ????

http://www.bimmerfest.com/searchresu...=1451j443855j6


DME service bulletin link

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/at...0&d=1440041323

This Service Information bulletin supersedes S.I. B12 49 06 dated November 2006.
designates changes to this revision
SUBJECT
DME MS45 - FC28B2, 28AA, 28AC; Internal RAM Faults
MODEL
E46 M54 with MS45.1 from 9/00 to 7/06
E83 M54 with MS45.0/MS45.1 from 9/03 to 9/06
E85 M54 with MS45.0 from 10/04 to 1/06
E60 M54 with MS45.1 from 9/03 to 3/05
SITUATION
Customers may complain about a crank/no start or a rough start situation. The "Service Engine Soon Light" or
the DSC light is illuminated, and one of the 3 scenarios may apply:
1. FC 28B2 "rpm limiting reset " is stored in the DME together with one, or more of the following faults
which are caused by the 28B2:
***56256;***56443; FC 28AC - "nominal torque",
***56256;***56443; FC 2796 - "throttle flap: adaptation wrong",
***56256;***56443; FC 27A1 - "throttle flap: start check",
***56256;***56443; FC 2869 - "DME self diagnostic: RAM check failed".
2. FC 28AA "idle speed regulator" is stored in the DME.
3. FC 28AC "nominal torque" is stored in the DME.
CAUSE
Fault codes 28B2, 28AA and 28AC indicate an internal DME RAM fault.
PROCEDURE
Perform the appropriate DIS/GT1 test modules for the 28B2, 28AA or 28AC.
Replace the DME if prompted by the DIS/GT1 test module results.
Important: Do not replace the throttle body for the throttle faults, stored in conjunction with FC28B2, even
when the test plan recommends to do so.
WARRANTY INFORMATION
Covered under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
SI B 12 49 06
Engine Electrical Systems
April 2007
Technical Service
Defect Code Refer to KSD
Labor Operation: Refer to KSD
Labor Allowance: Refer to KSD

Last edited by swampX3; 09-24-2016 at 09:35 AM.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2016, 04:26 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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typical DME relay bypass/jump out

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarti...ay_Testing.htm
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  #19  
Old 09-25-2016, 07:37 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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BMW Bob -- thanks for that. I have been in touch with the ECU Docs in Florida since this all began. The first thing I did was sent them my DME and they tested it and said it was fine in their tests. At that point (back in August) I decided to go with that and they sent mine back and you have the rest of the story. Now that was are back at this point with what appears to be no other options, I am going to get a replacement DME from them and try it. If it solves the problem - great. If not, it will be about a $275 experiment (their programming and restocking fee). Thanks for all your help. I will definitely come back here and let you know what happens.
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:39 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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Swamp X3. You are so very kind to share all this information with me. I am reading it all over now and will be sharing it with the Euro shop tomorrow ( Monday).. I do believe they have BMW software, not just Snapon... that was the first place I went.. Anyway. I'm going to ask them to review all your suggestions and notes before we make the final decision as to trying a new DME. Thank you. I will let you know what happens.
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  #21  
Old 09-25-2016, 08:26 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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ECU docs knowledge

>may wanna find out if the ecu docs are familiar with the bulletin regarding RAM failure in the X3 DME ????....email them the copy we posted

>also double check if they heat load tested your DME


>the early years of these X's and about double the number of 2.5 X's had many many warranty DME swaps......not tens but thousands.....most of them failed under heat load scenarios

>we never did get to the root cause of why the 2.5 was more failure prone

>we hope to see you driving your X3 in the snow without problems.....please send cool weather to the swamp !

>PS ....is the cooling fan working in your E box (the E box houses the DME).....you can actuate it with snapon or DIS or Rheingold

Last edited by swampX3; 09-25-2016 at 08:28 PM.
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  #22  
Old 09-25-2016, 08:30 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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E BOX fan ....posts 18 and 19 to start

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=1#post9719282


there is also a very effective poboy repair towards the end of the link....post 25
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  #23  
Old 09-25-2016, 08:35 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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I will check with the mechanic on the E box cooling fan....

And as for the DME. I'm not paying for anymore testing. It's time to just switch it out and pray!

PS.. It snowed on Friday and Saturday!! White peaked mountains with the golden leaves still on the aspen trees down below. Snow was even sticking to the roof tops on Friday night. Our 8 month winter just turned into 9 months! LOL!
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  #24  
Old 09-25-2016, 08:40 PM
bmwbob89 bmwbob89 is offline
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Just make sure you get a different DME not the one you have repaired. I don't think the ram is replaceable. A few years ago nobody was repairing the X3 DME's.
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  #25  
Old 09-25-2016, 08:52 PM
itsallsuccess itsallsuccess is offline
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Thanks BMW Bob. Yes. It is a different DME that they program to talk to my EWS and my Key. They don't fix the one I send in and give it back to me. They give me a new one and I'm guessing maybe they take my old one and refurbish it (??) I really don't know about that part. BTW.. I love Newburyport. In the 1980's I taught school in Amesbury and lived in Portsmouth.
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