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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 03-16-2010, 12:51 PM
sexipink sexipink is offline
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Unhappy X3 electrical problems... PLEASE HELP

I have a 2005 X3 with about 50k miles and about 2 months ago I started having electrical problems. 1st it started with my inside lights flickering on and off, and my radio shutting off. The inside lights flickered for a couple of days then stopped, but my radio still ocassionaly shuts off. Then I noticed that my outside lights wouldnt work when on auto, but worked fine when I manually turned them on. My seat & steering warmer, and back windshield wiper no longer work as well.

My car is no longer under warranty with Bmw, but I do have a third party warranty that covers eletrical problems. So I took it into Bmw last thursday. After 6 days of having my car they still dont know what the problem is. So finally they called me today saying they think they know what the problem is (what do you mean think). They claim it appears someone spilled something on the passenger side and its all over the wires because there very sticky, and since it appears to be a spill most likely my warranty wont cover it. So for them to finish diagnosing the problem its going to cost me $750, and thats not including whatever the cost is to fix this unknown problem.


This just sounds like a bunch of BS to me, I would think the wires wouldve been the 1st place they looked especially since they said these wires run into everything im having problems with. It took them 6 days to find this???
So needless to say im picking my car back up with the same promblems it had when I dropped it off. And on top of that I have to pay them $100.00 for the diagnostics when they didnt even actually tell me what the problem is.



Sorry for the loooonng post, but can someone please help me. Do you think what their saying makes sense?? (mind you I dont recall anyone spilling anything in my car). Does anyone know someone in the Northen NJ area that deals with bmw electrical problems???
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2010, 02:14 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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I think you might simply need to replace the battery, if you haven't done so. Do a search for additional info; there's no need to buy the dealer battery either. Often electrical problems can be the result of a dying battery, and since you have a 2005, it may be time for a new one.

By the way, the pink isn't really necessary. Not to be mean or anything, it's kinda hard on the eyes.
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2010, 04:23 PM
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Mystic1 Mystic1 is offline
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Agree with Azn. Sounds like it might be a battery issue.

And I know it's in your screen name, but I must agree the pink is hard on the eyes.
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2010, 05:49 PM
sexipink sexipink is offline
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Omg, sorry didnt know the pink looked that bad :-(

So you really think it can just be the battery?? If that's it im gonna be somewhat pissed but relieved at the same time. The $100 I paid them couldve went toward a new battery..
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2010, 06:14 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexipink View Post
... about 2 months ago I started having electrical problems. .... they think they know what the problem is .
They claim it appears someone spilled something on the passenger side and its all over the wires
Do you think what their saying makes sense?? (mind you I dont recall anyone spilling anything in my car).
Sounds like they think a bottle of something was in the glove box and leaked over the fuse box and relays.

Possible I suppose, but I am doubtful that most soft drinks, etc. would cause such problems.

If things need cleaning up anyway, an auto electric shop may have a spray can of something to do a safe and effective cleanup.

They could also do a (free?) load test on your battery, but if you haven't noticed it starting slugglishly over the last 2 months, I doubt that it is the root cause.
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2010, 07:41 PM
sexipink sexipink is offline
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My fiance said the battery was the 1st thing he actually checked as well as the fuses, so I guess that X's that out..

@Supercourse yea I doubt a soft drink would do that especially since nothing was spilled in that area, and I dont keep any type of liquids in my glove box sooo. I really think they just couldnt find the problem
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2010, 07:58 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Don't take this wrong, but having two daughters and previously spending a lot of time cleaning up various potions like melted lip gloss, sunscreen and other lotions from various inaccessable locations on different cars and trucks nothing surprises me anymore. The interior of a car can get very hot and things in glove boxes, and sitting on dashboards, or consoles can and do melt.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2010, 10:38 AM
sexipink sexipink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Don't take this wrong, but having two daughters and previously spending a lot of time cleaning up various potions like melted lip gloss, sunscreen and other lotions from various inaccessable locations on different cars and trucks nothing surprises me anymore. The interior of a car can get very hot and things in glove boxes, and sitting on dashboards, or consoles can and do melt.
I hear you Uncle J, but as mentioned before I dont keep any type of liquids in my glove department. And they claim it was a sticky sugary line substance, which means someone had to spill a cup of something. Now unless this was done by the previous owner its impossible because I would remember someone spilling something in my car.

I shouldve asked them to show me this so called sticky area... But thanks for your opinion
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2010, 11:08 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Sounds like they think a bottle of something was in the glove box and leaked over the fuse box and relays.

Possible I suppose, but I am doubtful that most soft drinks, etc. would cause such problems.
Actually soft drinks can cause extensive problems. The sugar and chemicals in Coke or Pepsi are extremely corrosive. Over time (the chemicals) they will cause irrepairable damage.

I have had more than several DJ's fired after spilling a soda on a radio mixing console since they are no less than $50k and you can never fully repair one after that.

If this is the cause of your problem..fix it immediately and sell it just as fast.

On a lighter note:

Easy way for you to check the battery problem is have Sears/NTB, Auto zone, or Pep Boys check the battery.
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2010, 11:35 AM
BenChahal BenChahal is offline
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radio shut off

dealer had to replace radio console
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2010, 01:51 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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sexi, hope you get it resolved! As you say, must have been a previous owner spilling all those lattes. The very flimsy pax cupholder is not too far from the glove box either. I can see a big bump knocking a grande or three right on the dash where it trickled down into the box. Wouldn't have hurt to look at the mess either. Good call.

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-17-2010 at 01:54 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2010, 09:50 AM
enamoured enamoured is offline
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Evl has already said it, but anything spilled over electronics is bad for it, and I mean pretty much anything. Did the dealership tell you which wires/circuit/relays have that sugary coat on them? I see Supercourse talk about fuse panel in glove box but didn't see you confirm it. If the corrosion hasn't damaged something permanently then it won't be too hard to clean it. There are many solvents available commercially. Just unplug your battery, let it sit for an hour, then clean it with proper solvent, leave it for at least 4-5 hours in room temperature, plug it back. How far it will go in solving your issues will depend upon extent of damage.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2010, 12:28 PM
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*Sigh* This is why food and drinks are not permitted on the vehicle unless it is bottled water. Bottled water is stored in the door nets (back in the good ol' days before the facelift) unless it's a hot water thermos.

I could probably write a 15-book in legal language about the rules and responsibilities in my X3............

"3.2: A first aid kit and warning shall be located in the vehicle at all times. The first aid kit is stored underneath the passenger box, the warning triangle stored in the designated spot in the D-pillar"


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  #14  
Old 03-18-2010, 12:51 PM
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I want to put in a pre-order for your book

Don't feel bad, I'm the same way!!!
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:30 PM
sexipink sexipink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enamoured View Post
Evl has already said it, but anything spilled over electronics is bad for it, and I mean pretty much anything. Did the dealership tell you which wires/circuit/relays have that sugary coat on them? I see Supercourse talk about fuse panel in glove box but didn't see you confirm it. If the corrosion hasn't damaged something permanently then it won't be too hard to clean it. There are many solvents available commercially. Just unplug your battery, let it sit for an hour, then clean it with proper solvent, leave it for at least 4-5 hours in room temperature, plug it back. How far it will go in solving your issues will depend upon extent of damage.
No they didnt tell me what wires/circuits etc, they said they THINK that could be the problem. But I would have to pay $750 for them to even find out. So im not even sure if that is the problem, and I some what doubt it is since no one has spilled anything in my car. And since im the only one that drives my car I think I wouldve noticed a spill.

And by the way thanks for everyones input. But does anyone know of anything else that could cause these kinds of problems besides the spillage???
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  #16  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:49 PM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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Don't feel bad, I'm the same way!!!
Me too.
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  #17  
Old 05-19-2011, 11:09 AM
chelseabee chelseabee is offline
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Hi sexipink, two days ago, I had the exact same issue start with my 05 X3 and am experiencing all the same glitches! Nothing has ever spilled in my car either and this is the most bizarre thing ever. I haven't had a single problem until now. Did you ever find out what the problem was and get it solved? Thanks for your help!
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2011, 12:08 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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chelse, YOU may not have spilled anything, but what about the other people who might drive your car -- like parking lot attendants, valet parkers, car wash attendants, and yes, even mechanics! Think about how often you turn the car over to someone else.
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2011, 05:53 PM
chelseabee chelseabee is offline
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That's very true! I'm still working with a private BMW mechanic to resolve the issue, so hopefully some solution comes about that won't drain my wallet. Thanks for the tip.
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  #20  
Old 05-22-2011, 03:13 PM
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X3 Master Light switch

Has a similar problem on my wifes 06' X3. Only difference being radio would stay on but all interior and exterior lighting would cycle from dim to bright and back every 3 or 4 minutes. Brought vehicle to dealer and after several days of diagnostic work they called back to tell me they replaced master light switch. Since then, everything back to normal! Covered by CPO warranty though! Good luck to you!
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  #21  
Old 05-22-2011, 06:10 PM
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Sexipink, if not resolved yet, try an independent mechanic who works on BMWs. Probably 1/2 the price. Since you are out of warranty, you don't have to go to a dealer.

With all those systems affected, someone needs to look at a wiring schematic and see where common problems can occur. If not the battery, some other junction or perhaps a grounding issue.
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  #22  
Old 05-22-2011, 06:17 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Sounds like they think a bottle of something was in the glove box and leaked over the fuse box and relays.

Possible I suppose, but I am doubtful that most soft drinks, etc. would cause such problems.

If things need cleaning up anyway, an auto electric shop may have a spray can of something to do a safe and effective cleanup.

They could also do a (free?) load test on your battery, but if you haven't noticed it starting slugglishly over the last 2 months, I doubt that it is the root cause.
Get a can of "Electro-Wash" by Chemtronics. We use it when jocks (short for DJ's) spill soda on equipment. Disconnect the battery and wait 10-15 minutes (very improtant you wait the time as equipment can "hold" onto power for some time). If you cant find this, get 97% pure isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) make sure it is at least 93% or higher if 97% is not available.

Soda and coffee are probably one of the most deadly things to electronics and can cause permanent damage to electrics as it will slowly eat through anything. This can take months to occur but IT WILL OCCUR if something was spilled. So they are dead on in presuming this caused the problem. They probably should have checked the battery as well, but it was a good diagnoses if they found residue from a beverage and depending on how much. This could have put excessive wear on the battery as it strained to deal with impedance and shorting issues.

If this is the fuse relay area. Remove the fuses using a pair of needle nose pliers or the appropriate tool and remove them to clean affected area. And then let dry.

Personally I would replace the wiring harness and components effected as they could short out if not properly cleaned.

I usually think BMW mechanics are full of malarky and make things up as they go if not in book A under paragraph B, but this one depending on amount spilled is a good possability.

ps Uncle J is right. That is why I pointed out the time frame. The previous owner could have done this a month before you bought it and are only finding out now.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 05-22-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:47 PM
alpha1 alpha1 is offline
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Hi

I'm a new member to this forum but have been an ardent follower since I got my first car ('m now on my fourth BMW, a 2004 X3). This car has been the epitome of reliability until recently when the symptoms described by Sexipink happened on it. I know that this is an old thread but has anyone managed to determine what the cause of such an affliction might be and how it was actually successfully addressed?

Last edited by alpha1; 12-20-2012 at 12:20 AM.
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  #24  
Old 12-21-2012, 09:41 AM
alpha1 alpha1 is offline
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Unhappy

After six days with my car, the BMW stealership misdiagnosed the problem by guessing that it was the multifunction steering switch and airbag console that had gone amiss. After purchasing these parts at great cost, it turns out they were as good as new yet the problem remained unsolved. I took it to a mechanic who works under a shed, and in one hour, he found out and rectified the issue.

Last edited by alpha1; 12-21-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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  #25  
Old 12-22-2012, 07:57 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
After six days with my car, the BMW stealership misdiagnosed the problem by guessing that it was the multifunction steering switch and airbag console that had gone amiss. After purchasing these parts at great cost, it turns out they were as good as new yet the problem remained unsolved. I took it to a mechanic who works under a shed, and in one hour, he found out and rectified the issue.
Sounds like he actually did trouble shooting and the dealer assumed it was a certain problem. In the US we stay away from "Assuming" things as the saying goes it "Makes an ass of u and me".

Not meant to be an insult to you, but the dealer.
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