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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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  #1  
Old 09-08-2010, 02:19 PM
BR328 BR328 is offline
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DEF Problems

My 2010 X5d has been to the dealer 3 times for Urea problems... the first two visits to the dealer were for low DEF at 3-4K miles and then again at 7-8K. The most recent one is DEF leaking and white powder stuff caked under the car - it's at the dealer right now.

-- First visit they did a software update that was supposed to solve the problem and they topped off the active tank.
-- Second visit, they found that the fail over to the passive tank was not triggering and supposedly magically fixed it and topped off the active tank.
-- Waiting on the 3rd diagnosis.

Should I initiate some sort of complaint thread to BMWNA? We did tell dealer this time that we're not happy and are looking at "options" since in i believe they have 4 chances before lemon law invocation. I do believe the dealer is doing the best they can.

Maybe Id have better luck taking it to the urologist instead
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:17 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Your symptoms are consistent with DEF NOT being transferred from the larger passive tank to the active tank. IOW you have been running on just the contents of the active tank which ran low after each refill by your dealer.

It could be...
1 - the passive tank has never been filled.
2 - the plumbing between the passive and active tanks is not working correctly.
3 - some combination of 1&2.

Since you describe leaking DEF, I'd bet that the problem is the plumbing between the passive and active tanks. FWIW there have been a few reports of unconnected/crimped DEF tubing, etc. during assembly.

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 09-08-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2010, 06:09 AM
BR328 BR328 is offline
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Point 2 sounds about right as they checked the passive tank in the first two visits. They called last night and said the regional tech is recommending adding some sort of additional component to aid in the transfer and leaking of the fluid. Since it was a VM i did not get any real details, I'll know more today. It appears to be some sort of work around.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2010, 09:17 AM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BR328 View Post
Point 2 sounds about right as they checked the passive tank in the first two visits. They called last night and said the regional tech is recommending adding some sort of additional component to aid in the transfer and leaking of the fluid. Since it was a VM i did not get any real details, I'll know more today. It appears to be some sort of work around.
I would NOT be OK with this.

Perhaps it is you SA talking "baby-car-talk" with you, and not really fully explaining it...perhaps because you do not come across as a 'tech type', or the CA just isn't good an dialing up tech content....but if there are thousands of X5 diesels with working urea systems, I'd demand one just like all the others. No 'non-standard' parts, or 'helper components'


They are clearly trying to get this right to avoid a lemon, but the problem is your tech may not be that good and hence BMWNA's regional rep can only work 'through' his eyes/hands...

You can insist on a person inspection by the regional rep AND a meeting between you and them. State that you want this or else it will likely turn into a lemon situation which you want to avoid (if you do)

GL

A
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2010, 02:53 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Originally Posted by ard View Post
I would NOT be OK with this.

Perhaps it is you SA talking "baby-car-talk" with you, and not really fully explaining it...perhaps because you do not come across as a 'tech type', or the CA just isn't good an dialing up tech content....but if there are thousands of X5 diesels with working urea systems, I'd demand one just like all the others. No 'non-standard' parts, or 'helper components'....
I agree. The 'leak' indicates that the tank(s) or the plumbing is either broken or at the very least not correctly attached. An "additional component to aid in the transfer and leaking of the fluid" seems an unlikely solution to the symptoms described by the OP. However, checking/fixing all connections and fixing/replacing the standard components that correctly transfer DEF between the tanks on thousands of other 35Ds, might work

Funf Dreisig
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2010, 07:20 AM
BR328 BR328 is offline
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Excellent points guys, I'm in your debt. Here's the latest update.

- Apparently there is a vent attached to the urea tank that lets off excess vapor, they say that due to a malfunction in the active tank the urea was being forced out of this vent (hence the source of the leak)

- So they nixed the additional component idea and are replacing the active tank module

- I've asked for an inspection but the regional tech will not be available so it will be with the SA, his manager and shop foreman

- Car is not expected to be ready until next week as theyre going to test it for a few days

I gotta say Im still a bit skeptical, since the first two times it seemed that the urea system was not failing over to the passive tank to be refilled when the active tank was empty.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2010, 08:29 AM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BR328 View Post
...
- Apparently there is a vent attached to the urea tank that lets off excess vapor, they say that due to a malfunction in the active tank the urea was being forced out of this vent (hence the source of the leak)...
The active tank is in the right front fender between the bumper and the wheel. So if the vent is part of the active tank, any leakage should have been outside of the engine compartment. Does this fit where you saw the white stuff?

Funf Dreisig
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2010, 10:40 AM
BR328 BR328 is offline
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Yep, it was all under the font passenger side bumper/tire area. Right where the active tank is.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2010, 11:38 AM
BR328 BR328 is offline
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Update...

I went to the dealership today and did a walk through with the foreman, mechanic and SA. It was pretty cool - went out on the shop floor and they lifted the car so we could see what was done.

They completely replaced the active tank unit reasoning that the sensor in the active tank was defective and requesting more DEF from the passive tank than it needed. This caused a overflow which leaked out of the relief valve. They said that the UREA that was covering half the wheel well was water soluble and easily rinsed out.

Since I'm not in a hurry to get it back, we agreed to do some further testing especially since the first two times it was in for a faulty DEF transfer pump. They will be focusing on testing the failover to the passive tank when the active tank is empty. Apparently, BMWNA has a lengthily complicated procedure test for this.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2010, 09:53 AM
Havelcek Havelcek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BR328 View Post
Update...

...Apparently, BMWNA has a lengthily complicated procedure test for this.
OSHA considers urea spills to be hazardous for a number of medical reasons, so I'm not surprised that they are careful about that.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2010, 10:47 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Originally Posted by Havelcek View Post
OSHA considers urea spills to be hazardous for a number of medical reasons, so I'm not surprised that they are careful about that.
Which brings up a question I've been meaning to ask: is the urea toxic to pets? I sure don't want to kill one of my dogs (or have it go into renal failure, etc.) if it laps up some urea crystals off the garage floor.

Anyone know?
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2010, 11:12 AM
Havelcek Havelcek is offline
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No its not, in fact its the main ingredient in a lot of driveway ice melting chemicals. Its more of a skin and nose irritant, like ammonia.

edit:

Here's an excerpt from an ASPCA bulletin on ice melting products in general. Its more dangerous for cows than cats & dogs based on this, but I have no idea what the ratio of active ingredient is. Moral of the story is that you should try to clean it up if you can, but I'd be a lot more worried about your pet licking antifreeze:

Urea
Ruminants and large bowel fermenters are most susceptible
to urea toxicosis from ingestion of urea ice melts.1 The
microflora in these animals creates an environment in which
urea is hydrolyzed and releases carbon dioxide and ammonia.
1 Monogastric animals lack the intestinal flora required
to establish an environment conducive to urea toxicosis.
Monogastric animals may develop such clinical signs
as hypersalivation, gastroenteritis, abdominal pain, and
possibly increased blood ammonia concentrations1; less
commonly, methemoglobinemia, weakness, and tremors
may occur.1 Treatment includes inducing emesis, electrolyte
monitoring, and symptomatic and supportive care
as needed.1

http://www.aspcapro.org/mydocuments/zg-vettech_0202.pdf

Last edited by Havelcek; 09-17-2010 at 11:17 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2010, 01:28 PM
Sea Doom Sea Doom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havelcek View Post
I have no idea what the ratio of active ingredient is.
DEF = 32.5% urea solution in de-ionized water.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2010, 02:57 PM
spyderdoc spyderdoc is offline
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I'd worry more about ethylene glycol containing products, such as antifreeze and some of the non-freezing windshield cleaners......A few teaspoons can be fatal to animals and humans as well. It metabolizes in the liver by the same enzyme pathway as alcohol, and one of the by-products are calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals basically shred the kidneys from the inside. You die from acute renal failure. Interestingly, the antidote is alcohol (and A LOT OF IT), which will then saturate the metabolic pathway and prevent the ethylene glycol from metabolizing....

We have plenty of urea in our system already (BUN or blood urea nitrogen) as a part of our normal metabolic activity.....So drinking this DEF stuff will basically be like drinking urine. I don't figure it would hurt you in small amounts.....
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