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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:16 AM
zoomsk zoomsk is offline
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Mein Auto: E38 750iL
Unhappy 98 750iL - Something on fuse 69 is draining battery (long read)

Dear all, I tend to lurk this forum from time to time, but decided to join just now because I really need some help with a problem I have. This has been going on for over a year now, I made many attempts to fix it, yet to no avail. This will be a long rant, so gather round and listen.

The problem: Occasionaly, something drains my second battery completely. I then can only unlock my car manually with a key, start the engine (from first battery) and wait until the alarm goes off.

By doing countless measures with clamp current meter, I am 95% sure it is some device on fuse 69 in the trunk. Fuse 69 powers multimedia devices such as radio, navigation, CD changer, onboard monitor, etc.

I made an observation that sometimes when the car goes to sleep (= the orange dot near A/T stick turns off), there is up to 2 A current draw from the battery, when in fact there should be <50 mA if I remember correctly.

What I tried until now?
I tried to drive with fuse 69 disconnected for several months and the problem didn't manifest during that time. This makes me pretty confident, that it is something on this fuse that is causing this.

After I tried various combinations of devices to pinpoint the faulty one. I did this over the span of several months, so I don't remember everything correctly.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was driving only with DSP amp, onboard screen and the large videomodule connected. Things seemed fine. Then I connected CD changer and the battery drain problem manifested a few days ago. However, I was driving around with the CD changer for several weeks, so I am not entirely sure it is causing this.

Let's see which devices are probably not causing this:
Onboard monitor - Why? Because I was using it for months and the problem never came back. Also, I have two - the old original 4:3 and a new from eBay 16:9 - and I tried to swap them around, so it is unlikely that both would be bad.
Navigation computer - This was my main suspect, but since the problem came back a few days ago and I had navi comp removed, it must be something else. Also, I have two navigation computers - the old original Mk II and the newer Mk IV from eBay. I did swap them around too to no avail.
External GPS module for Mk II - Why? I disconnected it from power a long time ago as it is no longer used.

I have spent countless of hours searching the internet, studying electrical wiring, etc. Some say this might also be caused by a thermal sensor near blower motor in the interior. I don't think this is my case here.

So that's it. I don't know what else to try. Did anyone encountered a problem like this or am I the only one?


Sub-problem 2: This is my second question to a different problem, but I am mentioning it because it might be relevant.

I experience an intermittent audio problem - it goes silent. I think this happens randomly. At first I thought it is the CD player problem with buffering or something, but this also happens on to radio too. I can "fix" it by pushing the bottom left button and pushing it again (thus disabling and enabling audio). This will somehow restart it.

As I have read this topic, it might be caused by the nav unit being bad. But my navigation unit is disconnected. Could this be caused really by this and once I connect it back it will go away?

Thanks for the help, if any. I look forward to some ideas how to fix this once and for good.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:24 PM
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joyism5 joyism5 is offline
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Read thread but especially post # 24 : http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...263&highlight=

You should find a BMW specialist (not always a dealer) to scan your car and tell you the real problem. But, your symptoms ( Quote : I experience an intermittent audio problem - it goes silent) indicates that your amp is going "south".
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Last edited by joyism5; 09-17-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2011, 02:03 PM
Haco Haco is offline
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Have same problem!

Hey, I have exactly the same problem... for some years now with my 99 750iL E38...

We have replaced many components but still not found the problem. It appears from the records at BMW that my car had electronic problems already after About 16000 km. The car has even been for several months with the main dealer in the Netherlands. Even they could not find the problem. In fact, the second battery did not drain while it was parked with them. Only three days after picking up the car the problems were back...

Without any obvious cause the second battery is drained at irregular occassions. This also causes the alarm to go off (often during night hours...) which completes the drainage within a few hours.

With interest i noted that you traced it to a consumer on fuse 69. Did you already find which consumer?

Hope to hear!
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2011, 05:13 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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I too have been through this, ever since buying the car. During this time it was in to the dealers under warranty for the current drain check. This resulted in the telephone module, the battery switch, a/c panel, ignition switch all being replaced although not at the same time. I have taken now to keeping a smart charger connected to the car when parked up, to avoid deep cycling the systems battery.

I have also been through nav change, monitor change and Tv module change and the problem lingers. There's really only the radio, dsp left now!

I do still seem to have a problem if the boot lock is left in the horizontal thiefproof position when away from home, as this is just about guaranteed to set the alarm off in the middle of the night

Otherwise, it is now intermittent as though something does not go to sleep every so often.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2011, 11:42 PM
Haco Haco is offline
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Thanks, yes my impression is also that it is either the radio or the amp or both...

I will disconnect both now and see what happens.

Also found a problem on the stand heater. It appears that it starts automatically when the temp drops. It also drains the battery and most often during the night and we all know what that means... The whole street is woken up by the alarm!
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2011, 02:37 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Have you checked 'Auxiliary ventilation' ? If someone has set times, then it will come on whenever, and every day at the same time too....
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2011, 04:28 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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Yep, checked that as well. No time settings made...

It appears temperature related.

Is the stand heater also controlled through fuse 69 somewhere?
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2011, 06:38 AM
zoomsk zoomsk is offline
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Mein Auto: E38 750iL
Hello, I am sorry for my late reply, I was on vacation and returned just now. No, I did not find out what is wrong yet (because of the vacation) and I plan to go an independent service center and if not successful then authorized BMW dealer.

The problem is I want to probably get rid of this car so I don't want to invest gazillions of money now, but I will certainly give it a try.

As for your question how did I track it to fuse 69: When I was searching for the component, I tried to disconnect several modules of which many are located in the trunk (CD player, navi unit, video module, etc.) and they share a common fuse 69. So in the end, I just yanked it out and drove for 2 or 3 months without the fuse (and with no navigation or music in the car). During that time, my battery did not drain once.

Now fast forward to my vacation. I have the fuse back in with the following components: DSP amp, navi MkIV, 16:9 display, video module. When I returned (~12 days), the battery was flat again. So it must be something of these units.

For your technical pleasure, select which car you have here and if it is non-USA left-hand drive model, then the wiring scheme of fuse 69 is here (it is a SVG, so you can zoom in with mouse wheel and move the scheme around).

As you can see, F69 is for everything entertainment plus a K3 relay, which I already took out and checked that it is probably all right, cleaned its contacts and put it back.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:17 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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Aux heater that should be of course... Sorry
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2011, 12:44 PM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Sorry Haco, can't help you with the auxiliary heater-I think this is quite a rare item in the UK-if you know of a source please let me know!
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  #11  
Old 10-29-2011, 01:05 PM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Had a look at the wds-looks like Fuse 50 is the supply for aux heating
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2011, 01:21 PM
Haco Haco is offline
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Thanks guys. This gives me some amunition to fight!
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2011, 05:28 PM
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The dealership can do a check , with their software and will pin point the drain. Maybe is worth to pay an hour (I guess) labor at the dealership before changing parts by guessing. There is a thread around here (darkghost is the member who started) with a similar issue. The dealership, in his case found the problem to be the amplifier.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2011, 02:23 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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Aux heater disconnected. Problem remains. Must be the amp now

Will let you know once replaced!
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  #15  
Old 11-03-2011, 02:25 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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@joyism5: car has been at dealership for more than six months... They could not find problem...
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  #16  
Old 11-03-2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haco View Post
@joyism5: car has been at dealership for more than six months... They could not find problem...
Haco, I feel really sorry for you.

I will take back the word dealership and replaced it with BMW specialist (not always a dealer). I am trying to say that there is a soft that can test the modules separately, and doing this will pin point exactly the issue. Have a read at post #24 here http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...263&highlight=
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:17 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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Many thanks Joyism5! You are very right indeed. I had already read the other thread and wondered why my specialists could not fund the problem. I do have al BMW specialist working on the problem for quite some time now. I should have come to this forum earlier...

The strange thing is that this car had this problem since 16000km and even BMW Hamburg could not locate and properly solve the issue! This forum is invaluable!
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:48 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Well, we had worked out it was the amp or radio. I suspect that the radio doesn't always turn off when you turn off the ignition when the radio is on
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2011, 06:42 AM
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[B] I put 09/96-09/98.(sept 98 is a 99 year/model)

[I]Fuse 69 : 30A
CD changer
On Board Monitor(see also fuse 46)
Radio (see also fuse 46)
Route guidance system[
Fuse 46 : 5A
ON board monitor (see also fuse 69)
Radio (see also fuse 69)
Telephone (see also fuse 70)
Fuse 70 : 10 A
Telephone (see also fuse 46)/I]

Have you tried disconnecting fuse 70 to isolate the drain?

Do you know exactly if alarm goes off because of the battery or the battery id discharge by the alarm being off?

There is some info here...take your time and read it all :

INTERIOR LIGHTING MODULE (GENERAL MODULE): DESCRIPTION & OPERATION (99 YEAR MODEL)

As with previous systems the control of the interior lights is a function of the general
module(GM III). New features of the interior lighting circuit are :

-The addition of warning lights in the edge of the doors. These red lights are
controlled by each door contact and illuminate when the doors are opened.

-The design of the interior light switch has changed. It is now a push button switch.
Pushing the button will carry out the opposite command of the current status of the
lights (i.e.: If the interior lights are currently on, pushing the button will switch the
lights off.`)

-If the interior lights are switched ON by the button with the ignition on, the
interior lights will remain on until they are switched of by the button.

-If the interior lights are switched ON when the ignition is switched off, the
lights wil remain on for 16 mmutes.


Locking the vehicle from the outside will immediately switch off the interior
lights.

-Pressing the interior light button for longer than three seconds will switch the
lights to continuous off. This feature is intended for workshop use. Pressing the
button again will return the lights to the normal operational status.


Illuminated Transmssion Shift Indicator

The E38 uses a microprocessor for displaying the shifter position in the center console.
The processor receives shift position signals from a console mounted range switch. The
processor illuminates the LED coresponding to the position of the range selector.
The LED will remain on after KL 15 is turned OFF`and stay on until ZKE goes into the sleep
mode.

Since the LED is supplied power by the consumer cut out function it IS part of part of the
interior lighting circuit. If the LED fails to illuminate always consider the consumer cutout
function of the GM III.
Interior Lighting Functional Conditions :

The ON/OFF conditions for the interior lights in the automatic mode are as follows:
ON conditions :

-DOOR OPEN
-SWITCHING OFF IGNITION AFTER LIGHTS HAVE BEEN SWITCHED OFF
-VIA KEY REMOTE CONTROL
-VIA CRASH SENSOR

OFF CONDITIONS

-ALL DOORS CLOSED WITH IGNTTION ON
-ALL DOORS CLOSED WITH IGNITION OFF AFTER 20 SEC
-20 SEC AFTER SWITCHING OFF IGNTTION WTTH LIGHTS OFF
-8 SEC. AFTER REMOTE CONTROL ACTIVATION
-16 MINUTES WITH DOORS OPEN
-WHEN DOORS ARE LOCKED.


This is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin)
61 11 00
Woodcliff Lake, NJ
September 2000
Service Engineering

SUBJECT
General Module Replacement
MODEL
E38 (7 Series), E39 (5 Series)

SITUATION

In order to determine the reason for failures and to correct these failures all General
Modules returned to the WPRC are tested by the supplier. On a large proportion of
General Modules no fault can be found.

Modules were replaced on vehicles whitch fall within the range of Service Action # 248
(SIB 61 15 98 Service Action to Recode General Module) and which have a customer
complaint of "dead battery". Examination ofthe modules shows that they have not
been recoded.

Modules were also replaced on vehicles manufactured prior to the above Service
Action for a customer complaint of "dead battery", although the General Moddes on
these vehicles are not afected by the fault pattern described in the Service Action.

Many modules that were returned, had no customer complaint, and the Diagnostic
Reportf/Test Code whitch is an important source of informaton, is not provided.

To improve the information provided for faiure analysis and reduce the number of
unnecessary General Module replacements, the procedure described below must be
followed :

PROCEDURE:

On vehicles that are afected by the Service Action # 248 (vehicles produced 8/98 to
11/98), the General Module must be recoded if the customer complaint is for "dead
batterry".

Before replacing a General Module, diagnosis must be carried out using either DIS or
MODIC . For a customer complaint of dead battery refer to SIB 61 08 00

(Closed Circuit Current Measurement)

Before replacing the General Module ,the Test Code must be stored and the Diagnostic
Report printed out as follows:

1 Using DIS, or MoDIC select Diagnostic

2 Select any ZKE subsystem (for example Locking and Security Functions / Central
Locking system (ZKE) )

3 Select Test schedule

4 Select Service Functions / l Test code

5 Store the Test Code by pressing the R Store test code button

6 After completing the diagnosis ,print out the Diagnosis Report The stored Test.

Code will be printed out on the Diagnosis Report

WARRANTY INFORMATION

Copies of the Diagnosis Report must be attached to the part removed, and to the Repair
Order
The Diagnosis Report must then accompany the General Module when it is sent to the
WPRC
The Repair Order must always record the followrng relating to any General Module
replacement:
-The Customer Complaint

-The Cause

-The Correction

Parts replaced where no defect is found or where the applicable Diagnostic Report is
not provided with the part are subject to debit.
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  #20  
Old 11-05-2011, 06:57 AM
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joyism5 joyism5 is offline
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Since the battery drain implies so many modules, systems, You should isolate your drain down to a fuse or provide more info like when it drains, how fast, if both batteries are being charged the same...
A nice thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...967&highlight=
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  #21  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:46 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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Indeed, that is why we have now first taken fuse 69 out to be sure. However, I am now 99% sure it is the radio.

BTW I thought that radio and amp is one? No?
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  #22  
Old 11-05-2011, 02:13 PM
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joyism5 joyism5 is offline
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Nope. They are 2 units, but radio can't work whiteout amp.
Telephone module(fuse 70) could affect the drain under fuse 69 indirectly. Is like a domino effect.
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Last edited by joyism5; 11-05-2011 at 02:16 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2012, 11:10 AM
Haco Haco is offline
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Tuner replaced and all problems are history!

Thanks for all the help on this forum! Haco
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