Catastrophic electrical failure
2011 X3 28i, 33k miles: Your worst nightmare - you're in the mountains, it's pouring rain and you get a 'red' message telling you to pull over immediately as the battery is not being charged. You call BMW assist and they tell you they can't help you unless you can give them an ADDRESS - so you restart the car and make it to a town. Someone shows up who needs to look in the manual for your battery location (it's ok). Open the hood and see 'fur' all around the engine, clean off the alternator, turn the car back on and no messages. You continue with your trip and 20 miles later many messages begin to flash and the car finally shuts down as you're driving down the highway. ....To make a very long and tedious story short - I am now in my FOURTH WEEK of having the car at the dealer (it's under warranty), and after replacing the alternator belt (that was the 'fur'), AND the battery, AND the alternator, AND the FBE box - I am wondering when this will all stop. 2 dealers have been involved in this and neither of them can diagnose the problem. Even BMW 'regional' is now in the picture. The current understanding is that there's a 'parasitic draw' but they aren't sure where it's coming from. The 2nd dealer was ready to return the car to me with a new battery but the car told them there was an alternator failure as they were trying to install it - apparently their external diagnostics didn't tell them that.
...Question to the forum: Has BMW engineered a car that they themselves don't completely comprehend?
UPDATE- 10/14/2014 -- BMW service found another error and traced it to the water pump. Put the car on a lift (first time doing this as all other effort was through the top), pulled off the belly-pan and a dead squirrel fell out!. Found chewed wires, did the repair and messages have all stopped. ...Moral of the story, when you have many errors from different sources, do an exhaustive wire-trace. All in all, dealer handled everything with class and patience ...and the client didn't lose his cool and kept patient as well.
Last edited by Greenlight; 10-14-2014 at 02:36 PM.
Reason: New info has developed.