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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 12-31-2015, 12:56 PM
Antny215 Antny215 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X5
Will not Start

Recently got the Red Battery light in my wife's 2006 BMW X5 3.0. Was flickering at first and went steady as I pulled into the garage. Turned the car off and when I tried restarting it took a few tries to start. At first it just clicked once and nothing. Then it started to crank but wouldn't crank over. I went online to try and see what troubleshooting I could do (new to BMW's). I took the battery to AutoZone where it checked bad and bought a replacement. After installing it, it did the same thing. The next day I went back to work on trying to figure it out. Checked the voltage on the battery and it was at 12.4. At the first attempt, the car started. Checked the voltage to see if the alternator was charging and sure enough it was at 14.3-14.5, but along with that, the red battery light was still on. Turned off the car and checked to see if the battery was charging and it did at 12.65. Went back to start the car again and now back to the first issue of it not starting. I'm losing my mind here. I work on F-16s and F-15E's in the Air Force and have a better understanding than this car. Everything is telling me its the starter, but before I get to that, is there anything that I am missing before I start throwing parts at it. Any info will be great.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2015, 02:19 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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With BMWs, when the battery warning light comes on...many misunderstand this light and assume that the battery is the culprit. But if you read the owners manual...the battery warning light comes on when the alternator/charging system is not charging the battery...thus the battery is the VICTIM when you see the warning light come on...not the CULPRIT.

As you probably know...if the alternator is not up to snuff...the battery has to keep everything going...and if this occurs over a long enough period...it can deeply discharge the battery. When the battery goes through multiple deep discharges...it can permanently damage the battery (it never fully recovers).

Although you checked the alternator...if you have unlocked the cluster...you can run TEST 9 while driving around (if you can get the vehicle to keep running)...and see if while driving around the alternator's voltage drops.

TEST 9 with show the battery voltage when the ignition is in position 1 & 2...and the alternator charging system when the engine is running. Or if you have diagnostic equipment that can read this info on the fly...that's even better.

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 12-31-2015 at 02:24 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2015, 02:56 PM
Antny215 Antny215 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X5
Would I have to jump start it to see if the alternator is the issue? As of right now it is not starting. Once I get it started, I'll drive around the neighborhood so I won't risk being broken down far from the house. And follow what you said. Thanks for the quick response.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2015, 03:16 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antny215 View Post
Would I have to jump start it to see if the alternator is the issue? As of right now it is not starting. Once I get it started, I'll drive around the neighborhood so I won't risk being broken down far from the house. And follow what you said. Thanks for the quick response.
You can give that a try...I recommend using the terminals in the engine bay. Give it a few minutes before attempting to start in case the vehicle's battery has been damaged & is not holding a charge long enough to start the engine.


__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 12-31-2015 at 03:18 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2015, 03:25 PM
Antny215 Antny215 is offline
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My wife told me, she heard a loud squealing sound when she started it in the morning leading up to this. Would that be another indicator of the bearings going out in the alternator.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2015, 04:16 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Could be...or a slipping belt or failing belt tensioner...which both could go back and forth on slipping/not providing tension..vs not sipping & providing tension to give a momentary reading of 13 volt or more.
__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2016, 01:00 AM
torontox5 torontox5 is offline
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Will not Start

As you mentioned initially the voltages were within the limits. Soon after your attempt to restart and failed is more likely it's not the battery. A bad starter should not give charge fault indication unless it is somewhat short circuited even when you are not attempting to start. Turn on the head lights, blower all possible light and horn. If this is ok you are certain it's not the battery or the charging system. Turn on the interior lights and try to start. If the light get dimmed even without engine turning over it's a short circuit. If light remained the same its an open circuit issue.

My calculated guess is the starter or the starter main power cable insulation shaved and touching a ground or lose connection at starter creating voltage spikes that you see on the dash as charging error.

If not could this be a programme or a module issue. Someone like QSilver7 who's knowledgeable can help you. Good luck and hope you will resolve this frustrating issue.

Last edited by torontox5; 01-01-2016 at 01:03 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2016, 11:14 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 335i, 2004 X5 4.4L
had similar problem - neglected small oil leak from timing chain cover - which unfortunately was dripping on alternator - shut it and shorted battery.
After replacing both (plus timing chain covers gasket - all ~$3500 at dealers since it failed on the road) everything went back to normal.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2016, 08:37 AM
NY_SXR700 NY_SXR700 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 E53 X5 4.4i
I had the same issues. I thought my engine locked up. Batt lamp flashing (also had the big squeal a few miles before it locked up the engine) .... Turned out to be the Alternator froze up and in turn locked up the works. Pop off your alternator belt and I bet you can't turn your alternator pulley.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2016, 02:47 PM
Antny215 Antny215 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X5
Starter and alternator checked good. The warning lights all cleared but still having issues cranking. Checked fuses and no defect and now I'm getting the "key in ignition lock" message. Would ignition switch or wiring from ignition to starter to alternator give out the battery light to begin with. I thought I was narrowing it down, but now I'm going in a different direction.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2016, 12:18 AM
torontox5 torontox5 is offline
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Think you are in right direction narrowing it down. If you can get INPA you can check function of key switch. Possible intermittent issues
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