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E63 / E64 6 Series (2003 - 2013)
The E63/E64 BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 03-03-2013, 04:46 PM
1Known 1Known is offline
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HELP!! 645 increased emissions- car wont start?!?!

Hey Bimmerfest, First post, and I'm in a pretty odd situation.

History: I just did a road trip from Delaware to Cali in my 2004 645 (45k miles). Now, before the trip, my car would occasionally stutter before it started, but presented no issue after. Also, the dynamic drive malfunction would appear and disappear randomly.

Fast forward: After about 2500 miles, filling up with only 91, 92 and 93 gas, my "gas cap needs to be tightened" light would appear, but always disappear. Then, while starting my car after a fill up, the car stuttered again, then boom- increased emissions- service engine soon light. At this point I'm in New Mexico heading toward Sacramento.

FF again: While driving through Cali, my window lights would randomly flicker on and off. And when this happened, almost on cue, the dynamic drive malfunction would appear. Increased emissions light never disappeared. The final straw? In Fresno, I pulled over because my idrive screen began to flicker. When I tried to start the car, it would attempt a quick crank, idrive would flicker out of control, then nothing. Eventually the battery died. I had to get it towed to the dealership (terrible look) Thursday, and they can't look at it til Monday. I'm very worried- after reading forums, I would only suspect an O2 sensor, thermostat, coil, and/or power steering fluid to be the issue. However, I'm now in Sacramento waiting to hear the dealer's "professional opinion". Very worried about overpriced repairs. What do you guys think the problem is?? Please help. What should I do?
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2013, 05:34 PM
HerbP HerbP is online now
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Your battery is toast. The dealer will probably hit you up for 500 + on the replacement. Check your records to see when it was installed, but most likely a bad cell in the battery.

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  #3  
Old 03-03-2013, 05:48 PM
1Known 1Known is offline
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Will do. Do you think that would solve the random lights and emissions issue? The stutter start as well?
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2013, 06:31 PM
daytona745 daytona745 is offline
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I agree on the dead battery. Same thing happened to me.

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  #5  
Old 03-03-2013, 07:01 PM
HerbP HerbP is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Known View Post
Will do. Do you think that would solve the random lights and emissions issue? The stutter start as well?
I would bet money on it! Search battery problems on the forum, & read their long list of problems.
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2013, 04:59 AM
bmwoem1 bmwoem1 is offline
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I'm a bmw tech, I may be able to help. It sounds like your alternator failed. The dealer should pull faults to verify this. Your battery is probably damaged due to the alternator failing. Don't leave the dealer without them checking the alternator! You don't wanna get stuck again further down the road.
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2013, 12:50 PM
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Thank you so much. I'm on my way to the dealer now- will update..
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2013, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwoem1 View Post
I'm a bmw tech, I may be able to help.
I just got back from the dealership. New battery- everything looked fine. Diagnostic came clean after replacement. Nothing with the alternator showed(made sure, i watches the process). 3 hours driving north, I started my car, and another hesitation start smh. 20 minutes in the drive, I switched lanes, and as soon as my car ran over the little "lane lights", my cd skipped, dynamic drive malfunction came up, and my window lights flickered once. What the hell is going on??
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2013, 10:09 PM
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Nitrogen Nitrogen is offline
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Looks as if you have a bad ground or connection somewhere! Or a bad alternator. Where are you now I am not far from Sac. I maybe able to help you.
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2013, 10:50 PM
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Looks as if you have a bad ground or connection somewhere! Or a bad alternator. Where are you now I am not far from Sac. I maybe able to help you.
Awesome! I'm at Beale AFB, about an hour northeast of Sac (Yuba City). What's the best way to get in touch with you? Still new to the forum.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2013, 03:58 AM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
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Given that so many items skipped would suggest a common power point/ ground. Given the battery has been changed means they will have tightened those bolts so go to the ground to the battery, which is under the mat and check, then go to the main fuse/relay distribution points and check the main connectors for a starter!!!!! should not take long, press in all the fuses and relays in case one is loose!!!!
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Last edited by 645/333; 03-05-2013 at 04:02 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:08 AM
bmwoem1 bmwoem1 is offline
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It still sounds like an alternator. This exact issue is frequently misdiagnosed because these alternators usually fail once they get hot enough. If they are checked once its cooled down, it will pass all the tests. Your dealer should have checked for a specific set of faults.... Like BSD communication error to the alternator, over/under voltage at the ARS and EGS vs RPM (these 2 are the most sensitive to voltage issues).
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2013, 11:16 AM
1Known 1Known is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwoem1 View Post
It still sounds like an alternator. This exact issue is frequently misdiagnosed because these alternators usually fail once they get hot enough. If they are checked once its cooled down, it will pass all the tests. Your dealer should have checked for a specific set of faults.... Like BSD communication error to the alternator, over/under voltage at the ARS and EGS vs RPM (these 2 are the most sensitive to voltage issues).
I see. Sacramento is about an hour away from me. Perhaps if I set the diagnostic up there upon arrival, I can try to capture this possibility.. will update accordingly.

@645/333 All my fuses are snug, didnt feel anything loose.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:48 PM
HerbP HerbP is online now
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It's starting like you could have an alternator or regulator starting to fail. If you took it to a BMW dealership, they should have run the diagnostics regardless. It is possible that the battery was not charged, prior to installation. If you have a multimeter, check the voltage of the battery while the car is off, then on. If the alternator is charging, you should see a difference.

Good Luck!
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2013, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
It's starting like you could have an alternator or regulator starting to fail. If you took it to a BMW dealership, they should have run the diagnostics regardless. It is possible that the battery was not charged, prior to installation. If you have a multimeter, check the voltage of the battery while the car is off, then on. If the alternator is charging, you should see a difference.

Good Luck!
Here's an interesting twist. I remember reading many instances where the power steering fluid caused the dynamic drive error. This morning, I started my car and immediately an error came up saying "loss of power steering fluid". I am taking my car to the dealership today to top it off, and get a diagnostic while the car is warm. Is it possible that this was the culprit the whole time? Causing the flickering light as well?
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  #16  
Old 03-06-2013, 10:00 AM
HerbP HerbP is online now
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Electrical problems can drive these cars crazy! The diagnostics should help. While they are running your diagnostics, have them to make sure your battery was registered.


Good Luck!
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  #17  
Old 03-06-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
Electrical problems can drive these cars crazy! The diagnostics should help. While they are running your diagnostics, have them to make sure your battery was registered.


Good Luck!
Saw your comment after the visit. Don't hate me for this haha, but I skipped the diagnostic. They wanted $175 for it. I just wanted to see how the car would operate after adding fluid. My steering fluid was definitely low, so they topped it off. Riding back home, 20 minutes in, blasting my music, boom. Dynamic drive malfunction. The odd thing afterwards.. I had to run errands all day. Drove around for another 2 hours... no errors.. no flickering.. CD didnt even skip. I'm going to monitor this for a couple days. If I see it one more time, I'll go ahead and go through with the diag and registration question (I just assumed the BMW in Fresno would have registered it already). Thanks for all your help thus far HerbP- I see why your name is respected here.
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  #18  
Old 03-08-2013, 08:01 AM
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Good Luck!
Day 3 - still consistently driving- drove the car for a good 2 hours yesterday.. no malfunctions at all. Car starts up great.
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  #19  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bmwoem1 View Post
It still sounds like an alternator. This exact issue is frequently misdiagnosed because these alternators usually fail once they get hot enough. If they are checked once its cooled down, it will pass all the tests. Your dealer should have checked for a specific set of faults.... Like BSD communication error to the alternator, over/under voltage at the ARS and EGS vs RPM (these 2 are the most sensitive to voltage issues).
Day 5. Dynamic Drive warning came on once this weekend. Also, I had a random "engine overheating- turn off car immediately" come up twice this weekend on the idrive while driving in traffic. My oil gauge spiked from 200 to 320 degress.F in under a second! I know this has to be a sensor issue, but man... this is all really annoying.

It seems like I'm going to have to bite the bullet and kill another $175 for a diag. The last one came up clean, so I may just replace the alternator with high hopes. Is this what you guys would recommend?
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  #20  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:43 PM
bmwoem1 bmwoem1 is offline
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If you could post all of the BMW faults codes stored, that would help in diagnosing. The alternator doesn't usually cause the overheating check control. That is most likely your electric fan failing (very common) or you may have a coolant leak
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  #21  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:55 PM
HerbP HerbP is online now
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If your cooling fan is failing, the engine will run hot at stop signs or lights. To verify this, simply get to check & see if the fan is running. If the fan is not, your cooling fan is probably shot. The fan failure usually shows up in warmer weather. If you continue to run the engine hot, your expansion tank will most likely fail. The cooling fan can be purchased from Amazon, or your local O'Reillly's with lifetime warranty. You can negotiate your prices with your local BMW. They don't like to do this, but some money is better than no money!

Check out your fan!
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  #22  
Old 03-11-2013, 03:28 PM
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Ok- that makes sense. I'll check the fan and stay low for a few days, just going back and forth to work (3 minutes). Will update with diag codes asap
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  #23  
Old 03-11-2013, 07:43 PM
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Based on my observations, it usually take the engine 15 to 20 minutes to get up to operating temp. As you are traveling down the road, the cooling fan is not really needed. When at slow speeds or frequent stops, this is when the fan needs to work. When my fan failed, it always worked for around 20 minutes. After that, the fan stopped working when the engine got warm. There are actually 4 operating speeds on the fan. DIS or INPA can test each speed as part of the test cycle. The relay built into the electrical connector on the fan, usually fails.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:58 PM
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Awesome! I'm at Beale AFB, about an hour northeast of Sac (Yuba City). What's the best way to get in touch with you? Still new to the forum.
1known - sorry I just saw your message to me...Sorry I blew on that one.

I'll Private message you!!!!
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  #25  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:08 PM
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Awesome! I'm at Beale AFB, about an hour northeast of Sac (Yuba City). What's the best way to get in touch with you? Still new to the forum.


Small world. I used to be stationed at Beale AFB when I was in the Air Force. I have some INSANE stories of my times there.


Anyways......forget the diagnostics and buy an Alternator. I would bet money that it is the regulator that went bad (cost only $35), but if you are going to pony up $175 for a diagnostic you might as well put that money to an alternator.

I had all the same issues and problems you had but I went the regulator route and my issues were solved. I also have an alternator sitting in the closet for when that finally decides to take a dump.

Easy check with a multimeter. At idle the alternator should be putting out 13.5 to 13.7 volts. It should be around 14.3V when you rev it.

If it is low at idle and above idle it's a bad alternator. If it's low at idle but raises with the revs it's a bad regulator.
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