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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 10-18-2013, 07:17 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Question Battery, computer, or...??

2008 X5 3.0si, 55000 miles, battery is original and over 5 years old.

No problems up to now and no warning lights either. About 3 weeks ago I started getting a chime and the PARK indicator would light up yellow with a yellow brake symbol in the small display between the gauges whenever I opened a door - no explanation for these lights in the manual. Then it starts displaying about every error possible and then, just to be really entertaining, it might start the wipers. After sitting for a few days while I was off, it starting acting normal again. Temps maybe slightly warmer. After a week, it starting acting up again. I had BMW pull error codes, none found, and check the battery which they said was good. Their answer was the usual, that I drive it too little. They also charged the battery and recommended I get a charger. I did and I've been charging it overnight for the past two nights with no improvement. The voltage shows 12.6 at completion of charging. The battery seems strong and the engine always starts quickly once it lets me press the button.

I've found that removing the key after it mentions restraint system failure and then reinserting it produces no errors and lets me quickly start the vehicle without waiting for it to pronounce everything broken. It then drives normally until the next time I shut it off. I also just discovered that if I just keep pressing the start button at 1 second intervals, that it starts on the third try with no errors.

Today during lunch after letting it sit for three hours, I checked the voltage across the jump points and measured 12.24. For comparison I measured my colleague's 2008 X3 and got the same. I then started the engine and the voltage dropped to 12.02. After about 1 minute, the alternator kicked in and slowly ramped the voltage up to 14.74 and then stabilized for the next 3 to 4 minutes I left it idling. I then tried to show my colleague how the chimes and the parking brake lights come on when I open a door, but it didn't happen. The other error cycle did occur.

It sounds similar to what I've read in other threads but no one mentioned the errors clearing after a "reboot" so I'm concerned it could be the computer, too. Particularly due to the fact that no errors were set.

I apologize for the long dissertation but I know the details help the troubleshooting. Thanks.

Last edited by HT417; 10-18-2013 at 08:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2013, 08:32 AM
ard ard is offline
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You already know the answer, right?

Replace BOTH the battery and the computer, right?

WRONG.

Replace the battery, go from there.

A
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2013, 10:06 AM
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Oh,
ein Pfaelzer... Ich vermiss den Zwiebelkuchen und neuen Wein!
Aber ich stimme Ard zu: neue Batterie ist noetig.
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2013, 10:27 AM
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ARD - they probably wouldn't even say that without my suggesting first. As far as they're concerned, the battery's good and life is good. Can't believe they passed up an opportunity to sell me a battery but I've also got to respect that they didn't try to bleed me either. As I thought about it afterwards, it must not have occurred to the mechanic that something was wrong as he got all of the errors trying to drive my car in to the bay. As always, I appreciate your feedback and the battery was where I was planning to start. It seems I've probably gotten more life out of it than many have.

TinyRK - Danke auch fuer deine meinung. Nur den Zwiebelkuchen und Federweisse? Aber du hast doch recht, die beiden schmecken echt Gut zusammen!
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2013, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by HT417 View Post

TinyRK - Danke auch fuer deine meinung. Nur den Zwiebelkuchen und Federweisse? Aber du hast doch recht, die beiden schmecken echt Gut zusammen!
Komme urspruenglich aus Karlsruhe... Um diese Jahreszeit waren wir immer druewe in de Palz!
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2013, 12:03 PM
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My X5 went back to the dealership on Friday and they've diagnosed a bad "interface" box. It's looking to cost around 1000 euros for diagnostics, box, and labor but they're going to try and get me some goodwill relief. There's no box in stock so they're going to have it shipped from a dealer in Strasbourg. I should get it back on Wednesday and I'll post back about what "interface" box it was.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2013, 02:10 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Battery, computer, or...??

Humm. These cars funny things when the battery is starting to go. I have read plenty of threads where a BMW was acting possessed resulting in all kinds of expensive parts being thrown at the problem, only to have a new battery solve the issue in the end.
It sounds like your dealer is fairly sure of what is causing the issue and you have trust in them. Hopefully yours is the exception. please post back post repair to let us know the outcome.

Cheers!


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  #8  
Old 10-26-2013, 05:26 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT417 View Post
My X5 went back to the dealership on Friday and they've diagnosed a bad "interface" box. It's looking to cost around 1000 euros for diagnostics, box, and labor but they're going to try and get me some goodwill relief. There's no box in stock so they're going to have it shipped from a dealer in Strasbourg. I should get it back on Wednesday and I'll post back about what "interface" box it was.

I think you are going to be led down the garden path... how DID they diagnose this bad box?

Before spending all this money, you should demand a clear WRITTEN explanation- and a written guartantee if the issue isnt fixed they refund the 1000 euros for the box. (never)

The way the bad battery/alternator 'fools' them is they they get odd, seemingly disparate errors as the voltage/current drops...causing them to chase after vapor: a bad module here, an interface box there...all based on reading tea leaves and these few errors.

Now, maybe they have solid evidence and I'm wrong...but as Fredo writes, this isnt the first time we are reading this sad story....

GL
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
Humm. These cars funny things when the battery is starting to go. I have read plenty of threads where a BMW was acting possessed resulting in all kinds of expensive parts being thrown at the problem, only to have a new battery solve the issue in the end.
It sounds like your dealer is fairly sure of what is causing the issue and you have trust in them. Hopefully yours is the exception. please post back post repair to let us know the outcome.

Cheers!


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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
I think you are going to be led down the garden path... how DID they diagnose this bad box?

Before spending all this money, you should demand a clear WRITTEN explanation- and a written guartantee if the issue isnt fixed they refund the 1000 euros for the box. (never)

The way the bad battery/alternator 'fools' them is they they get odd, seemingly disparate errors as the voltage/current drops...causing them to chase after vapor: a bad module here, an interface box there...all based on reading tea leaves and these few errors.

Now, maybe they have solid evidence and I'm wrong...but as Fredo writes, this isnt the first time we are reading this sad story....

GL
That was my concern too and, after reading as many threads as I could, I came to the same conclusion of it being the battery. However, I have on a work report that they tested the battery and it was good. Also, FWIW, it alway started the same and strong for more than a month now since first seeing the error. Would not a bad battery have completely failed in this period? At least from my experience, they do. Another thing that I think I failed to mention in the initial post is that I have the 7 passenger config with the self-leveling rear air suspension. I used to always notice the pump actuating for a split second after opening a door(starting the boot process) in the morning and then suddenly it stopped about the time this started occurring. Even jumping up and down on the side step and rocking the vehicle fails to get any reaction from the pump. I also read that AGMs are typically long lived when not otherwise adversely impacted by leaky sub-systems so it's not unreasonable to anticipate additional life from the battery. It also seems logical to assume that if voltage/current reserve were insufficient to properly boot the system at first attempt, then it should almost certainly be worse when I insert the key the second time. Maybe the second key insertion in such a short period of time initiates a system check bypass or fail-safe mode. Anyway, there's no problem after that. I will, however, be applying a high degree of scrutiny on the repair process once I get the bill.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2013, 07:28 AM
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OK, I picked it Wednesday and it's fixed. Now everybody's happy again except my wallet. It was the main electrical junction box that failed. The box wasn't that expensive, around 215 euros. The labor for troubleshooting, testing, installation, and programming was 3x that. No mention of the battery being bad but I'm sure I'll be dealing with that soon enough. Goodwill assistance was denied but I plan to submit a claim on my own. My colleague had luck with that and maybe I will too. However, I doubt BMW is going to pick up the whole tab. Very educational experience considering all the info I picked here and elsewhere about batteries.
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2013, 09:06 AM
ard ard is offline
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Part number??
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2013, 09:46 AM
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Part number??
They list it as 61359292706, Junctionbox Elektronik.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2013, 02:31 AM
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I wonder how something like that fails?
Overheating? Water? Would be nice to know...

Anyway,
thanks for reporting back.
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:55 AM
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Komme urspruenglich aus Karlsruhe... Um diese Jahreszeit waren wir immer druewe in de Palz!
Karlsruhe zu besuchen hatte ich nie einen chance gehabt aber sonst habe ich viel von Deutschland gesehen.

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I wonder how something like that fails?
Overheating? Water? Would be nice to know...

Anyway,
thanks for reporting back.
Good question. I just hope that's the only "anomaly" I have to deal with while I own it.
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2013, 11:40 AM
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Kzang Kzang is offline
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Glad the problem is fixed OP... but a 5 year old battery? I would proactively get a new one to replace it as soon as possible. Good luck.
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2013, 10:22 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Glad the problem is fixed OP... but a 5 year old battery? I would proactively get a new one to replace it as soon as possible. Good luck.
Although there are many posts of short lived batteries, everything I've read on AGMs leads me to believe that 6 years is not out of the question for a properly maintained(charged) battery that's not impacted by the commonly noted parasitic loss of a failed electronic component. Plus, it's not that easy to get a replacement over here outside of BMW. I do share your concern and wonder if I'll make it through the winter on this one. To stay on top of things, I'm still looking for a good source for when the need arises. If we just had Autozone and others available here, I'd be good to go.

Last edited by HT417; 11-07-2013 at 10:24 AM.
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