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  #1  
Old 12-29-2016, 11:59 AM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Warning trifecta

I seem to have been chosen as the next recipient of the warning light trifecta. Tire light, abs light, brake light, dcs light (which actually makes it the 4 item trifecta "box"). If the reader does not want to labor through this post, then feel free to skip this one, but I thought I'd add nauseating detail to try to come up with a winning solution.

First problem cropped up a couple of weeks ago. I was noticing my car was starting a bit labored, especially after sitting for a day. Then I noticed that my Bluetooth function dropped off. Then I noticed that my center console light was on with the console cover closed. Turns out that the plastic switch protrusion on the cover was broken and the light(s) were staying on. So I simply disconnected the 2 compartment lamps until I could repair the light switch set up. I posted about my Bluetooth and someone suggested that I simply disconnect the battery for a bit to reset the modules. That worked. With the lights not staying on anymore I also seemed to notice a bit more robust engine crank when starting. Since the battery is only about 18 months old, I assumed I had corrected the problem. Then my Bluetooth went out again a few days ago. I disconnected power at battery for about 20 minutes (and cleaned and tightened ALL the battery and adjacent bus connections). The Bluetooth came back again, I reset the clock and the auto window function and was done. Yesterday, late in the day I went to start up the z4 and it threw the "trifecta". At that point I measured battery voltage at rest of 12.25volts. Then started and measured again. While cranking, the voltage dropped below 10 volts but immediately jumped to 14.2 ish. Adding full electrical load and varying the rpms I noticed fairly steady 14.2 ish volts. This morning I repeated the process after sitting all night and got the same, the trifecta, the 12.25 starting voltage at rest, the same drop while cranking (to approx 8 volts), and the same 14-14.5 voltage while running under load. I have scanned posts and found everything from wheel sensors, steering angle sensor, battery, voltage regulator to ABS pump and module. I have an appt w Indy next week but would love to solve prior without $$$. Any suggestions what to check first and how? Thanks in advance.


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  #2  
Old 12-29-2016, 04:00 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Are you checking the voltage drop at the battery or at the convenience terminal in the engine compartment? I just checked on my 3.0si and at the convenience terminal the lowest voltage I saw during an engine start was 10.5 volts.....
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:56 PM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Warning trifecta

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Are you checking the voltage drop at the battery or at the convenience terminal in the engine compartment? I just checked on my 3.0si and at the convenience terminal the lowest voltage I saw during an engine start was 10.5 volts.....


Measured from the convenience terminal. Last night it briefly dropped to around 7.5 volts. This morning it dropped to 9.7 volts while starting (I re-checked a video I took this morning of the voltmeter).


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Last edited by zangxx; 12-29-2016 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:41 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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I think what you're seeing is the 12V buss is dropping too low and for too long and causing some of the processors to try to run with out of tolerance supply voltages. When that happens results are totally random. Could be a bad ground connection between the battery compartment and the engine compartment, battery developing a shorted cell, starter with some shorted turns drawing too much current, etc.
Try jump starting with the jumper cables connected direct to the battery and see if you still get the big voltage drop. If you do then you know it's a connection issue, if not then the battery is suspect.
If it looks like a connection issue, try jump starting at the convenience terminals in the engine compartment. If the problem doesn't occur it would indicate it's between the rear of the car and the engine compartment. If it does then it would indicate the issue is in the engine compartment.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:35 PM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Warning trifecta

Ok. So I checked standing voltage first thing this morning at convenience terminal after sitting for a day and this time got 11.75. Then measured starting voltage drop to 8.74 volts. Immediately rose to 14.2 and stayed there. After shutting down after 5 minutes voltage dropped back down to 11.9 volts. Then I jumped at both convenience terminal and direct to battery running same test for both locations. The resting voltage with jumper at both locations was around 12.25. Starting voltage dropped to approx 10.5 at both locations. Same running voltage of around 14.2 at both locations. Starting to look like battery, right? Thoughts?


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Last edited by zangxx; 01-01-2017 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:13 AM
rapidroyv rapidroyv is offline
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could be the starter pulling too many amps and going bad, but I'm with you, I would check your battery before jumping into any other thing. I always start at the beginning THE BATTERY. its easy to get the battery load checked to see if it can hold a charge.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:42 AM
wdbii wdbii is offline
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The alternator is what is giving you 14.2 volts. The battery should be giving you more than 11.9. I'd have the battery load tested.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zangxx View Post
Ok. So I checked standing voltage first thing this morning at convenience terminal after sitting for a day and this time got 11.75. Then measured starting voltage drop to 8.74 volts. Immediately rose to 14.2 and stayed there. After shutting down after 5 minutes voltage dropped back down to 11.9 volts. Then I jumped at both convenience terminal and direct to battery running same test for both locations. The resting voltage with jumper at both locations was around 12.25. Starting voltage dropped to approx 10.5 at both locations. Same running voltage of around 14.2 at both locations. Starting to look like battery, right? Thoughts?


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If you didn't get the "trifecta" when you jump started at the battery, that's a big indicator the battery is the issue. If you got it when you jump started at the battery, but not when you jump started at the convenience terminals, it's more likely a battery cabling issue.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:54 AM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Ok. Quick consensus. Is autozone a good place as any to get battery tested and find a suitable replacement?


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Old 01-02-2017, 12:26 PM
rapidroyv rapidroyv is offline
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I got my battery from autozone it was a direct fit with vent hole on side to plug vent tube into.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:45 PM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Thanks guys. Once I replace the battery will I need a software reset to clear the "trifecta" or will it reset after replacing battery assuming the low voltage was causing the problems.


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Old 01-03-2017, 05:53 AM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Ok now I'm worried. I replaced my battery and the warning lights persist. Then on the way to work this morning coming off the highway ramp near the bottom my vehicle lost power. I had the music playing and the clutch depressed so I barely even noticed it. I quickly restarted it in motion without a problem. Never had an engine stall and die before, nor have I had any real engine or performance issue before, with the exception of a coil failure about a year ago (I replaced all my coils and plugs at that time). What to do?


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Old 01-03-2017, 11:36 AM
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BostonB6 BostonB6 is offline
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Do yourself a favor and get the car scanned, preferably by BMW or a qualified independent mechanic, to see what codes are being set.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:48 PM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Yup. I've got an appt with an Indy this Friday. But knowledge is power even when working with an Indy. . That's why all comments and ideas are greatly appreciated.


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Old 01-10-2017, 10:53 AM
zangxx zangxx is offline
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Looks like two separate issues. The Trifecta was caused by right rear wheel sensor. The engine stall appears to have thrown codes which suggest potential problem with crankshaft position sensor and/or vanos. Hasn't stalled even once since the one incident. Anyone experience this problem before? Will report back when back from Indy. Also was quoted $371 to replace RR wheel sensor. Is that in the ballpark? Wish I had time to DIY. Also found leak on valve cover gasket, what is the "going rate" to replace through Indy for the N52 (2006 Z4 3.0si)? Thanks

Last edited by zangxx; 01-10-2017 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Added another question
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