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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey All,

I have some questions regarding a 2012 X5 35i (E70 engine)
Sorry for the long post... I feel the background info may help with responses.
Background info:
Purchased used from BMW in 2016
Owned it for 3 years (70,000 kms) practically trouble free.
Only work that has been done since I bought it is the water pump, oil changes, air filter, and micro filter
Moved from Ontario to Saskatchewan, trailer the vehicle so no added mileage

Oct 13, 2018 took it to dealer for 2 factory recalls
(#2016-142 drivers front air bag module 72 80 16RC, and #2016-113 front drive shaft 26 81 17RC)
Requested dealer to change oil and replace spark plugs while it was at the shop

While in the dealers possession (about 2 weeks) dealer claims it started backfiring, smoking, and idling rough on cold start
Dealer claimed it is caused by bad fuel (I disagree, never had these issue before)
Dealer kept my vehicle for 9 WEEKS but cannot solve the issue

Dealer claims they have done the following:
Oil change,
new spark plugs,
Remove and replace front drive shaft
Replaced driver airbag inflator
Diag for engine leak - removed cylinder head cover, inspected cam shaft bearings - slight scoring but OK, found large amount of sludge in valvetrain, reassemble valve cover, washed oil off exhaust and engine
Perform multiple ABLS including misfire detections, activation of valvetronic and fuel quality - all with no results
hot oil flush and erased fault memory
flushed fuel system - drained fuel/replaced,
Replaced fuel pump,
Found faults related to intake pipe pressure, found measure and performed ABL for intake pipe pressure, inspected pipe and crank case vents lines for leaks, no leaks found,
Performed ABL for choking and okay
Performed valvetronic test and ran okay
Ran compressing test and passed
Performed ABL for misfire detection after vehicle sat over night
Borescoped cylinders to find injectors had leaded over night
replaced all injectors and o-rings - runs find on warm start
Due to vehicles adaptations being reset the engine management system will have to relearn, advise customer to drive vehicle to relearn proper adaptations

Dec 14, 2018 - went to pick up vehicle, it wouldn't run properly or even idle.
Dealer had to take back inside and "clear codes"
Once vehicle is warmed up it seems to idle and run fine.
Dealer wanted me to drive for 1000 kms to re-learn my driving habits... something about adaptations?

Drove vehicle for over 1200 kms with same issue
Jan 12 2019 - Returned vehicle to dealer
Dealer had vehicle for one week - updated engine management software
claims it fixed the issue

Jan 22 2019 - Picked up the vehicle and noticed same issue on cold start and even now on idling when warm. Issue seems to be getting worse

Jan 29, 2019 - Took vehicle to another dealership for second opinion
Same morning it was -30°C, vehicle started but when I was inside waiting for it to warm up it stalled and sat for 20-30 minutes with lights on.
Dealer noted the following:
Scan for faults finding history fault of misfire
Perform energy diag. finding battery charge low which may contribute to misfire
This powertrain may have misfire due to fuel or cold weather conditions
recheck after charge battery overnight
vehicle started and ran then stalled when put into gear
restart engine and runs fine
Bring in and check for faults, none entered

Jan 30, 2019 - I removed battery and had it tested under load
Battery passed test and is fine

1) What else could be causing the issue?
2) Could the elevation change between Ontario and Saskatchewan be causing any issues
3) I noticed evidence of some fluid on the alternator... could spilling fuel or oil on the alternator cause any of the aforementioned issues?
4) could bad fuel actually cause any/all these issues?

Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
17,463 Posts
In re 3), every BMW procedure with risk of contaminating the alternator has also cautions to cover and protect the alternator from contamination.

Now that the vehicle is apparently moveable, please have it looked over by a competent service center. Yes, I know about living away from metropolitan areas.

37 Posts
Is 70,000km is total km? What is total km?

1) I’d like to know the codes...

2) Check registration of battery to vehicle and clean battery terminals at battery and where it is grounded to chassis.

3) Check each connection at each coil. It’s known that a single wire can “backout” of connector. Also, known the connector at the coil can come lose. Make sure connector is secure to coil and not loose.

4) I’ve learned with these trucks that when funny things like this happen replace and/or you’re between 40k-60k miles+... Replace plugs and coils. Plugs were done, I’d do coils. BMW has updated the coils depending on your exact model and year. They are easy to do, often make a difference and are relatively cheap. Bosch coils are the worst for our trucks, just so you know...

5) A crankcase/PCV line can also cause this. Often you hear a loud or weird noise coming from the motor, but not always.

Hope this helps. I’d bet it’s one of these known issues. Mileage would be useful

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