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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned a 2011 528i for 10,000km and 8 months. This is the 3rd and best BMW I have owned, but I seem to have a problem...

For no apparent reason, I recently got a "Engine Malfunction Reduced Power" light preceded briefly by some "suspension" error message that I did not have time to read carefully. While a restart solved the problem initially, it came on again while driving.

My local dealer maintains that the only diagnostic issue they could find was "slightly' low voltage, and said that this was likely because most of my trips were ~5km and insufficient to properly charge the battery:wahwah:. They recharged it and sent me on my way.

Within 5 minutes of leaving, the same warning light came on again. I made it home (slowly), restarted it the next day (no issues at start, no issues on the 8 km trip) and took it back to the shop.

This time, the service manage was so convinced that his initial diagnosis was right, he did not even bother testing the battery. In fact, he told me that he cannot perform any diagnostic tests UNLESS the car is fully charged. He recharged it for 6 hours, retested it (no problems), and sent me on my way again.

He explained that:
1. The f10 uses a lot of electric power for multiple purposes.
2. If the charge is too low, systems shut down.
3. This included the generator (alternator?) itself!
4. In any event, even if the generator was engaged, the car could be drawing more power than the alternator was producing, thus triggering the Engine Malfunction warning.

Frankly, this all sounds like a load of BS, but I would sincerely appreciate other opinions.
 

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I doubt it's a symptom of your driving pattern. Something is awry either a bad connection, faulty battery/alternator. Take it to another dealer to be checked.
 

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BMW falls flat on its face when "they" (the dealer network, apparently at the direction of or at least with the concurrence of parent BMW) tries to blame the owner for defects with an under warranty purchased BMW.

This sounds like blaming 2008 and on 535i or 335i owners for using "bad gas" when they knew full well HPFP fuel pump failures were rampant.

Based on what your dealer is saying I would respond BS!

Suggest you document your experience and press the dealer, up the line to BMWNA if necessary.

We deserve better treatment from the dealer network.
 

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While it is true that an 8km trip is likely insufficient to keep the battery well charged it is not reasonable that the car is continuously drawing anywhere near the 180 amps the alternator is capable of providing.

I short - your dealer is pegging my BS meter.;)
 

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Adze:

I too had the dreaded engine malfunction error and was forced into "limp" mode. I had the dealer tow the car in as I did not want drive the car in such a state. Well to keep this story short, it was all blamed on a low battery, short trips, etc. Hogwash! I was driving 30+km each way to work and back and for the most part over 80k. Anyway, they kept the car for a couple of days and "recharged the battery" and I have not had a problem since. Let me tell you though, when I picked up the car it felt different, like it had a software update. In any case, it has been 2 months and many kilometers since it happened and it has not happened again. Good luck!
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Bill, and to all of you for responding.

My bet is that IF indeed it is an electric power problem that kicks in after start up, it's probably to do with bugs in the "intelligent alternator control".

Looks like time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like the problem is solved... wet accelerator electronics from a post-winter winter carpet cleaning. Problem showed up a day after detailing. I guess the moral is to be extra careful with water/steam/shampoo in that area.
 

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Looks like the problem is solved... wet accelerator electronics from a post-winter winter carpet cleaning. Problem showed up a day after detailing. I guess the moral is to be extra careful with water/steam/shampoo in that area.
Ok, this ss really troubling me. Why? Because when I had my failure (as described above and in more detail here: http://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=491088) it was when the car was hand washed and had the carpets cleaned.

Question: Are there accelerator electronics that are that exposed that could be shorted when the carpets are cleaned - or worse still when you get into a warm car with a lot of snow on your boots and it melts off? In my case the car wash people had my doors open with fans blowing into the car to dry the carpets faster - could this have caused moisture to get into the accelerator electronics? Or is just coincidence that Adze and I had the problem manifest itself under similar circumstances? (I hope there is no grassy knoll involved :D)

Bill
 
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