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Hi guys and gals, quick question on behalf of a workmate who's suffering some problems with his 1 year old X5 3.0 Diesel. It has a tracker system installed, and has been faultless until about a week or two ago, when the following started happening.

He seems to be suffering from electrically based problems in his X5. Initially it seems whilst driving, the radio and all dashboard lights cut out, whilst the car still ran. Once stopped, and engine restarted, all lights + radio switched back on. Only difference is that the 4x4 (Hill Descent or DSC?) light remained on..

The time it takes for this lighting/electrical fault is not consistent, it has sometimes happened after 5 minutes from starting, or 30mins, a couple of times the car has stalled immediately.

The engine has also cut out whilst driving normally a couple of times now.

The car has been taken to a BMW dealer in southern Spain, but...does this sound like a common problem? Sounds ECU or electrical related to me. Any ideas to put his mind at ease would be appreciated :)

Regards,
Wit.
 

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I have a X5. with Sat Nav/TV. It a fully load car. I brought it S/hand about two months ago. It’s about 3 years old, done 70,000 miles.

I am an electronic controls system engineer.

The problem I have is that various systems on the X5 are connected together by a central datalink. This link is being either being grounded out or dragged up to 12volts, so there is no transmission of information between these units.

The effect is to stop everything reliant on that data. The light cluster on the dash. The actual indicators on the vehicle still work! The Sat Nav. The radio. Parking sensors and probably other devices that I have not yet noticed. It occurs very randomly. Sometimes I can correct it by effectively rebooting the car. That is turn it off, wait a bit and then turn it on.

My conclusion is that one of the devises connected to this datalink is faulty and is pulling the whole system down. It might only go wrong once in a week for 10 minuets, which makes it a nightmare to find. The solution is to unplug each unit that is connected to the datalink in turn and live with the car long enough for you to be certain it is not ever going to happen again.

I have disconnected my phone (No difference) I am about to disconnect the parking sensor unit and try it again. There is no guarantee that the unit that is affecting my car is the same one that is affecting yours.

But I would be interested to hear how you got on

Graham
 
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