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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During heavy rain on motorway the ABS warning light came on followed after a few minutes by all the warning lights and the speedo reading zero, the car then cut out. On the hard shoulder attempting to start the car gave no response.
Started by recovery agent who thought there may be a charging problem.

BMW suggested cheking to see if any water had gathered in the boot well but this was dry.


Drove to destination at 60mph in inside lane, still raining.
Two days later drove 250 mile home, in dry, at normal speed with no problem.

On return BMW diagnostis said there could be a wiring connector problem or the alternator could need replacement.


Some three weeks later the fault is now intermittently returning after driving short distances.
When the warning lights are on the active steering does immobilise.

Anyone had the same problem.
 

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Does sound like a charge problem, the warning lights will be one of the first to come on as their parent ECU's detect less than true 12 volts and flash up a fault code relating to voltage low.

If I were you I would buy a multimeter(can be got cheap) and the next time it does it put the meter on the battery and check the charge rate at the battery and IF you could get to it the charge at the rear of the alternator :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.

With the car parked, engine running and all the warning lights on the meter is fluctuating around the 13.85 vdc mark across the battery.

Is this an acceptable level.
 

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11.8 is low for a fully charged battery, should be around 12.8 volts.

Engine running the reading should be around 13.6 - 14.7 generally

Would be worth getting the battery tested
 

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645ci Electrical probs too

I too am having similar problems with my 2004 645. About every 6-8 weeks I get an error from the idrive, telling me there is an issue with "driving stability". Then the indicators will not self cancel, and the windows can operate very slowly. Sometimes, I then get a series of other serious faults eg. transmission failure, power steering failure, brake failure etc. until the car grinds to a halt.

Once left for a couple of hours, the system reboots itself and everything is fine for another 6-8 weeks. It has been into the dealer twice, but the car has rebooted and cleaned out all history of the faults, and therefore the diagnostics say there is nothing wrong.

I have a couple of months left on the warranty and am desperate to get BMW to resolve it before I have to fork out to fix it. Any help would be very gratefully received!
 

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not direct help, but I'd have thought if the problem has been identified during the warranty period, and they don't manage to rectify before the end of the period, then they would still be obliged to sort it under warranty?
 

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I can't help but think a ECU must have some control on the charge rate and is not powering the alternator up like it should. I know there are other cars that the ECU controls the charge rate, maybe a DME update is inline? clutching at straws :hihi
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My car is at a good BMW dealer as we speak.

The initial report is that the component which is attached to the negative battery terminal has recorded 22 faults during the last few weeks.

This components controls the charge from the alternator and tells it when to supply the battery. Their feeling is that this is causing the problem.

I will give more detail after I have collected the car tommorrow.

My low battery voltage, reported earlier, may have been due to the car doing almost zero mileage for the last two weeks. I checked after todays 20 mile drive to the dealers and it read 12.4 vdc.
 

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645ci Electrical probs too

Thanks. Although, I have acknowledged a problem to BMW, when they get it and analyse it the ECU is not reporting any faults, so BMW are not saying anything is wrong with the car. I have resorted to taking photos of the iDrive display when a fault comes up to prove that I am experiencing problems.

I was hoping to be able to glean some expert advice from you guys so I could print off a list of things which I wanted them to check! Thanks so far for the help.... any more ideas? Look forward to hearing the outcome from bobst :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Car collected and they are confident the fault has been rectified.
I obtained copies of the two diagnostc reports now summerised in no particular order.

Stored fault code.
IBS defective
Freaquency 22 times
Last at 81224 km

Replace following component
Intelligent battery sensor.
Part no. on invoice 61129164350.(negative battery terminal) £123.
Price including diagnostics and fitting £239 inc vat.

The IBS is a component monitoring battery condition.
It is secured and connected to the negative terminal.
The IBS power supply is fed across a seperate terminal.
For data transmission the IBS is connected to the DME(digital motor electronics)



Second diagnostic sheet.

Information on stored fault code entries.
Overvoltage in DSC and DME.

In the vehicle network, the control units are configured in such a way that they should withstand short voltage peaks above the max operating voltage of 16v without function limitations.
However, if voltage peaks whilst the vehicle is being driven exceed times of more than 300ms, typically the following sparodic symptons can be observed by the customer.

- the onboard monitor goes dark.
-the interior lighting becomes brighter or flickers.
-failure of the ASC/DSC system and ASC+T/DSC indicator and warning lamps light up in the instrument cluster. (symtons shown on my car)
-failure of SZL: problems with windscreen wipers, indicators etc.

The possible causes for sporadic overvoltages are:
-a load shedding on load-current consumer units or high-current consumer units due to loose contacts. Check both battery terminals are tight and good earth.
-a defective alternator.


I will report back if any further problems.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to write all this. I think there are a lot of similarities here with the problems I am having. So I can use this list to give to my dealer. I hope the fixes work bobst
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've still got problems.

On starting the car this morning all the warning lights came on and stayed on.

In addition to all the previous problems the monitor blacked out and the wipers refused to work. also when changing gear with the SMG paddles the engine revs did not drop. I had to take my foot off the accelerator to prevent the revs shooting up.

Unfortunately I did not try to see if the windows were operating normally.

I drove the car some two miles to play golf and after about four hours took it direct to the dealer without any problems.

The car is now back with BMW and I will report back.
 

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645Ci "Love & Hate!"

Hello everyone - fantastic and informative forum! I'm a new member.
I am the proud owner of a (53) 645Ci - AND I LOVE IT!! (I'm doing a Tom Cruise-esque leap on the couch as I write!). However, i too am experiencing the exact same troublesome iDrive random warnings and the car has gone back to the dealer twice now since i purchased it 2 weeks ago. This thread is extremely fascinating and I wondered if bobst found that a new Alternator solved the problem? The reason I ask is because as I speak, the dealer is also testing the Alternator on my car. They will report back tomorrow but I would like to be able to sound like I vaguely know what I'm talking about when they explain their methods to me. They have already changed the voltage regulator - that didn't work. I fear that if the Alternator doesn't solve the problem, they will be at a loss. Someone suggested that a software upgrade may solve the problem?? In my experience, it only seems to happen in the mornings! Cheers everyone.:)
 

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Hello everyone - fantastic and informative forum! I'm a new member.
I am the proud owner of a (53) 645Ci - AND I LOVE IT!! (I'm doing a Tom Cruise-esque leap on the couch as I write!). However, i too am experiencing the exact same troublesome iDrive random warnings and the car has gone back to the dealer twice now since i purchased it 2 weeks ago. This thread is extremely fascinating and I wondered if bobst found that a new Alternator solved the problem? The reason I ask is because as I speak, the dealer is also testing the Alternator on my car. They will report back tomorrow but I would like to be able to sound like I vaguely know what I'm talking about when they explain their methods to me. They have already changed the voltage regulator - that didn't work. I fear that if the Alternator doesn't solve the problem, they will be at a loss. Someone suggested that a software upgrade may solve the problem?? In my experience, it only seems to happen in the mornings! Cheers everyone.:)
Hi NURDS, if you like that thread then you will love this one :D

http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/f15/2003-e61-545i-545-problems-help-fixed-t7968/ :thumbsup
 

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Cheers Ronnie.
I have spoken to the dealer and apparently BMW have isolated the problem: A faulty regulator within the Alternator. It's back at BMW who are replacing the Alternator and also upgrading the software. So, judging from the additional thread you directed me to, one (or both) of these should cure the problem and I can get back to some serious BMW enjoyment. I'm due to collect it on Thursday so i'll post an update once I have driven it for a few days.
 
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