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      06-02-2017, 06:42 PM   #1
RossBMWZseries
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So frustrated that I'm thinking of selling this POS Z4M

Not sure where to start; maybe by saying that I'm stranded here at work on Friday 5pm! Looks like there's an electrical issue going on in my car and don't know how or where this started so I will list the symptoms as best as I can;

My car sat at my local BMW dealer for 1.2 years, perhaps there's a rat nest in there or something I don't know. When I got my car back in November 2016, I have made a few changes to it;

1) I replaced the battery in November 2016 as it was completely shot

2) I replaced the key at the dealership, brand new OEM key, they programmed it and worked like a charm (around December 2016)

3) I then replaced the ignition switch (January 2017)

4) I started having problems with my convertible top. The top motor made a sound as it slowly struggled to go up and down. Eventually, top stopped working and I'm assuming the motor died. (January 2017)

5) I removed the ash tray and swapped it for the OEM AUX tray to be able to hook up my iPhone. I pulled out the radio and plugged in the cable to the back of it. As per instructions, I was supposed to plug it in on a certain slot but was already taken by another OEM cable (GPS I'm thinking..?), so instead I plugged it in to the slot right next to it. AUX worked fine along with radio and GPS. (January 2017)

6) I had a friend do some coding in my car; 3 blinker indicator, parking lamps off while driving, M track mode which was unsuccessful. (February 2017)

7) My LED license plate light went off, which was about 5 years old. I replaced them with new LED's, again from Bimmian (February 2017)

8) The car started dying out of nowhere. I had to jump start it just about every day. With time, it got worse; I was jump starting it daily, sometimes 2-3 times a day. It would die sometimes within a 7 hour window. (March-April 2017)

9) My AC stopped working completely. I read the forums, changed the FSU (final stage unit AKA blower resistor) but that didn't solve the AC problem. It doesn't blow any air, doesn't make any noise, but the dash lights do change as if changing temperature. Possibly went into "transport mode"..? (05/01/17)

10) I replaced the battery. No more problems starting the car whatsoever. Voltage stayed at a steady 14.2.

11) Just two days ago again my car died after a 15 hour window of not starting the car. As of then, it continues to die instantly and now I'm here typing this hate note at work.

To recap;

Items that have been replaced were:
* battery in November 2016 and now in May 2017
* key
* ignition switch
* coding
* ash tray for AUX tray

Things that are malfunctioning:
* convertible top doesn't go up or down
* AC doesn't blow
* GPS screen freezes or stays on a full black display
* alarm only beeps twice when unlocking but doesn't beep once when locking


That's all the details I can think of for now. Tomorrow morning I'm taking it to get a diagnostic test and see which codes come up. Thanks for reading. If you have experienced anything like this, please feel free to share with me as I'm sick of this car by now.
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      06-02-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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Has the electrical system been tested for an above typical parasitic draw? That will eventually kill a battery after many deep drains cycles. Low battery voltage will cause odd behavior on the electronics. There probably won't be any error codes for above typical parasitic draw. Good luck with the diagnostics, hopefully your shop knows what they're doing and can find the problem.
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      06-02-2017, 11:11 PM   #3
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Ross, sorry to hear that mate, only thing really I can think of is most of those issues happen when a battery is on its way out, does crazy things to the electrical system, including the HVAC. If you replaced the battery and now it's got issues again, I'd look at the alternator.
Any codes mate?
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      06-03-2017, 11:48 AM   #4
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Pungo- no it hasn't been tested for anything yet. Battery is new.
Vanne-battery is new so it can't be that. Alternator is fairly new too, bought it OEM about 3 years ago.

I was going to take it in to the shop but my car is completely dead and don't have a way to jump start it. Shop closes at 1pm so I won't have a chance again until next weekend
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      06-03-2017, 12:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RossBMWZseries View Post
Pungo- no it hasn't been tested for anything yet. Battery is new.
Vanne-battery is new so it can't be that. Alternator is fairly new too, bought it OEM about 3 years ago.

I was going to take it in to the shop but my car is completely dead and don't have a way to jump start it. Shop closes at 1pm so I won't have a chance again until next weekend
By shop do you mean an independent or a BMW dealer? For something weird like this I would go to the dealer particularly if they will be fair with their diagnostic charge. Can you hire a flat bed truck to get the car there?

And good luck! I'm hoping this all stems from something that is easily found and fixed for small dollars .
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      06-03-2017, 12:37 PM   #6
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Just spitballing here -

-Any way to revert your ECU to your original tune (before your bud did his coding)? Worth trying to cross one thing off the list imo, but could be tricky if you don't have a batt charger

-My center console light usually stays on after I lock the car because the plastic tab on the bottom of the door broke off, so it thinks it's open all the time. Could be a draw there

-Where'd you measure the 14.2v at? Under the hood, from ECU, on the battery itself? Did it fluctuate at all? If that's at the battery and not swinging wildly, I'd imagine alternator/voltage regulator + circuit to batt are ok

-Can try pulling fuses and checking draw, a la these guides here and here

GL and let us know what you find. Been frustrated by similar issues in the past too, shit happens but don't let it get you down! Good times ahead
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      06-03-2017, 01:22 PM   #7
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I had similar experience a couple years back. New battery etc. Radio would shout off while I was driving and turn itself back on after a few seconds. Car won't start on a hot day. Got me stranded a few times. I swear at the car, more times than wheels could turn.

It was, at the end, the ground of the alternator not connecting properly. She's a good girl ever since.

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      06-03-2017, 01:51 PM   #8
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I took my battery to autozone and the girl there refused to charge it as it was at a low 6! Instead, she replaced it with a new battery. I brought the car to the shop ( Indy where they also service Lambos/Rarris). They pulled up a lot of codes, some of which I was aware of. Also, it was on transport mode so he cleared it and AC works fine. All other symptoms remain at this point. Yousefnjr i can have my friend code it back to OEM I suppose. My center console was broken by the dealership mechanic so I can't open it unless I completely pull it apart and replace it with a new one but I'm trying to save money here. I may just have to break it though before I continue breaking my wallet. I measured the voltage from battery itself, and also on the dashboard from the ECU. It fluctuates what I think is normal; 14.0-14.4. Car is currently still being checked at this moment so I'll keep y'all updated. Thanks again to all taking the time to read and respond!
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      06-03-2017, 03:10 PM   #9
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fyi:that center console(cubby)light shuts off on mine after about 3 minutes. My battery went dead the other day out of nowhere,don't know why.I think i left the left blinker on accidently(not sure).
I had similiar coding done and never had any problems(although i didn't do the m track mode coding).Good Luck with everything!
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      06-03-2017, 07:50 PM   #10
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My first thought on the battery symptoms is alternator. That can be checked at places like autozone. If the alternator isn't adequately charging the battery when the engine is running it's only a matter of time till the battery craps out.
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      06-06-2017, 02:16 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your response gentlemen!

UPDATE:
* AC is running fine at this point
* battery is not dying
* I also learned that the top motor is not dead, apparently it might just be a lack of hydraulic fluid in there that keep the top motor from functioning completely. How do we know this? Sitting in the driver's seat and holding the top up/down button, a vibration is felt on the driver's door which indicates the motor is trying to perform its job. Any confirmation on this?

Also, just yesterday I walked up to my car and I tried unlocking it with my remote key; no beep. I figured that the battery died AGAIN. I opened the trunk manually with my key and my alarm went off, obviously my battery was working fine. I then opened my driver's door manually as well and started the car, no problem. However, I did notice that my rear view mirror looks like it leaked all the fluid, with liquid stains inside the mirror. There was also a leak of dark black fluid gathered at the bottom of the "red nose" button where the red alarm lights up. Could that be blocking my key remote from communicating to the car? Could this be related to the electrical bug I got going on or is this just something that coincidentally happened at this point?
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      06-06-2017, 02:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RossBMWZseries View Post
Thank you all for your response gentlemen!

UPDATE:
There was also a leak of dark black fluid gathered at the bottom of the "red nose" button where the red alarm lights up. Could that be blocking my key remote from communicating to the car? ?
Not an expert but I share your suspicion. I'm glad that the list of issues is getting shorter!
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      06-06-2017, 09:42 PM   #13
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I'd be more interested in what that dark black fluid is.
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      06-06-2017, 09:47 PM   #14
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the key transmitter is in the rear view mirror on the roadies.a new mirror should solve your key problems.that can make a mess,i'd remove your mirror asap.
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      06-06-2017, 10:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybat View Post
the key transmitter is in the rear view mirror on the roadies.a new mirror should solve your key problems.that can make a mess,i'd remove your mirror asap.
^^^ This. I've heard that the fluid in the mirror will eat the console if it leaks out.
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      06-06-2017, 10:38 PM   #16
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Thanks for the quick response guys. Ok so I'm sure I can find a DIY on how to remove the mirror as I've read quite a few threads on this issue. Only thing is that for now, having half of the mirror purple doesn't let me sleep at night
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      06-19-2017, 03:36 PM   #17
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UPDATE:

I left my car out of the garage last night. As I sit at the table eating, I hear my alarm go off. I run outside to quickly check the car but I find nothing suspicious, However, I did notice that the emergency lights weren't flashing, it was just the alarm sound going off. I unlocked the car with the remote but that didn't shut the alarm off. I locked with the the remote and alarm shuts off. I once again tried unlocking it with the remote and alarm goes off.

SUMMARY: key remote unlocks car but alarm goes off. Locking it shuts off alarm. If I unlock the car by pushing the unlock button twice, it shuts off the alarm. I tried starting the car but the battery is entirely dead again. Idk where to start, I've checked for any draws as suggested but couldn't find anything,not even that broken tab in center console on the "waterfall". It is 104 degrees here in Texas currently, idk if the heat had anything to do with the battery dying, perhaps there's a rat nest in the car from sitting at the dealer for a year and two months. Idk, but this is getting so tiring.
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      06-19-2017, 03:48 PM   #18
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Forgot to mention that when I took the car to the shop to run diagnostics, the mechanic stated that the module on my NAVI is already on its last days, which explains why it keeps freezing and/or not displaying the map. He suggested buying a new unit which comes with the module. Well, when I checked the center console light, I popped out the map CD out of the DVD unit. Popped it back in and the map still wouldn't display on the screen but it wasn't freezing anymore. That NAVI unit was under the sunlight for a whole year, is it safe to assume that the unit it pretty much dead? I would hate to pay a lot of money for a new unit if It's not even a problem.
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      06-19-2017, 04:06 PM   #19
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Given the alarm weirdness, maybe the vehicle immobilizer is preventing it from starting?
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      06-19-2017, 04:44 PM   #20
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I'm trying to reach the mechanic that diagnosed my car to share the codes with you guys. I do remember some of the codes reading "EWS", which I've read has something to do with the immobilizer so maybe you're right StickMon.

Another thing I've noticed is that my dash lights (RPM's and MPH) stay lit up, even when my headlights (HID's/halos AKA angel eyes) are turned off at the top center (0) position. When I do turn them on, automatically or manually, the dash lights seem to be very dim, even when they're turned on to be at their brightest. When I do dim them, they go extremely dark to the point where they can't be seen
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      06-19-2017, 06:49 PM   #21
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Out of curiosity, is your car at a BMW specific indy? If not I would search out the best rated BMW mechanic in your area and take the car there. It could be something very easy, but takes the right person to find it.
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      06-19-2017, 09:54 PM   #22
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Your alarm issue is likely the hood switch. It's on a bracket near the point where the two strut tower braces meet at the fire wall. It can cause a number of stupid alarm issue just like you described. I had same alarm issues such as seemed like it tried to arm but not quite, doors locked but alarm didn't arm, alarm randomly going off on its own for no reason, even when the car had just been sitting there for hours. The switch is dirt cheap and takes about 3 minutes to replace. They fail pretty frequently because they're not very ruggedly constructed and they're exposed to the engine compartment heat.
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