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E12, E28, E34, E39, E60 General discussion and technical help for all year 5 series cars.

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Old 02-26-2007, 01:27 PM   #1
SUSANCROUCH

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Fault Codes

I need help. I bought a used 1997 528i just under 2 years ago. Last Sept. my airbag light came on. I arranged to drop it off at a private garage that has the equipment to diagnose. On the way there a picture of the car came onto the dash showing all the lights not working. Left the car. The owner said it was a light control module. He replaced it. Now the brake light is on. Also airbag light still on. He replaces the seatbelt mechanism. Light still on. ($884) I take the car home. 2 months later white smoke comes out from under the front driver's side wheel. I park it. The battery goes dead. I get it towed to garage #2. They find nothing but a small power steering fluid leak. ($100) Bring it home. 2 weeks later the clutch goes out. Car gets towed back to garage #2. Clutch gone and flywheel distroyed. ($1600). Starts trying to correct the brake light. Still can't find the problem. Now thinks it might be at the petal. Borrows the equipment from garage #1 and finds about 8 fault codes. Something in the engine, battery?, 2 for airbag etc. He clears them and they all come back. The only 2 places in town otherwise that can even begin to touch it are a private garage that fried the wiring in my 1989 525i and then denied it, so that garage #1 had to repair it and the dealership that we have not had good experiences with. All I want is a car that runs right without dash lights on that is repaired in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable price. Is this too much to ask?

Last edited by SUSANCROUCH; 02-26-2007 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:35 PM   #2
Dudesky

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Seems like quite a few random things going on there. My first thought would be a major short circuit or malfunction, possibly somewhere in the driver's side dash or near the fusebox in the engine bay. It's not unusual for wires to get frayed or melt. But that's just an uneducated guess at this point. There are quite a few 5 series owners here that may be able to lend some better expertise, so stick around and see what responses are generated

You didn't mention where you're from; maybe another member here is close by enough to recommend a reputable shop. Beyond that, can you locate another BMW dealership in your state that can properly diagnose these issues? It seems these problems require such specific experience, and that may be your best option.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:45 PM   #3
c1apton
 
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Yes, your location would be a good start. (sounds like your local shops are just throwing parts at it without actually looking in-depth) I'm suspecting you live in a rural area and bought the car local. Did you possibly do a car-fax on the car? (I ask because it could've been in a previous accident or been an auction car) Also, what is the miles on the car?
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
SUSANCROUCH

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I live in Lynchburg, VA. The car has around 90,000 miles. I bought it locally through a sale by owner lot. It was owned locally and car fax was clean. It has now been suggested that the "computer" is bad. It was serviced at the local dealership. As far as I can tell nothing was ever done except oil changes and scheduled maintenance. From what I can remember I am the second owner.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
c1apton
 
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Do a BMW dealer search in a wide radius of your area and omit your problem dealer. At 90,000 you're about due for an INSPCT II (yes the expensive one - complete tune up, oil change, etc...) but as I mentioned to another member, they literally inspect the car from the front bumper to rear and they'll give you a grocery list of fixes. They'll also address the imediate needs vs stuff that can be "affordably avoided". Now here's a little inside tip for all that aren't DIYrs - when you go to the dealerships - the serv writers/techs are commissioned so they're more likely going to try to push for all the work and get as much $$$ at one shot. (but if you take that "grocery list" they present you with & ask to see the service mgr - then ask him what can be done affordably and what can be done later - 99% of the time they will do a pkge deal or discount a bunch of stuff for you. BMW service MANAGERS have a code of ethics they HAVE to follow for their CSI = Customer Service Index / their report card to BMW) You'ld be surprised at what they can do for you - if you're nice to them and not offend the service writer & tech. - but you didn't hear that from me...
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:20 PM   #6
SUSANCROUCH

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Well, Idropped the car off at shop #3 in mid April and it is still there. The owner said no problem. Since then he has bought diagnostic equipment and the last time we got him on the phone he said he had it fixed and just needed to check one thing. I have 2 other cars to drive so it is not a hardship, but I would like it back.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:04 PM   #7
SUSANCROUCH

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Well, the mechanic called and the car is fixed almost. It was a side floor sensor that got wet that caused the air bag light to come on. He couldn't remember what caused the brake light but it is off. Now he needs to find where the water got in as the carpet is damp now.
I should have her home Monday.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:26 PM   #8
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Glad to hear you're making progress
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:50 PM   #9
c1apton
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUSANCROUCH
It was a side floor sensor that got wet that caused the air bag light to come on. He couldn't remember what caused the brake light but it is off. Now he needs to find where the water got in as the carpet is damp now.
I should have her home Monday.
It's probably one of the sunroof drains - there are 4 and they can easily get plugged up.
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:56 PM   #10
SUSANCROUCH

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The sunroof is just an aftermarket popup. The mechanic is now on vacation for the week.
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:57 AM   #11
SUSANCROUCH

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Today my baby is coming home, after 3 months. The leak was caused by a bad seal on the aftermarket sunroof. That will be fixed today. The brake light came back on, but I don't care, as it has a current inspection sticker and I have a year to worry about it. Friday night I had a nightmare about her, so I visited her Saturday just to make sure she was OK.
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:42 PM   #12
SUSANCROUCH

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WRONG AGAIN. The sunroof was not seated but that didn't cause the leak. It was a vapor shield in the rear door. It should be installed today. That leaves the break light and the mechanic says that doesn't affect inspection.
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