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  #1  
Old 01-11-2013, 02:52 PM
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Car went dead all of sudden while driving - started right back up

Hay folks,

This is a strange one! So last nigh I was driving and minding my own business when all of sudden all the lights in the dash went on and the car just went dead. No power - I mean no engine and no electrical power.

I pushed the gear into neutral so I could roll to the side of the road and just thought what the heck let me see if it will start back up. Sure enough it started right back up! The radio (time) and everything was reset but the car did start back up.

I checked the battery voltage through the dash tests, and on idle (car off) it is reading 11.1v. I know that's low so I am gonna get the battery replaced today. But I am not sure if that could have done it. Besides this is the battery the car rolled out of the factory with so I am surprised it has lasted this long.

The only thing that MIGHT have something to do with what happened is that a few days ago I had the engine compartment washed at a local car wash. I already checked (as far as I could reach) around the alternator for loose connections and there doesn't appear to be anything wrong. Besides I have been driving the car for 3 days now since the wash so if there was anything really loose then I guess I would have known it sooner?

BTW, this is an E53, 2002 x5 3.0 I6, 88k miles. Have had this car for 6 years now and I love it. I remember reading once that these cars have faulty "junction boxes" but have no idea where that is - let alone WHAT a junction box is!

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Patrick
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2013, 03:10 PM
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you are on the right path - the battery needs to be replaced. did you use power washer for the engine bay? you may have indeed knocked something loose... once you replace the battery (have the local parts store charge the battery for few hours prior to install, even if the battery is "new"), run the dash tests while driving, to see if the voltage from alternator is fluctuating significantly...
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:01 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Now, if something has in fact become loose from the power wash, what could that be?

What can cause the power to reset like that? Aside from the alternator, which I am not even sure can do that, where else should I check for loose wires?

Just got the battery replaced and now the voltage reads 12.1v (when car is off.) Not sure how to check voltage when the car is running. When I turn the car on while the voltage is being displayed on the dash, it all goes away.

Looking forward to some help here! thanks.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:44 PM
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Link in my sig. Use it. Run the voltage test 9. You may have a voltage problem with the alternator.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:02 PM
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Yup. Just ran the voltage test for 10-15 min and it stayed at 13.6-13.7 the entire time w/ the HID's on.

It looks like it is not the alternator.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:13 PM
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X5 Stalls

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdat25 View Post
Yup. Just ran the voltage test for 10-15 min and it stayed at 13.6-13.7 the entire time w/ the HID's on.

It looks like it is not the alternator.

I had a similar problem. There was an engine software update performed at the dealer which resolved the problem
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdat25 View Post
Yup. Just ran the voltage test for 10-15 min and it stayed at 13.6-13.7 the entire time w/ the HID's on.

It looks like it is not the alternator.
Do it again, this time stereo on, maybe heated seats, you know as if you were using your car without a problem. You want to put the alternator under load.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:55 PM
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was the engine bay still wet when the problem has happened? there is a very slight chance, that the moisture has dripped/worked its way to some connectors (they are supposed to be water-resistant but not water-proof) and once it got somewhere (alternator leads?), it shorted the system, and then it evaporated under the engine heat and the problem has gone away...

very slim chance but still, it is a possibility...
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:23 PM
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If the car cut off when driving, then you more than likely have a faulty alternator. The normal voltage reading is 13-14.4v. If the alternator voltage regulator full fields and supplies more than 16v, then the car freaks out and the engine computer will shut off to protect itself, and if you have the radio on, it will cut out, as well as the instrument cluster will blank out.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:05 PM
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Killcrap, how likely that its just the voltage regulator, and not the whole unit? I know it has to come out no matter what, but was curious if you ever replace just the regulator?
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