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Old 12-10-2013, 01:25 AM
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Arrow HELP! X5 instrument electronics suddenly goings crazy and transfer fail safe message

Hi everyone.
My 2003 e53 4.4 suddenly started going into trans fail safe
Mode and the dash lights light up like a Christmas tree.
Codes are P0600 & P1747

If I turn the car off for a few minutes all returns back to normal but then it happens again.

Thought it was the battery or alternator but ice replaced both within the last 2 years. Voltage on the jumping node in the hood reads 13.5 +/- .1v with the card running.

I am really lost on this one. Here is a video I uploaded to YouTube. Keep in mind the engine is normal operating temperature so I'm not revving an over heated engine. It's just the gauge malfunctioning with the rest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGry...e_gdata_player

Any help or shared experience is greatly appreciated!
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Last edited by ArNarX5; 12-10-2013 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:27 AM
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Apologies for the typos! Hard to type on the phone and auto correct has a mind of it's own
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:04 AM
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anything else that is acting weird or stupid? battery and/or alternator are still prime suspects, even though battery has been replaced and the voltage at the charging point read at 13.5V. this kind of erratic behavior can be set off by a spike in the voltage, that lasts a brief moment and can't be registered by a regular meter, unless you have specialized equipment... better to read the voltage in the cluster itself, as the cluster reports the "needed" voltage that runs through the system and not raw voltage measured at the battery/charging terminals...

if you can hook up a BMW specific diagnostic tools, they will actually tell you what triggers the event - it can be electrical related, as speculated here, or, it can be a more serious issue... start with simple, then move to more complicated...
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:39 AM
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thanks for the reply. I just took it for a drive and the ABS, Tract control and Brake lights were all on in yellow, but no trans fail safe program error. The car drove beautifully for about 11 miles and then the speedometer stopped working, then within 5 seconds or so the tachometer stayed idle at 1k where it was definitely at higher rpm and then like clockwork I saw the rpm gauge drop to zero, while the temp gauge jumped to red, while simultaneously the gong sound went off and the cluster displayed trans failsafe prog. I stopped and sure enough the car was stuck in 3rd gear again. I was about 5 miles away, so I gently babied it home, but realized that the gong sound would come on while I was traveling approx. 30mph or so and then the rpm would jump up to 1k, the temp gauge would drop down to normal and the service engine soon would light up but then the gauge would jump back up every time I would slow down the gauge would go to red and service engine would turn off. All in the same sequence, over and over about 10 times.
I have the bmw scanner 1.4.0 tool but it's not anything like a pro tool. When I tried to hook that up, it said communication error with IKE.

I'm guessing it's speed or temperature related, but what can it be.
I will do the voltage test from the dash as you mentioned and report back.

thanks again for the input.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:22 AM
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Yeah this sounds like a voltage problem. My battery was only a year old until it crapped out again and I was having the same symptoms as you. After reading, I know you said you monitor on the dash, but.... As the lights come on, carry a multimeter with you in the glovebox, and then pull over and open the hood and check the voltage. If you are still pulling over 13v, then you may want to start checking for open shorts to ground. I've found that it is typical that when a host of dash lights come on, it is usually for under voltage. When it is over voltage, usually high power items don't work right. Like HVAC, Xenons, Radio... A pattern I have found, if there is a spike in voltage, your NAV map will read, "Please insert Map Disc", or "Please Wait a Moment"
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArNarX5 View Post
Hi everyone.
My 2003 e53 4.4 suddenly started going into trans fail safe
Mode and the dash lights light up like a Christmas tree.
Codes are P0600 & P1747

--- stuff deleted ---

Any help or shared experience is greatly appreciated!
P0600: Serial Communication Link. The ECM didn't detect communication between module. Possible cause: - ECM Harness - ECM connectors - Low battery voltage - Faulty ECM

P1747: CAN Bus Monitoring.

I would have the battery tested.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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I had a similar problem, replaced my alternator and all was great for a week. The reman alternator went bad and I replaced it again, which failed again, replaced it again and finally it's been good going on a few weeks and over 1000 miles now.

If you replaced it with a reman alternator this could be your problem.

Running the engine and keeping the RPM's at 2000 while monitoring voltage showed that occasionally, just for a split second the voltage would drop to around 11v, at that point in time the cluster would go nuts. Shut car off, restart and it would be fine.

If your voltage regulator is screwy it could cause a sudden dip or spike in voltage which could trigger all types of crazy warnings. I would try monitoring the voltage with the engine RPM's up for a few minutes to see if anything happens.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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I had a similar problem, replaced my alternator and all was great for a week. The reman alternator went bad and I replaced it again, which failed again, replaced it again and finally it's been good going on a few weeks and over 1000 miles now.

If you replaced it with a reman alternator this could be your problem.

Running the engine and keeping the RPM's at 2000 while monitoring voltage showed that occasionally, just for a split second the voltage would drop to around 11v, at that point in time the cluster would go nuts. Shut car off, restart and it would be fine.

If your voltage regulator is screwy it could cause a sudden dip or spike in voltage which could trigger all types of crazy warnings. I would try monitoring the voltage with the engine RPM's up for a few minutes to see if anything happens.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:20 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I have not yet been able to check w/ the volt meter but I went out to the car today and did the cluster voltage test and it showed 11.4V with lights off.
Started the car and it went up to 13.5, then turned it off after about 2 minutes and dropped down to 12.7 and within a minute it was back down to 11.5V. I went out to my E38 and did the same test on it and found the resting voltage to be 12.1V, started it and went to 13.6v and then turned off and it dropped to 12.7 like the X5, held my high beams on for about a minute and the voltage slowly dropped to 12.4 and settled out at 11.8V while still holding the lights on. I let go of the high beams and it jumped back up to 12.1V. Both cars are pretty much identical in terms of engine, alternator and in this case both have interstate 850cca batteries. The only difference would be the 7 series was driven today and the X5 was not, but up until yesterday, the X5 was a daily driver of approx 30+ miles a day. I don't think one day of not driving it would justify the voltage dropping down to low to mid 11's but then again I'm not an expert. I'm thinking of just ordering a Bosch battery this time around. Any thoughts??
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:09 AM
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If you alt voltage is 13.5 and steady I would get new battery under 12v for battery means its bad unless the alternator isn`t charging it properly.
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