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Engine malfunction! Reduced Power.

Discussion in 'E70 X5 (2007-2013)' started by wbdamron, Oct 13, 2010.

    • Member

    wbdamron

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    Dear BMWCCA Members and Aficionados:

    I have a 2011 BMW X5 xDrive50i. After 2K miles or so, received a warning light one morning after a 1/2 mile drive:

    Engine malfunction. Reduced power. Engine malfunction. Engine operating at reduced output. Possible to continue. Drive with caution. Have the system checked by the nearest BMW Center.

    In 30 seconds, it went away. Came back two weeks later. Now is a daily occurence. 1/2mile from home, warning comes on and goes away in 30 seconds.

    BMW tried to replicate; couldn't. Thinks it is the knock sensor and ordered parts. Anyone else have this issue with the 4.4 v-8?

    Many thanks!

    WBD
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I don't own one of these but I did find some information for you

    http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=380209

    http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291225&page=2

    Found a few problem issues, but nothing like what owners of x35 cars are experiencing with HPFP issues.

    Issues for the V8 ranging from a refueling at a questionably labeled ethanol-gasoline pump (could have even been owner error pumping E85 into the vehicle which is an 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol blend, while most manufacturers recommend no more than 10 percent maximum ethanol content in regular gasoline). E85 is strictly for flex-fuel engines only. In all fairness, that gas pump could also have been mislabeled incorrectly or fraudulently.

    Do you refuel at the same place every time? Is the gas pump an E85 or ethanol-gasoline station?

    If you are concerned this might be an issue, there are ethanol-free gasoline stations in limited numbers across the country.

    Other possible causes include a faulty HPFP pump as well as a faulty actuator rod in one or both turbos.

    Hope this information helps.
    • Member

    wbdamron

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    Many thanks! I have Googled this issue, too in an effort to provide assistance to my service person... In KS the Legislature removed the requirement to post ethanol, so the BP station I usually go to probably has it, even with the premium/91 I use. W
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Oh my. KS certainly exports its share of corn, right behind Nebraska and Iowa.

    I'd be willing to bet you a KS steak that the American corn lobby wrote several checks to your KS legislators.

    Quite a bit of ethanol is sourced from corn, hence the connection.

    While refueling with an incompatible fuel could technically violate your warranty due to user error or negligence, you'd probably have a case for ethanol damage if the gas station didn't honestly indicate the amount of ethanol in their fuel.
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    For a more definitive answer, I would suggest having the car's computer scanned.

    There is a comprehensive list of codes that a Bavarian Technic (or similar) scanner can detect, and they will tell you where to begin your investigation with the dealer - you can pick one up for south of $100.

    Or, dealer the car, and have them read them -- and tell them to you. The code might point to an obvious fault.

    I know that it was a tremendous advantage to me when I was able to tell my dealer exactly what codes my local shop's equipment had already picked up before scheduling service. I was able to educate myself about the problem and any SIBs pertaining to it.

    Good luck.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    It would be useful to scan the vehicle but you may get mixed results when telling the authorized BMW dealer SA what you found... Some BMW SA's do not want customers telling them anything or reading codes that may catch unscrupulous or incompetent dealer service work. Being informed is useful however and may provide a basis to obtain proper service?
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I wish more of you would read Mike Miller's column

    Poor Mike Miller. He tirelessly tries to remind people that a Service Advisor shouldn't be making any diagnoses at all! Chances are, that SA isn't even a licensed or certified technician! So what business does an SA have for giving any kind of service advice to customers? Do you want the surgeon's SECRETARY or the SURGEON to do open-heart surgery on your chest?

    The only reason a SA even has for ASKING what's wrong is to jot it down in the notes for the service technician to read!

    A service advisor strictly schedules service appointments. Period!

    A service TECHNICIAN or service MANAGER should be the only one making any kind of diagnostic or service judgements.

    Giving the impression that Service Advisors should be doing any kind of diagnostic or service work is like asking the waiter to lower the prices of the food in a restaurant. He/She is NOT in charge of that!
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    That's why I do it. If my dealer is unscrupulous, I want to know about it! And, if by knowing what's wrong (at least according to the car's own OBC), I have some minor advantage, I am going to take it. I might even hint to my SA that I had the car scanned prior at a local business because I had a small problem and didn't want to make the dealer trek...But, I don't run in saying 'Good man! My car has a 2FBF!' The SA will barely know what I am talking about anyway...

    But, when your hypothetical dealer takes your hypothetical car off of a flatbed due to code 2FBF, and then hypothetically returns it, only to have immediate 2FBF again within sight of the dealer, I say '2FBF...isn't that the dreaded fuel pump code they talk about on google and stuff? Couldn't we have avoided all this, at least before the second go-around of breaking down on the side of the road, by fixing or replacing the problem pump...perhaps instead of reprogramming and deleting the original diagnostic codes?'

    I just want to be informed...and I do think that being so is in fact a basis for obtaining proper service in general, and at BMW dealerships.

    Sorry to derail the thread that little bit...but, I think it is more and more useful in this age of 'Ultimate Service' to be aware of the diagnostic codes that your vehicle stores in its memory than not. Even autozone can scan your car for you -- but their directory of codes is not as coherent as those belonging to the best in aftermarket scanners.
    • Member

    eam3

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    Here's a website that might prove useful in locating pure gas, not that infected crap our government is force feeding our cars.

    http://pure-gas.org/

    Sadly, the ones anywhere near my house only have 89 octane :(

    Additionally, the link this site which I found interesting:

    http://www.fuel-testers.com/state_guide_ethanol_laws.html

    Especially this part: Kansas is one of the states that does NOT require the ethanol label on their pumps.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    That's fine, E92Dreier, but I think you missed my point.

    You said 'Service Advisor.' The only thing that SA should be telling you is when your appointment is, period.

    I had no issue with anything else you said, including any necessary second-guessing codes and service technicians on your part.

    I've heard of people asking for (and getting) unqualified and uncertified advice from SA's who weren't even credentialed to be doing that in the first place, then they have the nerve to get p*ssed after the WRONG advice is given, sending the customer on a wild goose chase or WORSE, causing ADDITIONAL expense by creating issues where there were none to begin.

    So not only did these motormouth SA's waste the customer's time, AND forcing a second trip BACK to the dealer, they could incur more expense by causing things to get broken that should never have been touched to begin with. In most cases, any dealership liability would ride on whether the customer actually ASKED for the advice, or if the well-meaning but short on education SA gave it without being asked for it. The former would get the dealer off the hook in most cases, while the latter could not only cost the SA his/her job, but also cause the dealer to be liable.

    The customer can also avoid the hassle by not asking or soliciting the SA for any advice other than "when's my appointment."

    Thank you eam3 for a very useful and valuable post.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    Folks my point was the BMW service dept. folks do not always appreciate an educated owner or being told what fault codes exist or having an outside party scanning the cars. There are pros and cons to both sides of the discussion as untrained individuals can read all sorts of things into fault codes that are incorrect.

    An informed owner can decide how they chose to address/discuss the fault code issue with their BMW service dept. Some service depts. are receptive and others offended. :confused: These vehicles are very complicated and difficult to diagnose and service even with the best equipment and trained techs. I try to build a respectful relationship with the service manager/tech for the mutual benefit of all.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    My point is this, ForcedInduction, depends on whether dealership is a credible shop

    If it's a credible shop, dealer or independent, I say bring the car in, explain the problem, then get out of the way and let the professionals do their job.

    If it's NOT a credible shop, then it begs the addition question of what the heck are you doing there in the first place?

    Those two points aside, I'd say it comes down to this: they have access to a $50,000 - $100,000 dealership service computer called a GT1. You don't.

    Who are you going to believe? A service computer built, programmed, and maintained by the same people who built your car, or your mail-order $200 scan-tool?

    Don't put an excessive amount of faith in a scan tool. Chances are, it's not designed to be able to read the proprietary codes in the first place. It was never meant to. Want to reset your SI lights or your airbag light? Fine. It could probably do that. Want to get a generic digital code instead of having to count the number of blinks on your Check Engine light? It can probably handle that too.

    But replace a $50K to $100K computer supplied and programmed by the factory that built your vehicle? Come on, think about it! If a scan tool could replace the GT1 service computer, the dealership would probably have not spent so much money on it!

    My last point is ask yourself what you do for a living. If your answer is, "I'm a BMW factory trained service techician," feel free to troubleshoot, diagnose, and school those boys until you turn blue! But if it's not, please put away the cheap scan tool and your guesses, and let the professionals do the job you're paying them to do.

    I'm not going to pretend I am going to advise a heart surgeon on how to properly open my chest. Please don't think you're going to educate a BMW service professional on how to fix your car. If you do, either you're in the wrong line of work, or they are.

    Just my $.02
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    I was laughing pretty hard, good post, great analogy.

    I am not telling anyone to go into their dealer and act like they are Mike Miller, Macgyver, and Smokey Yunick all rolled into one -- On the contrary. What I am suggesting is that the scan tool affords you some extra intelligence when dealing with a dealer and/or BMW NA. In this age of Ultimate Service, a good battle plan is required - and I am happy to have more info, rather than less. It also allows me to reset service indicators.

    For what it's worth, my cheap scan tool does accurately read BMWs codes...and it has a corresponding list of fault codes with the problems they indicate. There are some codes that have not been cracked, but they do appear, simply without an explanation...and the firms contracted to break BMWs proprietary code are always hard at work, and since I bought my tool I have seen many updates in the code tables.

    For instance, my car has thrown a code called '2F0D' cosntantly. It has been simply deleted by my BMW dealer numerous times, with no explanation. When I did finally ask what it meant after seeing it on a service sheet, the service manager told me it was 'just a little hiccup due to the new software.' I asked him to notate those sentiments on the service sheet in case of future radiator failure - because I know that it is related to that component. I also had the radiator fail catastrophically on my e36 bmw - so I am paranoid. Maybe this tool just offers me a modicum of peace of mind...

    Lots of $.02 around here -- if we pick up all this change we might be able to go and get a cup of coffee or some bazooka gum.

    I am curious how the OP is making out with his troubles?
    • Member

    bcweir

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    @E92Dreier I don't know about you, if I saw a dealer service technician doing that...

    ...I'd find another dealer service department!

    I have some serious ethical issues with a dealer that does that.

    For one, he's deleting those codes without consulting you, without explaining what it is, and certainly without documenting it in your car's service record. That's not the behavior of an ethical service technician.

    The way BMW has put some of their engines together, a relatively cheap part may throw a code to warn you something is amiss. Fix or replace the part, and everything will probably be fine. But if he keeps deleting that code, and that part is already on its way to failure, who's to say that the failure of that part wouldn't lead to damage or problems with the entire SYSTEM? This service technician isn't telling you the whole story, and by deleting the code without explaining his behavior or the nature of the code, how do you know he's not BANKING on that part to fail so that he can charge you a whole lot more money for a complete system overall when that cheap part fails?

    That's just an example, but the point is, I was illustrating a way that this technician's behavior may be intentional, not just to keep you ignorant of what's going on with your car, but to PROFIT from such ignorance later on.

    That service technician is altering your car's service record! These error codes normally go into a database that BMW uses for service bulletins, recalls, and technical service updates.

    Do what you want, but if I caught a service tech doing that, I'd demand to speak to his boss, the service manager, and the general manager of the dealership. I'd also let them know I'd be reporting this to BMW NA, as the action constitutes withholding potentially vital service information to BMW. That could constitute fraud with their dealer and service agreements with BMW.

    By deleting those codes, he's also deleting any evidence that the problem was even looked at, let alone serviced. That hurts all of us, and most importantly, it hurts BMW, because that's information denied them to build better cars. I'd sure want to know what the heck they were trying to hide by deleting that code.

    That and definitely find another place to get your car serviced -- preferably a place that practices honest and open conduct when it comes to servicing your car and disclosing what was found.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    PS: I googled E92 Dreier's code 2F0D

    What I found was some apparently benign, if not conflicting information. Not surprising, considering it MIGHT be a proprietary code, and BMW could potentially sue for violating their copyrights if that info were published.

    Here is what I found.

    2F0D Radiator blind, input signal, (GLF)
    
Error will not cause a warning light
    
Error is currently present

    Test conditions have been completed

    Timeout
    EXPLANATION:
    FIX:

    2F0D Control controlled airflow
    • Member

    E92Dreier

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    Thanks for the research, similar to what I have seen as well.

    The most perplexing thing about the 2F0D code is that the dealer seems to have no idea what it means either - is BMW hiding the true meaning from even their dealer network? Is my dealer simply incompetent? lazy? ticked off at me for being aware of it? The code is still there today.

    They tried to play it off like it is completely benign, but they had no idea when I inquired. I asked if they could do anything about it - they said my new software update would cure it. It didn't. They even tried to pretend it involved the failure of my fuel pump.

    At least it has been documented, if not fixed.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Just for laughs, take it to another dealer.

    Should be interesting to see what a different dealer or service center says.

    Also, I'm not buying the story that the dealer has no idea what it means. That's either an EPIC FAIL in their service training, or they're hiding something.

    A dealership is typically an independently owned and operated FRANCHISE of the manufacturer. BMW provides these places with full factory support. BMW wouldn't just manufacture a code without knowing what it means, and chance are, they wouldn't put it in the software without telling a dealer service technician how to decode it. That's just stupid. That's like McDonald's requiring a restaurant to serve Big Macs, but not explain how to make one.

    Which is why I suggested taking it to another dealer and see if you get the same response. BUT if they tell you its harmless too, take their word for it, but get it in writing. That's your proof that they knew about it and they told you. That way if something goes kablooey in your engine related to that code, and they didn't tell you about it or service it, that's both FRAUD (misrepresentation) and NEGLIGENCE (finding a critical service issue, yet doing nothing about it). That little piece of paper could mean the difference between paying thousands for an engine repair, and paying nothing.

    "Trust, but verify." also known as C.Y.A.
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    wbdamron

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    FYI. Thanks for the discussion. Of note, yes, the corn lobby successfully passed legislation to remove the ethanol label from the pump here in KS. As for my X5, it is at Baron BMW getting new knock sensor(s)... We'll see... Hopefully that does the trick. W
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    wbdamron

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    Update

    FYI, Bimmers... Baron BMW replaced the nox sensor about three weeks ago... Apparently a major undertaking... But so far, so good. No "reduced engine power" warning. Thanks to all who provided thoughts and comments. WBD
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    bcweir

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    Glad to hear it's been fixed.

    It's probably an even bigger deal on newer vehicles like yours. The knock sensors were a bit of a pain to reach sometimes on the V8 E32's and E34's they first appeared on -- and it probably hasn't gotten any easier with the mile of plastic BMW buries modern engines under these days.

    Glad to hear you got it fixed. Not sure what caused the problem, but to be safe, you might want to be wary of where you fill up, since your state obviously doesn't want you to know WHAT you're putting in your gas tank.

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