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      06-12-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
Infuzion
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Power Wire to Fuse Box

Hi all,

I was curious if anybody on here has had this issue, or if anybody knows of any ways around this. I've found results for every 3 series with the except of the M3, and - sadly enough - BMW does not count the M3 as a 3 series:

The problem: Car loses power. EVERYTHING. It will literally lock you in the car and you cannot get out without breaking your window or restoring power back to the car. Kinda dangerous in hot weather, but you can open the door with your physical portion of the key (from the outside, lol). You also cannot lock your car at night due to the alarm system being on a separate battery system. When it senses the 12V wire has been lost to the back of the fuse box, it cannot decipher between that and the battery. It senses that somebody has unplugged the battery and will set the alarm off until power is restored to the car and you can unlock it with your key, or until all power is drained from the alarm battery. (Note: This will happen several times at night and will recharge the alarm battery once it regains power by itself over time, and continually set the alarm off until both the alarm battery and your regular battery are completely dead.)

The solution: Take off the glovebox cover and wiggle the power wire going to the back of the fuse panel. It seems that after you wiggle it enough, the car has power restored, however all of your settings, including the clock and everything is gone.

The hassle: The stealership (VOB/BMW of Rockville) will not cover this as a recall, even though all the other 3 series of the 2008 MY had a similar issue. I have another (E93 mind you, but same layout) fusebox from a 2008 MY and see the problem: it's a plastic connector from the back of the fricken' battery! Of course it's going to have problems! If it loosens and arcing has occurred at all, the plastic will "weld/melt" itself to the back of the panel. This was a very common problem on the 2007/8 MY 1/3 series, and damn near all of my buddies that have the non-M versions of this have had this done under warranty. The stealership today has quoted me 2.2 hours @~$140/hr to complete the diag on the fuse box issue ($387). Note that this does not include replacing the connector or 1.5 feet of battery cable that is annotated to replace in the BMW books from this problem.

The ridiculousness: I went in there before, for the same issue, and was quoted $12,000 to replace the ECU which should fix it all. I walked out to my car and prepared to make some select phone calls. I hesitated, thinking that maybe I just got stuck with a prick SA and there was nothing to do. So today I get quoted $4,000-5,000 to fix "all the problems with the car." It needs plugs, I'll give them that. But nowhere in there have I found a way to make $4-5k worth of maintenance. They quoted me $1,200 to replace the connector on the back of the fuse box. It takes 2.2 to diag, however it takes <1 hour to actually get to the back of the thing. So I'm curious where they're getting their figures from.

Has anybody had this issue, and had any luck with the DIY portion of this? I'm not rich by any means, (probably shouldn't be driving an ///M Car, than! But I love her <3) and I would like to avoid breaking the bank to get this car road-worthy again. Once she's running, everything is fine. I've replaced 2 blower motors already, on the third. It's a common problem, and being a cheap and easy DIY I don't mind that. But this is a little scary. I worry about my car getting broken into for no reason at all. There's already marks on the passenger window where someone tried with a slim-jim before.

Thanks in advance for your help, guys! I really do appreciate it. Feel free to contact me via call/text if you need anything at all, or if there is any info I can give to help!

--Ryan Carter
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      06-13-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
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Find another dealership. See if they can get BMW NA to goodwill it.
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      06-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #3
Infuzion
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Yeah, I'm out of town currently and will be back tomorrow. I might check into a smaller dealership. I was told that there is no way they would goodwill it because my maintenance history with BMW is short, I do my own maintenance. Any key words or tricky phrases that I could use to help out?
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      06-13-2014, 11:53 AM   #4
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This isn't an M3 issue. This is ONLY for non-M cars. Its a mandatory recall and if your VIN falls under it then you get it done under warranty.

In all of my years of wrenching I never performed this repair for an M3, only 128/135/328/335.
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      06-13-2014, 05:17 PM   #5
Infuzion
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Gotcha. I was mainly irritated that they looked up my car by my account (financed through BMW) and told me it was eligible. I bring it in and, lo-and-behold, $1200 to start.

Regardless, I'd enjoy doing the repair myself, hence why I asked about the DIY portion of the repair. Would you mind letting me know what steps need to be taken to safely drop the fuse box to where I can access the back of it? The M tech I spoke with told me it takes about 45 minutes, so I assume it should take myself about 1.5-2 hours. Nothing too major, something that could be accomplished on a day off- I mainly worry about messing more stuff up than I'm trying to fix!

Thank you in advance!
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      06-14-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infuzion View Post
Yeah, I'm out of town currently and will be back tomorrow. I might check into a smaller dealership. I was told that there is no way they would goodwill it because my maintenance history with BMW is short, I do my own maintenance. Any key words or tricky phrases that I could use to help out?

Lesson learned, I think. Sometimes spending a bit of extra cash for the dealer to do your maintenance is worth it in the end.

Why do you do your own maintenance? The car has no-cost maintenance for the first 4 years/50k.
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      06-14-2014, 01:47 PM   #7
Infuzion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Lesson learned, I think. Sometimes spending a bit of extra cash for the dealer to do your maintenance is worth it in the end.

Why do you do your own maintenance? The car has no-cost maintenance for the first 4 years/50k.
It was/is my daily driver. I just came off active duty and had to drive significant distances to see family and the lady friend. It is a 2008 I purchased December 2012 with ~40,000 miles. It's now June 2014 and has around 115,000 on it, well beyond what any warranty would cover. My reason for doing my own maintenance before was the price of it. We (enlisted) don't make a ton of money, and after helping my family out financially (they underwent bankruptcy) it wasn't within my means to let the dealer do maintenance. I apologize to my car mainly for that, and any confusion caused from this thread so far.

I owned a Z4M prior to this car, and will be buying another E92 M3 after I pay this one off as it is such a wonderful car to drive.

Regardless, the car is 100% out of warranty now, and I'm getting back on my feet with a much better job. Just saving a few bucks and learning the car at the same time. She's given me so much already, and I'd hate to see her go!

Thanks!

--Ryan
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