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      01-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #1
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Drives: 07 550i
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Texas

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Question 07 550i iDrive Out, Seeking Help - adventures with Mechanic & Dealership

Having some issues with my iDrive on my 2007 550i e60 that is no longer on warranty. I've dealt with independent mechanics, buying a battery, doing tests, then alternative was supposedly bad, then software issues, and now about to deal with dealership. Let me explain what happened and the events.

a little under a month ago my idrive system was acting up. It would just shut off while driving, and then turn back on sometimes while driving or after restart. After a couple of days it just stopped coming on entirely. I researched online but there were different theories. So I lived with it for a bit, didn't want to spend christmas money on it at the time. Then after a point where I didn't drive it for a day or so the car would not start. I figured, yea its the battery, well thats better problem to have than the idrive system going out. I finally take it into an independent BMW mechanic, good people, highly rated. he says it is the battery and charges me half the cost that the dealer would charge. I happily pay that and drive off the lot. iDrive system is on and life seems great. After a couple of miles down the road, the idrive system shuts off again and never came back on after that. I took it back to mechanic. He says they'll run some more tests on the battery and can't seem to really find the problem but said something is causing it to fluctuate and he's pretty positive it was the alternator. Would cost about $600 for the part and 2hrs ($90/hr) for labor. Sounded about right. Though I know I can get the part myself (exact one) for about $350 online. Any how I had to wait on that and I wanted to get second opinion since he just assumed it was the alternator. He tells me I can drive around like this until the battery is no longer holding a charge or alternator goes out completely. I go ahead and wait and drive the car with no issues but still have no idrive (navigation, lcd, music, audio).

So just a couple of days ago the car wont start again. The battery is dead. I didn't drive it for about 2 days. I get it jumped and take it to knew mechanic who's going to run a test on it. He says the battery and alternator are fine. So they put it on another machine and find an error code about the car not going into hibernation mode when you turn it off. The documentation says something like: "Vehicle does not always go to sleep. Has communication issues. Might need software updates." So the computer or some electronics are not turning off and draining the batter all the time. He says it can very well be a software bug or issue and probably needs software updates from the dealership. Depending on how long its been since its updated, it can take an hour or even stay all day on the computer doing updates costing from either $100 to $500 for the updates. He said it should also fix the idrive not coming back on.

Now my questions or thoughts:
- why hasn't the idrive turned back on after each jump or charge. I'd hate to think the iDrive is fried cause that is a huge cost.
- I think i read somewhere that there is a recall or service bulletin about the car electronics not shutting off and draining the battery but I can't seem to find it again. Any one hear about this?
- Does anyone have experience with dealership doing software updates? How long does it take. what did it cost, what did it fix or improve?
- Anybody have issues with idrive not turning back on and finding a software update or fuse might have fixed it?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated as I am seeing the dealership this coming monday.