Electrical Issues - Help! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 5:13 pm Thread Starter
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Electrical Issues - Help!

I left my bike for a week in an underground parking lot. I noticed when I parked it the HID low beam was flickering( I don't think this is related buy I'll mention everything I have noticed).

I arrived back last night and found the battery almost dead. The clock was not showing but when the key was turned there was a very faint glow to the red indicator lights on the dash.

This morning I gave it a boost to get me on the way and noticed the HID light is now dead. High beam still worked so used that for the trip home. I pulled out of the garage and got on my way. About every 22 miles the power would die, tach/speedo drop to zery, for an instant, and back again. It was as if the bike died but I was going with enough momentum to bump start her and she would continue to go fine.

An hour and half into the ride home I had to stop at a toll booth and she died. It didn't seem to charge during the last hour and a half and only had enough juice to make her click but not turn over. I pushed her out of the way and gave her a boost again. When I pushed her off the center stand I put the brake on and she died again. Aha! Pulling the brake lever killed her! I boosted her again and without touching the brake took off again. Another couple hrs later and I had to get fuel so was able to gear down and get to the pumps. During the last two hour stint I experimented by pulling on the brake handle and pushing on the brake pedal and the electrics would die, and the bike, and bump start again when released. Got fuel, boosted again and away I went. Made it back to the house and when I got in the driveway I pulled the brake lever and, you guessed it, she died.

I boosted her in my garage and pulled the brake circuit fuse to see if that would isolate anything but when I pulled the lever again, she died.

I mentioned earlier that every 22 miles she would die instantaneously and start up again while on the move. The radio would kick out and kick back on just like there was a dead short for only a second.

Does a computer tied to the brake system run a diagnostic check every 22 miles that would run power through the brake system?

It seems as if there is something in the brake system that is shorting out but then why did pulling the fuse do nothing? Is the fuse simply for the lights? Could there be other electrics that are in the brake system but have nothing to do with the brake lights?

It seems like something is shorted and draining the battery as well. When the brake system is engaged it becomes an instant dead short and everything dies, quickly!

I'm at a loss and hope someone else may have seen these symptoms before. Any help would be appreciated.

2002 K1200LT
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post #2 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 5:31 pm
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

How old is your battery? Sounds like a new one is needed. As for your hid not working properly, you probably have a bit of corrosion on your ground wire. Check your connections at your battery as well.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #3 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 5:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

The battery is only a year and a half old and I have not had any issues with it. This just seemed to have come out of the blue. The HID may simply be the bulb as well, can't remember how long that one has been in.

The first thing I did was make sure the battery connections were tight.

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post #4 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 5:34 pm
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

I guess the first question is: How old is the battery? When you got it home, did you put it on a good charger, not a trickle charger, and get it up to full charge? If so have you done a load test on the battery?( most auto parts stores can do it for you)......Yea, I'm thinking battery...

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post #5 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 8:03 pm
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goalie
I left my bike for a week in an underground parking lot. I noticed when I parked it the HID low beam was flickering( I don't think this is related buy I'll mention everything I have noticed).

I arrived back last night and found the battery almost dead. The clock was not showing but when the key was turned there was a very faint glow to the red indicator lights on the dash.

This morning I gave it a boost to get me on the way and noticed the HID light is now dead. High beam still worked so used that for the trip home. I pulled out of the garage and got on my way. About every 22 miles the power would die, tach/speedo drop to zery, for an instant, and back again. It was as if the bike died but I was going with enough momentum to bump start her and she would continue to go fine.

An hour and half into the ride home I had to stop at a toll booth and she died. It didn't seem to charge during the last hour and a half and only had enough juice to make her click but not turn over. I pushed her out of the way and gave her a boost again. When I pushed her off the center stand I put the brake on and she died again. Aha! Pulling the brake lever killed her! I boosted her again and without touching the brake took off again. Another couple hrs later and I had to get fuel so was able to gear down and get to the pumps. During the last two hour stint I experimented by pulling on the brake handle and pushing on the brake pedal and the electrics would die, and the bike, and bump start again when released. Got fuel, boosted again and away I went. Made it back to the house and when I got in the driveway I pulled the brake lever and, you guessed it, she died.

I boosted her in my garage and pulled the brake circuit fuse to see if that would isolate anything but when I pulled the lever again, she died.

I mentioned earlier that every 22 miles she would die instantaneously and start up again while on the move. The radio would kick out and kick back on just like there was a dead short for only a second.

Does a computer tied to the brake system run a diagnostic check every 22 miles that would run power through the brake system?

It seems as if there is something in the brake system that is shorting out but then why did pulling the fuse do nothing? Is the fuse simply for the lights? Could there be other electrics that are in the brake system but have nothing to do with the brake lights?

It seems like something is shorted and draining the battery as well. When the brake system is engaged it becomes an instant dead short and everything dies, quickly!

I'm at a loss and hope someone else may have seen these symptoms before. Any help would be appreciated.
Those are some strange symptoms, but I think many, if not most, of them can be caused by a weak battery. If the system voltage is marginal, activating the ABS will place a significant load on the system and may well be pulling the voltage below the minimum that the electronics need to operate. Not sure about the 22 mile thing as I don't know what BIST algorithms BMW uses, but certainly your theory is plausible.

I would swap the battery or place jumper cables to a known good 12V battery and see if the symptoms disappear. The battery would be my first suspicion and I would definitely rule that out before doing a lot more troubleshooting.

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post #6 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 8:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

Thanks guys. I think I'll order up a new Westco from Beemer Boneyard, they're on for $79.95, can't beat that!

I'll post back if I still have issues. Thanks. again.

2002 K1200LT
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post #7 of 11 Old Sep 30th, 2012, 8:31 pm
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

Sounds like the headlamp relay stuck and drained the battery. Check your terminal voltage at idle. Should be about 13.4. Terminal voltage with ignition off should be 12.7. Your battery may have shorted or broken internally.


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post #8 of 11 Old Oct 1st, 2012, 8:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

Charged her up last night, voltage readings as they should be. Started right up. Changed the HID low beam bulb. Now I have no headlights! The high beam worked on the way home yesterday with no low beam but now I have neither.

Sounds like a headlamp relay as someone mentioned. I looked in the manual and the clymer and I can't find anything on a headlight relay for my 02. Any idea where that might be?

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post #9 of 11 Old Oct 1st, 2012, 8:56 pm
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goalie
Charged her up last night, voltage readings as they should be. Started right up. Changed the HID low beam bulb. Now I have no headlights! The high beam worked on the way home yesterday with no low beam but now I have neither.

Sounds like a headlamp relay as someone mentioned. I looked in the manual and the clymer and I can't find anything on a headlight relay for my 02. Any idea where that might be?
Check the brown wires they are ground and would be common to both lights. Sometimes a little corrosion will act like this.

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Last edited by johnbaker15; Oct 1st, 2012 at 10:10 pm.
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post #10 of 11 Old Oct 1st, 2012, 10:02 pm
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

No relay. Check the brown wires as they are the ground return and are prone to corrosion in the headlight area. On HID the bulb is usually not the issue, it is normally the ballast. I had one that would not always come on. Replaced the ballast with a good Phillips one and it fires every time with the same old bulb.

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post #11 of 11 Old Oct 1st, 2012, 10:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Issues - Help!

I think I got it! I took a look at the ground wires and who ever put the HID lights in (one of the previous owners) made a mess under there! They did all kinds of things that would eventually cause issues. I basically gathered all the ground wires, cleaned everything up, and brought them all together again. Started the bike and voila, everything works. There was bare wire under there so there might have been an intermittent short or something that drained the system. I will check the battery voltage tomorrow morning to see if there is still a drain and if not, I will head out to work and hope I got it fixed.

Thanks for all the assistance and I guess I might have a spare battery when it comes in tomorrow. Oh well, I'm sure I'll need it sometime! Once again, this forum is the greatest!

2002 K1200LT

Last edited by Goalie; Oct 1st, 2012 at 10:52 pm.
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