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Thread: Electrical System Nightmare

  1. #1
    Z8 Novice tonchum's Avatar
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    Electrical System Nightmare

    I realize there are inherent problems with the neon concept for our cars, but I am now wondering if I am the only Z8 owner being subjected to electrical system extortion.... Long story short, I brought my Z8 to Irvine BMW (SoCal OC dealer) to repair a defective left turn signal. They replaced the ballast (which I waited 6 months for...), and upon returning the car, I ended up with the right turn signal not working, as well as the interior instrument backlights (Sport, door unlock, emergency, etc. backlighting). They now claim that the right turn signal ballast must be replaced, as well as the central control unit (which allegedly controls the backlights and the hood lamps, which also no longer work....) due to some shorting and things simply getting too old.... For a 2003 with 10,650 miles on it, I am having serious indigestion about an entire electrical system shutdown....!! Is this a common issue?
    _____________________
    Denis Hébert
    2003 Stratus // Crema/Black
    AH62201

  2. #2
    No, this is not a common issue, so it could well be something to bring to Bill Stuart's attenion at BMW NA. He may well be able to help you out with this, give him a shout on (201) 263-8210
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Z8 Novice tonchum's Avatar
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    Excuse my ignorance, but who is Bill Stuart?
    _____________________
    Denis Hébert
    2003 Stratus // Crema/Black
    AH62201

  4. #4
    He's BMW NA's Z8 liasion, and has been a great help to us all in keeping things in tip top shape.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Hes on vacation right now- you should ask for whomever they have in his steed. Bill is a great guy.

    PS_ really sorry this happened to you- you're right the *miles* are too low to justify these problems- but- the *age* of the car is right for these kind of problems.

  6. #6
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Be still my heart. If the age of the car is right for these kinds of problems, we all will be lighting up the board pretty quickly. I have had the mirror problem, the trunk strut problem and recently the gas cap problem, and a few others, but nothing like this. There is a theory that the tail lights fail because the switch for the neon is not used enough. My general rule is to drive the car every two weeks or so, weather permitting, and use the brakes and turn signals. Not sure it makes a difference, but I have my fingers and toes crossed.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  7. #7
    Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    My general rule is to drive the car every two weeks or so, weather permitting,
    Me too, IMO you keep the car in condition to give it some exercise.

    -
    edit: double posting
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    Be still my heart. If the age of the car is right for these kinds of problems, we all will be lighting up the board pretty quickly. I have had the mirror problem, the trunk strut problem and recently the gas cap problem, and a few others, but nothing like this. There is a theory that the tail lights fail because the switch for the neon is not used enough. My general rule is to drive the car every two weeks or so, weather permitting, and use the brakes and turn signals. Not sure it makes a difference, but I have my fingers and toes crossed.
    Seems my car would disprove that theory as I had to replace both my tail lights around 90K miles.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  9. #9
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    My car has been used and its sat. All original lights. Seems to me theres almost no rhyme or reason but the lights do fail at some point.

    For years people complained about all these problems and I had none. Then last year my seat backs fell off- both- and the nav died, and the head unit died, and the cd changer died, and the window motors died. Guess what? My car was 13 years old last year. My point is as cars age, things fail. This will happen. The only way to avoid this is to not have an older car.

  10. #10
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Granted, Jerry, we have all had different problems, and you are right that age is probably a contributing, if not the main factor. Thankfully the ones I have had have all been experienced and solved by people posting on this board. But I am not sure any of us have had all the items that tonchum had go out at once:

    "They replaced the ballast (which I waited 6 months for...), and upon returning the car, I ended up with the right turn signal not working, as well as the interior instrument backlights (Sport, door unlock, emergency, etc. backlighting). They now claim that the right turn signal ballast must be replaced, as well as the central control unit (which allegedly controls the backlights and the hood lamps, which also no longer work....) due to some shorting and things simply getting too old...."
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  11. #11
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    True but part of the- its a 13 year old car- thing is you also have to find the right person to work on it.... I am pretty sure Irvine still has a BMW Z8 specialist so if we rule that out- then yes- these cars are aging and its possible this particular one has more problems than normal- they are hand built and each one has been stored and cared for differently.

  12. #12
    Z8 Novice tonchum's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. For the information of all, I did reach out to Bill on Tuesday the 21st, but as stated he was not available, so a young lade indicated to me that a California-based BMW rep would contact me. No word to date....?? In any case, Irvine BMW accepted to pay for the right turn signal themselves (after much arguing). There remains the alleged issue of the central control unit... We shall see. (Note to those recommendations on driving, I actually drive the car once a week to my office, which is only 10 miles away.) Thanks again...
    Denis
    _____________________
    Denis Hébert
    2003 Stratus // Crema/Black
    AH62201

  13. #13
    Z8Mania
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    Hi Denis, if you can, I would find a way to exercise the car for more than 10 miles at a time. Not to make excuses for BMW but we've had quite a spell of snow and cold here on the East Coast. I would also recommend a battery tender- 10 miles isn't enough time to charge the battery- with each drive you are slowly depleting the battery.

  14. #14
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    I agree with Jerry. The car needs to be up to temperature to move the fuids around with the car warm, and 10 miles is not very far.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

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