car alarm problems

My wife's three month old BMW 3281 sports touring had it's car alarm going off this morning. It would stop and start again. We tried locking/unlocking, and then driving it and stopping. Eventually it stopped.
How hard is it to disconnect an alarm system, or at least just the noisy part of it?
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So, why didn't you take it back to the dealer? And, is the alarm system a BMW system or a third-party system installed by the dealer?

That depends entirely on what kind of alarm it is. For the most part, the alarm systems are designed to make it hard for you to disable them, because they can't tell the owner from a thief. The BMW system is probably much more difficult to disable than a dealer-installed system. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 27 Jul 2014 17:25:39 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

He says the car's three months old. Assuming it's the factory alarm that's causing problems, then why on *earth* wouldn't he or anybody else just dump it back on the dealer with instructions to fix the damned thing and call back when they've done that?
It seems that many of reallyreal's posts are actually trite and meaningless and here, for example, are really just posts for the sake of posting about his "wife's three month old BMW 3281 sports touring."
I think there's a psychological name for his condition, but I can't remember it.
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And how do you think the dealer is going to fix an intermittent problem unless it starts going wrong in front of him.
I don't need an alarm, and unless it violates some insurance rule, I'd like to disconnect it.

It's true. I'm showing off that we have a new BMW while most of the people here are enthusiasts of older, cheaper BMWs.
My psychological problem is that I like to stimulate newsgroup discussions. Of course, it's self-serving - I was hoping someone here knew how to disconnect the alarm system.
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By pulling the logs from the computer system and seeing what the system was doing when it went wrong. This isn't 1980 any more.

If it's a BMW system, there may be a software patch the dealer can install that will disconnect it. However, if it's alarming randomly and under warranty, I'd want to know why before doing that.
If it's a dealer-installed system, on the other hand, it may be an adventure to remove. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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wrote:

A 328 is merely an entry level four-pot BMW, you know?

Scott has told you the same thing that I did. Take it to the dealer, it's *their* problem!
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:

Of course it is. I've grown up driving Japanese cars and my current '01 Prelude has been a great pleasure to me. BMW's were always cars for yuppies and showing off. But what can I do, we inherited money, and the 4 door AWD wagon is the only car available that fits our needs and isn't too big. But we're still sort of embarrassed to own a BMW, especially when our city is full of huge black BMW SUVS.

Of course I'm taking it to the dealer. I'm also wondering if other electrical issues we're having are related to this problem. I just don't have a lot of faith in dealers fixing intermittent electrical problems.

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wrote:

But not too embarrassed to post here about trivial problems that any sane, rational and well-adjusted person would just go back to the dealer for?
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On 7/28/2014 8:02 AM, Dean Dark wrote:

Of course I'm going to the dealer, Mr Sand, Rational & Well-Adjusted.
The other posters here have given me good advice, like how to manipulate the doorlock to stop it, until I can leave it at the dealer ( they won't let me drop it off until tomorrow.) Also, the fact that there might be a dealer installed alarm system is good info.
You think an intermittent electrical problem is trivial? My neighbours don't think so.
What's the matter with you is the real question.
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wrote:

Jeez! Two people told you *exactly* what to do about it, yet you continued to pontificate on the subject here.

That's precious. There's none so blind as those who cannot see.
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Find the grain of truth in criticism, chew it, and swallow it.
- anonymous
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No, I continue to question people about what to do, and I question you about the reason for your hostility.
The dealer wouldn't let me leave it there today, and taking it home, the alarm went off again, but leaving it unlocked seemed to work. That cure didn't work yesterday.
From what I know about intermittent electrical problems, nothing is going to be easy to fix. The car has had other electrical complications. I'm eager to hear what the service specialist has to say.
But I'd better not share that information here, because you don't want me to.
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wrote:

Now you're just being childish.
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Now I'm confused about what I should and shouldn't say.
I figured some people here might be interested in what it's like to have a new BMW, but maybe I'm just acting out.
Yesterday, at the service department, I saw one of those new electric BMW i3s, looking very odd, but different, in a modern way, which is what I think an electric car should look like. I didn't even know they were for sale yet in North America. I wonder why it needed servicing.
This morning, I took the car in at 7:00 AM when they open. How strange to see the place full of people working at that hour. I hope they get to go home early.
The service guy listened to my tale of woe, and put the key into a dock on his computer and studied the data. I hope it didn't show how many moves it last took me to parallel park. He said they would have to reprogram the software.
I asked about disconnecting the alarm or lowering its volume but that doesn't seem to be officially possible.
And then, they drove me home and told me they would come pick me up when the car is ready, in a day or so. I'm not used to this level of service from a car company.
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Just in case anyone is still following my adventures, here's what happened to my three month old car.
1. The car alarm problem was caused by a defective part in the sunroof. This part will take two weeks to come from Germany.
2. The tailgate of the car went up by itself three times in the past two months. I assumed I had accidentally left it open or hit the remote, but it turns out, there was another defective part causing this.
3. The service department said they couldn't disconnect the alarm without disabling the remote controls. However, with the prospect of me having to leave the car there for two weeks, with their very limited storage room, they have found a way to disable the alarm and keep everything else working.
It's interesting that BMW doesn't sore parts and it has to take two weeks to get a part flown in. It makes me feel like I have an exotic Italian sports car. I guess the BMW bureaucracy in Germany is so big that it takes twelve days to process the paperwork before shipping the part which would then take two days.
I heard from a friend the history of his problems with BMW service, real horror stories.
Also, my service rep guy, who was there when the service department opened at 7:00 AM, was back from lunch at 3:00 PM. Apparently he works a split shift over eleven hours each day. I wonder if these people have ever heard of unions?
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Stop the press! Everything I said in my previous post turns out to be totally wrong.
The service guy had told me that they would disconnect my alarm in a way that would allow me to still use the remote. It turns out he was talking in BMW double speak language. What he really meant was that the alarm would not be disconnected but he would show me how to manually lock the car and that this would probably stop the alarm from going off.
Manually locking a four door car is not the easiest thing to do, but it's better than leaving the car unlocked for the two weeks it takes BMW Germany to uncover the part and send it to Canada.
Also, the part which would stop the tailgate from opening by itself, which he said they now had, turned out to be the wrong part, so this too will take two weeks to fix.
Leaving the car at the BMW shop was a real treat for the seagulls, who covered the hood in seagull shit. It was a nice symbolic end to the day.
I'm trying to see the bright side of all this. I have a brand new car which has two defective parts? It's like owning a Jaguar, something I always dreamed of.
The BMW shop doesn't store parts and it takes them two weeks to get a part from Germany? It's like having a Lamborghini, something I never even dreamed of.
And surely having two defective parts turn up in the first three months doesn't mean the car is going to be a lemon, does it?
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(snip)

Get used to it.
We are on our ninth BMW* ; an M (performance) 135i (F20) which is about 14 months old now. The first of the new genre of BMW to slot in between the full fat M-cars, and the M-Sport models.
It is our first F series BMW, and having having it 8 months, and then closely looked at the rest of the F series cars, I can tell you that the materials, quality of fit and finish are far lower than BMWs of previous years.
I have had to fit lots of small pieces of rubber to stop squeaks and rattles in the cabin, but the groans, knocks and further rattles from the interior really annoy me. Few of which made their presence known about at the time of assessment.
Everything feels flimsy, and I am ashamed that I agreed to buy it, but my better half wanted it.
I have found a few parts that were not fitted correctly at the factory.
Even the front and rear wipers do a poor job of clearing the screens, tried new blades, too.
Our 2011 E82 coupe, a 135i M-Sport, with the same glorious N55 engine, has much greater quality fit, finish and materials, does not have any interior niggles at all. The seats are more comfy, too.
I think that the new cars (F-series) have been designed to have a shorter life.
We have taken our BMWs through around eight different BMW dealer workshops, and I can tell you, they are all crap. They cannot even be trusted to get the tyre pressures correct, and often, the cars are returned damaged.
If any other car maker made a small car with a straight six engine, I would not have a BMW.
* (five 3 series, and four 1 series)
David
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Note that the locking system and the alarm aren't the same thing, and you seem to be talking as if you think they are. They _do_ interoperate with one another though.

What is the part anyway?

This is not strictly a BMW problem, but it's part of the general problem of increasing complexity of electronics in modern cars. BMW is worse than most manufacturers because they are pushing more and more new electronics in faster than everyone else. But, you can have a similar experience with a Cadillac today too.
Mind you, I never lock my car because I figure it just encourages thieves.

So why weren't they willing to loan you a car for two weeks? Did you even ask for a loaner? --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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True, but by manually locking the car, we seemed to have temporarily solved the problem. My service consultant definitely thinks they are the same thing though, because he originally told me he was disconnecting the alarm, when all he really did was show me how to lock it manually.

I can find out when I eventually take the car in, but my service consultant is way too uncommunicative to respond to an email if I asked him now.

They might have given us a loaner if we had really needed it, despite refusing to store the car for two weeks. I was still rather amazed they didn't offer to keep our car until they could fix the alarm.
Meanwhile, we just got back from a road trip, and the air conditioning stopped working properly. This is the second time this has happened. Both the fan and the coolness get very weak. This time I was able to "fix" it by turning off the aircon for ten minutes and turning it on again.
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(snip)

On the cars fitted with Intelligent Alternator Control (that is, those with wrongly termed "regenerative braking"), I have found that with the cabin air set to an auto program, the fan speeds up when on the 'over-run;, especially when driving into the sun.
David
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Mine sometimes does this if you lock it remotely and unlock with the key or if you dead lock and remote alarm and unlock with the key. Usually a cycle of remote lock / unlock sorts it.
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