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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BIMMERPOST Universal Forums Classic BMW (Pre-2005 Models) smoke/electronic system damage
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      11-09-2023, 03:36 PM   #1
jzup
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smoke/electronic system damage

My car was in the garage when my garage caught fire. The fire was put out by fireman and the car was not burned directly and driven out by fireman.

Shortly, my car's service engine light was on. Went to dealer, the dealer said it can not diagnosis the issue because they found the "CAN communication issue with DME", dealer suggest to replace DME control unit and instrument cluster, it has 6000$ price tag. Insurance company Geico does not want to honor that and they need me to prove the issue was caused by smoke/heat/moisture from fire incident.

Even though my dealer agrees it is possible cause. He can not say that is the definite case and he sounds like he could not give definite answer even if he took out the parts and inspect the boards (meaning I could end of paying him for no result.)

Anyone knows any place can do these kinds of analysis? I also called BMW NA and they have no suggestion as well.

Thanks.
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      11-10-2023, 10:18 AM   #2
Theodore2
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Try posting your question in this forum here specifically for your model car to increase your chances of getting an answer and check out the old threads in that forum as well. Just browsing through that forum, it looks like a lot of people have posted issues with communications errors and some of them have posted solutions.
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      11-28-2023, 09:50 AM   #3
540fan
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I’ll comment to the general issue of the fire. My friends shop just burned because a wrecked car stored inside by a towing company that rented space combusted after two months of being inside. All caught on video as it started. It damaged a number of cars, and others that were at the front of the building have smoke damage and soot. Every vehicle inside is a write off even though they star, run, and can drive.

Vehicles that were inside but not directly damaged by the fire…
Mercedes Coupe
Chevy 3500 High Country Crew Cab long bed diesel
Escalade
Porsche Cayenne
Audi S4 V8 POS… Probally a sympathy death…
65 mustang (May be repaired because it lacks electronics.


Two insurance company fire investigators have said the vehicl are totaled because of the smoke and carbon that coats the electronics and can cause fires and or cause gremlins…

So look at it another way…

Your car was in a structure that burned, it was damaged even though it runs and drives. You are already seeing issues related to the fire.

Why put you and your family in it and find out the airbags decide not work in a crash or it decides to burn down later. Have them write it off and get another vehicle, it’s not worth the risk or headache.

Same fire investigators told my firend that every piece of electronics (computers, printers, copier, etc… are toast even though they work just fine and were in the offices up front. they said those can ignite anytime or never because of the carbon coating on the electronics…. My friend left immediately went home and got everything and brought it back, then went and bought new computers.

Don’t take the chance because unfortunately, we drive iPads these days and they are full of electronics. That’s why “good” cars get written off so easily by insurance companies.

some examples…. The Mercedes is just coated but will be a goner. The Audi POS wasn’t running and thankfully will never run again…

That’s why we buy insurance…
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      11-28-2023, 09:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzup View Post
My car was in the garage when my garage caught fire. The fire was put out by fireman and the car was not burned directly and driven out by fireman.

Shortly, my car's service engine light was on. Went to dealer, the dealer said it can not diagnosis the issue because they found the "CAN communication issue with DME", dealer suggest to replace DME control unit and instrument cluster, it has 6000$ price tag. Insurance company Geico does not want to honor that and they need me to prove the issue was caused by smoke/heat/moisture from fire incident.

Even though my dealer agrees it is possible cause. He can not say that is the definite case and he sounds like he could not give definite answer even if he took out the parts and inspect the boards (meaning I could end of paying him for no result.)

Anyone knows any place can do these kinds of analysis? I also called BMW NA and they have no suggestion as well.

Thanks.
Get a lawyer and force Geico to write the car off.
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      11-28-2023, 03:17 PM   #5
Littierally
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Start a discussion with your homeowners insurance as well.
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      11-28-2023, 08:16 PM   #6
KevinC
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Get rid of Geico. Horrendous company.
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      11-29-2023, 09:06 AM   #7
540fan
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Originally Posted by Littierally View Post
Start a discussion with your homeowners insurance as well.
that may or may not help. The HO company will say file on the auto policy and when it pays, the auto ins co will claim against the HO ins co if they are not the same.

Hagerty, Hagerty, Hagerty for our cars with and use stated value and cherished salvage.

I have my E39 540it and F82 M4 with them and also had the Hellcat with them when I owned it. $1000/year for a 2018 Dodge Hellcat, where are you going to to do better than that…
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      11-29-2023, 02:19 PM   #8
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If this is for the e46 325i listed in the car list, I suggest getting a Windows laptop and a K+DCAN cable (with a switch on it) and running diagnostics on your own at home.

Also a replacement DME for that car can be done quite cheap while keeping all the vehicle programming and security intact.

Personally I doubt it's a DME issue, but it could be.
It could also be other issues, so I always suggest a good independent shop, or doing some home diagnostics.

My bet is that I could get that car to scan just fine. Dealers are so used to the newer cars that they're essentially clueless or blind to the simple things of the old cars.
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