R56 dash losing power when it's cold outside

 Created by: justelectric
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 Posted: Sep 18, 2019 09:41AM
 Edited:  Sep 18, 2019 09:45AM
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CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by justelectric
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It all seems strange that it is totally fine when the weather is warm. I would think that an poorly seated connection would be affected by bumps in the road but the car is absolutely fine unless it is cold out.  Strange.
A coupling (plug or whatever) might be tight and secure but an internal electrical connection may be barely making contact. When the electrical connection is cold it may be separating just enough to lose contact. Or it could be an electronic component (chip, circuit board, etc.) not seated properly and makes contact when it warms up.

Totally unrelated but similar: in my Suzuki SX4 the stereo display panel only works when it is cold, remaining blank when warmer. As I generally listen to one or two radio stations (on preset buttons) it isn't worth my bother to try to resolve it.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Sep 17, 2019 07:24AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justelectric
Thanks for the suggestions! I will look into the FRM as soon as I get some free time in the next few days. I have already looked behind the passenger side kick panel as I was following the relay click sound and it seemed to be coming from that area. I understand that it may be downstream from the actual problem. 
It all seems strange that it is totally fine when the weather is warm. I would think that an poorly seated connection would be affected by bumps in the road but the car is absolutely fine unless it is cold out.  Strange.
My suggestion was the quickest / least expensive test to perform. The alternative is to have the dealer re-flash the software in the FRM or maybe even replace it.....

 Posted: Sep 17, 2019 05:38AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I will look into the FRM as soon as I get some free time in the next few days. I have already looked behind the passenger side kick panel as I was following the relay click sound and it seemed to be coming from that area. I understand that it may be downstream from the actual problem. 
It all seems strange that it is totally fine when the weather is warm. I would think that an poorly seated connection would be affected by bumps in the road but the car is absolutely fine unless it is cold out.  Strange.

 Posted: Sep 17, 2019 03:17AM
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The footwell module (FRM) controls all of the functions (and many others) you listed that become intermittent when cold. The FRM is located in the drivers side kick panel behind the hood release.

Since the symptoms seem to be temperature related, I suspect a connectivity issue affecting the signals controlling all the functions. I would recommend you disconnect the battery and try reseating the three connectors at this module. Clean the contacts with dielectric grease if you have some.

Let us know how this works out for you.

 Posted: Sep 16, 2019 03:08PM
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Could be a harness issue, as they get cold they get shorter, which one where is the challenge. I had this on a escape but it went away after a couple of years. Possibly a connector not fully seated as well.

 Posted: Sep 16, 2019 11:37AM
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I have a 2012 R56 that is very fun and gives me no problems at all.....when it is warm out.  As the temps fall to around 5°c or less the dash starts to lose power for a split second at random intervals and gets more frequent the colder it gets.  When this happens I can hear a click as if a relay is dropping out for that split second.  Here is a list of the things that happens when this occurs: the speedo drops to zero and returns to where it should be, the radio shuts off and comes back, the seat warmers shut off and need to be turned back on manually, the wiper blades will stop and start if they are running, the heater fan shuts off and back on.  This will cause a service light to turn on and stay in the instrument cluster.  The engine will run just fine and is still drivable and after 10-15 minutes when the cab starts to heat up it goes away...until you shut the car off and it cools down, then right back. Guessing there is a bad electrical connection that is affected by the cold temps.

Any ideas on where to start before I take the dash completely out of the car?