Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


About richard40

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/21/1943

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Still racing after all these years! BMW 325i and Alfa Romeo race cars.
  • Occupation


  • Garage
    BMW 525D Msport

Recent Profile Visitors

970 profile views
  1. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    Those of you with a long memory, may recall my experiences with this problem. Even removing the control box wiring did not allow the messages to be removed after a reset. After two 3 day BMW dealer visits and one even longer visit to a BMW specialist, I was forced to give up. A great piece of kit in principle, just a pity that BMW and Westfalia never bothered to engineer it correctly. I finally sold the car with the messages still showing.
  2. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    I can live with that! and it's particularly comforting when I have some p*llock in a giant Tonka Toy tailgating me on the motorway!
  3. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    Hi margutan, I finally solved my problem by selling the car! Two BMW Main Dealers had the car for 3 days and failed to find the problem, or even remove the error messages and very smart BMW Specialist also had it for 2 days and failed to find the problem or remove the error messages. Like you, the BMW dealer offered a replacement unit at a ridiculous price, which I rejected on the basis that I wouldn't want another one thanks! I also discovered that fitting a new unit would not necessarily remove the error messages! So, I sold the car with the fault declared at £1000 under its' normal value. I had my current 5 Series fitted with a standard Witter towbar for £200 - and, guess what? no problems!
  4. Just my opinion, but after owning a 2008 E61 520d, with manual transmission, for the past two and a half years, I have now switched to a 2009 E61 525d, also manual (rare!). Whilst the fantastically popular 520d model is an amazing package of acceptable performance and quite incredible fuel economy, the 525d is so much nicer to drive. The 520d always felt like a small car masquerading as a large car! Also, I always found the 520d gear change points indicated by the dash display were complete bollards. They may indicate the most fuel efficient revs for gear changing, but due to the lack of torque at low engine speeds, the engine clearly was unhappy (e.g at 30mph, change into fourth gear as indicated and the engine felt lumpy and unhappy). I happen to think that this may be a contributing factor to the famous timing change breakages, if the car has been driven consistently in line with the indicator. The 525d is a different animal, with a super smooth lazy engine with lots of low down torque and none of that constant gear changing around town with the 520d. OK, the 525d fuel economy is not as good and it costs more in road tax, but, boy, is it worth it!
  5. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    Update. Car spent two hours at BMW Westerly in Bridgwater today. Again they were unable to fully diagnose the problem, but concluded that the fault must be in the unit itself and advised a replacement at £1500! I declined, not only due to the cost, but I have lost all faith in the mechanism so I simply don't want another one. They were also unable to get rid of the warning messages on the I-screen and dash. My target now is leave the tow ball in the out position (appears locked) and simply get rid of the warning messages. This means getting into the harnes wiring and finding a way of fooling the system. Apparently, BMW dealers are not allowed to do this. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for all this baloney ? If not, does anyone know anyone who might have one?
  6. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    Same for me - the BMW dealer spent a couple of hours on the car about two weeks ago. They checked all the conections to the module (which is under the spare wheel!) but couldn't find the problem, so it is going in again tomorrow for them to have another go. I'm now content to leave the hook permanently in the out the position, as long as they can get rid of all the warning signals. However, I don't think BMW are permitted to anything other than fix a problem - so it may be a difficult time for the wallet!
  7. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    Hi Steve, I have a permanently flashing red light and I've tried every variation of button pushing/ignition position etc to get the thing to move, but to no avail. I have even tried 'giving it a bit of assistance' by whacking it with a 4 pounder at the same time, but still no movement ! !
  8. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    For anyone who hasn't seen one of these devices - someone put this on Utube : I guess that the problem could be "module related" - as you say, everything on the car seems to have a frigging module! I have just had to have the antenna amplifier diversity module replaced (only £276!) as the remote stopped working last week. The tow bar problem has appeared coincidently with the replacement of the diversity module, but it seems unlikely the two are related as the problem appears to be mechanical (i.e. grinding noises when I hold down the operating button). I have e-mailed Westfalia (who are the O.E. supplier of the unit to BMW) asking the same questions and to date got no reply! Does anyone know where the module is located? or if it could possibly be related to the new diversity module? Yesterday, I drove 456 miles to Cambridge and back with a trailer on the back, with no trouble, so I reckon I have proved to myself that there are no safety issues, so I am now inclined to leave it stuck out - but only if I can get rid of the alarm bells and irritating messages on the screens. All in all, my previous E39 was a much better car!(and better looking).
  9. richard40

    Swivelling Towbar Problem

    I only discovered that my E61 had an electric powered swivelling towbar after I bought it - and after my initial delight, I began to wonder if it was reliable. I have just found out that it isn't! It is now stuck in the out position and pushing the button just produces grinding noises but no movement. The towball appears to be stuck absolutely vertically (i.e. in the locked position) however the I-Drive screen is full of messages indicating it to be "not locked". Has anyone else had this issue? Question 1 - is the towbar still safe to use? Question 2 - how easy to fix?