Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you today. I am a licensed diagnostic and repair technician, I look forward to working with you.
It sounds like you have found the source of the parasitic drain, the gauge module is part of the instrument panel, this control unit is staying "awake" which will cause the problem.
This control unit also puts power to the exciter coil in the alternator and without this the alternator will not begin charging. If the engine is run without the gauge module the battery will not be charged which explains the cutting out.
Sorry. i have to understand correctly.
So by removing the fuse for the instrument panel i have in fact then caused the issue with the alternator not receiving power for the alternator to charge. Is this correct
ive caused my own problem then and dont need to go and get another alternator
have you come across this issue before with bmw x5 instrument panel draining the battery
Correct, If you put the fuse back in and charge the battery it should be ok. So the problem is gauge module. It is a fairly common problem. Any control unit in the car can cause others to stay away, but if you have tested it fuse by fuse and this is the only one that is staying away it would pinpoint it to the gauge module which will be an internal fault. I would get it tested by a company such as BBA Reman, they can test and repair as necessary or replace with a new part but before you do I would give your local BMW Main dealer a call to see if there is an update for your model as this can often be a software issue that can be corrected by carrying out an update of the control unit by BMW.
Prior to this everything worked OK and i had no issues with the battery etc until i replaced the front lights and fitted a new car steareo but when removing the fuses for these nothing changed when checking the battery.
could any of this caused an issuie with the instrument panel?
It is possible, Have you changed the factory fitted stereo for an after market head unit?
I did have the remote function working on the steering wheel but this stopped around the same time as the battery issue began. does the instrument panel Speedos etc have any connection with this
yes its an aftermarket stereo
Right. The loss of steering controls could be the result of a wiring issue or the failure of the gauge module because either problem would cause it to stay awake. Have you used an adapter kit to allow the steering wheel controls to work with the aftermarket stereo?
yes i have
as mentioned it worked for a while but then stopped. could it be the adapter kit being faulty
Either a wiring problem or connection problem with the adapter kit... Or the adapter kit it's self is highly likely to be the cause.
i will change out the adapter kit as this seems as it would be the least costly excercise first. if this doesnt correct the issue am i right in thinking that an issue then is with the Instrument panel and this then needs to be looked into. i have checked wiring to and from and all seems ok.
Yes the instrument panel would be the next suspect.
ok .... i will give it a try tomorrow.
thanks for your help
No problem. Best of luck!