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Information Controller


We are currently living in South Korea and we purchased a used 2007 BMW x5 with US specs. When we attempt to use the controller knob to display stats for the vehicle it does not engage, Example: we want to check the oil level, we push the menu button and then the center of the controller for the “i” area, nothing happens. If the vehicle is cold the menu will intermittently appear and it’s impossible to clear until we turn off the vehicle. If the dash board gets overheated while sitting in the sun, the display blinks until we push the menu button. We took it to one of the mechanics who speaks English and he stated we need to take it to the dealer, the dealer does not speak English and we don’t speak Korean. Should we try to get it fixed even though we have a language barrier or wait for a couple more years when we’re able to ship it back to the states? Thanks for your thoughts.

I don’t know what your priorities are, but if this were my car I certainly wouldn’t drive it for a few years with a major malfunction like this, especially if it’s the only way to check the oil easily. However, I do wonder what will happen if you need a US-specific part.

As for the language barrier, can’t you find a local student to translate for you? Surely lots of them are learning English these days.

Will you be paying to ship the car yourself? If so, I’m afraid it doesn’t seem worthwhile spending that much money to ship a car of that age, if you want my opinion.

Are you rich? If no, dump the vehicle. BMWs that are out of their warranty period cost a fortune to keep on the road. And the company isn’t particularly good at electrical engineering so the later-model cars with all the fancy gadgetry tend to get positively schizophrenic over time.

To your specific problem, it sounds like the i-Drive knob might be making intermittent electrical connection somewhere in the chain. The temperature-based behavior changes is the clue there. Electrical gremlins like that can be hard to troubleshoot in normal cars, much less the convoluted mess that is the BMW’s center console setup.

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I agree with @shadowfax . A 10 year old BMW with problems is a money pit. Add on the language problem and it’s a disaster. Sell it, get something Korean, newer and simpler. When it’s time to move, sell that vehicle and buy what you want when you get back to the US.

The thing about internet forums is that any question will receive all kinds of replies. You bought a used complex vehicle in a foreign country. You have to have had situations where someone translated for you. Contact that person to write down the vehicle problems or have them go with you to an actual BMW repair facility.
As for shipping this thing back, that is a terrible idea.