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Clearly my normally reliable P38 has overheard me talking to dealers about upgrading to a Sport, as twice this week it's simply stopped dead.

Each time ALL power goes; engine stops dead, no lights on the dash, no interior lights, no power anywhere, even to run the hazard flashers (which is a pain with a row of traffic building up behind you).

And on both occasions (like so much this car does) it appears to fix itself quite quickly; by the time I had the bonnet open last night I could actually hear power coming back, relays clicking into life.

Both times this has happened the trip has reset to zero and the windows have lost their memory settings. The radio, however, has retained all its channels.

And on both occasions the circumstances have been similiar - stopped, popped into a shop for a few minutes, back out, reverse, drive perhaps 10 yards, then fail.

The battery connections seem sound; I had to jump start the car a few months back after a weekend camping where the doors were being constantly opened/closed, but in that case it was clearly a flat battery; the dashboard display was going from 'gearbox fault' to 'alternator fault' then, in deference to BMW's influce, defaulting into German for a while, but in that case some power still existed, just not enough to turn over the engine.

The fact the radio (non standard) retains it's codes while the trip resets to zero makes me fear this is ECU related.

Anyone experience this before, or have any ideas of what might be up ?
I'd hoped to get at least a couple more months out of the P38 before buying a Sport `)
 

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Have you checked your under hood fuse box power supply? When that securing nut comes loose it easily gets corroded and can act just like a fouled battery connection.
 

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Yes, I had TOTAL electrical failure. A lot of times the post on the fuse box circuit board will break loose. Take the fuse box out and visually check it closely. It is best to just replace the whole fuse box and be done with it.
 

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i've had the exact same symptoms as you Ronnie, rrt and Turpin are on the money.
in my case the post that the cable attaches to in the fuse box broke away, but stayed in position to give an 'intermittent sudden death'
replaced it with a new fuse box after trying a second hand one which had it's own issues .

.......................tasi
 

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Fuse box here too. Just replaced, no problems since.
 
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