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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > Has someone tampered with my car?



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      03-24-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
Kerr
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Has someone tampered with my car?

I was topping up the screenwash and instantly noticed that something wasn't right.

However as you can see the bonnet switch has been disconnected. Please ignore how dirty the engine is. It will be cleaned once the weather improves.





The connector clips in to the switch and there is two further clips that the wires are connected to.

It would be impossible to work itself loose from all 3 clips as they are firm, then also manage to fall down with the other wires on the outside of the gas strut.

Someone has obviously made a effort to remove it.

Am I being paranoid, or should I be worried someone has done that?

It has been a year since the car was at BMW for its service and only once since has my car been left in the care of someone else which was for the wheels last week.

Nowhere else has had the chance to touch it and within a year I would have noticed the wire and connector dangling down as it does usually get cleaned.

Looking back at my pictures I can see this one which was after BMW serviced it. The wire is clearly not dangling down.

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      03-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #2
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That wire has to be disconnected for removal of the scuttle panel, i.e to get to the ECU or get the engine cover off.

What was the last service work?
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      03-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
Kerr
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The last service was the 3rd oil service but that was a year ago and the last photo posted is dated after the service date.
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      03-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #4
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I've replaced that switch (it is prone to failing giving false bonnet open warnings)

Being familiar with how its fitted, it does seem odd to be loose.

I can't recall the moding, but if the switch is normally 'open' when bonnet is closed I guess disconnecting it would stop the alarm going off. You might want to check with a multimeter.

If they're been under the bonnet before though, why disconnect?
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      03-24-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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You would need to disconnect that plug to remove the scuttle cover, if doing the plugs and/or coil packs.
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      03-24-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Where did you you take it for "wheels" last week, and for what work?

If you feel like being paranoid then one scenario is:

1. car goes in for "wheels work"
2. dodgy bloke unclips wire
3. dodgy bloke comes back later at night, opens bonnet by somehow pulling the release, knowing alarm will not go off
4. then has access to the under bonnet OBD? so like the drivers window/OBD scam but through the bonnet?
5. programs a new key, rest is well known...
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      03-24-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
Kerr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post
Where did you you take it for "wheels" last week, and for what work?

If you feel like being paranoid then one scenario is:

1. car goes in for "wheels work"
2. dodgy bloke unclips wire
3. dodgy bloke comes back later at night, opens bonnet by somehow pulling the release, knowing alarm will not go off
4. then has access to the under bonnet OBD? so like the drivers window/OBD scam but through the bonnet?
5. programs a new key, rest is well known...
The car was away for a full day to have the wheels refurbished.

I hope I'm just being paranoid but in a year since the service, I would have thought I would have noticed the wire hanging down.

My theory was the bonnet could be opened without triggering the alarm and the battery could be disconnected.

The girlfriend is a police officer in the area so she was going to see if there had been any similar thefts.

Hopefully just me and hopefully I won't be woken up to my alarm going off sometime soon.
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      03-25-2013, 04:58 AM   #8
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Kerr, I've had a think about this......doesn't add up...

The alarm won't set if it thinks the bonnet/boot or any doors are open. The car will lock but you won't get the correct indicator flash IIRC, like you get when a door is ajar.

So in this case your alarm can't have been setting - a possible but unlikely 'theft plan'?

Even if it was a 'theft plan' (too complicated in my view) why would they unclip the scuttle tray wire clips too? if you wanted to secretly undo the bonnet sensor, you would unplug it and leave the wiring where it was so as not to attract attention.

It looks like someones had the scuttle tray off at some point and not put the wire back IMO, it looks in place in the 3rd photo, but in the first photo it has clearly been undone and laid round the other side of the gas strut, just as you would do when removing the scuttle (as I've done many times). The little wire clips are tricky to undo without breaking.

Is your alarm setting correctly with it disconnected??
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      03-25-2013, 05:01 AM   #9
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Seems a bit elborate?

Surely if they have the car for the day, they can just program a new key then and there.

They have your address too, so can just send a guy with the cloned key to collect whenever...
No need to faff about with under bonnet wires etc..
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      03-25-2013, 06:39 AM   #10
Kerr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
Kerr, I've had a think about this......doesn't add up...

The alarm won't set if it thinks the bonnet/boot or any doors are open. The car will lock but you won't get the correct indicator flash IIRC, like you get when a door is ajar.

So in this case your alarm can't have been setting - a possible but unlikely 'theft plan'?

Even if it was a 'theft plan' (too complicated in my view) why would they unclip the scuttle tray wire clips too? if you wanted to secretly undo the bonnet sensor, you would unplug it and leave the wiring where it was so as not to attract attention.

It looks like someones had the scuttle tray off at some point and not put the wire back IMO, it looks in place in the 3rd photo, but in the first photo it has clearly been undone and laid round the other side of the gas strut, just as you would do when removing the scuttle (as I've done many times). The little wire clips are tricky to undo without breaking.

Is your alarm setting correctly with it disconnected??
The alarm was working just the other week.

I accidentally locked the doors when my daughter was sitting in the car which did trigger the alarm.

Didn't notice how it behaved after I noticed it was disconnected. It is connected again.
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      03-27-2013, 03:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
Kerr, I've had a think about this......doesn't add up...

The alarm won't set if it thinks the bonnet/boot or any doors are open. The car will lock but you won't get the correct indicator flash IIRC, like you get when a door is ajar.
Unfortunately, cars tend to use normally-closed switches for bonnets and doors - I've never really understood why. When the bonnet is shut, the switch is open; lifting the bonnet closes the switch. This means that the alarm system can't tell the difference between a closed bonnet and a disconnected switch...
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