Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Bimmerfest - BMW Forums (
-   E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013) (
-   -   Increased Battery Discharge issue (

terri_atl 12-01-2011 03:21 PM

Increased Battery Discharge issue
Sorry, I know this topic has been discussed before by users, but I still have problem understanding it even after researching in many sites. I apologize if I sound too ignorant and also for this very lengthy thread.

I have a brand new 328i in March. I live in Buckhead, Atlanta. So I do basically almost everything within the buckhead area.

Around mid October, I first received a "High Battery Discharge"warning message. But it went away within a minute after I turned on the ignition.

On November 1, I was at my dental office for over 2 hours. I got into the car, drove to pick up some shipping supplies down the street. Got back into the car about 5 mins later, halfway to the mall, my mom called and I talked to her via bluetooth.

Parked the car, cut off engine and still talking to my mom. Whole conversation is about 30minutes. I know. After I hung up the phone, the "High Battery Discharge" warning came up again. I turned off the power.

Went to the mall to pick up a few items, went back to the car. The "Battery Charged Level Low" came up when I turned the power on. This was the first time I saw that and I was worried. I connected to the BMW Assist and the lady insisted I should send my car for a checkup. She connected me to the nearest service center at Global Imports. I got an appointment on Nov 5. The warning signs did not show up after that.

On November 5, the SA told me I have too few miles in the car, and likely due to my driving short distances. I looked at the diagnostics, it said
"#1 Cause was Terminal 15 was on.
#2 was unfavorable driving patterms" Battery at 53%

The technician came and explained I should really take my car to go far away places. He has suggested a trickle charger but since I live in a condominium, that won't work. Everyone zoomed in on my "unfavorable driving pattern". He also said the battery will not be under warranty if it dies.

So I have since tried to take the car to far places once a week. Honestly, this is stressful cos I have to purposely go somewhere far to get the battery charged.

One month later, today I received another "High Battery Discharge". Not sure if it was due to my stopping at the gas station to fill up the gas and again like 10minutes later. When I got back into the car after leaving the car for 10minutes, I received the "High Battery discharge" warning. The warning did not go away. After my one hour meeting at Starbucks, I did not see anymore of the "High Battery Discharge" warning for the rest of the day.

I am wondering instead of going to highway when the traffic is just as bad as the city roads, can I just drive around the city to get the battery charged. If yes, how long should I drive to get the batt charged. Would anyone be kind to tell me if this (driving short distances) is the only reason causing it. I also have a theory, could it be because I keep cutting off the engine at within sort period of time interval. I used to have a MB, and I never have such problem :(

Would appreciate if anyone can advise on this. Thank you!:cry:

Ilovemycar 12-01-2011 04:12 PM

Get a maintenance charger, and just charge it whenever you can (visiting mom, friend w/ garage, anything).

When you get out of your car, lock immediately to put the car to sleep.

You can save a bit here and there by not using DRLs, radio, the vert top, no more BT talking, etc. If and when you must, only when the car is running.

FWIW, I don't really use DRLs, barely use the radio, don't have integrated BT, don't have a vert, immediately lock my doors, and even roll the car out *unstarted* in neutral to wash it. Yet, my first charge took 24 hours. Which leads me to believe that you will need a lot lot lot lot lot of city driving *on one start* to get it up to charge.

Is it possible to remove the battery to have a shop charge it for you, and go from there? (I honestly don't know if it's cool to just remove it with our cars w/o adversely affecting the OBC and stuff . . . I think I recently read it's no problem on the E46?).

B-737 12-01-2011 04:14 PM

at your condo, do you park in front of your unit? is there power available to the car? i know you ruled out a battery tender but it will solve all your issues and you wont feel pressured to drive the car distances... CTEK 3300 battery maintainers are water proof. If you could get power out to the car you just hook it up to the hood terminals, shut the hood and leave it outside, the unit is sealed.

terri_atl 12-01-2011 05:00 PM

Ilovemycar: Hi thanks for your reply. Sorry, what is DRL? I don't use the radio, even though I have satellite radio. I only play music from my iphone when I drive. Does that count? It's cold here in Atlanta now, so no more top down for me. I lock my car immediately when I leave the car. So no problem like some users with the car and remote being in near distance. My car parks on the deck. I live in a high rise. I may have to learn about the maintenance charger thingy. But feels so bad to impose on my friends. My mom lives in the other side of the world. I have no relatives here. Do you think there is anywhere that I can pay them to charge my battery? OBC? Sorry I have alot of learning to do.

terri_atl 12-01-2011 05:05 PM

B737: hello, thanks for replying. I live on the 9th floor, my car is on the 5th level. There is no power available anywhere in the deck :( If there is one, I would have taken the option of getting a charger, put a chair next to my car and just patiently wait :( So Ilovemycar said his/her car took 24 hours to charge, so the technician's suggestion of taking the car to far away places on weekends may not help too.

ctuna 12-01-2011 05:11 PM

DRL = Daytime running lights
DRL = Daytime running lights
This is like having a plug in hybrid without the electric motor.
It probably would be enough to put on the triclkle charger one or
two time a week overnight.
The battery charges better on the highway because of the higher rpms.

terri_atl 12-01-2011 05:17 PM

ctuna: oh okay :) DRL=daytime running lights
I supposed I have that? My lights on Auto. So the daytime running lights will be on? What do you mean by "This is like having a plug in hybrid without the electric motor." I apologize, I am really slow here.

terri_atl 12-01-2011 05:23 PM

ctuna: sorry I didn't see your advice on the charger and highway. Charger doesn't seem to be an option for me cos I live in a highrise. I guess you are right, I will just have to burn some gas and wander aimlessly in the highways :) Thanks for replying :)

ctuna 12-01-2011 05:41 PM

I mean this thing sucks electricty
Even when its sitting around going nowhere. Yet does not make your car go
any further down the road. You have to put it on a charger just to make
sure it will still start. Its a joke. Wondering down the highways is a very expensive
way to keep your battery charged these days, the car should get some exercise though.

Turning off the automatic lights might help some.
I have them but I don't turn them on after a lifetime of doing it the old fashioned way.

terri_atl 12-01-2011 05:59 PM

ctuna: let me tell u a personal joke. When I took my driving test, the examiner said turn on the lights. I like turn what? I never know how to turn on the headlights cos the car lights turn on itself everytime I start the car. Obviously the examiner was not too happy.

I really appreciate you and everyone's advice here :)

Lufthansa 12-01-2011 07:13 PM

In reading these posts, I have concluded using a trickle charger is the answer to preventing terri's situation - i.e. the battery discharge warnings. Although I've used a trickle charger during the times I was away for extended periods of time, I havent used it when I've driven the car as I 'normally do - on a Saturday or Sunday for about 25 miles. I now feel I should use the charger between drives - am I correct? And most importantly, will using it prevent premature battery death? I just plugged it in!
Thanks for any input.

yikes98 12-01-2011 08:44 PM

A solar battery maintainer connected directly to the battery???

ctuna 12-01-2011 09:01 PM

You mean like this

I think it might help but do you think it would be enough?
This one goes to the cigagette lighter and I notice even the BMW approved one does to .
If you could get one that doubles as a window shade that would be better.

Thunder Dump 12-01-2011 09:38 PM

Did you happen to install SmartTop?

yikes98 12-01-2011 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by ctuna (Post 6474665)

I think it might help but do you think it would be enough?
This one goes to the cigagette lighter and I notice even the BMW approved one does to .
If you could get one that doubles as a window shade that would be better.

I wouldn't use the lighter socket as most of them are switch power, at least they are on mine X5 but not sure about mine 328i. Better to connect at the back of the battery like the one you referred to (but only ~400mA). You can parallel panels to increase your charge rate but the panels need circuitry to protect from overcharging the battery.

ctuna 12-02-2011 08:49 AM

A lot of the maintener are around an amp
so about 3 of these would = one of those if the sun was shinning at a optimum value.

terri_atl 12-02-2011 03:11 PM

Hi all, I am totally lost here.

Beha 12-02-2011 03:41 PM

It's very simple, really.
1. Buy this

2. Plug it in your battery ( red clipper to red outlet on the car battery and negative clipper to screw close by.

3. Find a place to plug in the item 1 above to power outlet.

terri_atl 12-02-2011 03:44 PM

Hi all, I have taken a look at the amazon's link, it's a solar panel. I read can be connected directly to battery or cigarette lighter plug. Hmmm I don't think there is one in my car.

Just wondering if there is anything that can be used n charged at home and then in turn bring to the car & charge the car battery.

Beha 12-02-2011 03:47 PM

Solar panel? Check my link again please.

I am thinking troll alert....

terri_atl 12-02-2011 03:51 PM

Hi Beha, your recommendation is excellent. I read great reviews too. But my car is in a parking deck with zero power outlet :(

ctuna 12-02-2011 03:57 PM

I don't think it will work through the lighter
The lighter is not active unless the ignition is on . So you you would have to find
a direct connection . Also the 5 watt panel is about one third the output of a standard
trickle charger. yikes 98 is right , They do actually issue these with some VW's though.

terri_atl 12-02-2011 04:14 PM

Hi Beha, ctuna has suggested a solar panel lookalike thing earlier. That solar panel reply refers to that. Your link is a battery tender, I wish I can use that. 5 star reviews overall, what not to love? You see, I park in a deck, live in highrise. Yesterday the 3rd x I have the "Increased batter discharge". I only drive short distances. I hope I can find a better solution instead of driving aimlessly on highways. Don't get me wrong, I love my car and it's great to drive around. But my fun does not correlate with highways :)

terri_atl 12-02-2011 04:22 PM

Ctuna: maybe I am missing it. I don't recall seeing any lighter charge inside the car. Say even if it connects to somewhere in the car, I will need an auto place to install it for me. I am hopeless in such things. Anyway, I feel alot better cos I have you and everyone else here who are so helpful. Thanks!!

Beha 12-02-2011 04:22 PM

In that case to me it seems your best bet to leave it at dealer for 2 day charging, or for however long it takes.

In the meantime drive a loaner.

I can't think of anything else to suggest.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms