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mfelsoci 11-29-2012 06:11 AM

winter storage/battery
I have placed my 04 645ci into storage for the winter and was looking for advice on maintaining the battery to avoid having to replace it in the spring. I am able (and do) start and move the car approx. once a week and try to start and let the car run as much as possible but there are times that the car sits for 4-6 days without any activity. The garage is somewhat heated but here in Ohio it gets extremely cold in the evenings and I am worried about loosing the battery. Should I disconnect the battery or simply keep doing what I'm doing? Trying to avoid purchasing a trickle charger but if I have to purchase a trickle charger are there any recommendations on which type to purchase.

IL_BMW_650 11-29-2012 06:42 AM

I'm in the same boat....I put my car away Nov 1 and have been starting it and driving it around the block once a week. So far, no issues.

Kamdog 11-29-2012 08:09 AM

Get a Deltran Battery Tender Plus, it is less than 50 bucks, and is more than just a trickle charger.

rebel.ranter 11-29-2012 02:39 PM

It's a smart charger or battery tender/maintainer that you need. CTek seem to be highly recommended in US.
I use a Ring RSC512, it may not be available in your market.

IL_BMW_650 11-29-2012 02:41 PM

Is starting the car weekly not enough during storage?

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rebel.ranter 11-29-2012 03:21 PM

I'm no expert but from what I have read just running the engine without driving exacerbates engine wear. This ties in with what is normally written in the BMW owners manual, it usually states that you should not sit with the car idling, it is better to get the car up to temperature by driving the car.
I would imagine that the oil pump & water pump are not working at full efficiency when idling.
I have my car on axle stands to prevent flat spots developing on the tyres. I also have moisture traps in the cabin & trunk. I used to run a dehumidifier in the car regularly too. I made sure that the underside was as clean & dry as possible before tucking it away. If you're taking it on short drives is the car always clean & dry going back in to the garage?
Maybe I'm over thinking it...

IL_BMW_650 11-29-2012 03:43 PM

Wow you do all that! Well better safe than sorry lol. I plan on starting it weekly and on days it doesn't snow, take it around the block to get the fluids going.

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Yorgi 11-29-2012 07:03 PM

It's a bad idea to drive the car weekly during storage, it's better to prep and park it for the entire winter.

90% of engine wear happens in the first few minutes when the engine is cold and when you idle the engine it takes 2-3x longer than normal to get up to temp, making the wear even worse. This is why the manual tells you start the car and drive moderately for the first few minutes to get the car up to temp ASAP.

I store my M3 for 5 months with the following prep:
1) change oil
2) wash/wax the car
3) fill fuel tank to the top - you want no oxygen in the tank since that makes the gas go stale.
4) I drop in a can of Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer.
5) I pump up the tires to max (50psi) and park on 2x12 boards (tire cradles are even better for preventing flat spots) or even better is to put the car on jackstands
6) I hookup a CTEK battery tender. You can also unhook the battery.
7) stuff rags into the tailpipes to keep rodents out
8) install a car cover

Here is a big thread on storage with even more ideas.

IL_BMW_650 11-29-2012 07:38 PM

DAMN, thanks Yorgi!!! A lot of good stuff here.

rebel.ranter 11-30-2012 03:51 AM

I pump the tyres up to about 45PSi too! I forgot to throw in a fuel stabiliser in to the petrol tank. I have left mine empty, I figure I can go to the gas station (we call it petrol station, even if you're getting diesel!) & fill the tank up to minimise the effects of the fuel that is currently in the car. I changed the coolant too, didn't want any weak coolant mix allowing corrosion to build up. There's only 1,500 miles on the oil that's in the car. I will still drain & refill it when I take he car back out.
I got a really nice purpose shaped car cover too, this went on right after I polished & waxed the car. It's still gonna be dusty when I take it out though I bet!
When I'm down there again I might put some rags in the exhaust, it would be a good idea to remind yourself with a note on the steering wheel though, just in case! Where I have mine stored the garage is insulated & alarmed, it's got an office upstairs so it is built to that standard, it has PIR sensors so rodents would set off the alarm.

IL_BMW_650 12-01-2012 10:05 AM

Dumb question....but the battery on the 6 is in the rear trunk. So to hookup the battery tender, I'd have to leave the trunk open which I believe has a light right? Our is there a better way to hook it up?

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Yorgi 12-01-2012 12:19 PM

The best place to charge is on the terminals under the hood. Positive goes on the red post on the drivers side and the negative goes on the post/bolt on the shock tower to the right. You can close the hood on the charger if you place it in a low spot.

You can see them in the top right of this pic.

IL_BMW_650 12-01-2012 12:21 PM

Sweet thanks Yorgi!

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mfelsoci 12-01-2012 05:12 PM

Thanks for all of the great info. I am currently able to get the car out and drive it as long as the weather is good. I will get the charger and hook it up under the hood. Thanks again

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