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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 12-01-2012, 11:20 AM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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E93: Does our battery have an eye to indicate status [SOLVED]

== Resolution Update ==

The rough running was solved by installing an Autozone 94R-DLG. Battery light no longer shows and the car runs very smooth after cold starts now + the transmission no longer makes really rough changes in the first few miles.

Dealer attempted to fix using the part numbers which made no difference:
New Battery cable, negative, IBS (12427603567 $ 217.24)
New Adapter for IBS (12517615476 $52.37)
New Adapter lead IBS (61129123571 $13.27)

The original battery would show green in its eye after being charged with a CTEK. Typically it would run fine on the next start but then be back to square one with the eye showing black.

==


This a 2009 E93 with 11K miles on, I've done 700 of those including one long weekend trip.

Since picking it up the yellow battery light shows when parked with the engine stopped (appears in ~60->120 seconds).

The car has been into the dealer twice already for this and other issues. Only the battery problem remains; it often runs rough when starting in a morning and as stated above the yellow battery light shows.

Today I accessed the battery -boy are these big batteries!-. I was hoping to see an eye to check the status like all other cars have these days but did not see one. Is there one under the red module?

With a multi-meter I checked the voltage after burning the headlights for ten seconds. It measured 11.72V. This sounds like an almost dead battery right? Any idea what the dealership needs to replace under warranty? I don't want to go in again with no result. I'd just pop in a new $110 WalMart battery myself to save hassle but have read a special AGM battery is required and needs registering with the car. Apparently this is to make the batteries last longer...

My commute is only 3.6 miles but all my other cars have been fine + we did a really long trip one weekend and it happened the Monday following.
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Last edited by MP3_E46; 12-29-2012 at 03:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2012, 11:33 AM
starr_stealer starr_stealer is offline
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I can only say for mine, which had a BMW battery in it, with a 2008 build date. It does have the eye indicator, which normally green means the cell the eye is above is good. The reading your getting with your mult-meter is showing that its dead. A good battery should report over 12V
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2012, 12:17 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starr_stealer View Post
I can only say for mine, which had a BMW battery in it, with a 2008 build date. It does have the eye indicator, which normally green means the cell the eye is above is good. The reading your getting with your mult-meter is showing that its dead. A good battery should report over 12V
Thanks, I'll look for the eye again and email the dealer either way. At below 12V they should replace IMO before it totally dies.


Update: Found the eye; it was under a long black plastic wire clip that stretched the width of the battery. The eye is indeed showing no color; i.e. black.
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Last edited by MP3_E46; 12-01-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2012, 12:30 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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You need a battery tender.

These cars are battery hogs
They are constantly drawing power even when parked.
You fit the driving profile where they are likely to deny you a new battery unless
there was a recall on a batch of bad battery which there have been to you might check.
A Ctek 3300 battery tender is one of the better ones used here.
Also yes get an aftermarket battery and get an Indy to register it.
If you don't already have and AGM battery, and most cars don't ,just get a battery with the form factor CCA and amp hours close to what you have . I got a Interstate MTP92R/H8 it was 240 installed from my local Indy .

http://www.bawarec.ru/manuals/3er/e9...3er-e90-12.pdf

the above link tells you why there is so much power used by the ibs

Also locking the doors and getting the key fob away from the car will cause it to go to sleep more quickly
an save some current draw on the battery.

Read this one it will give you and idea of the magnitude of the problem

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...hlight=battery

Last edited by ctuna; 12-01-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2012, 12:44 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Thanks for links! Having bought four new BMWs from the local dealer and considering a new 3-er wagon one hopes they'll replace the battery under the factory warranty..

We have an MX-5 that sits on my lift for up to three months at time over winters; never had an issue from its battery. In 25 years of driving other than my first used car the only battery I've had fail is a Honda CR-V at four years old - it acted up and totally died within three days. $109 and ten mins DIY to replace.

The guy from Buckhead went to Global Imports - worst dealership in the Metro area by far. Likely they both charged him for a new battery and submitted a warranty claim to BMW. Terrible place; I had a good SA there once but these days won't set foot in the place. Heard too many horror stories.
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Last edited by MP3_E46; 12-01-2012 at 12:50 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2012, 05:49 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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The number of submodules and processors is way up

The number of submodules and precessors is way up.
Its a big drain on the battery this is the first car I have had to
charge to keep it going. If I was driving on the highway every day it
wouldn't be a problem but that's not the case anymore.
And now the cars always have to be scanning for a keyfob.
They made this way to complicated .

Last edited by ctuna; 12-01-2012 at 06:08 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2012, 06:21 PM
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1.) Make sure to LOCK your car so that the car shuts off all the computers.
2.) You need to drive the car so that it wams up to operating temperature, and them another half an hour to an hour to keep it charged.

Look into Kat's thread for more info about battery maintenance. A wealth of information in that thread.

We had an 2009 BMW M3 sedan come in today that only had 4,000 miles on the ODO. He was complaining about how the cars battery was dead and how BMW's are a POS because the battery drains. Gee, I wonder why. He sold the car to us and headed across the street to Audi/Porsche.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:01 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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MP3:

It would be interesting to compare notes as to your build date. Mine was early July 2009 and at 3 years old and 20K on the clock started exhibiting issues. Bottom line, the dealership replaced my battery under warranty, but cautioned me with regard to:

1) locking the car every single time I get out of it
2) trying to minimize times the driver's door is opened and closed without starting the car
3) getting it out on the road more for longer drives.

Considering the expense and aggravation of replacing the batteries in these cars, I opted for also getting a CTEK battery tender.

I am like you in that I have a short (5.4 mile) commute, often times done in about 10 minutes. The car barely gets warmed up. Plus, my weekly maintenance routine dictates that doors get opened and closed a lot and let's be real, firing up the engine and driving the car out of the garage then shutting it off is not really going to get the alternator spinning.

Since I received the new battery and acquired the CTEK unit, I've used it twice (in 4 weeks). It takes roughly 1-1.25 hours to bring my battery back up to fully charged. Now that I know the vagaries of the system, this is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2012, 08:07 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Interesting to hear it is a common issue, but rarely have my wife or I had a long commute and this is our seventh BMW and first battery issue; first used car in over fifteen years though.

The build date appears to be 2009-06-05.

After the new battery I'll check the voltage every week and if it looks bad guess I'll look a trickle charger. If it is really is necessary we can tell friends and family we have both a plug-in car and a regular hybrid now

The reason I think the battery is dead is that it likely sat for the last couple of years before I bought it. It is an ex-demo car so had 5K on before sold and then became a company car in Florida just about when real estate bubble popped. It had 10.3K miles on when I bought it and I suspect it sat around unused the company parking lot 'waiting for re-hires when the economy picks up'. I can tell it's an ex-demo car because the warranty lasts until Nov 2013, it was a company car in Florida because that is stated on the Carfax. A few warranty repairs and lack of heated seats aside it still seems like a steal at $31K. The battery is the only remaining issue; assuming it's the root of rough running at start-up.

I can DIY and intend to keep this car around for a long time (it's a 3rd car and they are too expensive for us new!). I shall try to report back if the new battery handles the short commute or not.

Even with many computers this should not happen; modern electronics are incredibly power efficient compared to just ten years ago. Our cell phones have up to 1.5 Ghz processors and operate for many hours on a tiny battery.

Lots of super-rich people buy BMW convertibles as 3rd/4th/6th cars and barely use them, I guarantee most of them would not tolerate trickle charging. My Miata has a tiny battery compared to the BMW and it holds charge fine.

With 4K miles over four years one should expect to have to trickle charge, but not when used daily.

Anyway either the dealer replaces on the next visit or I replace it myself and look into how to register with the car - I saw some software to download on another forum and could try it using an old laptop. Worst case appears I spend ~$200 on a new battery every three years, not the end of the world. Actually trickle charging seems the worst case, won't be super-happy if it comes to that.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP3_E46 View Post
Interesting to hear it is a common issue, but rarely have my wife or I had a long commute and this is our seventh BMW and first battery issue; first used car in over fifteen years though.

The build date appears to be 2009-06-05.

After the new battery I'll check the voltage every week and if it looks bad guess I'll look a trickle charger. If it is really is necessary we can tell friends and family we have both a plug-in car and a regular hybrid now

The reason I think the battery is dead is that it likely sat for the last couple of years before I bought it. It is an ex-demo car so had 5K on before sold and then became a company car in Florida just about when real estate bubble popped. It had 10.3K miles on when I bought it and I suspect it sat around unused the company parking lot 'waiting for re-hires when the economy picks up'. I can tell it's an ex-demo car because the warranty lasts until Nov 2013, it was a company car in Florida because that is stated on the Carfax. A few warranty repairs and lack of heated seats aside it still seems like a steal at $31K. The battery is the only remaining issue; assuming it's the root of rough running at start-up.

I can DIY and intend to keep this car around for a long time (it's a 3rd car and they are too expensive for us new!). I shall try to report back if the new battery handles the short commute or not.

Even with many computers this should not happen; modern electronics are incredibly power efficient compared to just ten years ago. Our cell phones have up to 1.5 Ghz processors and operate for many hours on a tiny battery.

Lots of super-rich people buy BMW convertibles as 3rd/4th/6th cars and barely use them, I guarantee most of them would not tolerate trickle charging. My Miata has a tiny battery compared to the BMW and it holds charge fine.


With 4K miles over four years one should expect to have to trickle charge, but not when used daily.

Anyway either the dealer replaces on the next visit or I replace it myself and look into how to register with the car - I saw some software to download on another forum and could try it using an old laptop. Worst case appears I spend ~$200 on a new battery every three years, not the end of the world. Actually trickle charging seems the worst case, won't be super-happy if it comes to that.

You need to tell the car to shut everything off or it just puts the car into 'standby'. I deal with problems like yours on a day to day basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Your Miata also doesn't have half the computers this car has.
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Last edited by -=Hot|Ice=-; 12-01-2012 at 08:16 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2012, 08:28 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
You need to tell the car to shut everything off or it just puts the car into 'standby'. I deal with problems like yours on a day to day basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Your Miata also doesn't have half the computers this car has.
Thanks! I did lock it tonight; of course some neighbors saw me and are soon bound to ask "why do you lock your car in the garage?"

You are almost certainly correct but it's poor engineering IMO. My undergrad covered a lot of electronics and the two post-grads degrees included a fair amount of embedded controller work.

Hopefully no trickle charging is needed. $200 and faffing with a laptop every three years is not a huge deal as I enjoy working on cars.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2012, 06:37 AM
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One nice side benefit of Escort radar detectors is the "voltage mode". Put it in that, and unless it's alerting, it displays the voltage it's getting. I have made a habit of checking it on startup, periodically while driving, and when the engine is off but electric is on.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:16 PM
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How is everything looking?
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Quote:
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Half the fun of succeeding in life is fighting the fight and making it.

Last edited by -=Hot|Ice=-; 12-05-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:19 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
How is everything looking?
Will know tomorrow. It's time to sleep now.. 7am start again

Update: The battery eye is as green as it's ever been but the engine still ran rough at initial start-up. Left the ignition on and engine off for four minutes over lunch; the low battery light did not appear but voltage still looks low with the engine off according to an ELM 237/ Torque app.
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Last edited by MP3_E46; 12-06-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:46 AM
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== Resolution Update ==

The rough running was solved by installing an Autozone 94R-DLG. Battery light no longer shows and the car runs very smooth after cold starts now + the transmission no longer makes really rough changes in the first few miles.

Dealer attempted to fix using the part numbers which made no difference:
New Battery cable, negative, IBS (12427603567 $ 217.24)
New Adapter for IBS (12517615476 $52.37)
New Adapter lead IBS (61129123571 $13.27)

The original battery would show green in its eye after being charged with a CTEK. Typically it would run fine on the next start but then be back to square one with the eye showing black.

==
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Six Euro Deliveries since December 1998 (Owned E46, E90, E91, E92 and E93)

28 vehicles in 26 years of driving so far. Guess I like cars

Last edited by MP3_E46; 12-29-2012 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:45 AM
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Mine showed green too. Yet I was seeing the battery symbol in the dash and cranking semed a bit slow by cold temp. There was no point waiting seeing it fail.

Quote:
I'd just pop in a new $110 WalMart battery myself to save hassle
That's what I did yesterday. Walmart's EverMaxx 94R is good fit and has a 3-yrs replacement warranty. 108$. Dealers want 350$+ (installed).
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:22 AM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Mine showed green too. Yet I was seeing the battery symbol in the dash and cranking semed a bit slow by cold temp. There was no point waiting seeing it fail.



That's what I did yesterday. Walmart's EverMaxx 94R is good fit and has a 3-yrs replacement warranty. 108$. Dealers want 350$+ (installed).
Bah, I almost tried the EverMaxx 94R from Wally World but it looked like some people had to wedge it in place with pieces of wood. $189 is still fine considering my own car runs great now
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