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  #1  
Old 12-06-2017, 02:58 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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Any advice on how to trouble shoot mysterious battery draw?

I've got a battery drain on the 2006 330xi that causes stumbling of the starter when first engaged-stops-then cranks over the engine.if I have to start car too many times in the day it'll fail and leave me stranded.

Nothing obvious going on like bad starter ground and when attached to portable service vehicle battery pack fires up nice. Battery is brand new too.

Any ideas as how to trouble shoot what is causing the battery drain?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:12 PM
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acoste acoste is offline
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It could be a bad alternator too.

Monitor the battery voltage in the hidden menu of the instrument cluster and that will tell if the alternator is charging or not.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:31 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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Thanks but I've eliminated the alternator as a problem. This car is non-I drive too. No engine or other values on this display
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:09 PM
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acoste acoste is offline
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If you think it is a parasitic drain, then read this document below:

E90 Voltage supply and bus systems

Possibly there is a circuit that doesn't go to sleep when it receives the command on the bus. You will need to find this by disconnecting stuff or measuring currents.

Or the supply management control failed.



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Old 12-06-2017, 07:27 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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Holy smokes! Now that's awesome! Thank you very much. Gonna get started tomorrow on this
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:48 PM
gbalthrop gbalthrop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
I've got a battery drain on the 2006 330xi that causes stumbling of the starter when first engaged-stops-then cranks over the engine.if I have to start car too many times in the day it'll fail and leave me stranded.

Nothing obvious going on like bad starter ground and when attached to portable service vehicle battery pack fires up nice. Battery is brand new too.

Any ideas as how to trouble shoot what is causing the battery drain?

Thanks!
Rather than play with the Hidden Menu, I would suggest using a multimeter to assess what is going on as follows (all measurements @ B+ terminal under hood -- you can also measure voltage at lighter socket with ignition on, but it is NOT as accurate):

(1) Measure, record battery voltage before first start of day (should be in 12.8 - 12.2V range;
(2) Start engine & measure voltage with engine running (should be in 14V range);
(3) Measure voltage 30 minutes after shutdown after last run of day;
(4) Repeat prior to each start during day if possible;
(5) Repeat for ~ 3 days in row, noting any days unused -- how long it sat idle.

BTW, do you press & release START button and let it automatically crank until engine fires, rather than holding button until engine starts? I don't understand your description of "stumbling of starter." If you press & immediately release START button (less than .5 second), starter should crank engine for ~ 1.0 - 2.0 seconds until engine starts.

Why was battery replaced? Was replacement same type & Amp rating? Was new battery registered via cable/software?

What causes me to question your diagnosis of parasitic battery drain is that you say: "if I have to start car too many times in the day it'll fail and leave me stranded." Starter draw on the battery is NOT the same thing as parasitic drain where some circuit is continuing to draw current after shutdown, when that circuit should be OFF.

If you alternator is healthy and your battery is properly coded/registered, driving for 5 minutes or less after startup should recharge the battery for any drain by starter draw, so multiple starts/shutdowns should NOT cause battery drain, unless you don't let it run for several minutes after starting.

If you DO have parasitic battery drain (>.050 Amp draw) 30 minutes or more after shutdown, that can be determined by disconnecting the negative battery terminal and placing the multimeter IN SERIES (Amperage measurement setting) between the negative battery post and negative cable. BEFORE doing this, determine the fuse rating in your multimeter -- it may be as low as .25A unless you change to the 10A plug on the meter. If you have a trunk light on, that may be enough to blow the low Amp fuse.

IF you do have > .050 Amp draw, you can systematically remove fuses until you find one that drops the draw significantly.

For a reliable, cheap ($6) multimeter, here is one you can get for each vehicle & tool kit:
https://www.harborfreight.com/7-func...ter-90899.html

Some alligator clip test or patch cables, for connecting the meter, are also necessary.

Please let us know what you find,
George
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:23 AM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:41 AM
dtf dtf is offline
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update on the parasitic battery draw - my indie had the car overnight and tested it at 0.52mA draw in the morning which is with in spec for a car that 'went to sleep'. therefore the culprit now looks like it is the starter itself.

I had said about a month ago to him that when the AAA jumped it the service guy said when the starter engaged it drained his battery jumper to zero. I was thinking that maybe there is a bad ground internal in the starter so we will investigate that now..................
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:25 AM
gbalthrop gbalthrop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
update on the parasitic battery draw - my indie had the car overnight and tested it at 0.52mA draw in the morning which is with in spec for a car that 'went to sleep'.
Are you sure you are quoting the shop correctly -- "0.52mA draw"???

That's ~ 1/2 milliamp (one half of ONE THOUSANDTH of an Amp). Things that constantly draw some power, such as radio memory, DME functions, etc. almost certainly draw more current than that.

The normally-accepted threshold for investigating parasitic (excessive) battery draw is 50 milliamps or 100 times more than the figure you quote.

Please understand that I am NOT suggesting you have excessive draw when the ignition is off, and if you will read and respond to my post above, I was suggesting other things to check. No one can help you diagnose the problem on this forum if you don't do, or have done, battery voltage tests and correctly report the findings from such tests, including alternator output with engine running, by measuring voltage @ B+ terminal under hood.

If you suspect excessive starter draw, as you are NOW suggesting, then you could measure battery voltage before and after cranking starter for defined period (such as 2 seconds) with immediate shutdown to prevent alternator recharge. Try that 3 or 4 times (IF you have a battery charger to recharge your battery). If you don't have the proper tools (multimeter and battery charger) and don't care to purchase them & learn how to use them, please tell us and we will not waste each other's time any further.

George
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:42 AM
dtf dtf is offline
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sorry - meant 52 mA
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