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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2008, 01:07 PM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Question 1998 528i battery dies overningt

I have a 1998 528i. One day about 2 weeks ago I stopped get gas and when I tried to start the car, the battery was dead. I got a jump, drove it home, and drove it for about a week with no problems. Then, after a day of me driving the car, it wouldn't start later that night. The next day i charged the battery quickly and the car started and ran. I parked the car that night and it was dead in the mourning. I did the same thing the fallowing day with the same result. I got the battery and altertator tested and the both were in working order when the battery was charged. A few bays later I disconnected and took out the battery and i put a trickle charge on it overnight. I let it charge fully and put it back in the car today so i could try and find what was draining the battery. I found that the fuse link in the connection to the battery became very hot after the car running for only 60 seconds.

Could this be the reason for my battery draining? If so how do i fix it.
If not, what else could be the problem?
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2008, 01:39 PM
540Levi 540Levi is offline
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easy thing to check... if it kills overnight, parasetic draw, take an amp meter measure the current draw without disconnecting the batter, put it in series.. represents total current flow through the whole car, should only be pulling 25mili amps tops anything over that, like an amp draw would kill it over night... the gas station not starting is what confuses me, make sure the amp meter is in series... measure it and watch it as it sits, possible consumer control module which is staying on. If it happens within a couple of minutes after shutting the battery off then possible battery cell bad..
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2008, 01:42 PM
540Levi 540Levi is offline
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Wink

sorry i was typing quickly... if it ends up pulling too many amps let me know and I'll try to give you the way to fix that. control modules are no biggie... wouldn't worry your baby should be back up and running in no time
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2008, 08:49 AM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Thanks for the advice 540Levi.
This morning the car started without hesitation, but i'm sure that only because of the slower trickle charge, and i would bet that it will be dead within the nex few days.
Now when I test how many amps the car is pulling when it is off, do I have to wait until the car "goes asleep" and if so, aprox. how long is that on this model.
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2008, 10:47 AM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Well i tried to test how many mili amps it was pulling, but my meter isn't reading anything in amps so I'm going to have to see if i can get my hands on one. I have been driving the car today so i decided to check how many volts were on the battery. When i put the battery in yesterday, it was fully charged to 12.7 volts, and after me starting the car about 8 times today, it was down at about 11 volts. Could it be that the battery is being used up a little every time you start the car and is not being replenished while the car is running like it should be?
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2008, 11:03 AM
pauleeee pauleeee is offline
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FSR gone bad?
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2008, 11:12 AM
540Levi 540Levi is offline
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Arrow

The FSR is a pretty safe bet.... its strange that your alt tested good... it is possible your running on the ole batt only, but that would mean that the alt would have to be bad. I would have to do some research to test the sleep mode, i'm not sure what the timming is on that... anyone else got that one?? Sometimes it makes you wish it was like an old big block chevy, you could just pull the negative batt cable while the car is running and if it dies then you can narrow your search to alt/coil then fire, but with todays computers it makes things a little more interesting... do you have an OBD tester?? I have an excellent reader here at the house to run trouble codes, but even then it is not a full diagnostic, I believe even the best shops still charge 100+ for a full Diag
did you test milis in series with the batt??


So i called in some help (my friend is a BMW Tech) He seconds the consumer control module, says to watch that amp.. if it does pull anything over 25mil then your definitely zeroing in on your problem. 12.7 at the batt is a good reading which would count out the bad cell idea

Last edited by 540Levi; 11-02-2008 at 11:15 AM. Reason: new info
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2008, 02:36 PM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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With the FSR suggestion, i honestly don't know what that is. See I'm only 17 years old and i bought this car as my first one. I know my way around a car better than most 17 year olds, but i don't know it all (but I'd like to learn). About checking the amps when the car was off, i never got a working meter. I was talking to a guy that i work for, and after looking at it, he swears that it is the battery. He thinks that their is some type of short in the battery that when the battery is being used, it is causing the connection to heat. He insisted on taking the car to a buddy of his that own a shop and will run a more in dept test on the battery while I'm at school and football tomorrow. I left the car with him so i will update what he says tomorrow night (afternoon in Cal).
Thanks for your help.
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2008, 05:03 PM
540Levi 540Levi is offline
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Oh no worries..... well hope he finds out whats going on, if it is the battery could be a bad cell like I stated earlier... well man if your looking to take on some DIY projects I would suggest getting a full MX manual... the good ones have step by step projects and what not. other than that the ole internet sometimes has full diagrams which can show you how to install or change whatever you need. bimmers are tricky thats for sure good luck to you
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2008, 05:24 PM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Well today the guy that I work for said that the alternator and battery were both good (which i knew). He tried to tell me that my stereo was daring the battery (yes, I have sub woofers), but they only pull around 500 watts and I disconnected them the second I started having problems thinking that their may be a short in that wiring. So I know that's not the problem now, but do you think that that could have been the cause?

Meanwhile, I sill haven't been able to get an amp reading meter to see what it's pulling when the car is off. Hopefully I will be able to get one tomorrow, but as I thought about it, I don't think that that is it because if it is pulling electricity when the car is off, wouldn't that terminal stay heated when the car was off as it does when the car is running? Or is it that the minute amount of power that it is pulling when the car is off is not enough to even slightly heat the terminal whereby the excessive amount of power being pulled when the car is running heats the terminal drastically?
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2008, 06:09 PM
Jared@EAC Jared@EAC is offline
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FSU - Final Stage Unit

Part of the HVAC and normally causes parasitic draw.

Where in northern KY?

You need to find someone with a good meter. Most of them should be able to measure in mA. You can also pull your FSU for the night and see if it will start in the morning.

jared
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2008, 06:22 PM
Rarasaurus Rarasaurus is offline
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=143393
The above is a link on how to replace the Final Stage unit(fsu) unit. As far as i remember this unit is the one that helps keep the car at a certain temperature.
What it does is cause the heater to start randomly when the car is off therefore running your battery down if it has gone bad.
If you hear your fan running after the car is off then this is most likely ur problem
The unit is about 70 dollars to buy i think and it is an easy to replace peice.
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:57 AM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Well I'm embarrassed to say this but as i was testing the voltage on the battery the other day, my only key got locked in the trunk. Anyway I'm having a new one made, so until I get it, i will not be able to look at the car anylonger. I will update when I get the key.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2008, 02:38 PM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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So I got the new key i ordered today and got the keys out of my trunk. The car had been sitting with the keys in the trunk for 5 days, and the battery voltage dropped form 12.5 volts to 9.5 volts (which was not enough to start the car) in that amount of time. so I'm back open to suggestions.

Also, is it safe to drive the car with the battery termial heating up as it is?
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2008, 06:36 PM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Bump
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2008, 03:18 PM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Pics

#1-Where terminal begins to heat up within the car running for 1-2 minuets. Heating starts in that area and spreads.

#2-You may not be able to see it great in the pic, but the wire is beinning to blackened from being so hot.

Please help me!! I can't stand not being able to drive this carwithout worring if its gonna start!!!
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:49 PM
pinkslip1 pinkslip1 is offline
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make sure the trunk light doesnt stay on after u shut it. just disconnect the bulb and see if it still happens.
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2008, 08:36 AM
99WAGON 99WAGON is offline
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I had the same problem, I changed my FSR and new battery and Alternator, take out your disc changer, that is where mine was sucking out the life of my battery. My indy guy told me that he had heard of this before, so I pulled the entire changer out of th back, NO MORE PROBLEMS.
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2009, 06:15 AM
VazBMW VazBMW is offline
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amerritt74: did you solve this problem. I have the same thing going on..
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2009, 06:55 AM
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flyboyy flyboyy is offline
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here is a few things you can do...

first off.... if you can get the car started....go to autozone and then have the guy check to see if battery is bad or not.....
how old is your battery ?

possible that your batttery needs to be replaced... or FSU......

if you have a DMM you can check the following

when car is off test the battery to see if you got 12+ Volts

now with the car on.... you should be getting 13+ - 14+ volts... and if you are... then your alternator is good...

I had issue where alternator was pusshing 17.8 volts which was over charging the battery and killing it. I was wondering why my car would die and not start.. well thats my problem....

I had autozone replace the battery since I still had warranty... and when I realized it was the alternator.... I had that replace and....my problem solved with.... car not starting up...
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:11 AM
amerritt74 amerritt74 is offline
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Gee I thought this was a dead thread. Well long story short and after all this time sure enough it was my FSU. If your having the same problem I suggest just replacing the thing because even if that isn't the problem (which odds are it is) it will probably become a problem down the road. In the mean time if it is your FSU (or this is a good way to find out it is) just every time you turn off the car turn the fan on your climate control off. Even with the old, bad FSU, this kept my car from going dead
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2009, 04:28 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerritt74 View Post
it was my FSU

Same thing happened to me ...
See "How to diagnose what's wrong with a battery that goes dead once a month?" and "monthly battery drain".

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