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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2011, 12:04 PM
Christie517 Christie517 is offline
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X3 - Battery Drain

Hi - I'm the owner of an '06 X3 (bought new in '06). I've been suffering from battery drain for over a year now, if the car isn't run almost daily the battery will die (The battery has been replaced 2x). My father bought some device to check all drain on the various entitied and has been able to pinpoint that the sunroof mechanism was draining a lot of the power.

We seem to think that the overall onboard computer may not be shutting down when the car is off and that is draining the power. (This thought is triggered by the fact that the car sat overnight after being driven a couple hours the day before and was dead in the next morning).

The next step is taking it to the dealer and letting them figure it out. Does anyone have any thoughts on this (before I'm robbed blind at the dealer.)?
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2011, 01:20 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie517 View Post
.... been able to pinpoint that the sunroof mechanism was draining a lot of the power.

We seem to think that the overall onboard computer may not be shutting down when the car is off and that is draining the power.
Opening and closing the heavy panorama roof may require a large current, but I really doubt that is the problem.

BMW Assist and Bluetooth modules are frequently found to be culprits - not going into sleep mode.
Best to try disconnecting those first before spending money at the dealer.

If it only started suddenly just over a year ago, I'd check for a slipping serpentine/alternator belt.
(A leaking power steering pump has been known to drip oil on the alternator and cause problems.)

If it's something else, any good auto-electric shop might be as good as the dealer in tracking it down.
They might even do a charging system test for free or a nominal amount, and then try to sell you a new alternator along with another new battery.

Some forum members have done monitoring to see what things draw significant power on a continual or periodic basis while parked overnight.
Not easy to track down, but that's what you might have to do.
As usual, unplug or isolate only one thing at a time in order to clearly identify the culprit.
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2011, 06:54 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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If you said it, I missed it: is this the original battery? A car battery has a finite lifespan, and from what I've been able to glean from the forum, 4-5 years is about right for an OEM BMW battery. Once a battery is on it's last legs, it may seem fine while the car is running (or soon thereafter), but will not hold a charge for very long...

So yours just may be ready for that great junk heap in the sky...?
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:12 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timfitz63 View Post
If you said it, I missed it: is this the original battery? A car battery has a finite lifespan, and from what I've been able to glean from the forum, 4-5 years is about right for an OEM BMW battery. Once a battery is on it's last legs, it may seem fine while the car is running (or soon thereafter), but will not hold a charge for very long...

So yours just may be ready for that great junk heap in the sky...?
if it is original, i agree its new battery time. my father had a battery drain on his 530xi and bmw couldnt figure out the issue(not Pace BMW, haha) for a while, each time returning it saying it was better. After a few trips they decided it was the negative battery terminal. Seemed to fix the issue.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2011, 08:21 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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The original post says that the battery was changed twice.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2011, 08:29 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenza View Post
The original post says that the battery was changed twice.
So it does... Must learn to read more thoroughly...
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2011, 05:03 AM
x3oiler x3oiler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie517 View Post
Hi - I'm the owner of an '06 X3 (bought new in '06). I've been suffering from battery drain for over a year now, if the car isn't run almost daily the battery will die (The battery has been replaced 2x). My father bought some device to check all drain on the various entitied and has been able to pinpoint that the sunroof mechanism was draining a lot of the power.

We seem to think that the overall onboard computer may not be shutting down when the car is off and that is draining the power. (This thought is triggered by the fact that the car sat overnight after being driven a couple hours the day before and was dead in the next morning).

The next step is taking it to the dealer and letting them figure it out. Does anyone have any thoughts on this (before I'm robbed blind at the dealer.)?
What did your father use?

I have had episodes of the battery gong flat over night - new battery made no difference - battery was "in the green" after parking for the night (ie fully charged) - but this has stopped now so something was not shutting down when it should. I do not have the factory bluetooth installed btw. I made sure my keys were not kept "near" the car. I suspect multiple lock and unlock sequences after parking the car might have something to do with it and I am trying to avoid this for a control period of time.
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2011, 08:49 AM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie517 View Post
Hi - I'm the owner of an '06 X3 (bought new in '06). I've been suffering from battery drain for over a year now, if the car isn't run almost daily the battery will die (The battery has been replaced 2x). My father bought some device to check all drain on the various entitied and has been able to pinpoint that the sunroof mechanism was draining a lot of the power.

We seem to think that the overall onboard computer may not be shutting down when the car is off and that is draining the power. (This thought is triggered by the fact that the car sat overnight after being driven a couple hours the day before and was dead in the next morning).

The next step is taking it to the dealer and letting them figure it out. Does anyone have any thoughts on this (before I'm robbed blind at the dealer.)?
Do you have any after market electronics installed? If so and they are not compatible to BMW your car won't go into the sleep mode, causing battery drain. Check if your going into the sleep mode by making sure the led goes out on the drivers side window control panel. It should go out in about 15 minutes after you lock the car with the remote. Check all battery connections make sure they are not corroded and tight.Hope this helps. Good luck
cheers
vern
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:13 AM
Rachael69 Rachael69 is offline
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This same problem happened to me, it was faulty navigation computer not going to @@#$% sleep!!!
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2012, 09:03 PM
DMOZZ DMOZZ is offline
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My battery started dying almost 2 years ago. Finally the original had to be replaced. I was thinking I left something on. After the car went out of warranty, I took it in. $700 to replace the Bluetooth!!! I could have had it disabled for $300 but then no Bluetooth. Hell, I don't use it anyway.

IT STARTED DYING AGAIN!!!! Battery is only 3 months old. I took it in to BMW and they can't find the problem. For now, I have a portable jump starter in the back. Look on Ebay and get a strong one!!!
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:00 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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I know I will get flamed, but do you know if the person who installed the battery did the battery reset procedure with the gt1 scanner?

Most BMW's produced after 2002 require this with the exception of the e46 which our car is based on. This wear down sure sounds like the car isn't using the right charging parameters for the new battery...I just am not 100% sure if the e83 x3 chasis requires it.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:14 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
...I just am not 100% sure if the e83 x3 chasis requires it.
Definitely no reset of the charging parameters required for the E83.

Sounds to me that DMOZZ's dealer misdiagnosed the Bluetooth module as the problem.
And disabling it as a test or permanent solution should not be a $300 estimate AFAIK.

There must be something causing a persistent drain on the new battery.
Process of elimination?
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:38 AM
DMOZZ DMOZZ is offline
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Thanks!

As a first day new member to this board, all I can say is WOW and thanks!

I would never "flame" anyone trying to help!!! I put in the battery but never knew about adjusting any setting. That was not the problem because it charges well enough in 5 minutes to restart.

It is one of their components not properly sleeping. This sort of thing makes me want to switch away from BMW. When things are too complicated to be fixed, some engineer needs to be shut down a bit.

These engineers need to be told that sometimes a car starting or not is the difference between life and death. Thank God my parents 1968 Pontiac started in May 1971 when I was bleeding from an artery or I would not be here and writing this.

Any more suggestions are much welcomed!
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:25 AM
ghpup ghpup is offline
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I cannot speak for other cars, but my daily drive is not very far. I have been told by my SA, and I know other people who have recieved the same information, that due to the miriad of electronics in a newer BMW that the batter may not fully recharge if your drive is does not last at least 20 minutes. For my normal weekday commute I have less than 3 miles door to door and relatively little traffic to deal with. As a result the car tends to draw charge out of the battery without replenishing it. As I had purchased a battery tender for my ///M Rdstr I started switching it between the X3 and the Rdstr depending upon which I drove. Since adopting this process I have not had the odd warning lights (4X4 and ABS) pop up as they did periodically 2 years ago.

Summary: if you don't drive very far or let your car sit for more than a couple of weeks, the battery will drain.
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  #15  
Old 05-23-2012, 05:58 AM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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+1 on the bluetooth drawing current. If you have a TCU they have been known to draw current after the car is cut off. The ULF doesn't do this.
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2014, 09:34 PM
Beemer Owner Beemer Owner is offline
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News Flash - Seems Like Battery Drain Is A BMW Trademark

Wow! I can't believe I came across this forum. Wish I'd known about the battery drain problem before I purchased my 2013 X3. Too bad BMW can't be honest and forthright about this problem.
Here's my story: I purchased a new 2013 in Aug. 2012. My first low battery ("battery needs to be recharged") warning message appeared in Oct. 2013. I charged the battery back to 100%. Then in Dec. I got another low battery message. Another re-charge. Then another warning in Jan. By this time I'm pretty frustrated. Didn't expect this after paying what I did for this vehicle and also after it's only a little over a year old. Practically a new car and the dealership service department has already had to replace the battery and battery cable. From what I hear on this forum I guess I can expect to have to go through all this again
What comes next is the most frustrating. No one at the dealership or North America Customer Service seemed to know the exact reason (or was willing to admit it). Got a real run around from both. Everything from the fact that there is so much computer technology etc. putting a drain on the battery (How do they explain that other brand vehicles that have just as much technology don't have this problem?) to it's being caused because I'm from a cold state.
And here comes the real kicker. Just like the other complaints listed here I was told to get a battery charger and expect to have to charge it every so often. Also that I need to drive it more. And I paid good money for this??!! Sure I can do this but why should I jump through hoops or spend extra gas money and wasted time to overcome an engineering glich on their part. Personally I think BMW should be made to re-call these problematic vehicles and fix the problem.

Last edited by Beemer Owner; 02-14-2014 at 09:36 PM. Reason: forgot an important thought
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2014, 09:45 PM
Beemer Owner Beemer Owner is offline
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Regarding options to help prevent future low/discharged battery issues: After having my 2013 X3 serviced recently due to low battery I was told that the battery still takes a drain when turned off as it is still connected to some of the technology. It was suggested that if I made a point of locking the doors after driving (eg. in garage overnight) that this would shut down some of those systems.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2014, 09:59 PM
Beemer Owner Beemer Owner is offline
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In regards to the postings by individuals trying to figure out what is causing the drain on the batteries: For example what high drain function or system might be the culprit. I appreciate the thoughts but really, shouldn't this be something BMW works out? They should be telling us what the cause is. Or better yet fix it once and for all. The posting by the individual who has a 2006 with this problem leads me to believe that BMW has been aware of this problem for some time. Too bad there can't be a forced gov't. re-call or something to shake them up. Considering the run-around I got from both the dealership and BMW North America Customer Service I can understand the frustration. The BMW North America Customer Service rep told me that BMW would not consider taking my new X3 back, just because I have this problem, unless the dealership service dep't. declares the vehicle to be defective. I don't know what their definition of defective is but it looks to me like this issue is a pretty good candidate.
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:08 PM
Beemer Owner Beemer Owner is offline
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To ghpup: Yup - us BMW owners can try to overcome the battery issue by using trickle chargers, driving more, etc., etc. But my big question is, why should we have to? I traded in a late model high end vehicle for my new BMW. It had just as many techy bells and whistles as the X3 and I didn't have any battery issues. How does BMW explain that? Not only is it an added inconvenience and costs extra gas money and time but what do people who don't have the know-how to hook up a charger supposed to do?
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:13 PM
Beemer Owner Beemer Owner is offline
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To Rachael69: Service manager told me that even with the vehicle turned off power is still being drawn off because of connection to certain devices. He suggested that I should lock the vehicle after parking in the garage. Says this blocks such connections.
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  #21  
Old 02-15-2014, 02:13 PM
Jennifer Natzel Jennifer Natzel is offline
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Won't start periodically

Won't start periodically
I have a 08 x3 and I was out running errands and came out of the last store and my car wouldn't turn over. I got a jump and it fired right up. About a month later the same thing happened with no problems in between. I went and got the battery tested and it registered about 38% charge and the volts were fine they said. We have only owned the car since December and they put a new battery in it just before we bought it. Any suggestions?
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