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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

View Poll Results: Which is the best Battery Tender for my E9X BMW
Get a CTEK Smart Charger 21 37.50%
Get a Deltran Battery Tender 22 39.29%
I have neither but I just wanted to vote 13 23.21%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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  #26  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:31 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
From what I understand, sulfation is a progressive process, and being a chemical reaction is with no doubt accelerated by temperature. My thought process is by starting with this fresh battery and proactively maintaining it in spite of my "bad behaviors" (state in my above post), I can prevent the new battery from ever sulfating. That is where my interest in the feature originates.

Honestly, I'm not a battery engineer (is that an actual title?), but I did find this:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8067839_prev...batteries.html

and

http://www.flyingbeet.com/electricg/batteries.html

and

(these guys are very good)
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a..._to_prevent_it


Synopsis: keep the battery topped up and you should essentially never see any sulfation (or at least enough to get symptoms).
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:39 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Heh, Deltran vs Ctek. I just don't have enough experience between the two. The Deltran works well enough for me.

It's all personal experiences, but this is what these guys have to say:

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=93523

And these guys:
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c6-c...s-deltran.html

My guess is that you pretty much can't go wrong with either one. Toss a coin. The difference, practically, just don't matter.
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  #28  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:42 PM
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They're both great units, until the Deltran break and you have to send it back and have to pay them $15 to look at the unit and pay for shipping.
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  #29  
Old 11-07-2012, 06:09 PM
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@ Sir Galahad,
Thanks for the great technical information. Prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.

@ Hot Ice:
Thanks for the tidbit about the 1 hour/day driving. Funny how the SA at BMW really didn't want to point blank impart that little gem; not that it matters - I used to drive 2-3 hours a day in heavy traffic and I don't miss it a bit. It is interesting on both the Deltran and CTEK sites, Deltran indicates they are the manufacturer of the BMW branded charger, yet CTEK indicates that BMW uses their chargers.

I'm kind of a pushover for all the pretty lights on the CTEK unit. This would be a much easier decision if there were just an iPad app for it.
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  #30  
Old 11-07-2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
@ Sir Galahad,
Thanks for the great technical information. Prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.

@ Hot Ice:
Thanks for the tidbit about the 1 hour/day driving. Funny how the SA at BMW really didn't want to point blank impart that little gem; not that it matters - I used to drive 2-3 hours a day in heavy traffic and I don't miss it a bit. It is interesting on both the Deltran and CTEK sites, Deltran indicates they are the manufacturer of the BMW branded charger, yet CTEK indicates that BMW uses their chargers.

I'm kind of a pushover for all the pretty lights on the CTEK unit. This would be a much easier decision if there were just an iPad app for it.
I am glad I could help.

P.S. BMW uses Deltran. I use them on a daily basis for cars in the showroom.

Porsche uses CTEK as does Ferrari and Lamborghini.
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  #31  
Old 11-07-2012, 06:58 PM
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1+1 for Deltran. I've got this one:



This will be my fourth winter with it (car lives most of the snowy months sipping on the tender) and it has been flawless. Highly recommended, especially at this price point.
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  #32  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:04 PM
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Leaning CTEK myself...those lights are purdie. I believe we have an AGM battery, correct? $60 looks to be the "best" price I've seen for the 3300, but haven't looked up on DD yet. Never thought of doing this, but the car does sit quite a bit in the winter...and probably even more so now that I lost my commuting partner.
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  #33  
Old 11-08-2012, 01:05 PM
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Kat, will your car be sleeping during the winter? If so, I also recommend pouring in STA-BIL into the gas tank.
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  #34  
Old 11-08-2012, 01:37 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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For those that want a CTEK just for purdy lights, well you only get two lit at a time, haha.

Kat, if it's between the BT *Plus* and a Ctek, I think having the sealed/insulated design of the Ctek will be worth at least a part of the extra premium to you. (Look at the open design of the pic that Thunder Dump gave.) IIRC, this was one of the more important differences for me.

I had also researched these brands, and found some similar comments to what Hot Ice has been saying about BT, that while the warranty on the face of it looks superb, people are probably not going to use it when the battery dies, might as well just buy a new one for the "cost". This said, I'd still expect any given new BT to work well for many years, as they've done for others here.

I said it in the other thread, if I bought one all over again, I'd step up to a nicer model, the 7002. Overkill, sure, but I would.

I'm not sure who is aware or not (though I'm guessing you would be), but apparently CTEK has come out with some new chargers (including a pretty darned expensive one for race cars). I don't know how long it's been since they've been released. Instead of the 3300, you may consider the MUS 4.3. The website says that the former is 4 step, the latter is 8 step, and the "msrp" is almost identical. The latter has a reconditioning mode, but brief research tells me that this is automatically done with the 3300, it just doesn't have a discrete "mode" for it. With the 4.3, it is assumed you have done the charge firstly, before using the recond mode.

What I'm trying to find out, unsuccessfully, is if the "soft start" of the 7002 model is worth a darn. You see when I have mine hooked up still even after the charge is complete, as soon as I use the fob to unlock a door (even after waiting out an overnighter), I see the charger instantly go to charge mode.

So if you have yours hooked up say immediately after a wash, charging while you tend to your seals, etc, opening/closing doors, using the origami, I wonder how many times you could get the charger to "wake up" and "sleep" in a session (for lack of more proper terms atm). I'm guessing it wouldn't be much more than one cycle for many/most or even you, but then few to none care for their car in the way you do! (So, I just wonder.) While yes I'd just get the higher model(s) for the heck of it, maybe for you there could be a real reason or value for you to be had, to warrant the extra premium.
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  #35  
Old 11-08-2012, 05:30 PM
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Well, I placed my order....

First of all, I want to send out a big thanks to everyone who gave their input regarding both of these units. This was a very hard decision as they are so similar and as many of you stated it would be hard to mess up, going either direction. I finally ran it by a co-worker who has prior extensive experience keeping lead-acid batteries healthy for things like nuclear subs and batteries that were on the Space Shuttle. He said it was a coin toss between the two units, but gave a slight nod to the CTEK unit, mostly for the purdy lights.

I pulled the trigger and hope to have the unit in a week. I plan on experimenting a bit with it a'la ILMC's comments about hooking it up and watching it kick into action with things like opening and shutting doors and actuating the top.

Interesting to me is that some of the extra-curricular reading generated by the links provided by Galahad turned up 5 series and 7 series owners experiencing the same shock and puzzlement I experienced that the simple act of opening the driver's door and not turning the car on causes a huge gulp of battery juice to feed the system computers. Looks like this is a 'feature' on current model BMWs in general. I will have to go back over my owner's manual with a fine tooth comb because, while I do remember reading that actuating the top more than 5 successive times without the engine running could cause a significant drain on the battery, I never remember seeing that same warning about opening and closing the driver's door.

Again, thanks to all who helped me sort this out, your assistance is much appreciated.
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  #36  
Old 11-08-2012, 05:51 PM
Lufthansa Lufthansa is offline
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I have my last BMW, and the battery situation is one of the reasons. My Lexus is my DD, and there are many days I drive it less than 5 miles. Battery discharge has never been an issue, even after it sat for almost a month, although I now (illogically) install the Deltran if it's going to sit more than a week. I guess it's force of habit from the BMW.
BTW, some time ago I brought up the BMW battery issue to my Lexus SA, and he looked at me like I was nuts - said he never experienced anything similar with a Lexus, and certainly doesn't have a 'checklist' of dos and don'ts like Kat received.
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  #37  
Old 11-08-2012, 06:17 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
I pulled the trigger and hope to have the unit in a week. I plan on experimenting a bit with it a'la ILMC's comments about hooking it up and watching it kick into action with things like opening and shutting doors and actuating the top.
Cool, congrats. Which model did you choose? I did just see that some reviewers did not like how the 4.3 misses out on a standby mode, and that the cord(s) is shorter possibly making the reach between ground and + a bit difficult. I can't see how either would bother an E9x owner though.

Now that I think about it Kat, you probably won't see it "kick into action all of a sudden" unless it's already fully charged, which in all likelihood means that the charger has been continuously hooked up for some time, and then* you open a door, open the top, etc. If you connect it right then and there, I'd guess* that it will start charging immediately, so there would be nothing to kick on, so to speak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Interesting to me is that some of the extra-curricular reading generated by the links provided by Galahad turned up 5 series and 7 series owners experiencing the same shock and puzzlement I experienced that the simple act of opening the driver's door and not turning the car on causes a huge gulp of battery juice to feed the system computers. Looks like this is a 'feature' on current model BMWs in general. I will have to go back over my owner's manual with a fine tooth comb because, while I do remember reading that actuating the top more than 5 successive times without the engine running could cause a significant drain on the battery, I never remember seeing that same warning about opening and closing the driver's door.

Again, thanks to all who helped me sort this out, your assistance is much appreciated.
I was under the impression the biggest gulper might have been fuel pump(s). I may be mistaken, but I think the most prominent whirring sound I'm hearing upon waking the car up is the LPFP which should be near the fuel tank. After I received an update (for us HPFP owners), I'm certain this whirring became even more dramatic (and so am under the particular impression my update affected the LPFP programming too).

As I recall, the owner of a famous BMW indy near me told me it was an older gen of 5ers that were the first to have this "feature". Apparently, it really reduced failures of these pumps or something. I'm sure DSX or Orient would know, among others. Anyway, we are glad to help out.

Oh for whoever cares, I found this tidbit about the soft start feature:
"Soft-start stage tests the battery to see whether it can be charged. If the battery is unable to hold the initial charge, the unit goes into Error Mode, alerting you that your battery must be replaced." It doesn't seem like a deal breaker to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
Porsche uses CTEK as does Ferrari and Lamborghini.
And others too. I read someone say that the ~$45 CTEK US 800 model, but the one in red with a horsey on it goes for $400!






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  #38  
Old 11-08-2012, 07:02 PM
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I went basic and purchased the 3300 unit. I was ready to pull the trigger on the new 4.3 unit and then I read that it has shorter cables. Doing an armstretch measurement in the garage I need a good 6 ft of cable between the mounting stud on the garage wall and the connection points inside the hood.
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  #39  
Old 11-08-2012, 07:54 PM
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I just hooked up the Deltran to my bike. Good choice, Kat. If the bike will be sitting for a long period of time, I suggest putting in a bit of STA-BIL into the tank.
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  #40  
Old 11-08-2012, 09:43 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
Honestly, I'm not a battery engineer (is that an actual title?), but I did find this:

[snip]
Of course! And quite the techie job of the future!
Example http://www.google.com/about/jobs/loc...ggr&src=indeed
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  #41  
Old 11-08-2012, 09:56 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
I went basic and purchased the 3300 unit. I was ready to pull the trigger on the new 4.3 unit and then I read that it has shorter cables. Doing an armstretch measurement in the garage I need a good 6 ft of cable between the mounting stud on the garage wall and the connection points inside the hood.
Ummmm. What? Kat, that is sooo low tech. What you do is permanently connect a + and - wire to your under hood points, run it to a 'quick connect' secreted in a corner of the grille, and never open the hood. In an emergency getaway, you back right out and the thing disconnects automatically, so to speak.

[Since this wire will be direct connected to 750 amps it's always a good idea to fuse the positive lead. Only needs a 10A or less fuse, and the best place for it is just before the + connection.]

Note: Just looked again at your poll. If only those Independents (yellow) had aligned themselves with the red bar voters, they would have tied the blue bar voters, and your choice of battery minders would have to be decided by the Supreme Court!

Last edited by DSXMachina; 11-08-2012 at 10:17 PM.
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  #42  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Ummmm. What? Kat, that is sooo low tech. What you do is permanently connect a + and - wire to your under hood points, run it to a 'quick connect' secreted in a corner of the grille, and never open the hood. In an emergency getaway, you back right out and the thing disconnects automatically, so to speak.

[Since this wire will be direct connected to 750 amps it's always a good idea to fuse the positive lead. Only needs a 10A or less fuse, and the best place for it is just before the + connection.]
Whhoosh
Wow! That looked so good going by but either it's too late at night or I've had too long a day at work... I think I need a tutorial or some spoon feeding or both.. (There is no icon for trying to squish all the brain cells back into place.)
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  #43  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:32 PM
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Note: Just looked again at your poll. If only those Independents (yellow) had aligned themselves with the red bar voters, they would have tied the blue bar voters, and your choice of battery minders would have to be decided by the Supreme Court!
Odd how sometimes art imitates life....
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  #44  
Old 11-09-2012, 01:18 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Whhoosh
Kat, I'm not sure the best way to get a wire all the way to the grille (as the quick connector with eyelets that comes with your 3300 will be waaay too short), I suppose someone could fabricate one, with the CTEK connector on it . . .

But the pics in the link below show the gist of what DSX is saying. Plug and play. Note how the quick connector has that removable rubber cover. So if that is sticking through the grille, I don't think you'll be able to pull it off and then back on, and if this cover is permanently removed, I don't know how quickly that plug could corrode, seeing as how often you wash the car, etc. I also have no idea how it would be best secured at the grille. Oh btw I believe all the fuses in the variety of connectors available from CTEK are 15A. (There are also quick connectors they sell with red/yellow/green lights right on the connector themselves, to show the condition of the battery.)

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=26

I think the easiest way/compromise is to perhaps hardwire it like above. Yeah, you still have to pop the hood, but at least it's just plugging in. I just use the clips. I mean, it's pretty darn easy, ya know!? Anyway, it's an option, I guess I'm considering doing the same now, though it makes the bay look a bit less tidy I suppose.

I also admit that I sometimes forget to put the red plastic cap back on the + post, and I guess that wouldn't happen anymore by using the eyelet quick connector.

You can see the eyelet connector here (with that removable rubber cover):


edit: I decided to add a pic of the eyelet version of the quick connector, but with the lights on it, in case you were interested.


Last edited by Ilovemycar; 11-09-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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  #45  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:31 PM
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I just saw this CTEK rebate and wanted to tack it onto this discussion for anyone considering the CTEK 7200 or the 3300 and a few accessories. The rebate started 11/1 and runs through the end of the year, so if you bought one since this discussion started you may still be eligible for the rebate.



http://smartercharger.com/rebate
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  #46  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:29 PM
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CTEK 7002 for 7 Amp charging and a recondition mode

7 amps charges fast. Time is money

Recondition mode could get 2->3 years more out of the battery. Given $450 for a dealer to swap + pain of registering for DIY this makes the 7002 a no brainier for late model BMW owners

My lawn tractor is six years old so I am sure the battery will start acting up soon. Should close to pay for the CTEK when it gets reconditioned
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Last edited by MP3_E46; 12-07-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP3_E46 View Post
CTEK 7002 for 7 Amp charging and a recondition mode

7 amps charges fast. Time is money
Isn't a higher charging current is bad for battery life? Now maybe the difference between 3.3 amps and 7 amps is not enough to worry about since quick chargers typically charge using about 10 times that current. Still....
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:19 PM
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Isn't a higher charging current is bad for battery life? Now maybe the difference between 3.3 amps and 7 amps is not enough to worry about since quick chargers typically charge using about 10 times that current. Still....
At 7 amps my 90Ah would take thirteen hours to charge. The internet says 16->25 Amps per 100Ah of battery are typical maximum charging current rates.
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  #49  
Old 02-08-2013, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
I just saw this CTEK rebate and wanted to tack it onto this discussion for anyone considering the CTEK 7200 or the 3300 and a few accessories. The rebate started 11/1 and runs through the end of the year, so if you bought one since this discussion started you may still be eligible for the rebate.



http://smartercharger.com/rebate
Great tip! I bought the 3300, but since it was only $50, I can't get the rebate
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  #50  
Old 02-10-2013, 08:16 AM
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Mein Auto: 99 328i
I use the Battery Tender because it was recommended by Mike Miller of the BMWCCA. It's so simple my wife, who is very technically challenged, can take it off and put on my BMW by herself, when I'm not around, and it has protection against reverse polarity and over charging. It's pretty close to failure proof for both of us.
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