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

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:27 AM
SmiLie SmiLie is offline
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Yet another Battery drain question

Hey fellas,

New here, went back 10 pages or so of the forum, didn't find similar issue.

Need help locating a battery drain in wife's X3. Last two weeks on Monday had to jump start her car, battery was almost dead. Car sat in a driveway over the weekend. If the car is driven during daily on weekdays, it is completely fine in the morning.

Went to Pep Boys , they did battery test and it is OK, although 4+ years old.

Also, I've noticed that radio panel doesn't completely turns off in the last two weeks when car is locked. The panel and clock stay on. So, is this a possible battery drain (this doesn't look right), and if yes how can I make radio turn itself off? (sorry, not in the manual, and the car is off warranty).

Also, do you recommend replacing battery anyway since it is 4+ years old?

Thanks

Last edited by SmiLie; 12-07-2012 at 07:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 10:29 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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These battery drain issue seem to crop up occasionally on the forum; but I can't recall anyone ever finding a definitive solution/culprit. Rather than scrolling down the list of threads, try the search utility using a few key words like "radio" and "battery drain." The consensus seems to be that some module (in your case, perhaps it's the radio head) isn't going to 'sleep' when the vehicle is locked.

By design, the radio head is supplied with power for a period of time after the engine is shut off, or until a door is opened. Sounds like something in that path isn't getting set properly... Either way, my memory tells me that the radio/clock display should go out immediately after the engine is shut off. Over time, this could be the source of the battery drain; I had a similar problem develop in the radio head of my '97 GMC Jimmy, and the battery would be dead after only a few days of sitting idle in that state. You may need to employ the same solution I did for my Jimmy (replace the radio head)... In the short term, you may need to try pulling the fuse on the circuit that supplies power to the radio head when the ignition is off (which is, again, what I did with my Jimmy until I could obtain a replacement radio head).
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Last edited by timfitz63; 12-07-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:05 PM
SmiLie SmiLie is offline
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Thanks , I give it a try and see what I can dig. Don't want to replace battery and find out that nothing changed.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:07 PM
Cchrono Cchrono is offline
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I had battery drain it was Bluetooth module I removed the module since my car didn't have necessary components formitmand no longer have any problems.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:26 AM
SmiLie SmiLie is offline
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Thanks. Unfortunately can't deactivate it. My wife uses Bluetooth all the time, she would rather buy a new car than have it deactivated.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:30 AM
Cchrono Cchrono is offline
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You can try unplugging blue tooth module its in the back left corner pocket in trunk and clean all the contact points on the harness and module. People have seen success in fixing the drain by doing this.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2012, 05:28 PM
x3oiler x3oiler is offline
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Traced my issues to the audio head unit. Noticed that aftermarket GPS that plugs in the back of the head unit did not turn off sometimes - ie GPS remained powered up long after ignition is off. Never an issue if I turn off the head unit manually before exit the car. You might try this for a while and see if cures your issue - at least will isolate the problem to the audio head unit. I can leave car standing for 2-3 weeks now with no issue.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2012, 06:46 PM
anthony s anthony s is offline
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drain

Hello. I recommend replacing the battery.3 to 4 years old is long life for a battery although batteries that live inside the vehicle usually last a while longer.Also use a amp clamp to check for drain.it is a meter that hooks around the negative cable.it should be no more than 250 milli amps,there is a 1000 milli amps in 1 amp.make sure when checking for a drain that there is nothing on .if door is open roll the latch,you can always tell when bmw goes to sleep because the park shift light goes out. replace battery start fresh.goodluck
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:52 AM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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The TCU (Bluetooth) is probably the culprit. It has a tendency to not go into the sleep mode (and keeps trying to pair). You could buy a newer version TCU or purchase a ULF (ULFs don't have this problem).
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:38 AM
mp96b mp96b is offline
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My 2006 X5 had the same battery drain. One weekend we didn't use it at all and on Monday morning it was completely dead. I took the vehicle to the dealer and they said it was the bluetooth TCU that would not allow the vehicle to go to sleep and therefore needed to be replaced. Instead of paying $650 to replace the module I just had them disconnect it. This was a year ago and I haven't had an issue, but yesterday after reading in this forum about cleaning the TCU connections could possibly solve the issue I decided to reconnect the TCU.

How can I tell if the vehicle goes to sleep? The bluetooth stops working when I turn of the vehicle but not sure how to tell if the vehicle is completely asleep.

Also, could the phone model have any thing to do with the TCU not going to sleep? I previously had a blackberry when the problem first occurred, but now I use a iPhone 4S and 5.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:38 AM
mp96b mp96b is offline
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.

Last edited by mp96b; 01-07-2013 at 07:41 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:39 AM
mp96b mp96b is offline
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Last edited by mp96b; 01-07-2013 at 07:41 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2013, 03:05 PM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mp96b View Post

How can I tell if the vehicle goes to sleep? The bluetooth stops working when I turn of the vehicle but not sure how to tell if the vehicle is completely asleep..
The LED light by the shift leaver and by the drivers side controls on the door will go out. Sometimes it takes as much as 15 minutes or so .
Good luck
cheers
vern
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:21 PM
mp96b mp96b is offline
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Appreciate it, it looks like it is going to sleep now.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2013, 03:01 PM
jviss jviss is offline
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Me too!

2006 X3.

Dead at the airport on Friday after returning from a six day trip. Fortunately Logan (Boston) airport has an excellent, free auto assistance service, and we got a jump.

So, I know there are quite a few threads on this topic, so sorry if I picked the wrong one. Maybe there should be a single, sticky thread?

Anyway, was hoping that someone had solved this definitively. I have a current-clamp, DC Ammeter, and I'm a EE, so I have troubleshooting skills. But where to look?

I was toying with the idea of just installing a low-voltage cutoff on the accessory lead from the battery, and resetting it to start if I found the car dead. Or maybe install a second, emergency starting battery.

However, it would be best to find the culprit. Any evidence would help. Detecting "sleep" is a good one; are we sure it's the LEDs mentioned above? Is the sleep delay adjustable?

Thanks,

jv
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  #16  
Old 07-09-2013, 07:40 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Expect the current to go 4A-1.8A-40mA after 16 minutes. Opening any door etc restarts the countdown. Random current drain can sometimes be caused by the nav drive not sleeping, or the older gen TCUs waking up in the night and trying to call home and hanging there.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2013, 03:03 AM
x3oiler x3oiler is offline
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Although I have isolated the culprit in my X3 - namely the stereo head unit, I still carry one of these:

http://www.exploroz.com/Shop/Super_M...ower_Pack.aspx

This will jump start a 3.0liter Diesel - about the heaviest start current you will find - so although very small will do the job. Not ideal solution but nice to have in the vehicle.

If I could work out a way to automatically turn the head unit on and off after I turn off the ignition I would have a sure fire fix.

edit:typo
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Last edited by x3oiler; 07-11-2013 at 03:04 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2013, 08:03 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3oiler View Post
Although I have isolated the culprit in my X3 - namely the stereo head unit, I still carry one of these:

http://www.exploroz.com/Shop/Super_M...ower_Pack.aspx

This will jump start a 3.0liter Diesel - about the heaviest start current you will find - so although very small will do the job. Not ideal solution but nice to have in the vehicle.

If I could work out a way to automatically turn the head unit on and off after I turn off the ignition I would have a sure fire fix.

edit:typo
This reminds me of something:

When we lived in Colorado in the 70's we used to take some extreme back country trips in our CJ5. To minimize the risk of getting stranded in the middle of nowhere I ran dual batteries isolated with a heavy duty relay. Key "on" would close the relay and connect both while the engine was running. When you turned the key off the relay would open disconnecting it. The second battery had virtually nothing connected to it so there was no way for it to be drawn down with the key off. I also ran a pair of KC Daylighters and a pair of Aris Flamethrowers so having two batteries helped for that as well. The good old days.
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  #19  
Old 07-13-2013, 03:34 AM
x3oiler x3oiler is offline
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I had thought of permanently wiring this little beastie in a similar manner as it is small enough to fit in the rear near the battery but the relay . . . too much current when a diesel starts for any relay I know off so I go for the KISS principal and know I can jump start manually if required.
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2013, 06:38 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3oiler View Post
I had thought of permanently wiring this little beastie in a similar manner as it is small enough to fit in the rear near the battery but the relay . . . too much current when a diesel starts for any relay I know off so I go for the KISS principal and know I can jump start manually if required.
Having spent the better part of my life in the Army where you can't call roadside assistance my mind always goes to the "what if's".

An old Ford starter relay would take the load but I'm not sure it could handle "continuous duty".



BMW's don't lend themselves well to this kind of tinkering anyway. An old Defender 90 or Land Cruiser would be an entirely different story.
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