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

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2013, 05:38 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Another Battery Drain issue, need your help :)

Hi all,

My 2004 X3 has developed a nasty battery drain issue. I have tested with an ampmeter and confirmed that when the vehicle is locked, the current drain is 4.6A initially, and after a while the led by the parking light shuts off and the current drain drops to 1.5A and stays there forever. I waited over an hour and the current drain stayed constant at 1.5A.

This is something that just came up in the last week or so.

I plan to start pulling fuses one at a time, but this is a real PITA because the fuse boxes are all inside the vehicle so I was hoping someone might have an idea on what could be drawing 1.5A when the vehicle appears to be shut-off and sleeping?

My car is an EU spec X3 with a big black phone in the center console. It is an early 2004 so I'm not sure if it has bluetooth or not? It definitely has a voice button on the lower left of the steering wheel, but I don't know if that's for bluetooth or just for some other voice control (X3 is in Germany so all the voice command stuff is in German and I don't understand it).

Thanks for any ideas!

Oh, and does anyone know how to bypass the vehicle door open signal? Obviously I need the vehicle to think all the doors are closed and locked to test the current drain, but the car will never go to sleep with an open door and it's almost impossible to reach in the glove box to access the fuse box without having the passenger door open.
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Last edited by trpltongue; 10-31-2013 at 05:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:33 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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door

is it possible to sticky over the door sensor to mimic closure ?????.....use duct/gaffer tape ?????

get an assistant to pull fuses with doors closed while you supply the brains outside.....my lass always can be bribed with shoe funding

also ......try disconnecting phone first .......was the answer on ours.....phone is now at the bottom of the virtual swamp !
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:45 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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swampX3,

Where is the door sensor? I looked but couldn't see any door sensors anywhere?

Good idea on bribing the wife with shoes! Would certainly be less expensive than a BMW tech

Good point, I forgot to mention that the phone has been removed and battery taken out of the phone so it is definitely not the culprit.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:01 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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door sensor

not the old style sprung switch .....must be a non contact sensor / hall effect deal in the door frame someplace ......maybe scan the wiring diagrams for it

http://www.bmw-planet.com/diagrams/r.../e83/index.htm


to save research time I would be more inclined to go the willing assistant route with window open option.....quicker and more social

Last edited by swampX3; 10-31-2013 at 08:05 AM. Reason: added wiring diagram link
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:04 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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I thought about that as well. Just reading up on how to disarm the interior motion detector to not set off the alarm all the time

Having the battery in the trunk really makes this a PITA. Would be so much easier if the battery was up front and I could just put the ampmeter on the exterior of the windshield. Oh well.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2013, 10:16 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Anybody know what systems are supposed to remain on until the car goes to sleep?

I paid more attention this time and the current draw was 4.6A for about 5 minutes, then dropped to 1.5A and stayed there. I was under the impression that the system waits about 15 minutes before it goes to sleep, so whatever systems are on just before going to sleep, seem to be staying on and never going to sleep.

I will be doing the detailed fuse pulling this weekend, but if anyone has any ideas on what systems are supposed to stay on that would be helpful.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:16 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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battery connections up front

you have battery pos and neg upfront as well.....a red plastic tab over the pos and a hex extension thingy just below......ish......easy to hook up to and lay the ammeter on windshield
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:23 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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can't measure current like that though, only voltage. I need to be able to hookup in-line with the battery negative pole and the vehicle's electrical system.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:26 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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another volunteer

a little scotty kilmer can help





dyall have a mini clamp on amp probe ????

also .....most of the time with a gross elec loss like yours sounds like ....voltage measurement or just a bulb in line / test lamp in line will do in a pinch

otherwise it looks like a bribe trip to Octoberfest will have to be paid for a volunteer in the trunk at the battery

Last edited by swampX3; 10-31-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:02 PM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Unfortunately I don't have a clamp on probe I actually tried to buy one, but Amazon.de only has very expensive clamp on probes that measure DC amperage. The AC amperage units are reasonable (25 Euro).
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:04 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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resistor scotty rig up

can y'all get hold of a couple of clips and the resistor in scotty's video on Y tube.....dyall have something like radio shack over there
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:11 PM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Actually can't watch the video, it's blocked here in Germany, but I'm working on it
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:18 PM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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swampX3,

I managed to watch the video above. I do have an ampmeter that let's me do exactly what he is doing. But, even in his video, you have to connect between the ground terminal on the battery and the ground cable for the vehicle, which means you have to tie in at the rear of the vehicle. It's not too bad, as long as my helper is willing It should only take a few minutes to pull all the fuses one by one to find the culprit. Figuring out exactly what is causing the drain on the affected circuit will be the challenging part.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:27 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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video essentials

scotty video sets up a 1 (one) ohm 10 (ten) watt resistor for 2 bucks from the shack .....sets it up between two crocodile clips and about one foot either side of the resistor in the middle....with bare wire accessible either side of the resistor for your voltmeter to get a reading across it

the test lead made up of the two crocodile clips with the resistor midway is inserted between the battery negative post and the removed battery negative lead.....same as the old test lamp rig

he makes a good point that more modern autos have much higher drain but be leary about going high than 30-40 milli volts total drain.......I think the mercs I've been around hold the record for drain

REMEMBER THAT HE IS READING VOLTS NOT AMPS

if you can't get a helper just rustle up longer lengths of wire for the croc clips and fair lead it through by the fold down seats so you can read your meter up front
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Last edited by swampX3; 10-31-2013 at 12:40 PM. Reason: added picture
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2013, 07:36 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Pulled every fuse in the vehicle 1 by 1 and it did not change the current drain. Is there more than just the 1 main fuse box in the vehicle?

Any ideas on non-fused connections?
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  #16  
Old 11-02-2013, 08:14 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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tips

double check the secondary air pump relay under the glove box ..... 5 mins to drop the glove box.....a known melt frozen/cable cooker item .....also check the wiring ....especially the ground from the relay socket

also can get a good handle on full fuse list/other elec components/locations from the search mode(gotta have JAVA app ok'd) on the elec info link I posted to you

here it is again .....I know what it's like trying to search thru billions of tips and posts ! .......best wishes .....good hunting

http://www.bmw-planet.com/diagrams/r.../e83/index.htm

also could check rogue volts when pulling relays ......there are four or five tucked away in the rack that holds the sec air relay .....fuel pump and some others ......the sec air is usually to the left on its own on the side .....check em all while you're in there

the sec air relay ground runs all the way thru the bulkhead to the ground terminal block on the engine side of the inner wheel well just by the wash reservoir......if its cooked you can just run a local ground .....brown about 22 gauge I think .....skinny thing for a relay ground pulling that much amps

Last edited by swampX3; 11-02-2013 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added link/check elec when relays pulled
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  #17  
Old 11-02-2013, 08:59 AM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post
Pulled every fuse in the vehicle 1 by 1 and it did not change the current drain. Is there more than just the 1 main fuse box in the vehicle?

Any ideas on non-fused connections?
Do you have any after market electronics that was added to your car?
cheers
vern
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  #18  
Old 11-02-2013, 09:51 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Another Battery Drain issue, need your help :)

Do you have any safety wire? An old aircraft mx trick is to wrap the probe tips with safety wire, then you can check cannon plugs or wrap the probe around grounding points or whatever.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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  #19  
Old 11-02-2013, 10:19 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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tips on more fuse locations

these fuses in the attachment are in with some relays you must check too.....location outlined in photo......located under hood in a left hand driver like USA

also pop the tops on the relays and do the sniff test for burning etc
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Last edited by swampX3; 11-02-2013 at 10:21 AM. Reason: clarification
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  #20  
Old 11-03-2013, 02:27 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Swamp, thanks for the tips and the diagrams, that really helps. I'll check out those items.

Vern, no aftermarket electronics at all.

Grabby, no safety wire, but I do have a willing helper so I'm ok on that front for now

Interestingly, there were a couple fuses, that when I pulled them, seemed to reset some of the items. The alarm fuse, when pulled, set of the alarm. Not fun. Also, I forget the number, but one of the fuses reset the nav / cd changer / etc., but did NOT turn on the "P" light, so I'm not sure if it woke the car up or if it was still asleep.
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  #21  
Old 11-03-2013, 05:19 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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fuse/blade condition

a tell tale but not blown fuse is discoloration of the blades/socket if passing some rogue electrons but not quite enough to pop the fuse.....the energy is dissipated as heat and can be quite a drain

so ....did you have any iffy fuse blades/part melted sockets
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  #22  
Old 11-03-2013, 08:00 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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no safety wire use sewing needles

to back probe plugs, cannon stuff etc can also use stiffish sewing needles or similar if no safety wire handy....just gotta have a good bond between pin and probe tip

sometimes a good safety pin tip is very good cause you can penetrate the insulation just a bit to get a reading

in extremis you can run the pin thru the cable and clamp a bulldog to it if working alone or remote.....very useful poboy setup for signal wires etc
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  #23  
Old 11-03-2013, 09:26 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Didn't have much time to work on it today, had a family commitment. I did manage to find the fuse box in the engine compartment and pull all the relays. None of them looked bad or smelled burned.

This week I'll try to probe the fuses in there and to check behind the glove box, etc.

Unfortunately I live in Hannover Germany without a garage so it is dark when I get home at 5:30-6pm so I only have limited time to be able to work on the vehicle. I will report back my progress as I go along.
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  #24  
Old 11-09-2013, 05:30 AM
trpltongue trpltongue is offline
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Okay, worked a bunch today.

I pulled every damn fuse out of the fuse box and under hood fuse box, then connected my ampmeter in series with the battery and started reading amperage. With all fuses out, amperage was 0 Good. So I don't have a rogue connection somewhere that is not fused.

Then I started connecting fuses 1 at a time and watching amperage. Started with the big 3 and no significant draw. Oh, I should note that often times when plugging in a fuse the system would "wake up" and I would have to wait for 16 minutes for the system to go back to sleep.

Ok, so I worked left to right and when I got to fuse #57 (outside mirrors and window control), the system woke up so I had to wait again. When I came back it was still reading 1.5A. I thought I found the rogue fuse! So I pulled it and still saw 1.5A! So I proceeded to pull every damn fuse and the meter continued to read 1.5A continuously, even with every freaking fuse pulled in the glove box and engine bay!

I'm wondering if perhaps there is a faulty relay that is directly connected to the battery for the window motors or outside folding mirrors? Then when I plug in the window motor fuse the relay connects and stays connected even when disconnecting the window motor fuse?

I'm testing it now. I disconnected the battery and fuse #57 to let the system reset, then reconnected the battery with the ampmeter and am waiting for the system to go back to sleep now. Hopefully when I check I'll see less than 50ma with the window motor fuse disconnected!

What a PITA!

Last edited by trpltongue; 11-09-2013 at 05:32 AM.
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  #25  
Old 11-09-2013, 07:00 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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hang in there

hang in there ....electrical can test patience to the max ......we are all rooting for you from the swamp here.....the rum stollen cakes have just come in the grocery shop in New Orleans from Germany for XMAS so we are with you in spirit !
also ....did you pop the tops off the relays to check for physical OK .....do they click real good when activated.....when you push the center to activate the relay with your finger does it spring back OK .......did you pull the relays and check the blades for bluing/arcing/melting ......did you check the relay sockets for melting/smoked wiring ????? ........takes only a few minutes PM to get piece of mind.....put a dab of dielectric grease on the blades to ease fittment

take pics and part nos of your relays .......they often have a designated color .....blue/salmon/lightish green/ pink etc.......it will help down the road for troubleshooting

Last edited by swampX3; 11-09-2013 at 07:01 AM.
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