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

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2007, 03:08 PM
Xringer Xringer is offline
Novice X3 Caretaker
Location: Mass
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
battery charge indicator port is black

The charge indicator window on top of the battery always shows "Needs Charging", a dark black ring.
The text on top of the battery indicates the ring should be green when the battery is charged.

My kid left her X3 at the dealer all day while they charged the battery.

She came here after she picked the car up and explained how she was told that
it's almost impossible to see the green ring.. That even the techs have a hard time seeing it.

I took a look and then again with a flash light. It's still black.

There does not seem to be any problem with starting the car or any low voltage error message,
it's just a funky charge indicator.. (Maybe)!

IIRC, if the battery water-acid mix level is too low, those type of indicators don't work..

So, are there any X3 drivers on here that do battery inspections?
It's fall, that time of the year. I just checked my Honda and it's in the green!

I would be very interested in hearing what color ring other people are seeing
and how difficult it is to see..


Thanks,
Rich
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2007, 03:18 PM
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x3ronnie x3ronnie is offline
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Location: Syracuse, N.Y.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
The charge indicator window on top of the battery always shows "Needs Charging", a dark black ring.
The text on top of the battery indicates the ring should be green when the battery is charged.

My kid left her X3 at the dealer all day while they charged the battery.

She came here after she picked the car up and explained how she was told that
it's almost impossible to see the green ring.. That even the techs have a hard time seeing it.



Thanks,
Rich

That's not right !(think Kevin Meany). I had a similar problem with my previous X3 ('04). The indicator was never green, and then 1 day it was finally green. I did not get a satisfactory explanation from BMW. My current '07 X3 has not exhibited this problem so far. All I can say is the service dept told me not to be too concerned and I wasn't.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2007, 07:55 PM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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What year is the X3? If it is a 2004, it could easily be time for a new battery.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2007, 08:59 PM
Xringer Xringer is offline
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2004

It's a 2004 2.5i plain Jane version. It was leased for 2 years and had only 7,000 miles on it.
I figured the dealer would install a new battery.?.

Around here (Boston area) I find the batteries last about 5 to 6 years.
I've learned (the hard way) not to keep them longer than 6 years.

I took a look at my wife's 2003 Toyota battery and it has a really
bight green ring. Almost florescent..
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2007, 09:02 PM
Xringer Xringer is offline
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Location: Mass
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3ronnie View Post
That's not right !(think Kevin Meany). I had a similar problem with my previous X3 ('04). The indicator was never green, and then 1 day it was finally green. I did not get a satisfactory explanation from BMW. My current '07 X3 has not exhibited this problem so far. All I can say is the service dept told me not to be too concerned and I wasn't.

That's strange. What I would like to know, was it easy (or difficult) to see the color down in the hole??
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2007, 04:37 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
It's a 2004 2.5i plain Jane version. It was leased for 2 years and had only 7,000 miles on it.
X3 likely sat for a long time with a dead battery. Maybe more then once.


Time for a new battery.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2007, 07:05 AM
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peoe2 peoe2 is offline
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Mine has been black for more than a year. My dealer told me not to worry about it as long as the car starts fine. If it becomes too low some indicator will light up. He said those green indicators are not reliable. So far I haven't had any problem.
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2007, 07:19 AM
x3pig x3pig is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 3.0si
2007 X3 and had the same issue from the time I picked up the car from the dealer last December. The "eye" is always pitch dark / black - even though the car starts fine and my voltage inverter when I use it shows ~12.2V. I brought it up with the dealer at some point but did not get a satisfactory answer.
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2007, 07:52 AM
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x3ronnie x3ronnie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
That's strange. What I would like to know, was it easy (or difficult) to see the color down in the hole??
I could easily see the color of green. I should have been more clear. The service dept told me that as long as I did not have trouble starting the car, I shouldn't worry about the light.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2007, 08:03 AM
Xringer Xringer is offline
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Location: Mass
 
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No signs of jumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
X3 likely sat for a long time with a dead battery. Maybe more then once.


Time for a new battery.
I took a real close look at the jump terminal under the hood. The +12V post is very pristine.
There are no scratch marks or voltage Arc marks anywhere on the post, or on the ground lug.

That seems to say, if it was ever re-charged, it was done VERY carefully, or via the cigar lighter. (12V solar panel?).

At the Boston dealer's storage area where the car was parked, was in back of about 30 other cars. (An old multi floor parking garage).
A bunch of BMWs had to be moved just to get it out for a test drive.
It started right up. The only place I saw a charger at the dealership, was on a couple
of cars on the showroom floor. I know why those get discharged.

The BMW battery manual (pdf file) stated the current draw in 'sleep' mode is about
50 MA (.050 Amps) or less in all the models listed. That is such a small amount of current,
it should take about a month before the battery voltage starts to degrade much.

http://www.e38.org/battery.pdf

From what I'm reading here, I think the old battery should last a while longer.
2 to 3 more years is my guess.

Thanks,
Rich
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2007, 10:29 AM
MSAMMY MSAMMY is offline
2007 550i & X3, 2002 X5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peoe2 View Post
Mine has been black for more than a year. My dealer told me not to worry about it as long as the car starts fine... He said those green indicators are not reliable. So far I haven't had any problem.
You're absolutely correct; those green indicators are not always reliable. My 2002 X5 battery died about 6 months ago and the indicator was bright fluorescent green. When I took the old battery back to Autozone to get my my core charge back, the guy at the counter looked at me like I was crazy for throwing away a perfectly good battery with the bright green indicator!
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2007 X3, 3.0si ///M Sport Premium, Monaco Blue, Gray Dakota, Navigation, Cold Weather Package, Xenon

2002 X5, 3.0i Sport Premium, Titanium Silver, Gray Dakota, Cold Weather Package, Xenon, just a winter vehicle
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2007, 10:50 AM
MSAMMY MSAMMY is offline
2007 550i & X3, 2002 X5
Location: Connecticut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
The BMW battery manual (pdf file) stated the current draw in 'sleep' mode is about
50 MA (.050 Amps) or less in all the models listed. That is such a small amount of current,
it should take about a month before the battery voltage starts to degrade much.

From what I'm reading here, I think the old battery should last a while longer.
2 to 3 more years is my guess.

Thanks,
Rich
Rich, I tend to agree with you, that battery should last at least 2 or 3 years more. Thanks for posting the link to the e39 site with the battery pdf workshop document. That one is a keeper! I did testing on my battery about 6 months ago to determine if I had a battery drain problem. I followed the exact procedure described on page 33 of the battery pdf that you posted and found my X5 battery load during "sleep mode" was just 27mA which is just perfect!

Here's a link to my battery testing results with pics of my fluke83 indicating everything is fine! http://www.x5world.com/x5-e53-forum/...y-drain-2.html

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2007 X3, 3.0si ///M Sport Premium, Monaco Blue, Gray Dakota, Navigation, Cold Weather Package, Xenon

2002 X5, 3.0i Sport Premium, Titanium Silver, Gray Dakota, Cold Weather Package, Xenon, just a winter vehicle
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  #13  
Old 09-15-2007, 05:42 PM
Xringer Xringer is offline
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Location: Mass
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
27 ma is pretty low. For that to have any effect on the battery, it would have to sit around
for a few for a good long time before it would even start to drop the voltage.

My kid puts about 20 to 30 miles a day on her X3 and so far it's running great.
She really likes it.

At 27 ma, that should draw 1 AH (1 at around the rated voltage) after about 37 hours.
So, to take it down by 20 AH, that's 740 hours(1 month).

Yeah, about one month to lose 20 to 30 percent of it's cranking power.
I can see where you might want a small charger it you are just
driving your sports cars in the summer..
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2007, 06:49 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Are you including the self-discharge? SLA batteries self discharge somewhere around 10% per month. Actual number varies quite a bit depending on the battery and storage conditions.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2007, 08:42 AM
Xringer Xringer is offline
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Location: Mass
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
self-discharge??

I did think about it for a second.. Since I have no idea of what the Amp hour rating is,
I just picked the 80-100 AH range as a wild guess.
(My tiny Honda CRV battery has 50 AH IIRC).

I've always wondered if the rate of self-discharge was affected by a load.
What's the rate of self-discharge with no load, compared to a 50ma load?
Does it make a difference or not?

I know the self-discharge has to affected by the winter cold.
And, all bets are off when you leave the car sitting for a month and try to crank it when it's freezing cold!
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2007, 01:18 PM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post

I know the self-discharge has to affected by the winter cold.
And, all bets are off when you leave the car sitting for a month and try to crank it when it's freezing cold!
I think it is lower in cold. Not sure for lead-acid. NiCad self discharge rate rises with temperature.

The battery's total capacity is related to temperature. When it is freezing cold you only have a tiny percentage of the original AH rating. Most of that will come back when the battery warms up.

Self discharge is higher on battery that has been run down a few times. It is also higher on an older battery.
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