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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2014, 11:07 PM
ss_bmw ss_bmw is offline
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Battery dead after rear end accident

We had some freezing rain in MI yesterday which led to me getting rear ended. Everyone's okay, the back of my 2005 325i is scratched up, no airbags deployed. The front drivers side of the Chrysler 300 that hit me is pretty messed up. The 325 seems sturdy for a little car, lol.

Anyway, with minimal damage we exchanged info. Had the police do a report and I drove the car home last night which included a few stops shutting the car off and restarting, no issues. Unlocked the car this AM to check something and locked when I was done, no issues. Went to unlock it tonight and nothing. Tried to unlock manually with the key...nothing. Was able to open the trunk, no trunk light. Battery appears to be dead. Removed negative battery terminal and replaced. No change. Removed positive terminal and replaced, nothing. No "snap", sparks, sizzle...nothing.

Any clues on this one? Currently I have no way of getting into the car unless I chuck a brick through the window. Tow truck is coming tomorrow but I'm wondering if they'll have any solutions. Will try to jump it tomorrow. That should get juice enough to at least unlock the thing. Wondering if battery got toasted in crash? Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2014, 11:50 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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If you examine the Positive battery cable, you will notice a square plastic box on the cable, a little ways up from the battery. This is a pyrotechnic device, meant to sever the connection in case of a collision such as the one you experienced.

You can get a DIY kit and repair it yourself, which is about half the cost of a full replacement cable.
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  #3  
Old Yesterday, 12:08 AM
ss_bmw ss_bmw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
If you examine the Positive battery cable, you will notice a square plastic box on the cable, a little ways up from the battery. This is a pyrotechnic device, meant to sever the connection in case of a collision such as the one you experienced.

You can get a DIY kit and repair it yourself, which is about half the cost of a full replacement cable.
I read about that in some other posts and have seen that box. That would make sense if the car was DOA right after the crash. However after the accident we pulled over in a gas station to exchange info. I turned the car off, restarted, no problem. After the police finished up I drove to the store, turned off, restarted, no problem. Then drove home. Severing the connection when the collision happens makes sense. But 18 hours later?
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  #4  
Old Yesterday, 04:14 AM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss_bmw View Post
I read about that in some other posts and have seen that box. That would make sense if the car was DOA right after the crash. However after the accident we pulled over in a gas station to exchange info. I turned the car off, restarted, no problem. After the police finished up I drove to the store, turned off, restarted, no problem. Then drove home. Severing the connection when the collision happens makes sense. But 18 hours later?
Sometimes it doesn't "blow out" like it should and eventually dislodges the rest of the way.

Easy enough to check with a volt meter or a test light. Just make sure it shows power on all the wires running from it.

Basically you should have power at the positive terminal itself on the battery even if its broken the connection in the connector. Next make sure the large wire has power. You can test that under the hood at the connector that's used for jump starts.
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM
ss_bmw ss_bmw is offline
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Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Sometimes it doesn't "blow out" like it should and eventually dislodges the rest of the way.

Easy enough to check with a volt meter or a test light. Just make sure it shows power on all the wires running from it.

Basically you should have power at the positive terminal itself on the battery even if its broken the connection in the connector. Next make sure the large wire has power. You can test that under the hood at the connector that's used for jump starts.
Well I'm having quite a few days here... I tested terminal to terminal with a voltmeter and it peaked out my voltmeter and I think fried it, lol. Had the wrong setting on the voltmeter apparently... I'm pretty handy but not afraid to admit that all the numbers on a voltmeter are greek to me. Anyway, it seems like there is some juice in the battery since it was registered by the voltmeter.

I can't open the hood since the release is inside the car that I can't get into. Having a car lock you out turns out to be mighty inconvenient.

Anywho...a tow truck is coming now to collect the beast and drop it off at Allstate's local preferred collision center. I'll let them deal with all this fun. IMO this is all due to the crash so it can all get tossed on the claim.
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 08:20 AM
ss_bmw ss_bmw is offline
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*** UPDATE ***

I told Allstate to tell the tow truck driver the situation and that our driveway was steep. Guess what? Message not conveyed. Tow truck guy called me saying he couldn't get in the driveway. Marvelous. I ask if he can try to jump it. His response? I don't have a jump box... Say wha?

The result, car still in the driveway, tow truck driver gone.

Just curious, how much TNT would it take to get the car from my driveway into the street 40 feet away?
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 09:00 AM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Well if its the weekend and your stuck with it till Monday go buy a battery charger or some jumper cables (battery charger is safer ). Nothing wrong with have a battery charger in your arsenal.


Charge the battery to see if that is it.
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  #8  
Old Yesterday, 09:17 AM
ss_bmw ss_bmw is offline
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Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Well if its the weekend and your stuck with it till Monday go buy a battery charger or some jumper cables (battery charger is safer ). Nothing wrong with have a battery charger in your arsenal.


Charge the battery to see if that is it.
Great point on the battery charger. I have trickle chargers but not a heavier duty charger.
I'll have to pick one up, sounds like a good Christmas present, lol.
Will try to jump when I get home. If I can get it started I'll just drive it to the collision center.
If not I'll have to find a way to get it into the street so a tow truck can get on it.
That'll be either the TNT or some creative work with my two floor jacks.

I'll be sure to video this because it has the potential to go bad in so many awesome ways!

Last edited by ss_bmw; Yesterday at 09:19 AM.
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  #9  
Old Today, 03:37 PM
ss_bmw ss_bmw is offline
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ISSUE RESOLVED!

Turns out the battery was dead due to a light being left on. Nice when it's simple. Jumped it and dropped it off at the collision center.

Only issue now is the fobs aren't working. I'll deal with that when we get it back.

Thanks for the help guys!
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