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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-27-2010, 06:23 AM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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Excessive Battery Draw from FUSE #56 CKT

Hi,

Have a 2003 540i M-sport with Nav. My battery was going dead after about 12hrs of sitting. Come to find out, it was not going to sleep after 15 min and was drawing about 4A all the time.
I have discovered that the the excessive draw is coming from the circuit protected by FUSE # 56 which covers the following:

On-board Monitor
Radio
Video Module
CD Changer
Amplifier
GPS Control Module
GPS Receiver

When I pull FUSE #56 out, the car goes to sleep when it is supposed to and I don't get the battery drain. Any ideas?
Do I start disconnecting each of these sub-components to see which one is the culprit? Do you know of any history of any of these components (ie - oh yeah, the radio in these cars always go bad...or oh yeah, amps go up on these, etc). I would prefer not to start tearing apart the dash, etc. to try do find the culprit. Was going to start with the NAV head unit in the trunk (easy to get to, etc.).

Right now I'm just driving the car with no radio, GPS, on-board computer, etc

Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2010, 01:12 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Amps have been known to fail. Having said that, it might be the head unit not turning off the amp.

I'd start with the easily-accessible components first - you might get lucky.

Connect you ammeter in place of the fuse.
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Last edited by edjack; 06-27-2010 at 01:13 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2010, 07:49 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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Thanks...I'll give that a try. Like I said, I don't want to start tearing apart the dash, etc....
I'll check the amp and the NAV DVD player in the trunk first and see what happens.
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2011, 04:16 AM
jamesjoneill jamesjoneill is offline
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hi,

first time on here and what a gold mine of info!

My 2001 530i is doing exactly the same thing - battery goes flat after a day or so of not driving with a residual current draw of over 1A. The "P" light on the transmission goes out so it's not that the whole car isn't shutting down, but pulling fuse #56 solves the problem.

So... a question for you and anyone else out there who knows more about this stuff than me (not too hard...). Firstly, did you manage to solve your problem more permanently than just pulling the fuse, i.e. did you manage to track down the faulty item? Secondly, would unplugging equipment individually eg the cd changer, amp etc and monitoring the current draw identify the problem or, as they are all interlinked, would it not really tell me much?

thanks for your help so far just from reading to this point!

cheers,

James
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2011, 07:05 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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I see not a lot of answers so far so I am going to suggest two things, but state up front that I haven't personally had these issues. Go into the radio "menu" and see if there is not an entry to change how long before audio stuff goes into sleep mode. Beyond that I would verify door switches are showing door is opening and closing which starts/stops sleep cycle, LCM may be what controls sleep mode or GM-III module. Last thing would be ignition switch. They fail all the time. I am in process of finishing a WP job, but will open Bentley and find what controls this stuff for you. There is a cheap and dirty way you could fix, but do not suggest it. Find a 12V line under the dash that is only "hot" when key is on. Remove existing wire to fuse 56 that you say is staying hot all the time and run a new wire that is only hot when ignition is on. Will defeat lights coming on when door opens and auto-dimming, but would be better than living without just until you find real problem. I will follow up for you.
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2011, 03:36 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Bentley was not a lot of help here, but fuse 56 will be "hot" at all times. It gets its power from fuse 107, an 80 amp fuse that hooks directly to the battery. Looking to see whether the light control monitor (LCM) or the general module (GM III) controls the sleep mode, I found that the GM-III has overall control through ZKE which is a central electronics system which takes various inputs from door switches, etc. I would look at your GM-III module first as it is fairly inexpensive used and easily changed out. It likely controls the ground side of these devices such as the radio, nav., interior lights, etc. After 16 minutes, your car should be pulling only about 18 mils. Keep this thread going and let us know how it turns out. G/L
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2011, 05:08 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black540eye View Post
Hi,

Have a 2003 540i M-sport with Nav. My battery was going dead after about 12hrs of sitting. Come to find out, it was not going to sleep after 15 min and was drawing about 4A all the time.
I have discovered that the the excessive draw is coming from the circuit protected by FUSE # 56 which covers the following:

On-board Monitor
Radio
Video Module
CD Changer
Amplifier
GPS Control Module
GPS Receiver

When I pull FUSE #56 out, the car goes to sleep when it is supposed to and I don't get the battery drain. Any ideas?
Do I start disconnecting each of these sub-components to see which one is the culprit? Do you know of any history of any of these components (ie - oh yeah, the radio in these cars always go bad...or oh yeah, amps go up on these, etc). I would prefer not to start tearing apart the dash, etc. to try do find the culprit. Was going to start with the NAV head unit in the trunk (easy to get to, etc.).

Right now I'm just driving the car with no radio, GPS, on-board computer, etc

Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!
Start by pulling the power cable to a few items at a time to isolate. Start with the AUDIO/CD/GPS DVD that are all right in back in the left rear of the trunk.

Pull the fuse first (always)
Then pull the power cables
Install fuse and check draw

When your ready to plug cables back in......
Make sure fuse is removed
Plug cables in
Install fuse.

WHY? You never want to risk connecting power to a device without ground being connected first. Typically the ground and power pins on a connector are all the same length and if the connector is cocked slightly on assembly or dis-assembly, Power can be present for a short time without ground.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2011, 05:40 AM
jamesjoneill jamesjoneill is offline
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hey guys, thanks for the suggestions of things to try. I've been working through them to see what, if anything, I can learn...

so, first off the car appeart to go to sleep properly after 16mins - or, at least, the light on the trans is going out. I could not find any settings in the radio to control how long it stays live. I think that the door switches etc are functioning ok, as opening any door causes the interior lights to switch on as well as locking out the auto windows etc.

I don't have the navigation kit on the car, so there isn't a video module, dvd drive or gps module, so that should at least reduce the number of things that could have gone wrong.

I tried disconnecting equipment one piece at a time, haven't been able to do all of it yet (haven't taken the dash apart, just looked at the equipment in the trunk) and have found that isolating the amp and the sub made no difference, but disconnecting the cd changer caused the residual current to drop to 150 mA. So, a start at least, 150mA residual is a lot better than 1A, although clearly this isn't the complete answer or I'd be a lot lower than that. whereabout in the vehicle is the on-board monitor?

So, GM-III is looking favorite so far, clearly several pieces of kit (of which one is the cd changer) are staying on.

thanks so much for your help thus far, I think I'm closer than I was to resolving this now!

James

p.s. - re-wiring fuse 56 to run on an ignition live rather than permanent live isn't so silly an idea... it only controls the audio and obm, so all the lights etc would work fine in the car, it would just zero out the cd player etc each time (I presume...) plus not let you use the radio with the ignition off. COuld be a good work-around, given it's not worth spending too much $$$ on a 10year old car with 140k on the clock... J
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2011, 05:52 AM
jamesjoneill jamesjoneill is offline
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hello again,

I've just looked at GMIII modules on ebay and they're not too pricey, so I'll probably get one and try it - if it makes no difference, then I can always re-sell it again!

A couple of questions though... Firstly, there seem to be hundreds of different part numbers for this module. I've had mine out to check what number I need, but do I need to wait for exactly the same part number to come up for sale or would a module with a different part number work?

Also, some of the sellers suggest that the module may need recoding, and a seach on the 'net didn't conclusively indicate one way or the other. Is this the case?

sorry if these questions sound obvious to you... I'm fine with all things mechanical but when it comes to electrics... well!

James

Last edited by jamesjoneill; 01-24-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2011, 03:47 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Couple things: First regards GM-III module on Ebay. There is a guy who sells quite a few different GM-IIIs. I believe he is German or has a German name in his business. I will try to find his name, but the guy is VERY knowledgeable about which modules are interchangeable. You will hear that you must stay with a same part# module, but there are some that are exactly the same. Just like Mid units, BMW issued a lot of different part numbers for same part to make sales increase (harder to find used). This guy will help.

The issue as I understand it is not really which device is drawing the current, but why is it not going into "sleep mode". If the CD changer is pulling 150 mils, that is not the problem, but why is fuse 56 staying hot? Bentley says the draw before car goes to sleep is a couple amps as I recall and should fall to 18 milli-amps in sleep mode which your battery can handle with ease.

Remember that many devices stay "hot" all the time and they are switched on and off via the negative or ground side. I can't agree that you must always hook up positive first as this way of controlling radios and such is actually more common that the other way around.
The Bentley is just so woefully short on detail about the sleep mode. This guy on Ebay will likely know exactly which relay is sticking closed. The GM-III is just a big relay board. If you get to where you decide to run a lead over to fuse 56 that is only hot with key on, I would use that lead from the ignition switch to control a 12VDC relay and then have the relay switch on the original power source for fuse 56. Lead 56 is 30 amps I believe and you don't want to potentially draw that kinda current off just any wire you find under dash.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:34 AM
jamesjoneill jamesjoneill is offline
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thanks for the updates - that all sounds very sensible, and yes please do pass on this guy's name as he sounds like someone I should be talking to!

fuse 56 is not, I believe, on a switched live so it should be staying at +12v all the time. As you say, something somewhere is either not shutting down when told to, or not being told to shut down. Watching the current draw as the car goes to sleep is quite interesting - with the fuse in you get around 2A immediately on locking, which falls to around 1A when "asleep". With the fuse removed you get about 1.2A on locking which drops to around 20mA when asleep. So far, then, everything adds up.

If changing out the module doesn't cure it then I'll go down the switched supply route, and I do like your suggestion of routing the current through a relay, that's got to be the way to do it safely.

thanks again, superb service

James
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2011, 03:40 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Germanautorecycler out of California is the seller I was referrig to. He emailed me and gave me a ton of advice. I know that he sells most of his modules at the upper range of those listed-$89 mostly, but I believe if you told him your symptoms he would tell you how fuse 56 is supposed to be controlled. Don't tell him that you simply want a body control module, but that your research has led you there and you want to now if this issue is generally addressed with a new module. Then he can give you a compatible number to choose from.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2011, 10:54 AM
jamesjoneill jamesjoneill is offline
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thanks for that, I've dropped him a mail and will see what advice he comes up with. I'll keep you posted!

James
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2011, 04:35 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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Hi Folks,

I'm the one who started this thread way back in the Summer . I have essentially just been running the car without Fuse 56 installed. So...no radio, GPS, computer, etc.
An INDY is the one who tracked the current drain down to fuse 56. In my initial post (per the INDY) I stated that the car was not going to sleep with the fuse installed. However, it IS going to sleep...but I guess this circuit continued to draw a ton of amps.
I wasn't going to pay the INDY an additional $90/hr to start trouble shooting to see what component might be the culprit. I have a little multi-meter and was told that I would probably fry it if I tried to hook it up in series with Fuse 56 to try and get some current readings....I don't think it would handle 4amps going through it. Do I need a special current reader in order to troubleshoot further?
James....let us know if replacing the module does anything.
Right now...I use the music player on my cell phone as my "radio"
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2011, 05:59 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Most VOMs will handle 4A, but just look on the current scale on your multi-meter and see what the highest current number is. Many of the cheaper meters have a 0-1A scale and then a 10A switch that takes the 1amp setting and scales it 10:1 so your meter can handle 10 amps.

Like I told James, if you want a quick and dirty way of curing this drain problem, you can basically "force sleep mode" by taking any switched 12V lead (you'll find many of them under dash) and use it as a control wire to turn on and off a 12 volt relay available at Autozone or any auto parts store. Get a 30 amp relay minimum. Use your switched hot wire to just trigger the relay and then use the wire leading to fuse 56 on one contact and then where the wire was is where you put the other wire. So, you are essentially powering everything on fuse 56 only when the key is turned on. You will not find this ideal, but it may be workable if you don't want to have to trace the real issue down. You may lose the clock setting in the radio such that every time you turn the car on, the clock goes back to 12:00am and any other settings that are saved..maybe miles per gallon. You would need to see. At least you would be able to use your radio, CD, etc and not have to worry about any drain. Use the relay to handle the current as any wire you happen to find under the dash will not be able to just handle an additional 30 amps without blowing its fuse.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:50 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjoneill View Post
hey guys, thanks for the suggestions of things to try. I've been working through them to see what, if anything, I can learn...

so, first off the car appeart to go to sleep properly after 16mins - or, at least, the light on the trans is going out. I could not find any settings in the radio to control how long it stays live. I think that the door switches etc are functioning ok, as opening any door causes the interior lights to switch on as well as locking out the auto windows etc.

I don't have the navigation kit on the car, so there isn't a video module, dvd drive or gps module, so that should at least reduce the number of things that could have gone wrong.

I tried disconnecting equipment one piece at a time, haven't been able to do all of it yet (haven't taken the dash apart, just looked at the equipment in the trunk) and have found that isolating the amp and the sub made no difference, but disconnecting the cd changer caused the residual current to drop to 150 mA. So, a start at least, 150mA residual is a lot better than 1A, although clearly this isn't the complete answer or I'd be a lot lower than that. whereabout in the vehicle is the on-board monitor?

So, GM-III is looking favorite so far, clearly several pieces of kit (of which one is the cd changer) are staying on.

thanks so much for your help thus far, I think I'm closer than I was to resolving this now!

James

p.s. - re-wiring fuse 56 to run on an ignition live rather than permanent live isn't so silly an idea... it only controls the audio and obm, so all the lights etc would work fine in the car, it would just zero out the cd player etc each time (I presume...) plus not let you use the radio with the ignition off. COuld be a good work-around, given it's not worth spending too much $$$ on a 10year old car with 140k on the clock... J
I don't remember what the typical draw in sleep mode is but 150mA is 6.6 times less so you appear to at least have an issue with the CD. You may find this useful.. http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...heck-here.html
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:55 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black540eye View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm the one who started this thread way back in the Summer . I have essentially just been running the car without Fuse 56 installed. So...no radio, GPS, computer, etc.
An INDY is the one who tracked the current drain down to fuse 56. In my initial post (per the INDY) I stated that the car was not going to sleep with the fuse installed. However, it IS going to sleep...but I guess this circuit continued to draw a ton of amps.
I wasn't going to pay the INDY an additional $90/hr to start trouble shooting to see what component might be the culprit. I have a little multi-meter and was told that I would probably fry it if I tried to hook it up in series with Fuse 56 to try and get some current readings....I don't think it would handle 4amps going through it. Do I need a special current reader in order to troubleshoot further?
James....let us know if replacing the module does anything.
Right now...I use the music player on my cell phone as my "radio"
DVM for $30, 10A DC
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...ckType=G2#desc
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2011, 07:18 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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I'll have to splurge and get a good DVM I checked mine...it has a 200mA limit for DC current. Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:28 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Per Mr. Bentley, 18 mils is proper draw in sleep mode. Don't see an issue with your CD changer (necessarily) but for sure it is not going to "sleep". Excellent, excellent step-by-step on M5 board to isolate if one of the door or hood switches, etc. is stuck or bad. Would be stuck in the open mode as if you had a door ajar while you were driving which you should see because you would have strange lights on inside the car while you were driving. You can put car in gear (slowly in parking lot) and open a door. If you see no lights come on then for sure your car has a bad switch. You should know this, but the thread referred to is a GREATway to isolate. 200 mil meter is fine once you think you are close. Just don't accidentily open a door while testing!!!!

Good meter will be a friend for life. I suggest a fluke even used on Ebay. Get thick ruber case.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:59 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Per Mr. Bentley, 18 mils is proper draw in sleep mode. Don't see an issue with your CD changer (necessarily) but for sure it is not going to "sleep". Excellent, excellent step-by-step on M5 board to isolate if one of the door or hood switches, etc. is stuck or bad. Would be stuck in the open mode as if you had a door ajar while you were driving which you should see because you would have strange lights on inside the car while you were driving. You can put car in gear (slowly in parking lot) and open a door. If you see no lights come on then for sure your car has a bad switch. You should know this, but the thread referred to is a GREATway to isolate. 200 mil meter is fine once you think you are close. Just don't accidentily open a door while testing!!!!

Good meter will be a friend for life. I suggest a fluke even used on Ebay. Get thick ruber case.
+1

My FLUKE 77 now is 15+ years old and solid as a rock. Worth every penny. Buy it once, pass
it on to my sons. My grandfather bought Snapon back in the 20's and 30's. I still use these tools all the time. I'll pass these on to my sons.
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  #21  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:11 AM
Klagenfurter Klagenfurter is offline
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Hi Guys
I have the same problem some time now.......So far I have replaced Tv Modul end Navi it has not helped.I keep discontected voice module,amplifier end telefon modul this does not help also..... do not know anymore what to do.I know that the topic is old but if someone found a solution please respond....
Thanks in advanced
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:57 PM
jamesjoneill jamesjoneill is offline
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hi,

in the end I ran the permanent live to fuse 56 through a switched relay, so that it would shut off when the ignition was off. Not the best solution but it worked, cost me 10 instead of hundreds... the only downside was the cd changer would reset to disc 1 track 1, but everything else remembered (clock, radio station etc). I didn't have the nav module, though, so I don't know how that would respond.

I figured it wasn't worth spending too much money on an older car - a good decision as it turns out because I sold it a few months later! Bought another (younger) 530i, though

hope that helps, a little bit at least!

James
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:04 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Great follow-up!
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:15 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjoneill View Post
hi,

in the end I ran the permanent live to fuse 56 through a switched relay, so that it would shut off when the ignition was off. Not the best solution but it worked, cost me 10 instead of hundreds... the only downside was the cd changer would reset to disc 1 track 1, but everything else remembered (clock, radio station etc). I didn't have the nav module, though, so I don't know how that would respond.

I figured it wasn't worth spending too much money on an older car - a good decision as it turns out because I sold it a few months later! Bought another (younger) 530i, though

hope that helps, a little bit at least!

James
And to think people snickered when I suggested you could do that! Hah, lot better than dead battery every day I guess. Glad it was an "ok" short-term solution.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:35 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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a Live on a toggle... Were you ever able to figure out the drain?
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