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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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Old 02-07-2011, 08:20 PM
shadow_2 shadow_2 is offline
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Exclamation Help, battery dead (I think) - New owner

Hello everyone,

I just bought a '06 SMG M3 with the zcp package. Here's a picture of it below. I got so excited with it that I decided to sit in it for 5 hrs on Sunday reading the manual and doing all of the little customizations and adjustments to it. I didn't leave the headlights on, and I only started the car several times. Most of the time the key was in position 1 or 2 (without the engine on). Eventually, when it got dark, I tried to turn on the car and only heard a single hesitant click, and it wouldn't start. I then panicked and luckily put it into neutral. Soon after, I noticed that the clock lost its memory setting upon key off to key on. Then at starter position, I stopped hearing the 'click' sound. Soon, the horn stopped working as well, and the headlights stopped working. I continue to try to start the car, and finally none of the lights on the dash would illuminate when I key the ignition over to start--not even the interior lights worked at this point.

I got my wife's Lexus LS over to jump start the car for me. We must've been sitting there jump starting for 20min or more, while occasionally elevating the RPMs of the Lexus to around 3-4k; at this point, the M3 only gained enough juice to turn on the interior lights, and that's where we gave up. I believe that the battery is completely drained, but I don't understand how.

Playing around with the car for 5 hrs would really empty the battery? I think that I should take out the battery and put it on a charger. Is this a good solution? And if it is, are there any recommended brands? Thank you all.

P.S. I didn't start the car for a week prior to this.
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Last edited by shadow_2; 02-07-2011 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:13 PM
shadow_2 shadow_2 is offline
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Location: SoCal
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: POS honda
I've done some reading, and I think a lot of owners would recommend bringing the battery to autozone to have them test it, and if it turns out bad, then I could purchase the Durateck battery instead.

However, when I called my local BMW of San Diego, the service advisor told me that I need to bring the car in and have them 'code' the car to the battery. He gave me a reason, but I have failed to remember what it was. Is this true? Am I not able to just drop in an aftermarket battery and be done with it? Will this throw error codes or will the car not 'communicate' with the battery optimally?

Thanks a lot everyone. My poor '06 is still sitting dead in the garage.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:21 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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1) Th ecar uses a good bit o power in Key Position 1 and 2.
2) Starting the car several times without a good run for recharge, will seriously drain the battery.
3) These cars don't jump worth a darn.

Put a battery charger on it overnight and see if it starts. Make a good long run and let it sit overnight (without the charger). If it starts you are OK, if not, put in a new battery.
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:21 AM
shadow_2 shadow_2 is offline
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Location: SoCal
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: POS honda
Update: I ended up taking the battery to Autozone, and they charged it up for free. I plugged it back into my car, and it worked, so the battery was drained indeed.

Now, I'm getting the gearbox light in the dash though. Any ideas on what this could be?

Also, I'm beginning to think that there was some truth to what the service advisor said about needing to code my car to the new battery. Here's a thread I stumbled upon: (I know it's an E90 post, but could it apply to the E46 as well?)
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