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

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2015, 02:05 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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Battery Question

Decided to test the voltage on my battery today as the car has not started with the usual vigor. The volt meter showed 12.1 volts. So I took it to Wal-mart (it's a DuraMaxx H8) since it has a 3 year replacement warranty. Battery is 2 years old. They tested it for an hr and said it was fine. Their print out noted the battery came in extremely drained and had to be charged before they could test it.

When I got home I tested the battery before and after I put it back in the car. Before it tested at 12.51 volts and immediately after I hooked it up it was 12.11. The only turned on were the interior lights.

IS 12.11 a normal reading for a fully charged battery on an X3?

Last edited by Yomama; 12-30-2015 at 02:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2015, 02:30 AM
mikesmith2 mikesmith2 is offline
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When you first unlock your vehicle other emu's become live as well as just interior lights.

That's why you are better waiting for at least 15 mins for them to all shut down again before testing
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2015, 09:38 AM
rav31 rav31 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomama View Post
Decided to test the voltage on my battery today as the car has not started with the usual vigor. The volt meter showed 12.1 volts. So I took it to Wal-mart (it's a DuraMaxx H8) since it has a 3 year replacement warranty. Battery is 2 years old. They tested it for an hr and said it was fine. Their print out noted the battery came in extremely drained and had to be charged before they could test it.

When I got home I tested the battery before and after I put it back in the car. Before it tested at 12.51 volts and immediately after I hooked it up it was 12.11. The only turned on were the interior lights.

IS 12.11 a normal reading for a fully charged battery on an X3?
@ Yomama.......I beginning ti think this is "kind normal" for the E83's. I have (2) '07's and both act the same way. Seems like a slow starter when you first start the car from sitting over night. I can put a full charge on it with my charger, leave it sit over night & the same thing in the morning. I just replaced a BMW battery that was in one of the cars that was 5 years old, thinking that it was "slow starting" in the mornings, with the same H8 you have & it's the same way. After starting & driving for 10 mins. or so, it'll start right up. But in the morning, it still does that slow start. I just bought a LED voltage reader that plugs into the cigarette lighter just to monitor what the charging system is doing. The problem is, that it's my wife's car & I don't drive it that often. I'll let you know what I find out.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2015, 09:45 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is online now
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BMW General Training https://drive.google.com/folderview?...drive_web#list has Battery Basics

Read also at BatteryUniversity.com by Cardex and BatteryFAQ.org

Read here at Bimmerfest BATTERIES for BMW's - background, FAQ's, citations.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=879885

12.11 VDC is just more than 25% charged if recorded under the proper conditions.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...tate_of_charge
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 12-31-2015 at 09:50 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2015, 10:26 AM
abscate abscate is offline
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Voltage is a poor diagnostic of battery condition especially in use, but 12.1 is way too low for a battery in good condition and charged
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2015, 10:38 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abscate View Post
Voltage is a poor diagnostic of battery condition especially in use, but 12.1 is way too low for a battery in good condition and charged
Open circuit voltage is a perfect indicating diagnostic of State of Charge under proper conditions; open circuit and surface charge removed.

BMW technical literature directs NOT TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY for troubleshooting as modules volatile memory of errors and codes will be lost.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2015, 02:12 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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That would be great, thanks! I need to buy a better multi-meter to do some of the testing being suggested. First I'm going to charge the battery then leave it disconnected overnight to see if the battery is just draining on its own. I disconnected it this morning for about an hr and the volts dropped from 12.52 to 12.48. If it continues at that pace in 12 hours it would reach a pretty low charge of just over 12 volts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav31 View Post
@ Yomama.......I beginning ti think this is "kind normal" for the E83's. I have (2) '07's and both act the same way. Seems like a slow starter when you first start the car from sitting over night. I can put a full charge on it with my charger, leave it sit over night & the same thing in the morning. I just replaced a BMW battery that was in one of the cars that was 5 years old, thinking that it was "slow starting" in the mornings, with the same H8 you have & it's the same way. After starting & driving for 10 mins. or so, it'll start right up. But in the morning, it still does that slow start. I just bought a LED voltage reader that plugs into the cigarette lighter just to monitor what the charging system is doing. The problem is, that it's my wife's car & I don't drive it that often. I'll let you know what I find out.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2016, 12:59 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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The answer at the back of the book is the failing starter motor kills the battery. At 100k miles with N52 motor when you have slow turn over after a long night standing you will be left stranded on the next 100F day. The stater motor is about $180 for a BOSCH refurb and takes 4.5 hours to install because the intake manifold has to come off unless you have a 3-4ft ratchet extension and fingers like E.T. Change the perished $8 CCV houses that are exposed when the intake manifold is off.
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2016, 01:58 PM
abscate abscate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Open circuit voltage is a perfect indicating diagnostic of State of Charge under proper conditions; open circuit and surface charge removed.

BMW technical literature directs NOT TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY for troubleshooting as modules volatile memory of errors and codes will be lost.
If you scan fora you will find few people have the know how to get the conditions correct to make assessments, use uncalibrated VoMs, etc and, as you note, open circuit tests are not recommended by BMW. Most are better off getting the battery load tested at a parts store or just using history to drive replacement.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2016, 01:47 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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So I got a volt meter from harbor freight and did the test to see if the car was pulling more than 40mAmps while in sleep mode. I:

1. simulated the hatch closing with a screw driver,
2 locked the car and waited 16 minutes for the car to go into sleep mode
3 I disconnected the negative terminal from the battery
4 attached the volt meter 'in line' 1 lead to the negative battery post and the other to the negative cable (both held in place with some clamps)

I let it sit for 20 minutes and this is the reading. Exactly what it should be: 40 mApms



So the battery appears to be fine.

Joylove does this rule out the starter. I'm hoping maybe it was just my imagination that the car is turning over a little slower.

Last edited by Yomama; 01-02-2016 at 01:51 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2016, 02:50 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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hatch simulation lights all off ???

testing parasitic draw link.....


also ...when y'all did the hatch closed with screw driver in slot simulation did all the interior light stay off ????


also ....looks like you got a great result with the 40m a....but it does not rule out a tired starter


also ....have y'all used a jumper cable ....from the engine block to the body to simulate a good ground

also ...when did you last do the engine and other grounds inspection/tighten/dielectric grease contact points etc

Last edited by swampX3; 01-02-2016 at 02:53 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2016, 04:53 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomama View Post
Joylove does this rule out the starter. I'm hoping maybe it was just my imagination that the car is turning over a little slower.
40mA is good for idle current. You have no parasitic draws.

It's either the GND strap or the starter. Start with the cheaper of the two jobs.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2016, 10:26 AM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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The grounding strap near the muffler looks fine (visually). i tugged on it a bit and it seemed fine. I wont be able to check the one under the engine for a while.

I'm starting to think since there is no parasite draw that it might be our driving habits. The car is not driven that often and when it is driven it's for trips under 10 miles. And it's sitting in our cold driveway.

What are your thoughts /experiences with a solar trickle charger to keep the battery from draining.

http://www.amazon.com/ALLPOWERS-Port...+solar+charger

Would the 5Watt version work?

I did test the lighter plug and it seems to be always on, even in sleep mode.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2016, 10:52 AM
joylove joylove is offline
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IT should last 2 weeks stationary, imagine if you left it at the airport in Canada for a 2 week vacation - could you be sure it'd start when you got back? If you run the numbers on a 40mA draw you'll find it should last many weeks, and yet you are struggling for just a few days stationary. That's the way I look at mine when it has issue.

Yes you need to drive it more or use a battery conditioner/charger; and to a lesser degree you could have both issues - insufficient driving combing with a weak starting system. Each is amplifying the effect of the other to the point of being an major issue. You may need to remedy both.

Last edited by joylove; 01-03-2016 at 10:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2016, 11:13 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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temp ground

just do the old trick of the temporary jumper cable ground from above ....anywhere on top of the engine ....say....the lift eye ....then ground to the hex post on the inner wheel well ......this will help put to bed any bad ground doubts.....only take 2 mins ....no going under


down in the swamp with all the boats and multiple not often used vehicles we can't live without the smart charges to keep the batteries up.....good investment


but .....get ready for a new starter early.....they have come down beaucoup in price
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2016, 01:16 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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Thanks fellows.

Swampx3 what does the ground test achieve. I did hook up jumper cables as you suggested. Started the car with and without the extra ground connection and I did not notice any difference. I also checked the charging volts while the car was running and it was the same ~14.5V with and without.

Is there a test to definitely rule out the starter?
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2016, 02:21 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Ground test etc

a temporary ground will immediately show if you have a weak permanent ground......if the regular ground was bad the temporary good ground would fill the gap and fix your weak/non existent total circuit and you would be back in business

so .....looks like you have 99% eliminated a ground problem


and .....there are several failure modes for the starter,starter solenoid combo,solenoid on its own plus the wiring connections

the challenge is to find what's going on with a system that's starting to fail....a 100% failed starter etc is easy to spot

the best bet is to swap tired starters and solenoids re do the ground and other connections when you have a good hunch backed with fest
experience....do this before the thing leaves you stranded
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2016, 02:25 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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good FEST starter and ignition side links

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...errerid=343410
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2016, 02:26 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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good FEST old style method of fixing starters up

if the bmw starters were very easy to get to we could pop them out like old times and check the field/clean the commutator/recut the slots etc ....but that's a more major event now .....the FESTER in the link below found a local shop to fix his

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=851778

Last edited by swampX3; 01-03-2016 at 02:27 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2016, 02:36 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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most concise starter etc troubleshooting link

this man is very good

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  #21  
Old 01-03-2016, 02:38 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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a good link for a starter poke/bump test

a good one cause it shows about how much to pop the starter without damage

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  #22  
Old 01-03-2016, 04:34 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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bmw starter teardown

this one shows the armature with several burnt / degraded spots .....you can also mess up the field coils/other windings and the brushes/brush holder (commutator)etc ....but .....the bang it try and get it to roll solution is mostly to get it to a new spot on the armature so the brushes can contact a good area to flow power thru and y'all are off and cranking.......but meantime get ready to install a new starter


Last edited by swampX3; 01-04-2016 at 06:01 AM. Reason: add info
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2016, 06:23 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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a good no crank /slow crank series

a good series in the link below.....view, study and inwardly digest....7 times .....you will be rewarded with in depth appreciation for the cranking motor !

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Old 01-07-2016, 05:30 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Replace the engine block ground strap. After many CT winters I'm betting it looks like the surface of the Statue of Liberty.
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2016, 06:00 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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That is exactly what it looks like. But it's braided copper so I am assuming that is not necessarily bad. It does not look too bad to get to. I might just get two new straps at the local parts store. Anybody know what length the engine and exhaust straps are?

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Replace the engine block ground strap. After many CT winters I'm betting it looks like the surface of the Statue of Liberty.
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