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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 07-19-2014, 08:18 AM
pred pred is offline
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OEM radio and CD changer excessive power draw and other issues, Please look

OK. 1999 528 IT with cassette player and 6 disc player in back with AMP and SUB,
Ive had a parasitic draw driving me a bit nuts AND some radio issues,
The radio issue at this time is it will stop playing yet display looks normal and preset and tuner works fine,
The excessive parasitic draw stopped when I unplugged the CD changer and module pictured,
When I get in car and turn ignition on the wagon starts and radio display lights up but no sound,
I will turn off radio and back on and it starts to play normally,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Turn car off, Pull key,
Insert key and start wagon and again no sound but display working, Turn radio off and back on and it plays normally,
I swapped another working AMP on the rear and issue is still here,
Where do I look next,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~
So even with the CD changer out of the loop,
Parasitic draw is gone,
BUT radio is still having issues so I am thinking it has nothing to do with the AMP or ignition switch OR the CD changer or module,
~ ~ ~ ~
Where now ??????
Peter
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:22 AM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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How do you know the CD changer is drawing current when it's not supposed to?
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:29 AM
pred pred is offline
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I had a milliAMP meter in series with the battery looking for the parasitic draw in the wagon and when I unplugged the module I went from .05 Amp to .02 Amp draw.
There is no way the stereo system is supposed to draw .03 amps when car is off all night,
I think there is an issue causing the CD changer or Module to be "live" all the time when they too should sleep along with car.
OR something is wrong with the module pictured causing a short of some kind, BUT this does not explain why I need to turn the radio off then on to get it to play each time I turn off the car,
Something is not right here,
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:38 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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At 50 mA, your current drain is in the normal range. Why do you need the Soundgate thingie?

Are the AMP and SUB OEM? Or aftermarket?

The only way to test the "radio" is to replace it AFAIK.
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Last edited by edjack; 07-19-2014 at 08:43 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:44 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pred View Post
I had a milliAMP meter in series with the battery looking for the parasitic draw in the wagon and when I unplugged the module I went from .05 Amp to .02 Amp draw.
My quiescent current draw, after the sleep period, is 80ma.
- One users experience diagnosing parasitic dead battery overnight current drain (1)

See also:
- One user's attempt to locate, describe, and photograph all fuses and relays in the BMW E39 with a picture of every fuse & relay (1)
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2014, 09:04 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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bluebee, is your meter a 3 1/2 digit readout? And were you using the 10 A scale?

I have a 4 1/2 digit meter, and the stated accuracy on the 10 A scale is +/- 0.5% of range, +/- 2 digits. Thus, on a given measurement, the reading can vary by as much as +/- 52 mA.

Just sayin'.
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Last edited by edjack; 07-19-2014 at 09:05 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2014, 09:09 AM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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Yes, 30ma and even 80ma sholdn't be a problem for your battery.
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2014, 10:16 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
bluebee, is your meter a 3 1/2 digit readout? And were you using the 10 A scale?
I don't understand what you mean by a "3 1/2 digit readout", but I was using the 10 Amp scale.

I couldn't use the 300ma test lead holes because the initial current was in the amps, and you can't disconnect anything to run the test.

So I was forced to run the test on the 10 Amp scale:
- Detailed step by step diagnostic DIY ... dead battery ... parasitic current drain

I don't know the spec for the Fluke 75, but, from my pictures alone, I can see at least a 10ma variance on my measurements (e.g., 80ma to 90ma), but I don't know offhand the accuracy/repeatability specs of that Fluke 75.


Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
I have a 4 1/2 digit meter, and the stated accuracy on the 10 A scale is +/- 0.5% of range, +/- 2 digits. Thus, on a given measurement, the reading can vary by as much as +/- 52 mA.

Wow.
I don't know my variance, but, 50ma is huge, given the BMW spec is 40ma for the E39!


Just sayin'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrguy98 View Post
Yes, 30ma and even 80ma sholdn't be a problem for your battery.
I agree.

Unfortunately, we're bouncing from thread to thread here (the OP should consolidate), so I'll bow out because it's too confusing for me.

However, the BMW spec is 40ma as described in gory detail here (and the spec appears to be 6 weeks for the car to sit):
-
Detailed step by step diagnostic DIY ... dead battery ... parasitic current drain
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; Yesterday at 10:16 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2014, 01:21 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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Yes, a good way to measure the current draw is with a current probe that has a lead that wraps around the wire. These are very accurate but expensive. If anyone wants me to take any CD measurements on my 99 528i CD player I can. Just let me know.
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2014, 01:59 PM
pred pred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrguy98 View Post
Yes, a good way to measure the current draw is with a current probe that has a lead that wraps around the wire. These are very accurate but expensive. If anyone wants me to take any CD measurements on my 99 528i CD player I can. Just let me know.

WOuld love you to catch the draw for the 6 disc CD player when car is off and at rest,
There is a small 3 wire plug, There is a ground, a hot and another hot which I believe turns the thing on,
There is always voltage at the unit so you can load discs when car of off,
Earlier in my post, Mine eats .03 amps when idle doing nothing with car OFF.
Thank you'
Peter
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2014, 02:05 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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The whole point of my post is that one cannot get an accurate measurement of the sleep current by using the 10A scale on a typical handheld DMM.
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2014, 02:46 PM
pred pred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The whole point of my post is that one cannot get an accurate measurement of the sleep current by using the 10A scale on a typical handheld DMM.
As a hobby I restore tube radios and amplifiers and I have several DMM and VTVM meters for my work and they measure current draw quite well,
For work Im a building engineer and at times I need to measure Pilot generator out puts as well as flame rectification rods to rule out bad controllers or flame sensors and I have pretty good meters, So measuring 1/2 am amp or even 1/50th of an amp is pretty common.
I do have clamp on meters as well as meters which need 6 wraps of wire to measure readings as well as panel meters designed to read low amp draw in DC current,
I will go out with my best equipment in the next couple days to recheck my DMM but I am guessing that they will mimic my findings,
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2014, 07:49 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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edjack. Your meter must not have the resolution like the Fluke 75 or Fluke 115. You can get a leaded 1 ohm 1% resistor and place in series with your ammeter or the wire drawing the current from your CD playter. You can then use the mv scale on your meter to measure the voltage across the resistor and the voltage you read will be the current flowing through the CD player +/- 1%. You can get a resistor at Radio Shack and if not let me know and I'll send you one.
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2014, 08:58 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Read my post again. I am addressing the sensitivity of the 10A scale to milliamp readings.

I understand the concept of a current shunt.
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2014, 09:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
I am addressing the sensitivity of the 10A scale to milliamp readings.
You bring up a valid point.

Just as in concluding anything reasonable by comparing MPG figures in the decimal range is futile, it is important to know the accuracy and repeatability of the meters we are using.

I, for one, hadn't thought about that, but you might note that my 80ma to 90ma readings are twice what BMW recommends, so it's important to know whether that is due to meter sensitivity or to other causes.

While I'm not worried about my parasitic current drain (my Bimmer has been starting up just fine), it still behooves us to understand the limitations of our equipment.

Googling, I find this PDF for my FLuke 75 (see attached):
- Fluke 77, 75, 73, 70, 23, 21 Series II service manual

The specifications start on page 1-5.

If I read this spec correctly, I think it's telling me in the Amps DC row (ADC) that the 10 Amp inputs have a resolution of 10 milliamps but I'm not sure what the accuracy of 1.5%+2 means.

Can someone who understands this stuff better than I do explain what the Fluke 75 spec for the 10 amp input is telling us with respect to measured current of 80ma to 90ma?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old Yesterday, 05:28 AM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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Well you can take the steps necessary to get an accurate reading with a meter with good sensitivity (scale) and accuracy (1%) or you can just sit here and complain about it. Bluebee did a nice job of helping you so help yourself a bit.
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  #17  
Old Yesterday, 09:57 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Can someone who understands this stuff better than I do explain what the Fluke 75 spec for the 10 amp input is telling us with respect to measured current of 80ma to 90ma?

On the 10A scale, your Fluke has a resolution of +/- 10 mA, which means that, with any measurement, you can resolve a difference of that amount. If the current changes less than that, you will not see a difference in the reading.

The accuracy spec is +/- 1.5 %. Although not stated, this number is always a percentage of full scale, which, in this case, is 10A. The +2 is in counts, and factors in the effect of the digital readout. Thus, the error of the measurement can be as much as +/-152 mA, much greater than the desired measurement. This inaccuracy depends on the components inside, and how long it's been since the meter was last calibrated, and will vary from one sample to another.
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Old Yesterday, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
On the 10A scale, your Fluke has a resolution of +/- 10 mA, which means that, with any measurement, you can resolve a difference of that amount. If the current changes less than that, you will not see a difference in the reading.

The accuracy spec is +/- 1.5 %. Although not stated, this number is always a percentage of full scale, which, in this case, is 10A. The +2 is in counts, and factors in the effect of the digital readout. Thus, the error of the measurement can be as much as +/-152 mA, much greater than the desired measurement. This inaccuracy depends on the components inside, and how long it's been since the meter was last calibrated, and will vary from one sample to another.
Wow. Just wow.

So, with my admittedly decades old (never calibrated) Fluke 75, if I measure 80ma, the actual current could be as little as 0 ma DC or as much as 232ma DC (i.e., 80 + 152).

Unfortunately, I can't use the 300ma scale because of the necessity to not disconnect the battery to run this test, given that the initial current is far in excess of 300 ma before the vehicle goes to sleep.

I'll look it up more about that +2 counts figure, as I really should better understand what it is that my equipment is capable of telling me:
- How to Determine Digital Multimeter Accuracy
- Multimeter specifications: what does "counts" mean?
- Understanding Reading Accuracy and Resolution in a 6-1/2-Digit DMM
- What does it mean when multimeter accuracy is marked as: 0,03%+10Digit?
- What does a half-digit means in case of accuracy?
etc.

The first reference is pretty comprehensive, e.g., here's an example in it:
Quote:
A 3-digit display DMM measures an output of a precision 1.2-V reference. Presume that the true voltage is 1.200 V. The DMM manual shows the dc volts accuracy specification as (0.5% + 3). How should you measure the voltage and interpret the reading?
First, set the meter to the 200-V range. The display will indicate the measured voltage as XX.X. The percentage of reading is (1.200)(0.5)/100 = 0.006 V, which cannot even be seen on the display because only one digit after the decimal point is shown. However, when accounting for the three allowed LSD counts, realize that the last digit on the display can vary by 3 counts. So, the meter can display a value of 1.2 0.3 V, or a range of 0.9 V to 1.5 V. This is a 25% potential error with all factors combined and is not acceptable for a precision measurement.
Set the switch to the 20-V range and it will display the value as X.XX, which improves the accuracy. The complete accuracy can be a calculated as (1.200)(0.5)/100 +0.03) = 0.036 V. So, any reading between 1.16 V and 1.23 V is within the accuracy specifications. This complete accuracy is 3% of reading, which is better, but still not accurate enough.
Finally, set the DMM to the 2-V range. The display format changes to X.XXX. The percentage of reading does not change, but the third LSD becomes a smaller factor. The complete accuracy can be a determined as (1.200)(0.5)/100 +0.003) = 0.009 V. The meter display is only allowed to be within the narrow 1.191 V to 1.209 V range. Now the complete accuracy is only 0.75% of reading, which is sufficient for the measurement. So, selecting the lowest measurement range before the DMM over-ranges reduces the negative effect of the number of LSDs and gives the most accurate results.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #19  
Old Yesterday, 11:44 AM
pudl pudl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Unfortunately, I can't use the 300ma scale because of the necessity to not disconnect the battery to run this test, given that the initial current is far in excess of 300 ma before the vehicle goes to sleep.
You can connect a bypass wire in parallel to the multimeter and then disconnect the bypass when the car finally goes to sleep.
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Old Yesterday, 11:46 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Great idea, pudl!
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