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

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  #1  
Old 01-28-2013, 05:55 PM
X3emist's Avatar
X3emist X3emist is offline
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Battery Experience Info

Will after almost 7 years the oem battery gave up the ghost. BUT- in a strange way.

Vehicle had exhibited NO signs of weak battery other than not firing right up for the past few months which may have been due to the fuel pump lag that has been reported here. I am interested to see if this goes away with the new battery. I'll post on that after a couple days on the new battery.

The X had sat for 3 days in moderate temps. Went out this morning and all windows were down and the sunroof wide open. The engine turned over fine but it wouldn't hit, sounded and felt like it was flooded which I know can't happen with fuel injection. Tried and tried, the battery held up for a good bit of this but then I could hear it slowing down. Hooked up a charger with a "start" option, no go. Left it on a trickle charge for 4 hours, turned over fine but still no start. Cranked it up for 45 minutes on fast charge and it turned over fine but just wouldn't catch. Gave it a couple more tries and finally it struggled to a start. No codes and it ran fine but smelled like paint thinner which must have been fuel burning off the cat. My voltage was around 12.6 which I thought was enough but evidently not.

Drove to a station near my house and turned it off and had my battery tested, 0 cold cranking amps. I had voltage but no CC amps. Turned car back on with no problem but I knew that when the charge wore off nfrom driving it, with no CCA available I would be right back where I started. Oh yea, key fob wouldn't work either. Installed new Series 48 AC Delco and everything went right back to normal including key fob. Reset clock and back on the road again. If you guys run into a no start situation but your vehicle turns over just fine, get your battery tested straight off. Also, the AC Delco replaced the Series 49 with the 48 series. I think others still may make a 49 though.

The really bothersome part is how and why the windows all opened up. That would have been real nice if it had been sitting outside in the rain. I know low voltage can do really funky things in these newer vehicles but this is ridiculous. As to why the vehicle wouldn't start but turned over in what sounded to me like normal could the computer not had enough voltage to set the timing etc? Strange but if you have odd behavior don't rule out the battery.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:25 PM
Gee3 Gee3 is offline
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Wow! Is it supposed to do that with the windows when the battery dies?

Like you said it would have sucked had it been raining!
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:48 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 330i / 2007 X3
My E90 had very odd behavior with a low battery. This is why I simply change batteries every 5 years versus letting the car tell me when to do it.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:33 AM
spokelizard spokelizard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
This is why I simply change batteries every 5 years versus letting the car tell me when to do it.
Interesting thought. I've had my original battery for almost 6 years now. Though Bay Area winters are nothing like yours is Chicago, I agree that something pro-active is called for here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
Drove to a station near my house and turned it off and had my battery tested, 0 cold cranking amps. I had voltage but no CC amps.
So I just added to my personal mainternance schedule to have my battery tested next time I bring it in for routine service, maybe every 6 months after (depending how much it costs). Hopefully that will allow me to nurse the battery to the end of its life without waking up one morning with the windows down and the sunroof open.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:40 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
...... had my battery tested, 0 cold cranking amps. I had voltage but no CC amps.

The really bothersome part is how and why the windows all opened up.
All very odd, but any chance that someone in those 3 days had placed something heavy on top of the key buttons?

Or picked the key up while looking for something else and unintentionally held the unlock button depressed?

That could explain the windows and roof opening up (Convenience Opening Mode - key programming option).

And could also explain why the key needed charging up - if that button got stuck in the down position for a day or two.

Unlikely I know, but it's the only logical ex[planation I can think of.

The 0 CCA measurement is bothersome. Doesn't add up if the engine had been cranking normally but not firing.
To measure CCA with a traditional tester the station would have to charge the battery up first.
Then they apply a load at half the rated CCA and take measurements.
If they used one of the new hand-held electronic units that model some relationship between a test signal and resistance measured, having the battery charged up first may not be necessary.
But a zero CCA reading suggests the battery is structurally dead and completely unusable.
I can only think they didn't connect their instrument up correctly.
(Not saying that you didn't need a new battery anyway.)

Not sure that EFI precludes flooding the engine when repeated start attempts are made.
If, because of a weak battery to start with, the ignition or air/fuel management went screwy, things would go downhill from there.
Battery gets really discharged, and the mixture gets less likely to combust.
The Owner's manual warns against repeated no-starts as it may damage the catalytic converter.
The recommendation is to hold the gas pedal down half way on subsequent attempts after the first unsuccessful start.
No one seems to know why that applies with EFI, but it seems to work.

Anyway, it's good that it all worked out well in the end.
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2013, 02:27 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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Possible but

It is possible I hit the key fob but not for that long I don't think, but it is possible. I just find it coincidental that both happened at the same time, the battery issue and windows down. The key fob was not dead, the car would not respond to it until the new battery was installed whereby it functioned properly. And while the vehicle turned over n it just wouldn't start. The battery had a charge from charging and also from driving when I had it tested. Apparently with a voltage drop it just will not fire up. With the new battery it does turn over faster than previously but not to the degree you would think or expect.

Additionally, I mentioned that I had the fuel pump lag issue that required either 2 start attempts or waiting 5 seconds or with the key in position 1 before cranking the engine. That issue is now gone with the new battery as well. Hop in, do not touch gas, crank it and it fires right up. This issue had been present for a couple months so to me it may suggest that others with this problem may be in the very early stages of battery failure. Hope I didn't damage the cat because I kept attempting to start it way past where I probably should have.
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