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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 10-24-2014, 09:32 AM
nedmon nedmon is offline
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Location: new canaan
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i, 1987 Carrera,
Parasitic Drain Tool

I just got back from a 2 week vacation and the battery was down to dead flat. Before starting to troubleshoot the problem, I read all the threads on parasitic battery drain so thank you Donna.

The general idea is to check each circuit in the car to see which one is carrying current when the car is shut down and this is done by measuring the current in each circuit

Bit of a hassle setting up the Fluke meter in the trunk and then pulling fuses while checking current but with the motivation inspired by laziness I found that a tool is now available to plug in place of a fuse and read off the current directly.

MCM electronics is the outfit and the tool costs $10.

I plan to use it and will report back.
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98 528i
87 Carrera
07 CRV
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2014, 09:46 AM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Location: Cape Neddick, Maine
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
Normally our cars will drain a battery if left for 2 weeks.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2014, 03:47 PM
nedmon nedmon is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i, 1987 Carrera,
My daughter's Jetta started after 6 months parked near the airport in San Francisco
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Ned,
98 528i
87 Carrera
07 CRV
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:53 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,538
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
are cars should not norammly drain down.. 2 weeks 2 months... 2 years (thats streching it)

but i got 6 months every year in the winter with out any problems...

when the car goes to sleep... It should go to sleep... not toss and turn all night
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2014, 04:00 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
How old was your battery?
There might be nothing wrong with your car.
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2014, 04:54 PM
nedmon nedmon is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i, 1987 Carrera,
Hi, Jim,
The battery is new,
Ned
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I see the OP has already found these threads, but, for others to reference, the parasitic drain threads, found by typing /parasitic f3 in the bestlinks, are:
- The most often recommended diagnostic procedure to test for overnight parasitic battery drain (1)

As noted in that thread, mine was draining at the rate of about 80mA, so, one might be able to calculate how long a typical BMW battery can last with that parasitic load on it for weeks.

See also:
- How to test a BMW battery & alternator (1) & the most often recommended diagnostic procedure to test for overnight parasitic battery drain (1) & 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) & how to choose a good aftermarket battery (1) and a simple battery replacement DIY (1) & Cn90's explanation of where to get alternator rebuild parts (1) & how to troubleshoot a bad FSU final stage unit (1) and how to build a test jig for your FSR final stage resistor (1) & how to repair solder cracks in your blower motor resistor (1) & how to replace your HVAC blower motor control (1) (E46) & what FSU is the right one to buy based on user experiences (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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