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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2013, 12:50 PM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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Battery drain and other issues

Sorry this is my first post.
I bought a 2004 330CI convertible recently.
Love the car but something about the battery is driving me a little crazy.
I have searched through most of the posts to see if anything is similar to my issue but to no avail.
Looking for some help.
The battery was replaced so I know its not the battery, but I have the overnight drain issue.
Last night I pulled fuse 50 for the blower and today thinking the issue was resolved I noticed the voltage across my battery was 11.3 volts. The car did start but it was iffy.
The alternator is fine as it charges the battery during normal running (car started and voltage was 13.9)
Here are some of the issues ive noticed.
1) if I use the key fob to lock the car, the alarm goes off after about 15-20 mins (hood switch has been replaced).
2) periodically with the roof closed the close light will flash as if the roof is not completely closed even though I had previously completed the cycle of roof closing.
3) The windows dont always complete the auto up process after opening and closing a door.
4)sometimes the passenger rear view mirror does not work.

If anyone has any suggestions to help first off with the battery drain I would appreciate it. The other odd items dont affect driving the car so im only partially concerned about.

Thanks,

Greg
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2013, 01:34 PM
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kbeamer kbeamer is offline
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Battery drain and other issues

Wish I could help. I am in the same boat. I have a 330ci 2002. Replaced the battery and alternator and found the thing dead this week. Currently also pulling fuses to find my drain. Wish there was an easier way to diagnosis this type of thing.


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  #3  
Old 05-05-2013, 02:04 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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OP, for starters I'd remove all the fuses for the items that you mentioned are giving you erratic behavior. Let the car sit overnight and see if the battery still drains.

There are plenty of other posts having to do with parasitic drains. Might come to the point where you'll have to employ the procedure for tracking this down. It is well described online.

When measuring battery voltage, are you using the convenience of the OBC hidden functions?

PS, don't apologize for your first post being a problem. Welcome! We come here to find posted problems that we can try to solve. Not to get cozy reading about your swell weekend drive!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf OBC Hidden Functions.pdf (47.3 KB, 64 views)

Last edited by GoForthFast; 05-05-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2013, 02:12 PM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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Im not sure what the fuse is for the alarm.
I looked in the glove box but didnt see one labled for the alarm.
If anyone has a print of the fuse locations showing these that would be great.
I still have the card for the glove compartment.

Thanks,

Greg
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2013, 02:17 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Is this the chart you have? How about Thiefproofing System?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf fuse chart:e46.pdf (164.2 KB, 65 views)
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2013, 02:19 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeamer View Post
Wish I could help. I am in the same boat. I have a 330ci 2002. Replaced the battery and alternator and found the thing dead this week. Currently also pulling fuses to find my drain. Wish there was an easier way to diagnosis this type of thing.
Are you using the 'official' parasitic drain procedure?
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2013, 02:30 PM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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that is the chart I have. I saw the thiefproofing fuse and suspect Ill be pulling that one.
I will be following the parasitic drain procedure when I get the chance to do that. Unfortunately Im going out of town so I will be pulling the negative lead from the battery while im gone so I dont have to jump it when I get back.

Thanks,

Greg
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:25 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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given that my car is going to sit for several days is it more reasonable to disconnect the entire battery or would just the negative do the trick to prevent overnight drain.

Thanks,

Greg
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:56 AM
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Just follow this procedure:

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  #10  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:35 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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Thanks Fast Bob, thats a great video..
I was more referring to disconnecting the battery while the car is parked at the airport so its not dead when I go to restart.
I guess I need to pull both the pos and the neg if there is a draw.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerg1 View Post
Thanks Fast Bob, thats a great video..
I was more referring to disconnecting the battery while the car is parked at the airport so its not dead when I go to restart.
I guess I need to pull both the pos and the neg if there is a draw.
No....if you just disconnect the negative cable, you`re breaking the circuit, so there is no drain.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2013, 10:50 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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So no issues with starting the car after I had it disconnected at the airport.
I have run the car every day since then and yet to have any further battery drain issues (probably because it takes longer than 1 day to drain). I have yet to do the procedure above.
I do have one other question on this topic though, when I did have to jump the battery I tried to start it too soon as it failed to start, something that occured however was the SES light came on and so did the transmission gear light.
I let the car sit a bit longer on the jump and finally was able to start no problem.
I disconnected the jump cables and put the car in gear and moved it a little and the transmission gear light went right off.
The SES has stayed on for the last 2 weeks.
There has been absolutely no issue with the car running nor has there been any indication of any transmission problems.
So with a battery failure, does the light come on? If so, do you have to have the code erased with a reader in order to reset it?

Thanks,

Greg
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2013, 12:20 PM
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ahull ahull is offline
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A dying battery does not have a code that I'm aware of, but a dying battery doesn't give enough juice all the time and can cause wacky behavior that can cause the car to throw multiple codes. Get the code read and then clear it and see if it comes back to know for sure. Wouldn't be the first time an aging e46 went from one issue to the next
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DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2013, 02:46 PM
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http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...battery-drains
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  #15  
Old 05-28-2013, 03:48 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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thanks for the replys on here. I have another question as Ive yet to dig into the parasitic drain process. I delayed since my battery has had no issues whatsoever for about the last 3 weeks.
Then all of a sudden, dead.
My question is can the car going in and out of sleep cause the battery to drain. Ive noticed that on my car it takes nothing to "wake" it up. Like today I went into the garage when I woke up and the hydraulic pump on the smg cycled as the car woke up.
I touched nothing, moved nothing.
Ive noticed it does this a lot. Not staying asleep.
The other question is can the FSR be that picky about when it goes bad and not. As I stated in my earlier sentence I went a while with no issues. Then dead. I noticed when I tried to start the car that the AC was on (or a fan was on) which Ive been methodical about turning off just in case.

Thanks,

Greg
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  #16  
Old 05-28-2013, 06:45 AM
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There are two fans inside the car that can "fail" and continue to run/come back on long after key off, draining your battery. One is the climate system fan, which is usually indicative of FSR/FSU failure - not uncommon on aging e46, and the other is the e-box fan behind the instrument cluster or thereabouts. The FSU frequently does cause erratic behavior in the climate fan.
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DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD

Last edited by ahull; 05-28-2013 at 06:48 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-28-2013, 06:50 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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I have never heard either of the fans running during times when the car was not on and the fan speed button depressed. Although I will admit I dont think the fan blows as well as I think it should. As a side note a while back I did pull fuse 50 overnight and the battery still died (it was pretty low anyway). I think im going to just order a new FSR anyway.
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  #18  
Old 05-28-2013, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerg1 View Post
I have never heard either of the fans running during times when the car was not on and the fan speed button depressed. Although I will admit I dont think the fan blows as well as I think it should. As a side note a while back I did pull fuse 50 overnight and the battery still died (it was pretty low anyway). I think im going to just order a new FSR anyway.
mine fluctuated a bit last summer so i got one to have on hand so i'm not SOL in dead of summer without a/c fan. hasnt gotten bad yet but guessing just a matter of time.
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DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2013, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerg1 View Post
I have never heard either of the fans running during times when the car was not on and the fan speed button depressed. Although I will admit I dont think the fan blows as well as I think it should. As a side note a while back I did pull fuse 50 overnight and the battery still died (it was pretty low anyway). I think im going to just order a new FSR anyway.
Do you have any aftermarket equipment (alarm, stereo, etc.) installed in the car ?
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2013, 10:00 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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there is a factory alarm (which I havent tested since I purchased the car) that would go off after about 10-15 mins if I used the keyfob to activate. If I use the key to lock the door, no alarm. Hood switch has been replaced.
stock stereo.
There is an ipod cable attached somewhere under the dash that I dont use.
When I first pulled fuse 50 I also pulled the fuse for what I thought to be the car alarm. I believe its called thiefproofing in the list. (49)
What I did not do was pull the other fuse in the list associated to those devices (most list 2) as what Id read in previous posts was fuse 50 was the one.

Greg
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  #21  
Old 05-28-2013, 09:00 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Don't overlook the possibility that at this point your battery has been cycled thru dead so many times that it can't be counted on to be reliable. If you let the problem linger this long, you will need a new battery.
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  #22  
Old 05-29-2013, 11:07 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Don't overlook the possibility that at this point your battery has been cycled thru dead so many times that it can't be counted on to be reliable. If you let the problem linger this long, you will need a new battery.
It was a new battery when I bought it in April.
Just had it charged and checked at Autozone but I am concerned about that. I also bought myself a trickle charger to keep on it overnight just in case.

Thanks,

Greg
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  #23  
Old 05-29-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerg1 View Post
It was a new battery when I bought it in April.
Just had it charged and checked at Autozone but I am concerned about that. I also bought myself a trickle charger to keep on it overnight just in case.

Thanks,

Greg
Battery tender is always a good idea. GFF and I disagree about this, but I swear he has unlocked the secrets of Nicola Tesla, and has some sort of solar panel array wirelessly beaming power to his car when parked. (GFF, J/K of course so don't flame me! You are alright by me!)
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:27 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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GFF and I disagree about this, but I swear he has unlocked the secrets of Nicola Tesla, and has some sort of solar panel array wirelessly beaming power to his car when parked. (GFF, J/K of course so don't flame me! You are alright by me!)
Not offended yet. Carry on!
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  #25  
Old 05-30-2013, 08:55 AM
turnerg1 turnerg1 is offline
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I had posted this earlier but wanted to put it out there again.
Is it possible that cycling the sleep mode (which on my SMG car means the hydraulic pump primes) drains the battery.
I find that my car comes awake many times throughout the day. For no particular reason.

Greg
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