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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 07-20-2013, 05:19 PM
Otherbmw Otherbmw is offline
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Maybe batteries in BMWs aren't that bad after all

I store my 2008 335 cab in the winter. This year because of various reasons I did not take it out of storage until July. I always use a trickle charger (BMW branded Deltran). When I went to start the car a few weeks back the engine would not turn over. I also noted some strange messages as well as the windows would not work. I figured it was the battery and when I checked the charger the red light was flashing while the green light was on - very strange. I connected my much beefier sears charger and charged the battery to full. It took quite a while on the 2 amp setting, something like 18 hrs. When I went to start the car it immediately started and I drove it a while to make sure it was fully charged. I figured since the battery was so deeply discharged for so long that the battery was toast. Since I needed an oil change and a NYS inspection I figured I better get the battery tested while I was at the dealer. They did a load test and said both the voltage and cold cranking amperage was strong and the battery was fine. I've driven the car nearly every day and it has started without hesitation. I'm still not sure what happened with the battery charger over the winter. Either the charger is defective or maybe the fact that I kept the car unlocked (which I now understand actually uses more current than the locked state) had something to do with it. Anyone have any other hypotheses?
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2013, 05:28 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Good to hear. Sounds like you have done better than most folks I've seen, which is typical lifetimes in the 4-6 year range.

My 03 E46 was exactly 4 years, for instance.
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2013, 06:25 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
Good to hear. Sounds like you have done better than most folks I've seen, which is typical lifetimes in the 4-6 year range.

My 03 E46 was exactly 4 years, for instance.
+1

I don't think anyone has ever stated that BMW batteries are "bad", just that the battery replacement process is a bit (expensively) ridiculous, what with the DME registration if you're replacing it with the exact same battery type and capacity, or coding if you change the battery capacity/type.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2013, 06:49 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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I bet you had an AGM battery installed. A non-agm, the plates would start to sulfate and decease the ability to hold a charge.
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2013, 10:35 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otherbmw View Post
I store my 2008 335 cab in the winter. This year because of various reasons I did not take it out of storage until July. I always use a trickle charger (BMW branded Deltran). When I went to start the car a few weeks back the engine would not turn over. I also noted some strange messages as well as the windows would not work. I figured it was the battery and when I checked the charger the red light was flashing while the green light was on - very strange. I connected my much beefier sears charger and charged the battery to full. It took quite a while on the 2 amp setting, something like 18 hrs. When I went to start the car it immediately started and I drove it a while to make sure it was fully charged. I figured since the battery was so deeply discharged for so long that the battery was toast. Since I needed an oil change and a NYS inspection I figured I better get the battery tested while I was at the dealer. They did a load test and said both the voltage and cold cranking amperage was strong and the battery was fine. I've driven the car nearly every day and it has started without hesitation. I'm still not sure what happened with the battery charger over the winter. Either the charger is defective or maybe the fact that I kept the car unlocked (which I now understand actually uses more current than the locked state) had something to do with it. Anyone have any other hypotheses?
question, where does your bmw charger connect to the car?
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:01 AM
Otherbmw Otherbmw is offline
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Location: Pittsford, NY
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
question, where does your bmw charger connect to the car?
I connect it to the remote terminals under the hood.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:20 AM
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I have a less expensive Shumacher trickle charger but sometimes get a flashing yellow light when it is unable to bring the battery up to a full charge within 24 hours. It has to be unplugged to reset and then will begin charging again. Maybe something like that / needs to be monitored to see that the charger remains in the functional charging state.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:48 AM
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BB_cuda BB_cuda is offline
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The AGM batteries are good but be careful as they are not intended for all applications. I had a 6-1/2 yr old battery in my truck (Die Hard Gold). It had no issues but i thought since it has been so damn hot here in South Texas that i should have it checked. It turnes out one of the cells was starting to go bad. I was reading on the internet about the Sears Die Hard Platinum which is an AGM. The reviews were both good and bad. People in cooler climates had good luck and people in the South didn't. I started wondering if they were heat sensitive. I googled AGM heat sensitive or something like that. I found a site called battery university which stated AGMs are not good when installed under the hood close to warm engine. Our BMWs of course have the battery in the trunk so AGM is a good application. I write this to not assume they are not necessarily good everywhere. Do your own research. Just an FYI.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2013, 08:11 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB_cuda View Post
The AGM batteries are good but be careful as they are not intended for all applications. I had a 6-1/2 yr old battery in my truck (Die Hard Gold). It had no issues but i thought since it has been so damn hot here in South Texas that i should have it checked. It turnes out one of the cells was starting to go bad. I was reading on the internet about the Sears Die Hard Platinum which is an AGM. The reviews were both good and bad. People in cooler climates had good luck and people in the South didn't. I started wondering if they were heat sensitive. I googled AGM heat sensitive or something like that. I found a site called battery university which stated AGMs are not good when installed under the hood close to warm engine. Our BMWs of course have the battery in the trunk so AGM is a good application. I write this to not assume they are not necessarily good everywhere. Do your own research. Just an FYI.
Learn something new everyday, thanks.
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2013, 09:14 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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AGMs charge differently. For BMWs, you can program the car for proper AGM charging profiles.
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  #11  
Old 07-21-2013, 03:07 PM
Lufthansa Lufthansa is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 E92; '07Lexus GS350
I also use a Deltran trickle charger and have had no problems in over three years of use. However, about a month ago I noticed the top of the charger, which by the way had been reading green for over two weeks, was too hot to touch. I unplugged it over night, and plugged it in again the following day. It's been its usual 'warm to the touch' ever since.
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