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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 10-07-2013, 09:04 PM
PancakeBimmer PancakeBimmer is offline
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What are the chances of re-chagrin fully discharged battery?

About two years ago I got a new battery because older one was old, and didn't have juice to start the car up. Since then car has been driven maybe once a season, and as you might imagine the battery has completely discharged by now.

So now whenever I need to start the car (not driving, just running for some testing), I will use the wires to jump start it and let it run for about an hour. It charges the battery for couple days, but then story repeats.

I am about to begin using the car as daily car, and facing two options. I can buy a new battery, but I would rather not. Or I could try buying battery charger and charging the battery hoping that it won't discharge completely if not driven for more than a week.

What do you have to say?
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2013, 09:58 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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A lead-acid battery needs to be used in order to survive. If left unused, it will lose about 50% of it`s charge in as little as 2 weeks. Since these cars have several devices that store settings in memory, this increases the draw and speeds up the battery`s demise. A battery left in a state of discharge for any time will develop sulfates on it`s internal plates (a process known as "sulfation"). When the sulfation becomes severe, it will begin bridging the gaps between the cells, shorting them out. The battery becomes toast at this point, it will never take or hold a charge again. Yours has been there for a while....
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2013, 10:56 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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With a healthy battery my car can sit for six weeks with the alarm armed and starts every time. Doing this since new.
Can go two months, but then you'll hear it cranks a little slo.

Aside from that when you take a battery down to zero, the condition of the plates changes permanently and it greatly diminishes the capacity of the battery.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2013, 04:04 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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As far as a charger goes I would recommend a Battery Tender. If you just leave it on the batt while the car is not in use it will maintain & not overcharge. The company claims to neutralize the sulfer. But if it's starting to gap between cells.............

In the winter I alternate the Tender between my riding mower, ATV's & Jet Ski's. I should get another Tender but my Batteries seem to last awhile w this process. I got 7yrs on the 2 Batts I have in my Dodge Cummins.

Cheerfull Charging,
Dave
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2013, 09:26 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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- Complete DIY for how to test a BMW battery (1)
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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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  #6  
Old 10-09-2013, 11:40 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Anyone tried a CTEK smart charger? Some of their "multi-stage" models are alleged to be able to desulfate the lead plates and bring dead batteries back to life. Curious if it's a gimmick or if really works.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2013, 11:46 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Gonna hafta check it out, CTEK?
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2013, 02:44 PM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave's325xi View Post
Gonna hafta check it out, CTEK?
http://www.techbatterysolutions.com/...ger-p/c005.htm

"Patented desulfation function
Unused batteries lose their power and their life is shortened through sulphation. It is also more difficult to charge sulfated batteries. CTEK MULTI US 25000 battery charger has a patented method for reconditioning sulfated batteries. The charger analyses the state of the battery and then, if possible, recovers the battery and its power."
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JUST...LOOK...UNDER...THE...CAR....for Chrissakes....it`s like checking to see if a dog is male or female....
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
A bimmer with forced induction should have a proper manual gearbox. Anything less is like french kissing your sister.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2013, 03:05 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP View Post
http://www.techbatterysolutions.com/...ger-p/c005.htm

"Patented desulfation function
Unused batteries lose their power and their life is shortened through sulphation. It is also more difficult to charge sulfated batteries. CTEK MULTI US 25000 battery charger has a patented method for reconditioning sulfated batteries. The charger analyses the state of the battery and then, if possible, recovers the battery and its power."
Sounds suspiciously like the company that was pimping those chips that gave E46s another 60 HP....
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2013, 05:48 PM
PancakeBimmer PancakeBimmer is offline
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After reading this thread and glancing over linked thread, I came to a conclusion. I will need new battery if lead plates are sulfated.
Thank you.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2013, 08:19 AM
sunsetcoast sunsetcoast is offline
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First of all, if the battery is just 2 years old, it should be covered by the replacement warranty. Get a new battery for free.

I store cars over the winter. Once a month, I top off using a "fancy pants" electronic charger. Have yet to have a battery last less than 7 years.

This charger also claims to be able to desulfate batteries. It takes numerous ~24 hr cycles to effect this. I did test this for a neighbor. After a week of desulfating process, it was able to "reclaim" one battery for summer use, but it wasn't up to the task of winter starts. One data point isn't much, but it can work.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2013, 02:07 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP View Post
Anyone tried a CTEK smart charger? Some of their "multi-stage" models are alleged to be able to desulfate the lead plates and bring dead batteries back to life. Curious if it's a gimmick or if really works.
CTEK is the best. I bought the outdoor version of the Battery Tender Jr. because I use it for multiple vehicles, some of which live outside full time. CTEK is the manufacturer of the rebranded Porsche charger I believe.


http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...ery+tender+800

Last edited by SJBimmer; 10-10-2013 at 02:11 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2013, 05:10 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsetcoast View Post
First of all, if the battery is just 2 years old, it should be covered by the replacement warranty. Get a new battery for free.

I store cars over the winter. Once a month, I top off using a "fancy pants" electronic charger. Have yet to have a battery last less than 7 years.

This charger also claims to be able to desulfate batteries. It takes numerous ~24 hr cycles to effect this. I did test this for a neighbor. After a week of desulfating process, it was able to "reclaim" one battery for summer use, but it wasn't up to the task of winter starts. One data point isn't much, but it can work.
My wife's winter car won't take a charge past 80% w a Battery Tender. It's been on charge for like a week. I believe I don't even have a year on the battery, it's going back.

Dave
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