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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2013, 08:32 PM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 528i; 2005 545i
05 545 battery draining

My 05 545 battery was dead Sunday morning which really caught me by surprise. I've had this car since March of 2012. The battery in the car is a replacement but I don't have an idea when it was installed. Prior to Sunday, I did have a few unusual error messages intermittently come on and go off for a few weeks like check engine & active steering. Active steering I've had come on in the past and was easily reset though this time I couldn't get it to reset.

After I jumped the car and ran it for a while, i attached my Peak code reader and got these readings (there are a lot of tables where these codes appear multiple times):
22: Fuel Trim, Cly 5-8
2E95: Generator communication
2E8B: Intelligent Battery Sensor
2E9F: Oil Condition Sensor (Oil Status Sensor)
2A69: WT-Power Supply (ValveTronic Servo Motor Power Supply)
2A6A: WT-Power Supply (Bank 2) (Valvetronic Servo Motor 2)

After the car is jumped it runs fine w/exception of the Active Steering light being lit on the dash. I put my CTEK smart battery charger on overnight and then left it off the next night. the following morning, the car was dead.

I've done a lot of searching on this forum and others trying to see if I could see if others have had the same problem. I did have an Auto zone guy check the battery today and he said it was ok buy not fully charge which I found odd in that my charger was on all night. From what I've read, some of the above faults should have caused some performance issues which I do not have. I did read that the IBS could be bad but I'm not sure how it is tested. Certainly, their seems to be something drawing down the battery. If the Alternator was bad, I'm guessing my car shouldn't have run after the first jump start as the car would have had to run off the battery (i didn't have any electrical issues as I drove the car and it restarted after driving about 30 minutes).

Any thoughts? I'm trying to avoid going to the Dealer
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2013, 09:31 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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When the Autozone guy checked the battery did he also check the alternator? If the battery was on the charger all night and then was not charged by the time you got to Autozone it sounds like the alternator is not keeping it charged.

You need to buy a plug-in voltmeter or use a multimeter before and after starting to measure system voltage. If the voltage regulator is going it can be very erratic.

The IBS is designed to wake up the battery for a fraction of a second, measure battery SOC (state of charge) and then go back to sleep. If the SOC falls to far the IBS can wake up the DME to shut down systems still running to allow the battery to save enough charge to restart the car. Waking the DME is to be a one time event. If the IBS is malfunctioning it may be keeping the system awake.

Disconnect the blue lead that connects the IBS to the system communications bus and leave the car overnight to see if it stays charged.

If it stays charged then it is most likely your IBS. You can run with the IBS disconnected indefinitely, but it will cause the DME to set alternator output to a fixed level, independent of the battery temperature, state of charge and net current flow in the battery. This may slightly shorten your battery life but running it like that for a few weeks won't hurt it.

If you want to DIY the IBS replacement, shop the best price mail order, read all you can find on gentle handling of the IBS and go for it. Not a difficult job. Just be gentle handling the IBS and don't over tighten the battery cables.

Last edited by bimmerfan52; 10-22-2013 at 09:32 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2013, 08:27 AM
Jay Arras's Avatar
Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Westlakoh1, I was experiencing the same issues that you are and bimmerfan52 has been very helpful in various posts explaining what is going on with your charging system. I highly recommend that you search out his posts elsewhere on this subject.

I did disconnect my IBS and found that I was experiencing the same issues regardless, so I ruled that out as the cause. I did a Google search and found the part to be ridiculously expensive (over $200) for what it is. I managed to track down someone who was parting out their E60 and was willing to sell me theirs for half that, but ultimately I didn't need it.

In my case, the battery was 7 years old, so I finally decided to replace it, even though both Advance Auto and my indie mechanic both tested it as good. Since you don't know for a fact just how old your battery is, I think it's probably the least expensive route for you to follow right now. I'm told a low battery triggers all sorts of weird errors, so that's most likely why you are seeing them.

You don't need to go to a dealer to fix this. Research and buy the same exact battery you currently have (paying particular attention to Ah) from one of the auto parts stores and find an independent mechanic who services bimmers to register it for you. Hopefully, all your problems will go away so that you can move on with your life.

Last edited by Jay Arras; 10-23-2013 at 08:29 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2013, 10:07 AM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Jay, appreciate your suggestion. As my car is now 10 years old, the battery seems to be the most likely and easiest culprit to fix. What is weird about the current batter in the car is it is a Deka brand battery (out of PA). When I went on their website to see if it was AGM type battery, the model in my car was actually recommended for E39 not E60 as it has different CA than is recommended for the E60. The battery is also not Glass Mat. Since a new battery needs to be registered, I wonder if it is best to go back to AGM battery as BMW recommends.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2013, 06:32 PM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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That might be your best bet in your case.
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:46 PM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Well I replaced the battery last Thursday and the car restarted everyday until this morning when it was dead as a door nail. I actually purchased one of those cheap voltage meters last week and when plugged in shows the batter charging fine when the car is running. After installing the new battery after a day or so, every time I started the engine, the CD changer would cycle through...not a good sign. The irony of the batter being dead this morning is I was going over to an Indy to register the battery. I jumped the battery and drove over. He plugged into the car but said he was being prevented from registering it. He said to take the car to the dealer to have them do a more complete diagnostic.

Whatever is draining the battery must be pulling a pretty heavy draw. I know in my 2000 528i I had a battery draining issue and it ended up being the FSU ( a common problem noted on the e39 forum) draining the battery. The indy also said pulling the negative cable off the battery and hooking it up to a voltmeter and measuring individual fuse pulls wasn't accurate on e60's as many fuses are linked to multiple components. I cannot get in to see the dealer until a week from tomorrow. Any other thoughts welcomed.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2013, 02:14 PM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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That sucks. Hopefully, Bimmerfan will chime in.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:48 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Tough to say. If the battery was low and the Indie didn't plug in a battery charger then possibly the voltage level was too low for the ECU to accept programming, but if you had explained the fact that you had to jump the battery you would think he would have measured battery voltage before attempting to register the battery.

Normally all error codes are read, documented and cleared before the battery is registered. It is possible there is a problem with the ECU which prevented the codes from being read, and is preventing it from going to sleep. If the ECU is staying up past its normal bedtime this presents a very large draw for the battery.
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:23 AM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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I pulled the blue lead from the IBS after coming home from the Indy yesterday. The car started this morning though the plug-in volt meter shows with engine off and key turned to "on" position the battery is draining. I'll conduct the parasitic battery drain test sometime using the pulling of fuses to see if I can isolate the problem. Appreciate the input.
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:12 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westlakeoh1 View Post
I pulled the blue lead from the IBS after coming home from the Indy yesterday. The car started this morning though the plug-in volt meter shows with engine off and key turned to "on" position the battery is draining. I'll conduct the parasitic battery drain test sometime using the pulling of fuses to see if I can isolate the problem. Appreciate the input.
To confirm it is not the battery, take it for a good drive and then wait half an hour and measure the voltage with the engine off. Then disconnect the negative lead from the battery and leave it overnight. When you reconnect it in the morning measure the voltage. If it is at or around where you measured it before disconnecting the battery cable then you know the battery is good, and you can begin to do the parasitic drain diagnosis.

If you haven't handled the negative battery cable before, be sure to completely loosen it before attempting to remove it and do not pry it up with a screwdriver or be rough with it. Cover the cable connector with something that will insulate it like a rag tied around it so it will not accidently touch the battery terminal. When reconnecting the cable do not over tighten the bolt as if you strip the aluminum parts the whole cable must be replaced.

A good article to give you guidance in your testing.
http://www.diagnosticnews.com/featur...attery-drains/
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2013, 02:03 AM
Murfmuscle Murfmuscle is offline
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I have a 2007 530i giving me the same problem. It started several months ago when the car wouldn't start and indicated a dead battery. I jumped it off, drove it a few hundred miles, parked it at a hotel, and a few days later it started just fine. A few weeks later I got up one morning to crank the car and it wouldn't start. When the first incident happened, I bought a battery charger to get the batter re-charged. I read on some forums to tender charge the battery overnight, and it worked for a few days. I disconnected the blue wire off the battery and it seemed to help prolong the battery charge for a while, and then it was back to the problem. The battery tests fine. At night, I've been keeping the charger on; however, if I stop the car, lock it, and then unlock it more than once, the battery dies. I carry a jump box with me to start the car, but lately, the problem of the battery dying has escalated. My mechanic thinks its the control unit (maybe he means the FSU?) but can't be certain. I don't have a day to waste by carrying the car to the dealer for them to keep it for a day and charge me $100 for testing. From what I've read, the dealer usually doesn't diagnose this problem and usually recommends a battery replacement, which last a couple of weeks - then back to the dealer for more tests. This morning I watched the meter on my batter charger, and the battery was fully charged until I unlocked the doors. The voltage meter then went way down and it's gradually increasing but I have still have the charger hooked up. WTH?
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:47 AM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Murfmuscle, your problem sounds worse than mine. Your mechanic mentioning the "control unit" probably is referring to the ECU, not the FSU. The FSU issue was an e39 problem and is related to the AC...it was a fairly easy inexpensive fix too. Now a faulty ECU is not a cheap fix. I hope neither of us has that issue.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:50 PM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Well I started performing the Voltage Drop Test today. After referring to the Bentley manual and reviewing a number of Voltage Drip DIY videos as well, I tested the trunk fuses first because the trunk lid is easy to switch off to prevent false voltage drop. If I used my meter right, it appears after the car goes to sleep, I'm seeing a drop of 4 volts where I should see none. I pulled every fuse in the trunk with no change. I ready do the pull test on the glove box fuses but I'm unsure how to make the electric system think the passenger door is closed (when it is left open)...essentially how do I close the switch on the door. Same goes with the glove box light. I looked all around the glove box and there is not pressure switch that closes the light circuit when you close the glove box.

I'm still hoping that I can identify via the front fuses what is draining the battery.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:12 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westlakeoh1 View Post
Well I started performing the Voltage Drop Test today. After referring to the Bentley manual and reviewing a number of Voltage Drip DIY videos as well, I tested the trunk fuses first because the trunk lid is easy to switch off to prevent false voltage drop. If I used my meter right, it appears after the car goes to sleep, I'm seeing a drop of 4 volts where I should see none. I pulled every fuse in the trunk with no change. I ready do the pull test on the glove box fuses but I'm unsure how to make the electric system think the passenger door is closed (when it is left open)...essentially how do I close the switch on the door. Same goes with the glove box light. I looked all around the glove box and there is not pressure switch that closes the light circuit when you close the glove box.

I'm still hoping that I can identify via the front fuses what is draining the battery.
You say you see a voltage drop of 4 volts? Do you mean 0.4V? If not, what is it starting at and what is it dropping to?

If it is starting at 12.5V and dropping to 8.5V the battery would be completely dead.

You really want to measure closed circuit current, not voltage. You should be seeing like 90ma, 100ma, 150ma leaving the battery when everything is asleep (or is supposed to be asleep).
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2013, 08:35 AM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Frankly, I'm not sure because figuring out the volt meter as to which settings to put it to and what port (not ground) to plug into is confusing. I watched a lot of videos and each brand of volt meter looks different.

My biggest problem right now is that late last night my car's alarm starting going off. I knew the batter was draining down (and I plugged the blue lead of the IBS back in) and I couldn't get it to stop by placing the key into the ignition to the on and start position (it wouldn't start). I put my battery tender to the engine pos+ and neg- but it wouldn't stop the alarm either. I was so worried I was waking the neighborhood I quickly disconnected the negative battery cable to stop the alarm.

this morning when I reconnected the neg cable, the car wouldn't start so I jumped started it. I decided to drive it around to recharge the battery and then re-connect the battery tender. Unfortunately, when I went to put the car in reverse...nothing happened, same for drive. The only way to get it to move at all is by revving the engine. I have the SMG transmission. I'm sure by leaving the battery disconnected for 8 hours has done something.

This whole battery issue has been a real pain and now my trans doesn't respond. I have an appointment with the stealer on Wednesday and I fear I just complicated things.
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  #16  
Old 11-04-2013, 04:39 PM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Ok, a weird turn, this morning I couldn't go backward or forward this morning without extreme revving the engine. I ran the car for about an hour this morning then put my battery tender on for the rest of the day while I was out on appointments. I came back this afternoon, started the car up and now my transmission acts normal again; just odd.

wonder what the stealer can tell me what is dropping voltage while the car is off.
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2013, 05:47 PM
baro1220 baro1220 is offline
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Been following your tread since beginning...
Wonder if you bad any luck fixing your ride??
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  #18  
Old 11-08-2013, 06:31 AM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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I could not find the parasitic drain myself so I took the car to a dealer two days ago to have a diagnostic test conducted. I still have not heard back from them. the Dealer said they've been swamped with work so I am not even sure they have even looked at my car yet. When they do get back to me and let me know what they think the problem is, I'll post.

There are a few really good posters on this e60 forum but when it comes to finding niche issues the e60 forum does not have the depth of experienced DIYers and detailed knowledge base as the e39 forum has developed. I also have an 2000 e39 and while some of the issues are similar, others like electrical are not.
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2013, 12:10 PM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Dealer just called me and started off with a litany of issues that are just surface issues they discovered. Dealer said they found three mods drawing power, Active Steering (550mm), Dynamic Stability (500mm) and Dynamic Drive Control (2.1 amps) and after these were disconnected there was still a 6 amp draw. The repair for just these three would be $3500 and still no final fix. there was a bunch of other issues like defective IBS, oil leaks and active steering roll bar, etc. I am at a loss as to what could be drawing 6 amps. the dealer also said the new battery I put in a few weeks back was the wrong battery (the battery I put in was the one suggested on this site for my car) and it was no longer viable.

The only thing I can think of doing besides mothballing this car is to take it to an Indy repair shop that is about 40 miles away for a second opinion.
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2013, 06:24 AM
Bertin4193 Bertin4193 is offline
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i had the same problem with the battery, Autozone checked it and the alternator and they were ok. after some research, i found that the PMP which is located in the trunk of the car was damaged due to water. i replaced it myself, and the problems are gone. i would look for the MPM first. if you are getting a large current drop, remove the MPM and check again, if this is not the problem, check the current with everything off and remove the fuses one at at time. to che current you might need an amp probe, if its drawing more than 10 amps.
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  #21  
Old 11-12-2013, 08:06 AM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertin4193 View Post
i had the same problem with the battery, Autozone checked it and the alternator and they were ok. after some research, i found that the PMP which is located in the trunk of the car was damaged due to water. i replaced it myself, and the problems are gone. i would look for the MPM first. if you are getting a large current drop, remove the MPM and check again, if this is not the problem, check the current with everything off and remove the fuses one at at time. to che current you might need an amp probe, if its drawing more than 10 amps.
Bertin4193, thank you for this suggestion. I was actually reading up on the Micro Power Module. I your situation, were you experiencing heavy voltage drop? Other than a dead battery, were you experiencing any other performance issues or warnings while the car was running? When my car is running, only the Active Steering light comes on after jumping the battery, other than that, there are no symptoms like surging, flickering, radio not working etc., that I've seen on some other posts related to the MPM.
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  #22  
Old 11-12-2013, 08:28 AM
Bertin4193 Bertin4193 is offline
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yes sir, at first it was the battery, then the instrument cluster went out. then the CD player would make a sound like it was on, with out the key. when i got to the MPM, i noticed that it had lime, like if it had been exposed to water. i opened it and it was really hot and it had corrosion. I removed it and cleaned it with electronic cleaner and after it dried, i put it back on. the instrument cluster started working and the current dropp was not as bad as before. so i purchased the module and my problem is gone. has been good for more than 2 weeks.
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  #23  
Old 11-12-2013, 08:29 AM
baro1220 baro1220 is offline
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I assume you checked you fluid level for power steering??
I was getting the active steering light because I was low on PS fluid.
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  #24  
Old 11-12-2013, 12:05 PM
Bertin4193 Bertin4193 is offline
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the problem i was having, was not that it was reading wrong, the cluster turned off completely, and after i cleaned the MPM, i came back on for a few minutes, but it was really hot.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-NEW-MPM-...e3f3c8&vxp=mtr
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  #25  
Old 11-12-2013, 03:21 PM
Westlakeoh1 Westlakeoh1 is offline
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Just went to the Stealer to pick up the car and it wouldn't even start. Had to jump it myself and all kinds of new codes came up from Transmission fault to airbag failure. Stealer said my one week old new H8 battery was no good. I took the battery out and returned to Autozone and got a replacement. put the new battery in and all the faults are there and the car will not go into gear. what a f...ing mess.
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