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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 12-14-2013, 04:47 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Cold weather and the battery charge

Hello,

I have got my X3 xDrive35i 2013 in August this year and did not have any problems with the battery before today. We do not drive too much every day, although we do driver every day. I have seen the messages from the people having problems with X3, having to charge it regularly. I anticipated that it may happen and bought the original BMW charger once I have found a good deal.

Last night the temperature outside dropped to -24C, by more than 10C in one night. When I started the car in the morning it was OK. Once I got to my destination and turned off the engine I have noticed the orange message "charge the battery". Shortly after I went back home, did another stop on the way and saw the message saying that the car is disabling some functions while parked because of the low battery charge. Then I went home and let the car to idle for about 30 mins on my driveway - I needed to make another trip with my baby and I did not want to risk. Finally, after getting back home I have noticed that the message about the low battery charge was still present. So I decided it was time to open that charger. I have left it charging for about 6 hours and when I went outside to check it the light was green, like if the charger has done its job. I was surprised because I expected it to work for at least 20-30 hours or so. Charger delivers 1.25 A, the battery is 90 Ah, if it was mostly discharges I expected it to charge for quite a while. I needed to make another trip, everything was fine, no more message about the low battery.

Anyone experienced something like this? Did you have any problems with X3's battery after a cold wave?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2013, 05:20 PM
guyver626 guyver626 is offline
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Cold weather and the battery charge

How short are your drives?


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  #3  
Old 12-14-2013, 06:10 PM
Gouda Gouda is offline
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We just ran into the same thing. The SAV sat 3 days and we were minus 4-8 F for three days. Still is very low, but has moderated a bit.I use a Deltran battery tender with the same 1.25 A charge rate and auto control. It took almost 24 hours to get that battery back fully charged although the message went away in 4-5hours. Just the nature of the beast I suspect. I can deal with it. I don't think that battery will be cheap to replace.
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Last edited by Gouda; 12-14-2013 at 06:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2013, 09:30 PM
bimmernut1 bimmernut1 is offline
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The battery in these SUV's is huge. I'm thinking the gap between full charge and the point where you get a low battery warning is large as well; meaning it takes a long time for a trickle charger current to bring it back to full. I say this because after driving one of my other cars, it goes to full charge in a few minutes to a few hours. The X3 sometimes takes more than 24 hours before I get a full charge indication although I never receive the low battery warning. Cold weather just makes it even more difficult to charge. I use the Battery Tender brand and keep my cars charging every chance I get. In fact, the ones that don't get driven frequently stay on the chargers full time. I was told keeping the battery fully charged helps extend the life of the battery. We'll see.

Gouda, once you did get full charge on yours, did the low battery warning come back, and how long did that take?
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Last edited by bimmernut1; 12-14-2013 at 09:32 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:29 AM
Gouda Gouda is offline
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No the warning has not came back, although I have not checked it yet today and it is -15 F. I would like to know what voltage triggers the warning. I might chech that.
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2011 X3 35i w/Michelin Primacy MXM4's
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2008 Tiffin Allegro Bay Freightliner/Cummins

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  #6  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:42 AM
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I hope y'all realise that the battery charges best when drive on the freeway for extended periods; multiple short trips at urban speeds (<70km/h) won't do much.

Cold weather is just a killer on batteries, especially when you factor in seat heating, radio, climate control, headlights, etc....and don't forget all the other electric components (coolant pump, steering, etc...)
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:58 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyver626 View Post
How short are your drives?

About 20 km/day regularly and maybe on average 50-80km more per week for less regular routes.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2013, 10:06 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post

Cold weather is just a killer on batteries, especially when you factor in seat heating, radio, climate control, headlights, etc....and don't forget all the other electric components (coolant pump, steering, etc...)
Of course, but I assume that these other electric components are powered by the generator, not by the battery? I.e. none of them would work without the engine running.

I had my old car Mitsubishi Outlander for 4 years before X3. Exactly the same driving patterns, same climate. Never had any issues with the battery and never had to charge it - except at the end when I was selling it and did not drive it too much.

I see some strange things about X3's power consumption. It is clear that the car stays "awake" for at least 10-15 minutes after you lock it. I have a dash camera plugged in the lighter outlet (yes, yes, I have disconnected it once I have got that low charge warning ). It shows that it is powered for quite long after I leave the car. Also I have noticed that if I send an address to the car via message (from Google Maps, for example) within 10-15 minutes after I park - it gets there right away. If I do it later, then I get it 2-3 minutes after I start the car again. At least so far that was the observation.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2013, 11:58 AM
Tangsta Tangsta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
Hello,

I have got my X3 xDrive35i 2013 in August this year and did not have any problems with the battery before today. We do not drive too much every day, although we do driver every day. I have seen the messages from the people having problems with X3, having to charge it regularly. I anticipated that it may happen and bought the original BMW charger once I have found a good deal.

Anyone experienced something like this? Did you have any problems with X3's battery after a cold wave?
If you spend a bit of time and poke around the boards, you'll see that a lot of people experience this.

This is my second winter with my X3, and I drive roughly 5km each way to work every day. I've gotten the same message in mine during cold snaps, so I'll just put the battery tender on overnight once a week when it's below -10C or so. No ill effects to the battery as far as I can tell, it's just fine during spring/summer.

None of my other cars have needed battery charging either (for the same short commutes). I've just chalked it up to all the fancy electronics in the BMW requiring a lot of power.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2013, 01:05 PM
poker838 poker838 is offline
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I've noticed the car shutting down power to the 12V outlets in moderately cold temperatures when ASS kicked in. We don't track a lot of kilometers either .. 7000km since March.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2013, 08:39 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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And voila - this morning my wife went to the daycare with my daughter and could not go back. The car just died there. No messages were shown on the way there, but the car refused to start 5 minutes after she parked at the school. Calling BMW roadside assistance was useless - 40 mins on the phone, no answer. Calling local dealer - same thing, they told me to call roadside assistance. I was angry. I had to return back home almost from the door of my office because my wife was freezing out there. Finally somehow she managed to start it - probably the battery was able to provide last few amps to the starter, about one hour later. So she went to the dealer which was in 2 km from that place. I went there as well. They had 12 more people like me dragged to them this morning. We have completely lost confidence in reliability of this fragile ultimate driving toy.
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:20 AM
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Z4golfer Z4golfer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
And voila - this morning my wife went to the daycare with my daughter and could not go back. The car just died there. No messages were shown on the way there, but the car refused to start 5 minutes after she parked at the school. Calling BMW roadside assistance was useless - 40 mins on the phone, no answer. Calling local dealer - same thing, they told me to call roadside assistance. I was angry. I had to return back home almost from the door of my office because my wife was freezing out there. Finally somehow she managed to start it - probably the battery was able to provide last few amps to the starter, about one hour later. So she went to the dealer which was in 2 km from that place. I went there as well. They had 12 more people like me dragged to them this morning. We have completely lost confidence in reliability of this fragile ultimate driving toy.
Unbelievable!
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4golfer View Post
Unbelievable!
Actually, sad but not unusual for BMWs in cold climates and driven on short trips. Others have experienced similar outcomes.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2013, 04:40 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Actually, sad but not unusual for BMWs in cold climates and driven on short trips. Others have experienced similar outcomes.
Went back to the dealer this afternoon. They did some tests and found nothing wrong with the car, except the discharged battery. But then the service specialist took a look again at the printouts they did...where it did say that the battery level 5 days ago was something like 79% and then 55% the day after...Plus I did tell them that I tried to charge the battery with BMW charger (P/N 82110406881 - to be specific). So, on the "second thought" the service guy decided to keep the patient at the hospital for another day and show it to their master electrician. That I can appreciate - at least I see that the guy does try to get to the bottom of the issue. So I have got back home in rented Dodge Avenger...quite a ride I had, the weather is awful and this car does not really drive like an SUV

Will post an update tomorrow when I hear from the chief doctor
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2013, 05:05 PM
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What has me just slightly worried is the fact my mother's 2006 325i also is driven infrequently, and mostly for short trips, and the battery is nearing 4 years old. We are driving up à Montréal next week where the weather has been consistently -10-20°C. Hoping this does not happen to us.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2013, 05:09 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
What has me just slightly worried is the fact my mother's 2006 325i also is driven infrequently, and mostly for short trips, and the battery is nearing 4 years old. We are driving up à Montréal next week where the weather has been consistently -10-20°C. Hoping this does not happen to us.
Haha FYI: I am in Montreal And last night it was -24C. Make sure you have winter tires on, they are mandatory here as of Dec 15th. Have a safe trip!
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2013, 07:31 PM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
Haha FYI: I am in Montreal And last night it was -24C. Make sure you have winter tires on, they are mandatory here as of Dec 15th. Have a safe trip!
I have a second home in Oswego, NY due to business in this area. My wife and I enjoy taking weekend trips and over the past year we have thoroughly enjoyed trips to Montreal and Ottawa. I have the standard factory Goodyear Eagle LS2 All Season tires on my X3 that I assume are not considered winter tires. Please help with the following questions:

-Am I correct in assuming all vehicles, including those visiting from a foreign area, must have winter tires?

-When does the winter tire requirement expire in the spring?

-Does the winter tire requirement apply to only Quebec Province or also to Ontario?

We are thinking of a three day weekend trip right after the first of the year to either Montreal or Ottawa but certainly do not intend to do so if the tires on my X3 will not be compliant.

Thanks

Last edited by RhoXS; 12-17-2013 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
I have a second home in Oswego, NY due to business in this area. My wife and I enjoy taking weekend trips and over the past year we have thoroughly enjoyed trips to Montreal and Ottawa. I have the standard factory Goodyear Eagle LS2 All Season tires on my X3 that I assume are not considered winter tires. Please help with the following questions:

-Am I correct in assuming all vehicles, including those visiting from a foreign area, must have winter tires?

-When does the winter tire requirement expire in the spring?

-Does the winter tire requirement apply to only Quebec Province or also to Ontario?

We are thinking of a three day weekend trip right after the first of the year to either Montreal or Ottawa but certainly do not intend to do so if the tires on my X3 will not be compliant.

Thanks
This law isn't new and has been in place for a couple years now only in the province of Québec. The requirement is for tires marked with the "mountain-snowflake" symbol that is the industry standard for winter tires for severe winter duty.

The requirement is in effect from 05 Dec to 15 March. Lire SVP: Transports Québec

3 years ago we also did a trip up there; however my mother and I both have been running winter tires seasonally since 2006. I even run winter tires on my X3 and I live in Western NC. For safety and peace of mind....plus we like to travel to Montréal
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:43 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
-Am I correct in assuming all vehicles, including those visiting from a foreign area, must have winter tires?
Actually, I have just found that this is not the case. Only the vehicles registered in Quebec must have them.

http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/portal/pag..._hiver#outside

So it seems it is up to you. However, considering the state of the roads here I would strongly suggest having some good tires. Yesterday and this morning, for example, it was quite bad. With that rental car I have got it was like driving a boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
-When does the winter tire requirement expire in the spring?
Yes, on March 15th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
-Does the winter tire requirement apply to only Quebec Province or also to Ontario?
That I do not know but I assume it is easy to find on their website.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
We are thinking of a three day weekend trip right after the first of the year to either Montreal or Ottawa but certainly do not intend to do so if the tires on my X3 will not be compliant.
Depending on the weather. I would say most of the winter the roads are generally dry. Depending on the temperature change there may be some black ice somewhere in the morning. But once we start getting snow then it turns really bad for 2-3 or even more days. If it also gets cold then probably you do not want to be on the road with all-season tires here, even on X3.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:13 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Thank you for the feedback. It is both helpful and certainly appreciated.

My wife and I have really enjoyed our trips to Montreal and Ottawa and we certainly intend to revist these great cities. My first visit to Canada (Montreal) was in 1947 and last spring was my first return visit. We stayed in old Montreal a couple of blocks from Notre Dame and have some very pleasant memories of that trip. In September we had a three day weekend in Ottawa and liked that city so much we both felt that it would be a wonderful city to even live in. We did not get to see everything we wanted to so our next trip will probably be back to Ottawa. My wife is not too excitied about taking a road trip in the winter but I do not mind and even see it as a somewhat benign adventure if we happen to hit crappy weather. Where we live in NY regularly gets walloped with lake effect snow. Although I certainly respect the limitations imposed by snow/ice, it is nothing we do not regularly see here (like today). My only real concern is the other drivers as it is not uncommon to see some very dumb driving behavior on much less than safe surfaces here.

Last edited by RhoXS; 12-18-2013 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:55 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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On this topic: yesterday morning the sales guy at the dealership mentioned that they have got new accessory: Engine Preheater. The description is not detailed enough and there is nothing real on the Internet, unfortunately. I know it is made by DEFA for BMW. It seems like it is similar to DEFA WarmUp system but, again, according to the description, it seems like a limited version of it. I think all it does is heating the engine (electrical block heater) plus charging the battery. I think it will have a relatively elegant plug somewhere on the front side of the car. It does not seem like it will have the timer or remote control and definitely the cabin heater is not mentioned. Dealer wants $700 for it. Personally the only good thing I see about it is that one good plug is much more user-friendly than having to open the hood, plug the clips, unplug them, close the hood...But $700 seems to be quite steep for the functionality.

Anyone has experience with this specific offering (in Canada or US)?
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:03 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Just got a message from the service...they won't be able to return the car to me tonight. Since they did not tell me anything like "we have found it" it means they are overloaded with other cars in similar conditions.

Not sure how it will end...I think the "northerners" like us should think about a class action against BMW for selling the cars that are unusable in low temperatures.
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  #23  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:11 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
Just got a message from the service...they won't be able to return the car to me tonight. Since they did not tell me anything like "we have found it" it means they are overloaded with other cars in similar conditions.

Not sure how it will end...I think the "northerners" like us should think about a class action against BMW for selling the cars that are unusable in low temperatures.
Not all BMW have this problem. We are from Boston, so it gets pretty cold here as well. My wife's commute to work is about 1 mile each way and we never had any problem with the battery losing its charge. It sounds to me that there is a drain on your car when it is off or the battery might be defective.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:25 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Not all BMW have this problem. We are from Boston, so it gets pretty cold here as well. My wife's commute to work is about 1 mile each way and we never had any problem with the battery losing its charge. It sounds to me that there is a drain on your car when it is off or the battery might be defective.
Wow, 1 mile! That's even much shorter than our commutes. Don't tell me that the car is also parked outside

Yes, I understand that not all BMWs have this problem, but looks like there is certain group of (at least) X3 owners that share the pain.

One thing I have just realized - it is not so much about the short routes and driving patterns...Must be primarily the temperature. We have been using this car since summer, never had an issue with the battery. And back then I was driving with A/C on, with music and navigation and with engine auto-stop function. So I guess that the power consumption was somewhat comparable, especially considering the auto-stop function.

Just had a call from BMW Canada rep, nice guy, listened and documented the case, we'll see if that helps in any way.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:58 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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The car is park outside as we use our garage for junk and yard equipments
Its not just an isolated group of X3 owners that have this problem. I am in the 5 series forum quite a bit and some 5 series owners have the same problem as you. In fact, its a pretty common problem among today's modern luxury car with a lot of electronics and accessories. Just imagine, all it takes is one accessory to not shut off completely and you will have a dead battery the next day. All BMW have a deep cycle AGM battery and it takes quite a bit to drain the battery. One would think if their was a draw large enough to kill the battery, the dealer would be able to find it. I would start by ask BMW to replace the battery, which I think is the most likely source. Good Luck
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