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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2014, 06:46 AM
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Dr. 328xi Dr. 328xi is offline
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Battery and Cold Weather

So, on this glorious winter Monday when it's negative something outside, I hopped in my car to go to work like any other day. The car is garaged, and it's about 30 degrees in the garage. The car started up just like any other day. No changes in engine note, vibrations, electrical stuff...nothing. Got to work (about 10 minutes in the car), and when I went to kill the engine, I got a "Charge Battery" warning light. Let the car sit for a minute, restarted, no problems. But the light stayed on. Turned the engine off, light still on. Restarted again, still no trouble. Turned it off and decided to hope for the best.

Do I honestly have a dead batter in a 6-month-old car? The lights are on auto, so they can't get left on. The car is garaged, so not really exposed to the elements. What gives? I plan to go out at lunchtime and run it for a bit, but am I really going to have to call roadside for a jump now...I can't believe I'd have a battery go after such a short period of time...
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2014, 06:54 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. 328xi View Post
So, on this glorious winter Monday when it's negative something outside, I hopped in my car to go to work like any other day. The car is garaged, and it's about 30 degrees in the garage. The car started up just like any other day. No changes in engine note, vibrations, electrical stuff...nothing. Got to work (about 10 minutes in the car), and when I went to kill the engine, I got a "Charge Battery" warning light. Let the car sit for a minute, restarted, no problems. But the light stayed on. Turned the engine off, light still on. Restarted again, still no trouble. Turned it off and decided to hope for the best.

Do I honestly have a dead batter in a 6-month-old car? The lights are on auto, so they can't get left on. The car is garaged, so not really exposed to the elements. What gives? I plan to go out at lunchtime and run it for a bit, but am I really going to have to call roadside for a jump now...I can't believe I'd have a battery go after such a short period of time...

Warranty call!

You might want to do the video.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:04 AM
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Dr keep us informed
BTW, my voltage(the video from above) at the cig lighter is much lower than the battery,, IDK why? so i would use the eng terminals to ck battery voltage.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by blue boy View Post
Dr keep us informed
BTW, my voltage(the video from above) at the cig lighter is much lower than the battery,, IDK why? so i would use the eng terminals to ck battery voltage.
I don't own a voltage meter, so I'll just have to see if it fires up at lunch. If so, I'll drive it around for a bit and see if I can get the battery back up. If not, BMW can come to my parking lot and take care of it. I suppose as long as we have "free" service, we might as well use it.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:16 AM
Dan_335i Dan_335i is offline
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Same here. My car was parked outside -40C or -40F car started up fine. Drove 15km and chare battery light went on when i turned car off. Left it till next morning car started up fine. Car is 2 month old
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:26 AM
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This battery issue is exactly why the F30 is not a luxury vehicle or a true sport sedan.

Kidding.

Seriously, kind of annoying though. Never had this issue in my Audi...
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:37 AM
ScottFM ScottFM is online now
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I too am in Chicago area. This am I got the same message. Car has started fine both times I needed to start it. Hopefully when the temp goes up the message stops. FWIW I also got the low tire pressure in all 4 wheels message.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:49 AM
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I bet BMW forgot to register the new battery which is now not properly charging

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  #9  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:59 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Funny, I had this issue in my e60 this morning and that battery is 11 months old. However, it was just deep-discharged.

I believe (though I'm not positive) your f30 monitors battery voltage and shuts off drain to the battery if it starts to dip too low. If for some reason that happens, you'll get that message - but it should recharge. You might have left on something...?

On the other hand, it's not impossible to get a bad battery or a battery that was deep drained sometime in the past and didn't fully recover. 4 year/50k miles of no worries covers it
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2014, 08:01 AM
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I imagine the warning is being overly cautious.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:06 AM
Dippydo Dippydo is offline
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You could have a weak cell and the cold pushed the battery to the breaking point. A simple load test would determine this. Definitely start it up at lunch time to see if it starts. I am doing that regardless here as it is -20 in Minneapolis not taking in account the windchill.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2014, 12:28 PM
Berkie Berkie is offline
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I have a 2013 335i xdrive that I purchased in October of 2013. I am also getting this low battery warning every time I turn off my car when it is cold like it is today (anything below 0). I called the service department at my local BMW dealership and the rep told me that the battery warnings are fairly sensitive in the newer models (as this never happened on my 2011 328xi) and it would probably be fine. I tend to believe him since my car started right up this morning and it was -20 outside (however, my car is in a detached garage w/o heat, but probably still about 0 to -5 in the garage). It has been sitting in a open air parking garage all day so will be interesting to see if if starts when I leave work...
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2014, 12:35 PM
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I went out at lunch and it started up fine. It had been outside with an ambient air temp of about -15 for about 5 hours. No difference in sound or anything, turned right over when i pushed the button. Guess it's just a little sensitive, as noted above. I didn't even get the low battery light when I went out. Hopefully no problems when I go home this evening, but at least for now, it's working fine.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:09 PM
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I got the same message this morning. I drove from my heated garage into Chicago -11 degree weather and subsequently parked it in another garage downtown and it gave me all the same messages regarding my battery.

Also, I did have a moment of worry when I went to my car at 3pm and touched the door handle expecting it to unlock- and it did not. I then used the fob and it unlocked just fine. Then the car started up just fine.

I went into "vehicle info" in the iDrive to see if I can find more details, and it told me that it shut down electronics automatically, as well as giving me all of the same messages we've all attested to. It also encouraged me to drive around longer to develop a charge, but I am not up for going back out there in the cold. Let's hope it's just a one-off thing because of the negative temp and that I won't need to call roadside service; we'll see.
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:55 PM
Berkie Berkie is offline
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FYI...that message about driving longer is bogus. I recently drove it 4 hours when I visited family for the holidays and when I shut the car off it gave me that 'drive longer to charge battery' warning...
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2014, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Berkie View Post
FYI...that message about driving longer is bogus. I recently drove it 4 hours when I visited family for the holidays and when I shut the car off it gave me that 'drive longer to charge battery' warning...
Glad I didn't take it back out. I plan to sit it overnight and see how it goes when it's single digits here in Chicago tomorrow.
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2014, 03:36 PM
Berkie Berkie is offline
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Battery and Cold Weather

My car was sitting all day for 9 hours or so and started right up.
However, I also had to use my key fob to unlock the door.
Drove the 15 min drive home and got the same warnings when I shut the car off.
Even though the car starts this cannot be a 'normal' thing.
I'm going to make an appointment to have my battery replaced.


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  #18  
Old 01-06-2014, 03:38 PM
hollowar hollowar is offline
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I too live in Minneapolis. Started the car this morning in the garage, in my Bill Cosby voice, the car said "ouch...." Seriously, got the charge battery message this morning at the parking ramp at work and on the way home. Also got the low tire pressure message for all four tires on the way home, which warned me of driving over 50 mph and making sudden stops.. Information center lit up like a Christmas tree. The joys of -20!!!!!
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2014, 04:03 PM
George Allan George Allan is offline
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I and my neighbour is having the same indication. The dealer installed a charger in the trunk at (our cost) and indicated to me to plug it in on these occasions-- it works , just plug it in overnight.

It is a nuisance to do and very un-bmw to pull a wire out through the trunk or window to plug it in. My neighbour is very upset about this - these cars cannot handle the amount of discharge that is needed to keep all the electric things going unless they are driven longer distances. Our older cars never had this kind of problem .

Just get a suitable charger and install and use it when it is very cold or when driving very short distances .

cheers
George Allan

Last edited by George Allan; 01-06-2014 at 04:05 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2014, 04:19 PM
George Allan George Allan is offline
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This is not very encouraging-- it must be another issue.

George Allan
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  #21  
Old 01-06-2014, 04:54 PM
Arciga18 Arciga18 is offline
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My F30 sat outside in Elmhurst, IL for 11 hours in the same -12 weather and started without any problems. I didn't notice any battery message, but will keep an eye on it tomorrow. I did find it surprising I had a thin layer of ICE on the INSIDE.....Also i got a low tire warning when I drove home.....
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:21 PM
Elk Elk is offline
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You are getting a low tire warning for a reason. There is a drop of roughly one psi with each 10 degree drop of temperature, plus typically about a psi loss of pressure each month.

For example, 32 psi on October 1 at 60 degrees is low 20's now at zero degrees. Put air in the tires, guys.

The electrical load on these cars while parked is ridiculous and has been a BMW weak point for a number of years. A week of short trips only, cold weather, etc. and the battery will be down a bit. I suspect the warning comes on earlier with the newer cars to make certain owners keep an eye on the battery state of charge.

A trickle charger is a good idea. Many who keep the car as a second car routinely keep the car on a charger. I plug my Ducati in every time I park it. It is trivial.

The good news: My 335 started easily today after a long day at -18 F.
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2014, 08:52 PM
capt_slow capt_slow is offline
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Had the same battery message pop up Friday. Although it's probably from sitting unlocked/discharging on a carrier for week.

Bought a Deltran charger and letting it sit overnight.

Given the temps, I'm surprised I havent seen a TPMS warning yet.
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  #24  
Old 01-07-2014, 04:51 AM
Barredbard Barredbard is offline
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I am driving my very first BMW - a 335 xdrive - and this news is quite discouraging. I live in in Michigan; a state in which your saliva might freeze midair if you attempt to spit on the sidewalk in subzero temperatures. I am a convert from Mazda. It didn't matter which model; their batteries were supremely reliable. I travel often, and once left my Mazda 6 undriven for 6 months, and yet it started up with neither a sigh nor a stutter. On the flip side, I just returned from a 2 week trip to England, and my 335 which had been sitting in a sheltered but open shed at my apartment started with nary a complaint. And thus far - looking for wood to knock on - I haven't gotten any of these warning signs since I took the car back to work yesterday.
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  #25  
Old 01-07-2014, 05:53 AM
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cheikh82 cheikh82 is offline
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Haven't driven the Bimmer for over a week and it's parked outside. Now you guys got me wondering. Guess we'll find out tonight.
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