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E63 / E64 6 Series (2003 - 2013)
The E63/E64 BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2014, 12:08 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Questions about Solar Battery Charger

Hi:

I have a BMW 645 that I don't drive everyday. I want to keep the battery charged fully. I bought a Coleman Brand solar battery charger. It is only 2 watts. Can anyone tell me if I need to keep my car ignition in the #2 position to use this during the day. I don't have a garage, I have a driveway to my home. I know there is the cigarette lighter & the power source in the passenger foot well. If I have to keep the car turned on would that defeat the purpose of keeping the car charged? Sorry if this is a dumb blonde question!


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Old 01-23-2014, 01:04 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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It's a perfectly valid question even a brunette wouldn't be ashamed of.

You are correct, if you leave the key on the car will drain the battery faster than the solar charger can charge it.

To use the solar charger, you need to plug it into a cigarette lighter jack that's always on. And your car most likely does not have one. So I'm afraid there is no way to use your charger without modifying the car wiring.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:20 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
It's a perfectly valid question even a brunette wouldn't be ashamed of.

You are correct, if you leave the key on the car will drain the battery faster than the solar charger can charge it.

To use the solar charger, you need to plug it into a cigarette lighter jack that's always on. And your car most likely does not have one. So I'm afraid there is no way to use your charger without modifying the car wiring.
I have a power socket in the car under the glove box, would that work?

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Old 01-23-2014, 01:30 PM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Unfortunately leaving it on would defeat the purpose. You need to return that charger if it hooks into the cigarette lighter socket. Both of them "turn off" in the 6 series. The circuit stays open but closes after a while when you shut down the ignition.

You have to charge at the jump-start terminals under the hood or hook one to the battery in the back.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:31 PM
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TxTaz TxTaz is offline
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Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
To use the solar charger, you need to plug it into a cigarette lighter jack that's always on. And your car most likely does not have one. So I'm afraid there is no way to use your charger without modifying the car wiring.
An '05 645 has a cigarette lighter in the center console in front of the shifter, unless the car has the non-smoker option.
Yep, I know. It is an option.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:31 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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Originally Posted by maybellineo View Post
I have a power socket in the car under the glove box, would that work?
If that socket stays on all the time (when the key is off and when the car goes to sleep), then yes. I am not familiar with your particular car, but I'm sure someone will chime in to clarify.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2014, 01:34 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by TxTaz View Post
An '05 645 has a cigarette lighter in the center console in front of the shifter, unless the car has the non-smoker option.
Yep, I know. It is an option.
Taz
Yes, I have that. Should I switch to that instead of the power socket under the glovebox on the passenger's side foot?
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:41 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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Originally Posted by TxTaz View Post
An '05 645 has a cigarette lighter in the center console in front of the shifter
Question is, does that socket switch off when the car is parked? If it does, then a charger plugged into it will not do any good.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2014, 01:42 PM
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Most of the functions inside the car power down once the ignition is switched off and the key removed. ~I do not believe that you can charge the car from any internal port/socket. In fact what it would do is keep the car in a state of readiness.....
What you could do is buy a Ctek intelligent charger (as sold by BMW), the charger comes with a lead which can be hard wired to the Pos of the battery and the negative to the ground of the vehicle (NOT DIRECTLY TO THE BATTERY). With this hard wire you then connect by its plug and socket and you can run the lead and connect to the Ctek, then run the lead from your mains under the closed boot lid allowing you to lock it, using this method I would only trickle charge for say the weekend, not 24-7.
Some will point out that there are risks associated with this method, but the ones who have claim to have had problems, you generally find that they have not used the right type of intelligent charger plus other circumstances. The issue is venting but your battery has an external vent through the boot floor, provided this is not blocked all should be fine.....
~Using this method your Ctek would sit inside the boot not easy to steal, however you would still need to run a power lead from somewhere ??????
I used this method for a number of years....... clearly works for some but a reasonable suggestion
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:00 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
Most of the functions inside the car power down once the ignition is switched off and the key removed. ~I do not believe that you can charge the car from any internal port/socket. In fact what it would do is keep the car in a state of readiness.....
What you could do is buy a Ctek intelligent charger (as sold by BMW), the charger comes with a lead which can be hard wired to the Pos of the battery and the negative to the ground of the vehicle (NOT DIRECTLY TO THE BATTERY). With this hard wire you then connect by its plug and socket and you can run the lead and connect to the Ctek, then run the lead from your mains under the closed boot lid allowing you to lock it, using this method I would only trickle charge for say the weekend, not 24-7.
Some will point out that there are risks associated with this method, but the ones who have claim to have had problems, you generally find that they have not used the right type of intelligent charger plus other circumstances. The issue is venting but your battery has an external vent through the boot floor, provided this is not blocked all should be fine.....
~Using this method your Ctek would sit inside the boot not easy to steal, however you would still need to run a power lead from somewhere ??????
I used this method for a number of years....... clearly works for some but a reasonable suggestion
How much is the Ctek charger cost? Maybe I can get one on ebay? I assume BMW charges an arm & leg. The reason I need this in the first place is that my battery went down to 63% charged when I was getting an oil leak repaired by an Indy. They had to run it a while without driving it so see if it still leaked. I brought it to the dealer to recharge the battery. The battery & alternator are only 3 months old. They started to do a diagnostic test but I needed my car & took it home. I really don't trust this dealer. But they said something is draining my battery when it is in sleep mode. I still have another leak I am trying to get fixed so I thought if I could just keep the car charged I can hold out on that repair for now. Anyone have an ideas?

Maybellineo
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2014, 02:03 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by tampamark View Post
Unfortunately leaving it on would defeat the purpose. You need to return that charger if it hooks into the cigarette lighter socket. Both of them "turn off" in the 6 series. The circuit stays open but closes after a while when you shut down the ignition.

You have to charge at the jump-start terminals under the hood or hook one to the battery in the back.
Ok, if I do that don't I still need a power source? Where do I plug it in. I don't mind using my house electricity but where do I plug it in. The charge came with the alligator hooks and a chord to plug in to some kind of power. I am so confused!!!


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  #12  
Old 01-23-2014, 03:41 PM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
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You can buy a Ctek charger anywhere, BMW do not necessarily charge an arm or a leg, the reason I mentioned them is that at least you know you are buying the right one which is acceptable to your car.........not all battery chargers are the same, hence knowing and sticking with the Ctek model. I have a Ctek 7000 (model no. here in the UK, does lots of clever battery things)
Compared to the price and inconvenience of a bad battery, it is a small price to pay !!!!
As for your battery/car not going into sleep mode, ensure that you don't have the key fob in close proximity if you have comfort access, as this can lead to the car not going into sleep mode. Do not leave anything plugged inside the car overnight etc ie mobile phone, ipod etc.
As for where can you plug into the mains supply, well I do not know your home but you said no garage but a drive??? well through a window ??? but make sure that you are happy with your own security, or only put it on charge whilst you are around the house, even if it is for a few hours or all day ????/ This you will have to work out for yourself.......
I would lay really down hard cash to say that not everyone buys the correct battery for these cars, mostly people will go for the cheapest option and then they wonder why they still have problems...... there are so many threads on here about the subject it becomes obvious......
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2014, 04:03 PM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maybellineo View Post
Ok, if I do that don't I still need a power source? Where do I plug it in. I don't mind using my house electricity but where do I plug it in. The charge came with the alligator hooks and a chord to plug in to some kind of power. I am so confused!!!


Maybellineo
If your solar charger has gator clips then you can hook them up under the hood to the jumpstart terminals, the location is in your manual. Then run the cord to the outside of the hood and put the solar panel on your windshield. Really, it is best if you have a charger that is powered by a house plug and that you could run an extension cord out of the bottom of your garage door when closed. Then you would be able to charge the battery overnight. It takes a while for the battery to deplete to 63%, probably from a week or two of not driving much. I just charge my battery overnight once a week. Obviously your solar charger isn't going to work overnight. Some folks have reported that their car doesn't go into sleep mode which rapidly drains the battery, this doesn't sound like the case for you, in their instances the battery would be dead by the next morning. Not a slow depletion over a week or two.

I have used a Schumacher charger for 10 years on multiple vehicles...my BMW, my Jeep, motorcycle, multiple Jetski's. I have never had a problem with that brand either.

Last edited by tampamark; 01-23-2014 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:33 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampamark View Post
If your solar charger has gator clips then you can hook them up under the hood to the jumpstart terminals, the location is in your manual. Then run the cord to the outside of the hood and put the solar panel on your windshield. Really, it is best if you have a charger that is powered by a house plug and that you could run an extension cord out of the bottom of your garage door when closed. Then you would be able to charge the battery overnight. It takes a while for the battery to deplete to 63%, probably from a week or two of not driving much. I just charge my battery overnight once a week. Obviously your solar charger isn't going to work overnight. Some folks have reported that their car doesn't go into sleep mode which rapidly drains the battery, this doesn't sound like the case for you, in their instances the battery would be dead by the next morning. Not a slow depletion over a week or two.

I have used a Schumacher charger for 10 years on multiple vehicles...my BMW, my Jeep, motorcycle, multiple Jetski's. I have never had a problem with that brand either.
Hey Guys:

I also have a 330i that has the power option that stays on. I pulled that car next to mine and
with the long wire put it throughout her window into mine. I was able to just crack both windows a little & lock both cars. I don't have a garage, I have a driveway. Why is the battery draining @ all? I am about to lose my mind. The battery is completely green.

Maybellineo
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:38 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
You can buy a Ctek charger anywhere, BMW do not necessarily charge an arm or a leg, the reason I mentioned them is that at least you know you are buying the right one which is acceptable to your car.........not all battery chargers are the same, hence knowing and sticking with the Ctek model. I have a Ctek 7000 (model no. here in the UK, does lots of clever battery things)
Compared to the price and inconvenience of a bad battery, it is a small price to pay !!!!
As for your battery/car not going into sleep mode, ensure that you don't have the key fob in close proximity if you have comfort access, as this can lead to the car not going into sleep mode. Do not leave anything plugged inside the car overnight etc ie mobile phone, ipod etc.
As for where can you plug into the mains supply, well I do not know your home but you said no garage but a drive??? well through a window ??? but make sure that you are happy with your own security, or only put it on charge whilst you are around the house, even if it is for a few hours or all day ????/ This you will have to work out for yourself.......
I would lay really down hard cash to say that not everyone buys the correct battery for these cars, mostly people will go for the cheapest option and then they wonder why they still have problems...... there are so many threads on here about the subject it becomes obvious......
I never leave anything plugged into my car. My driveway is right near the door to my kitchen. I hang my keys right on that wall. I doubt the key fob can effect the car through a brick wall??.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:23 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by tampamark View Post
If your solar charger has gator clips then you can hook them up under the hood to the jumpstart terminals, the location is in your manual. Then run the cord to the outside of the hood and put the solar panel on your windshield. Really, it is best if you have a charger that is powered by a house plug and that you could run an extension cord out of the bottom of your garage door when closed. Then you would be able to charge the battery overnight. It takes a while for the battery to deplete to 63%, probably from a week or two of not driving much. I just charge my battery overnight once a week. Obviously your solar charger isn't going to work overnight. Some folks have reported that their car doesn't go into sleep mode which rapidly drains the battery, this doesn't sound like the case for you, in their instances the battery would be dead by the next morning. Not a slow depletion over a week or two.

I have used a Schumacher charger for 10 years on multiple vehicles...my BMW, my Jeep, motorcycle, multiple Jetski's. I have never had a problem with that brand either.
Hey Tampa:

I have 2 problems going on with my car. I have to replace my vacuum pump & the oil pressure switch. I brought my car to a BMW specialist, not the dealer, & he said that is why my car was still leaking on the right side. Would those 2 repair needs make my battery drain? or two separate problems. The BMW specialist couldn't fix my car for another 2 weeks. My husband drove the car & got that stupid flat tire warning. I don't have a flat tire. I was able to reset it & the warning went away. The seatbelt & air bag warning went off. The dealer fixed that problem. They swear that the 3 month old battery & alternator is fine. They said that something is draining the battery when the car is in sleep mode. Why do you have to recharge your battery every week?
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:02 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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I would think that the solar charger is better than nothing, but I do not think it will keep the battery topped off. Leaving the key near the car on a 05, I don't think it will make a difference. I leave mine sitting on the console, 24/7. The 05 does not have comfort access, ruling out the door handles. It will take some time to chase down the problem, based on the time. The trunk & doors do have a wake up circuit, that will wake the car when touched. It is possible that one of the switches could have a open circuit, making the car think the door is open? This is a long shot, but possible. I would suggest that you take the car to someone that has BMW experience, because they are going to need it!

As far as your tire warning system, the tire does not have to be flat. If the tire loses enough air to make the diameter smaller, it will trigger the warning. The warning is based off the diameter of the tire when rotating, not pressure. If the warning goes off, look at the tire & add air if needed.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:29 PM
Skarv Skarv is offline
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Answers:

Vacuum pump: Nothing to do with electrical drain. There is nothing electrical on the thing at all. Fixing the leak on it is easy, and if are willing, you can fix it yourself in about an hour for about $25 in parts.

Oil Sender: Possible but unlikely. If this was leaking and shorting, it could load the system. Doubt it because it should be in an inactive circuit when the car is off. But with these electronics, never say never. If you do the vacuum pump, swapping the oil sensor is an extra minute to unscrew the old one, and screwing in a new one. They cost next to nothing, and you really should swap it out if you do the vacuum pump since they are so cheap. (I have regretted not doing it when I did the pump ever since... even though mine works fine and doesn't leak... I think it is only $9 Grrrr. )

Flat tire warning. You may not have a flat, but one tire may be sufficiently low relative to the other tires to trigger the computer. It senses how many rotations each tire takes, and apparently if one is low, it spins more turns that a full tire. So you should check your pressures, and the reset it again. Every time this has gone off for me, there was a tire that was 3-4 lbs lower than the rest. Our cars don't have TPMS, but a previous system based on rotations.

Finally, while I'm blessed with a car that holds a charge for weeks without complaint, when I'm working on it, I'm constantly amazed at how many electric motors I hear going off inside the car in the iDrive when I have it unlocked. I have noticed that these don't trigger when I lock the car. So I would suggest you lock it and see if that helps.

Last edited by Skarv; 01-23-2014 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:26 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by Skarv View Post
Answers:

Vacuum pump: Nothing to do with electrical drain. There is nothing electrical on the thing at all. Fixing the leak on it is easy, and if are willing, you can fix it yourself in about an hour for about $25 in parts.

Oil Sender: Possible but unlikely. If this was leaking and shorting, it could load the system. Doubt it because it should be in an inactive circuit when the car is off. But with these electronics, never say never. If you do the vacuum pump, swapping the oil sensor is an extra minute to unscrew the old one, and screwing in a new one. They cost next to nothing, and you really should swap it out if you do the vacuum pump since they are so cheap. (I have regretted not doing it when I did the pump ever since... even though mine works fine and doesn't leak... I think it is only $9 Grrrr. )

Flat tire warning. You may not have a flat, but one tire may be sufficiently low relative to the other tires to trigger the computer. It senses how many rotations each tire takes, and apparently if one is low, it spins more turns that a full tire. So you should check your pressures, and the reset it again. Every time this has gone off for me, there was a tire that was 3-4 lbs lower than the rest. Our cars don't have TPMS, but a previous system based on rotations.

Finally, while I'm blessed with a car that holds a charge for weeks without complaint, when I'm working on it, I'm constantly amazed at how many electric motors I hear going off inside the car in the iDrive when I have it unlocked. I have noticed that these don't trigger when I lock the car. So I would suggest you lock it and see if that helps.
Skarv:

Where do you get a vacuum pump for less than $380.00 dollars? I know the oil pressure switch is just $12.00. I guess you are not replacing it right just fixing it? I swear I can't seem to trust anything these mechanics tell me. They see a 5'2" blonde woman coming & they see $$$$. As far as the tires go I have had them filled up at least twice in the last 2 weeks. I reset the sensor. It only asked if you want to reset it, yes or no. I always push yes. Both times the person that added air said I was fine with all tires.
The crooked dealer said something is draining my battery when it is not on.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:30 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarv View Post
Answers:

Vacuum pump: Nothing to do with electrical drain. There is nothing electrical on the thing at all. Fixing the leak on it is easy, and if are willing, you can fix it yourself in about an hour for about $25 in parts.

Oil Sender: Possible but unlikely. If this was leaking and shorting, it could load the system. Doubt it because it should be in an inactive circuit when the car is off. But with these electronics, never say never. If you do the vacuum pump, swapping the oil sensor is an extra minute to unscrew the old one, and screwing in a new one. They cost next to nothing, and you really should swap it out if you do the vacuum pump since they are so cheap. (I have regretted not doing it when I did the pump ever since... even though mine works fine and doesn't leak... I think it is only $9 Grrrr. )

Flat tire warning. You may not have a flat, but one tire may be sufficiently low relative to the other tires to trigger the computer. It senses how many rotations each tire takes, and apparently if one is low, it spins more turns that a full tire. So you should check your pressures, and the reset it again. Every time this has gone off for me, there was a tire that was 3-4 lbs lower than the rest. Our cars don't have TPMS, but a previous system based on rotations.

Finally, while I'm blessed with a car that holds a charge for weeks without complaint, when I'm working on it, I'm constantly amazed at how many electric motors I hear going off inside the car in the iDrive when I have it unlocked. I have noticed that these don't trigger when I lock the car. So I would suggest you lock it and see if that helps.
One last question, would a drained battery make the Navigation screen come up slow? It takes about 15 seconds. Once I start the car & drive it a while, when I get back in the car & start it, it comes up right away.

Maybellineo
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:00 PM
Skarv Skarv is offline
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Skarv:

Where do you get a vacuum pump for less than $380.00 dollars? I know the oil pressure switch is just $12.00. I guess you are not replacing it right just fixing it? I swear I can't seem to trust anything these mechanics tell me. They see a 5'2" blonde woman coming & they see $$$$. As far as the tires go I have had them filled up at least twice in the last 2 weeks. I reset the sensor. It only asked if you want to reset it, yes or no. I always push yes. Both times the person that added air said I was fine with all tires.
The crooked dealer said something is draining my battery when it is not on.
A new vacuum pump might cost a couple of hundred dollars. I don't know as I haven't replaced one. But the leaks come from the failure of one seal and an O ring. Very inexpensive parts. In fact, if you knew the exact specs, you could find replacements for under a dollar. Someone does sell pre-selected correct parts for the rebuild for around $20. I think this is fair for their effort to identify and then bill and ship these little parts to folks like us. Installing these little rubber rings is all it takes and an experienced mechanic should be able to do it in well under an hour. If they don't know how, do a search of the DIY parts for the explanation I did a while ago. I think the vendor is ID'd there too. With that in hand plist the parts, I'd say an hour max. Don't forget the sensor too while the pump is off.

I'd add that the effort required to rebuild vs replace would be the same since a new one would come in the same parts you would have the old one in after removing it. In other words, don't let your guy replace it. There is no need. Just the seals.

Last edited by Skarv; 01-23-2014 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:01 PM
Skarv Skarv is offline
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One last question, would a drained battery make the Navigation screen come up slow? It takes about 15 seconds. Once I start the car & drive it a while, when I get back in the car & start it, it comes up right away.

Maybellineo
Here, I have to say I don't know. It does sound like something isn't shutting down completely in your iDrive. Perhaps you could get the dealer to update its software? This does begin to sound like an iDrive issue to me. But that is a guess.

Good luck. Once the bugs are ironed out, the car is a dream.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:49 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Originally Posted by Skarv View Post
A new vacuum pump might cost a couple of hundred dollars. I don't know as I haven't replaced one. But the leaks come from the failure of one seal and an O ring. Very inexpensive parts. In fact, if you knew the exact specs, you could find replacements for under a dollar. Someone does sell pre-selected correct parts for the rebuild for around $20. I think this is fair for their effort to identify and then bill and ship these little parts to folks like us. Installing these little rubber rings is all it takes and an experienced mechanic should be able to do it in well under an hour. If they don't know how, do a search of the DIY parts for the explanation I did a while ago. I think the vendor is ID'd there too. With that in hand plist the parts, I'd say an hour max. Don't forget the sensor too while the pump is off.
Skarv:

I went to the DIY forum & did a search I did find something you wrote about a Vacuum Leak fix, it didn't say Vacuum Pump fix. I also didn't see a vendor that sold the parts. Can you please direct me to the right place to find this information. You really saved me & my hubby $600 dollars, after already spending $1600 last week on the other leaks. I had the mechanic already order the parts & I was going to go have it fixed this Monday. Please save me from this fate.
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2014, 09:05 PM
maybellineo maybellineo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarv View Post
Here, I have to say I don't know. It does sound like something isn't shutting down completely in your iDrive. Perhaps you could get the dealer to update its software? This does begin to sound like an iDrive issue to me. But that is a guess.

Good luck. Once the bugs are ironed out, the car is a dream.
Do you know if they will make me buy the update of the software? They are trying to get me back there & say I have some sort of electrical problem. Why didn't they say that was a possibility in the first place. Although the battery was ruined down but I think that was the mechanics running the car to find all the leaks. They were clueless.

The second mechanic who is a BMW specialist, made me pop the hood, stuck his hand down somewhere, showed me oil in 2 places on his hand & said I need a new vacuum pump & oil pressure switch. And all I really need is a O ring an seal & to change the oil pressure seal. I need real help finding someone I could trust. He knew I just spent $1600 on oil leaks jus on one side of the freaking car.


Maybellineo
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:54 PM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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For starters the NAV has nothing to do with any of your problems. It is slow to load after the car sits for a while because the maps are loaded from the DVD - similar to a cold boot on your laptop which takes a while. If you start the car after a short rest the NAV software is still loaded in memory since the car has not gone into full sleep mode. If the dealer wants to charge for the NAV software update then don't bother, the update does not make much of a difference.

Any dealer or indy mechanic can determine if something is draining the battery. They measure current drawn from the battery after the car is in sleep mode. At idle the draw should be 20-30mA. Any more indicates there is a problem and they then start pulling fuses one at a time to find the system causing the drain.

You can get a CTEK charger from Amazon, eBay or any good auto parts store. Some BMW dealers also sell the CTEK. The larger 7002 model goes for about $100 and the smaller 3300 goes for about $50. The smaller one is fine. You can put the charger under the hood and close the hood or in the trunk and close the trunk to prevent theft and keep water out of the trunk. Use a thin extension cord.

As mentioned above you cannot charge through the cigarette lighter since it shuts off when the car goes into sleep mode.
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