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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-27-2014, 07:19 AM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Battery on 2010 328xi

My 2010 328xi is 4 years, 2 momths old and I live in the NYC area. The battery seems fine right now, but during the recent cold snap when the temps plunged into the single digits, it seemed to me that when I started the car, it cranked kind of weak at first after being left overnight (but turned over and started with no problem). That only happened a couple of times and otherwise, it's been fine.

I'm told that BMW tells their SAs that normal battery life in this area is about 4-6 years, although my SA told me that he's had some people go 5-10 years. Bottom line, I'd like not to spend unnecessary money, but I don't want to end up stuck with a dead battery somewhere either.

My SA claims that if the battery is starting to go, I should notice some things happen like the dashboard clock will reset and the rear defroster will not work (the computer compensating and starting to disable functions it considers less important) and I might even see a computer warning on the dash. These things I have not seen. They also wanted $150 to run a check on the battery because it's apparently part of a computer check that takes an hour to run.

Questions:

1. Can anyone vouch for this? What signs have you seen when your battery starts to go? Or have you ever just had it go suddenly without warning?
2. Can someone at a regular service station run a quick check on the battery?
3. They claim that battery replacement is $500 because it involves more than just battery replacement (computer reset). Has anyone had this done at an independent dealer/garage who can do the same thing with the same results for less money?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2014, 07:44 AM
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laser laser is offline
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There is much to search here on batteries .....

Sounds like your SA is telling it straight but no way I'd pay $150 for a battery check.

Slow cranking in this cold snap has been common.

If you don't drive enough to keep a full charge a battery tender / trickle charger overnight would serve you well.

Don't buy a battery from the dealer when the time comes.......find an Indy shop and save half.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:28 AM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
There is much to search here on batteries .....

Sounds like your SA is telling it straight but no way I'd pay $150 for a battery check.

Slow cranking in this cold snap has been common.

If you don't drive enough to keep a full charge a battery tender / trickle charger overnight would serve you well.

Don't buy a battery from the dealer when the time comes.......find an Indy shop and save half.
Thank you for responding.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:18 PM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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Recently had battery replacement performed at the dealer for a 2007 328xit... With BMCCA discount, $340... You can probably do better if you shop around, but I was in and out in 1.5 hours, no muss no fuss.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2014, 08:32 PM
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BB_cuda BB_cuda is offline
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OP, what is your in service date? Asking if you are in or out of warranty. I got a new battery replacement on my 2011 (Feb 2011 in service date). I was getting the "increased battery discharge" message on my NAV screen. I didn't even ask for the new battery and had only told them about the message.

If you do an aftermarket battery, get the same amp-hr rating. My local indy german car mechanic says he will register the battery for $50 if I did all labor to install new battery. I was shopping and had pricing any where from $120 to $170 depending on if lead acid or AGM battery chemistry. Also, find out what your battery group size is. Mine was OEM size 94R (euro size is H7). The dealer put in a bigger group 49 (euro size H8). My battery tray can accomodate either size. Both OEM and replacement batteries are 90 amp-hr capacity. If you switch to AGM battery, more hassle is involved to get the battery registered as you have to tell the computer the different battery chemistry. There are numerous threads on bimmerfest showing how to do this. It involves buying a OBD port cable and proper software to interface to computer. Use the search, it is your friend

Last edited by BB_cuda; 01-29-2014 at 08:34 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2014, 08:41 PM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB_cuda View Post
OP, what is your in service date? Asking if you are in or out of warranty. I got a new battery replacement on my 2011 (Feb 2011 in service date). I was getting the "increased battery discharge" message on my NAV screen. I didn't even ask for the new battery and had only told them about the message.

If you do an aftermarket battery, get the same amp-hr rating. My local indy german car mechanic says he will register the battery for $50 if I did all labor to install new battery. I was shopping and had pricing any where from $120 to $170 depending on if lead acid or AGM battery chemistry. Also, find out what your battery group size is. Mine was OEM size 94R (euro size is H7). The dealer put in a bigger group 49 (euro size H8). My battery tray can accomodate either size. Both OEM and replacement batteries are 90 amp-hr capacity. If you switch to AGM battery, more hassle is involved to get the battery registered as you have to tell the computer the different battery chemistry. There are numerous threads on bimmerfest showing how to do this. It involves buying a OBD port cable and proper software to interface to computer. Use the search, it is your friend
Thank you. My service date is 11/09. I am off warranty.
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2014, 11:58 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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It's all about driving habits.

If you drive short distances frequently, you are not allowing the battery to recover.

These cars vary battery charging based on engine load. When there is a little load on the engine, ie cruising at a constant speed on the highway, the battery is charged quickly.

When you drive short distances and in slow traffic, the engine load is high and the car limits battery charging to supply power to critical engine and chassis components.

Next time you park you car overnight, take your car for a 30 minutes drive on a highway. Park it. You will still have a slow crank in the morning, but it won't sound like it's dying.

Cold weather in general decreases battery performance. So regardless of how you maintain your battery, it will always struggle o turn the engine over under 32 F. Unless you install a block/oil pan heater.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 01-30-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2014, 12:13 PM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
It's all about driving habits.

If you drive short distances frequently, you are not allowing the battery to recover.

These cars vary battery charging based on engine load. When there is a little load on the engine, ie cruising at a constant speed on the highway, the battery is charged quickly.

When you drive short distances and in slow traffic, the engine load is high and the car limits battery charging to supply power to critical engine and chassis components.

Next time you park you car overnight, take your car for a 30 minutes drive on a highway. Park it. You will still have a slow crank in the morning, but it won't sound like it's dying.

Cold weather in general decreases battery performance. So regardless of how you maintain your battery, it will always struggle o turn the engine over under 32 F. Unless you install a block/oil pan heater.
Thank you. Very interesting, and very helpful. I don't ever recall the cranking sounding this weak even in cold weather in prior years. But it only happened once or twice. Didn't sound like it was dying. Only a bit weak but still turned over.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2014, 12:40 PM
loubob loubob is offline
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As a reply to your first question, yes; I have had a battery just go completely dead without any warning. Car started fine in the morning, drove to work (20 miles to downtown), but totally dead in the evening. I didn't even get a courtesy warninng like a slow crank. If you are at all concerned just replace the battery for some peace of mind.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2014, 04:43 AM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loubob View Post
As a reply to your first question, yes; I have had a battery just go completely dead without any warning. Car started fine in the morning, drove to work (20 miles to downtown), but totally dead in the evening. I didn't even get a courtesy warninng like a slow crank. If you are at all concerned just replace the battery for some peace of mind.
Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2014, 05:39 AM
lewclay lewclay is offline
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I was just at the dealer last week. Rear window defroster was not working, said that things may stop working and that I needed a battery. After I got the new battery, the rear defroster still did not work. Turned out to be a fuse junction box! They said I still needed the battery. it was the original. Mine is 2008 328xi coupe. They charged me $330 for battery and another 200+ for labor and registering the battery. Still not sure about what they say about registering the battery to the car. But did it anyway.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2014, 05:50 AM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewclay View Post
I was just at the dealer last week. Rear window defroster was not working, said that things may stop working and that I needed a battery. After I got the new battery, the rear defroster still did not work. Turned out to be a fuse junction box! They said I still needed the battery. it was the original. Mine is 2008 328xi coupe. They charged me $330 for battery and another 200+ for labor and registering the battery. Still not sure about what they say about registering the battery to the car. But did it anyway.
That's the same issue I will face. They want about $500 to replace the battery for the same reason. Tried to find an indy repair shop but unsuccessful so far. I don't want to get stuck anywhere, but I'm not looking to go out of my way to spend $500 before I really need it.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2014, 10:45 AM
lewclay lewclay is offline
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Also had to replace battery last year in our other car. 2007 328xi sedan. Went shopping, loaded the car with groceries, went to start up to leave the store parking lot. completely dead. My brother came to try and jump. Had to let his car run connected to dead battery for quite some time before it finally had enough power to get the car started, With that one my son just bought a battery from BMW parts department. $237. He installed it himself. We just purchased the Bavarian Tech tool, waiting for it to arrive. We want to see if we need to register the battery or not.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2014, 10:54 AM
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Vanos4:12PM Vanos4:12PM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewclay View Post
Also had to replace battery last year in our other car. 2007 328xi sedan. Went shopping, loaded the car with groceries, went to start up to leave the store parking lot. completely dead. My brother came to try and jump. Had to let his car run connected to dead battery for quite some time before it finally had enough power to get the car started, With that one my son just bought a battery from BMW parts department. $237. He installed it himself. We just purchased the Bavarian Tech tool, waiting for it to arrive. We want to see if we need to register the battery or not.
Please keep us posted!
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:17 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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You guys can install any group 48 or 94 battery that has the same specs as your battery. Then take it to a shop or dealership for registration.

Registration shouldn't be more than $50 at an indy. If they charge more, they are ripping you off or don't know what they are doing. It's a 5 minute process.

Dealership will change an hour of labor. Again, if more, you're getting ripped off.
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:22 AM
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BB_cuda BB_cuda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
It's all about driving habits.

If you drive short distances frequently, you are not allowing the battery to recover.

These cars vary battery charging based on engine load. When there is a little load on the engine, ie cruising at a constant speed on the highway, the battery is charged quickly.

When you drive short distances and in slow traffic, the engine load is high and the car limits battery charging to supply power to critical engine and chassis components.

Next time you park you car overnight, take your car for a 30 minutes drive on a highway. Park it. You will still have a slow crank in the morning, but it won't sound like it's dying.

Cold weather in general decreases battery performance. So regardless of how you maintain your battery, it will always struggle o turn the engine over under 32 F. Unless you install a block/oil pan heater.
Fdriller, i know what you meant and that it is common for people to have oil pan heaters for instance in places like Canada or Alaska. But, technically warming the engine up will not keep the battery warm since it is in trunk trim panel. My understanding is pulling current from a cold battery really causes its state of charge (soc) to get knocked flat more quickly as compared to pulling same amount of current from a warmer battery.

Side bar: Your information about alternator being unloaded when engine is under higher demand is interesting. I have experimented with cruising on interstate and either using seat warmers or not to see the effect on fuel mileage. When the warmers are bieng used, current is being used and therfore the alternator has to produce more which inturn loads the crankshaft (throught the belt). More load on crank = less fuel mileage. This only gets worse if butt warmers and rear window defogger are going. Heaters pull significant current.
Thread jack over
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2014, 08:01 AM
lewclay lewclay is offline
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So got the Bav Tech diagnostic tool. There was an option to 'reset battery adaptation' under the engine commands.
You can also check for any fault codes. Do diagnostic graphing on just about everything while car is running and more.
Pretty cool. Glad it's in the tool chest now for future use.
Tried it on our 2007 and 2008 328xi's
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