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  #1  
Old 06-24-2020, 11:23 AM
Rmee4life Rmee4life is offline
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Mein Auto:
Parasitic Battery Drain

Hello All, 2004 X5 3.0 (E53) Auto Trans

Background- Lots and lots of things were wrong with the car. I HAVE fixed almost everything. Be4 I began working on putting the car in good working order I had a parasitic battery drain. T he drain was not fast ie overnight but after 4 or 5 days it would either crank over very slowly or not start at all! I had put 3 batteries in about a 2 year period. One of the things that I replaced was the AUX cooling fan as it was inop. I also replaced the drivers door actuator as the drivers door would only lock manually with the key not with FOB or central locking switch button inside.

I DO HAVE a BMW specific fault code scan tool. As of TODAY, I am down to only 2 fault codes:
1- VTG Transfer Oil worn
2- Aux water pump fault (for heater)

I am very mechanically inclined and my question is this:

After reading some posts today about SLEEP MODE, I checked the shifter orange light and the light is OFF. I am going to bridge negative battery cable with negative battery terminal to check the battery draw with a multimeter, while itís asleep. 2 questions= What should be a NORMAL reading of milliamperes while sleeping, 0?. How should I prepare the car to sleep while also accessing pain in the arse battery under spare.

I havenít checked for starting problems again as I am scared to let it go past 2 days without starting. As I have just put a new battery in and donít want to start problems with this one! After 2 days it sounds great when starting maybe problem was fixed in repairs that I have made. However I want to check it now with a multimeter and I need to know what normal is? It does have an alarm system with red light blinking.

Any help and assistance would be greatly appreciated
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2020, 07:54 AM
andrewwynn andrewwynn is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 E53 X5 Black/Black
Sleep should be under 100mA. Don't use mA scale to measure because it probably pulls multiple amps before you close the doors and it goes to sleep mode.

Most parasitic drain ends up being the blower motor unit aka FSU people often call the FSR or hedgehog. Also commonly radio / telephone hardware.

That said very often people replace a battery from hard starting when the problem is the starter. As a starter fails , it can take up to double the current: something a nice new battery can handle but an older battery cannot.

You can get a rough idea of starter current if your DMM has a peak (min/max) mode. Measure the voltage drop between the B+ jump point and the cigarette lighter and multiply by 300.

Eg. 0.75v drop is 225A that is what my car reads on normal starts.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:16 AM
Rmee4life Rmee4life is offline
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Mein Auto:
How can I test for Parasitic drain on battery. With multimeter across the neg term and cable battery is unhooked like that so car will not sleep correct? Do I need a special tool to have it hooked in series to measure while sleeping?
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2020, 08:31 AM
andrewwynn andrewwynn is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 E53 X5 Black/Black
You can hook up dmm in series with the battery to test for drain but need to have the meter on 10A mode. Also need to figure out how to read the meter after car fell asleep eg roll down left rear window and fold down the back seat to access the meter.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:23 AM
Rmee4life Rmee4life is offline
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Mein Auto:
Good advice TYVM
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2020, 09:35 AM
Rmee4life Rmee4life is offline
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Mein Auto:
Andrew, you sound very knowledgeable on cars. I have a foxwell nt510 elite BMW specific scan tool. I am new with this scanner. Can I use this somehow to either test or help to identify problems with my battery drain? I know that it is capable of actively testing components or readings of components or should I stick with DMM
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2020, 10:07 AM
Rmee4life Rmee4life is offline
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Mein Auto:
One thing I have noticed that when I turn the key on not start it but just turn the key on the climate fan or blower motor is always on. Is that a memory thing is it supposed to be like that? I turn the fan off and then I turn the key off. But when I put key back in and turn key on blower motor is running?
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:21 AM
Rmee4life Rmee4life is offline
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Mein Auto:
When I turn the key on should the blower motor be off until I turn it on?
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2020, 04:29 PM
andrewwynn andrewwynn is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 E53 X5 Black/Black
If you set blower to speed off it will come on speed 1 after key power cycle.

When the blower motor control fails it will draw power always and kill your battery.

Unfortunately there is no built in current monitor to track down the drain.


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