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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am a new BMW owner and also new to this forum.

I have a 2013 BMW 328i XDrive with 42,000 miles. Here in western Ohio it got down to 3 degrees last night and a high of 10 during the day today.

When I got to work and shut the car off I got a message on my display that read "Battery Discharged. Start Engine" I went to lunch a bit ago and each time I shut the car off while running some errands it gave me the same message.

I only have about a 10 minute commute to work and let the car run for about 15 minutes to warm up on the inside because I do not have a garage.

My question is: Is this normal for cold weather like this? Should I let the car run longer to actually charge the battery or is there other action I can take? Or is this an abnormal issue I should contact my dealership about?

Thanks in advance.
 

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· Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 125+K miles NOKIAN WR G4
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Buy a BMW-CTEK battery charger and follow its instructions and the instructions in your owner's manual.

This is the first that I have heard of this particular warning, but I know that the ultimate objective of a BMW's charging system is one-more-start. It indicates that your battery is seriously depleted.

I charge my X5 weekly. Yesterday for about 6 AH in four hours. That's 3 amps peak bulk charging current times four hours, but divided by two for the approximate integration (simple quadrature). I also noticed that my five year old battery is at 90% State of Health.
 

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I only have about a 10 minute commute to work and let the car run for about 15 minutes to warm up on the inside because I do not have a garage.
Yeah, you're killing your battery. Are you still on the original one and haven't any issues before? If so I'm pretty impressed that it's held up this long. Plus cold weather does seriously affect a battery's output.

I'd get a battery charger like the aforementioned CTEK (I have one myself). Driving around an hour two will help but it's a short-term fix for what sounds like a long-term problem (10 minute commute + 15 minute morning idle).

BTW, 15 minute cold idles are not recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, you're killing your battery. Are you still on the original one and haven't any issues before?.
I have only owned the car since the end of October of this year. Bought it Certified Pre Owned from a BMW dealership.

Is it normal to have to get a battery charger for BMW? I have never heard of having to do this on a gasoline engine car. That kind of concerns me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I called my BMW dealership in Dayton, OH. They told me to make an excuse to take a 30 minute or so drive while it's so cold out. If I still get the message after the temperature comes up he told me we might have a battery issue. So more or less right in line with what you guys have told me. Thanks
 

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I have only owned the car since the end of October of this year. Bought it Certified Pre Owned from a BMW dealership.

Is it normal to have to get a battery charger for BMW? I have never heard of having to do this on a gasoline engine car. That kind of concerns me.
It's not a BMW thing, although BMW's do seem to be more twitchy about battery issues than most.

If you drive any car 10 minutes per day it's going to kill the battery. Police cars have beefed up battery and charging systems for just that reason, lots of idling and slow driving on surface streets.

My parents came for a visit way back when I had a Ford Probe. Gave my Dad my car to drive and he basically drove it 10 mins back and forth to a bagel shop every morning for a couple weeks. By the end of the 2nd week the battery was dead.
 

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Is it normal to have to get a battery charger for BMW? I have never heard of having to do this on a gasoline engine car. That kind of concerns me.
First, welcome to Bimmerfest, BkDocHoliday!

The only scenario in which it would be "normal" to use a battery charger or tender on an regular and ongoing basis is if the vehicle remains parked for long periods of time (two weeks or more), especially in cold weather conditions. I use Deltran's Battery Tender on my F30 320i because it is not started or operated for weeks at a time in some cases. Since you drive your BMW automobile daily, you should not need to get a battery charger or tender although it is certainly nice to have.

As you noted in post #5, the extreme cold weather in the Miami Valley region is the most likely culprit. Hopefully, as your dealership rep mentioned, the warning message will go away when the weather gets warmer.
 

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I live in Finland and sometimes it gets very cold in Winter. Many BMW drivers get the same warning, I've heard that battery is charged only to 80% of its capasity because of brake energy regeneration. I've got this warning once and found out that battery's voltage had dropped by 1 volt when starting. Car can even start to close unnecessary systems if voltage drops down signifigantly. One guy had to drive in -32 °C without warming because heating didn't work, because system was closed.

Battery is in the cold boot and doesn't even receive charging when its cold enough.

Some use battery heaters: http://arcticheat.fi/ahc_english/arctic-battery-heater-english.html

I charge my battery with this CTEK: http://smartercharger.com/battery-chargers/#CTEK MUS 4.3 POLAR
 

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I have only owned the car since the end of October of this year. Bought it Certified Pre Owned from a BMW dealership.

Is it normal to have to get a battery charger for BMW? I have never heard of having to do this on a gasoline engine car. That kind of concerns me.
You dont have a garage it sounds like, so using a battery charger will be more difficult to you I would guess but you need to either bite the bullet and do it, OR drive your car more.

BMWs seem more suceptible to battery issues, because I think they have more electronics than your typical car.

I found out this exact thing on a 2008 528 we had, when we lived so close to work that I had a 3 mile commute each way every day. You are simply not driving enough to charge the battery, so you either need to use a battery charger, or find an excuse to drive for 30-40 minutes at ONE TIME, roughly once per week.

Driving for 30 minutes running errands and making various stops along the way wont work.
 

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I found out this exact thing on a 2008 528 we had, when we lived so close to work that I had a 3 mile commute each way every day. You are simply not driving enough to charge the battery, so you either need to use a battery charger, or find an excuse to drive for 30-40 minutes at ONE TIME, roughly once per week.

Driving for 30 minutes running errands and making various stops along the way wont work.
A gasoline or diesel powered automobile (non hybrid) should not experience battery issues if it's operated regularly, whether for 6 minutes each day or 60.

If it does, and there aren't extreme weather conditions such as frigid ambient temperatures involved, there is an issue with the car's battery itself or its electrical system. Or the car is just poorly engineered.
 

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A gasoline or diesel powered automobile (non hybrid) should not experience battery issues if it's operated regularly, whether for 6 minutes each day or 60.

If it does, and there aren't extreme weather conditions such as frigid ambient temperatures involved, there is an issue with the car's battery itself or its electrical system. Or the car is just poorly engineered.
Then BMWs are poorly engineered by your definition because they do have an issue if you dont drive them "enough" and dont charge the battery. They take a while to shut down fully, etc.

Call that what you will, but I am certainly not the only one who has experienced this... The fact that Doug also recommends charging the battery (with a ctek or the BMW charger which is a re branded ctek, NOT a battery tender) is more than good enough for me. Dougs recommendation carrys more weight with me than the dealers, but they both said the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your replies and suggestions everyone. When I got off work Last night I drove around for about 30 extra minutes. Today during my lunch hour I drove around for about 40. I have not had more battery charge messages. I may buy one of those chargers just to have on hand. I do not have a garage so the full blast of cold gets to the car pretty easy! I do love my car very much but having never seen this on a vehicle before kind of makes me second guess my decision. Oh well time will tell.
 

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e90 was worse. In the winter, I kept a trickle charger on my 328i all winter long so it would start on unusually cold mornings. Even after replacing the battery I had to do that. I agree with JJ that BMWs rely on the battery more than other types of cars, and therefore do not recharge much on short trips.
 

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A gasoline or diesel powered automobile (non hybrid) should not experience battery issues if it's operated regularly, whether for 6 minutes each day or 60.

If it does, and there aren't extreme weather conditions such as frigid ambient temperatures involved, there is an issue with the car's battery itself or its electrical system. Or the car is just poorly engineered.
I guess cars in Japan are all poorly engineered then. We all know how unreliable Japanese cars are.

In Japan, battery failure is the largest complaint among new car owners. The average car is only driven 13 km (8 miles) per day and mostly in a congested city. As a result, the batteries will never get fully charged and sulfation occurs

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/archive/what_causes_car_batteries_to_fail

"Starting the engine draws 100 to 130 amps, and idling the car for 15 minutes might put back three or four amps," Brown-Harrison says. "If you're idling only for 15 to 20 minutes, the battery never truly gets recharged. So each time you start and leave it to idle, the charge will get lower and lower and lower."

Even if you're driving every day, but only for short trips to the store, you're shortening the life of your battery because it never fully recharges.

"Realistically, you have to be in excess of 1,000 rpm before it starts charging," Brown-Harrison says. "We used to say that a battery would last five to seven years, but now that's dropping to three to five years. That's because fewer people are making those long commutes that give the system a better chance to do its job properly."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...-car-to-prevent-battery-death/article4490484/
 

· Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 125+K miles NOKIAN WR G4
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https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1epIteFE7i-LU8zQW4wQmJLN3M. BMW Battery Basics training document.

Battery Replacement
An AGM battery, when installed as original equipment, must always be replaced with an AGM battery.
In special cases, where a customer's driving profile (e.g. short distance driving), results in a discharged battery, the AGM battery is a recommended replacement. Note that replacement batteries resulting from a customer's driving profile cannot be claimed under warranty.
 

· Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 125+K miles NOKIAN WR G4
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Read BatteryUniversity.com

An AGM battery, indeed most batteries, life time until internal corrosion reduces capacity below the end of life criterion, is eight years under ideal conditions.

An AGM battery cycle life, how much you can use it, is closely correlated with its average State of Charge; with average SoC 70% the cycle life is about 1,000 equivalent full capacity discharge-recharge cycles. BatteryFAQ.org

An AGM battery is a starved plate battery built with the minimum possible amount of electrolyte for nameplate capacity. One ampere-hour of overcharge electrolyzes 0.335 grams of electrolyte water into 400 cubic centimeters of oxygen and hydrogen that are vented away and lost forever.

Avoiding the slightest overcharge is why your BMW will NEVER EVER fully charge its AGM battery.
 
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