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Intermittent battery failure. PLEASE HELP NOT SURE WHAT TO DO

3256 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dalekressin
Hello, I have read a ton of threads, but to no avail. My 2000 Bmw 528i auto sports package 64000 miles will start fine, but sometimes, it will not restart. At first there is a click from the starter, but very quickly, it goes to nothing. I bought a new battery, and I thought everything was fine. But about a month later, it did the same thing. I thought it may have been an Ipod charger plugged into the cigarette lighter, but this did not do the trick either. I took it out and about a week later it would not start again. The last time it happened, the car started perfectly, and i drove to my son's school...about 2 miles. I turned it off to speak with him, and when i went to start it, it would not turn over at all. No lights cranking etc. I put cables on it and tried for about an hour to jumpstart it, but the most I got was clicking of the starter.

In desparation, i put cables on the battery itself instead of the engine bay terminals and it started instantly.

I have recently changed the FSU?part The part that does not/does turn the fan off, but the battery problem started around a month after this. I also have a speed sensory that is bad, so? ??? does that matter? It was this way for about three months prior to the battery problem.

I live in a small Idaho town, and there are no reliable mechanics + I am not super skilled.

[ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!! PLEASE!!!!
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The instance in which you had success jumping from the battery after failure at the engine posts, suggests a possibility that the battery cable terminals may not have a good, tight connection on the battery posts.

Try moving, twisting, wiggling the terminals on the battery. You should not see any movement whatever. If you do see any movement, clean the posts and terminals. Then tighten the terminals properly. If you don't feel confident yourself, any minimally competent repair shop should be able to do this for you.

A heads up on tightening the Tee bolt that clamps the terminal onto the battery post. Torque specs are 5 Nm / 3 lb-ft for the M6 bolt, 15 Nm / 10 lb-ft on M8. Don't overtighten at the risk of breaking Tee bolt which is a difficult to find part. No need to agonize over this torque. Just keep in mind that these are torques that one can apply with a wrist twist on a nut driver; don't use a wrench to reef it down as tight as you can.

Please report back if this succeeds. If not, there are other possibilities.
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In desparation, i put cables on the battery itself instead of the engine bay terminals and it started instantly.
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I live in a small Idaho town, and there are no reliable mechanics + I am not super skilled.

[ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!! PLEASE!!!!
If you replaced the battery and it's still happening, it sounds like the ignition switch is going. Not uncommon. Try searching for "ignition switch" and you'll see steps to test it.
I recommend you check alternator output. Can you unlock your cluster and display the alternator output voltage?
Thank you all! I charged the battery at the local parts store and I will put it in tomorrow. I will check to make sure the posts are tight and torqued properly. Also, my heart tells me it is the ignition switch, but I will investigate further. I also worry it is an intermittent alternator problem. I will report back soon. THANKS!!!!!!
Alternators get plugged with leaves and debris.
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