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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Battery/Electrical Issue?



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      05-15-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
335xi_zer0
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Battery/Electrical Issue?

Hey everyone,

I'm kind of perplexed as to what exactly is going on, though it may be something completely stupid on my part.

Last week or so, my car straight up died. Key fob wouldn't unlock doors, no lights, nothing. I got a jump and off I went, left the car on for a bit just to make sure. Checked out the battery and the circle was black (insufficient charge, but not dead). Worked fine for the next week.

Today, went to lunch, went back to my car, key fob unlocks the doors and that's it. Car has no lights or anything. Not even the battery icon. I call someone up to jump my car, connect everything, and nothing. Last week when I did it the entire instrument panel lit up and everything.

I wait a few minutes and try again, nothing. So I'm worried. Is it just a dead battery? Or could it be something more serious?

Thanks for any and all help!

***Update***
Upon fiddling with it a little more I got it to start with a jump and took it to an indy shop to put a new battery in. They put a new one in and after the car wouldn't start again! They were closing for the night so they said they'll look at it in the morning.

Sidenote: could this potentially be from the recall that was sent out in March? With the primary battery connection? I haven't had time to bring it in since and thought about it just recently.
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Last edited by 335xi_zer0; 05-15-2013 at 08:59 PM.
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      05-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
NormE91
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Are you jumping it under the hood or at the battery itself?

What year is it?
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      05-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormE91 View Post
Are you jumping it under the hood or at the battery itself?

What year is it?
I attempted to jump it from the hood. When I finally got it started (read: update), I connected to a different ground point (was on the sway bar but I read that was a bad ground point), I took it to the shop.

It's an 07 e90. I also updated my first post regarding the potential reason being the recall?
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2007 E90 335xi - "Sera"
Installed: aFe Stage 2 DCI | AE Performance Exhaust | COBB AP | cyba Black Air Scoops | HPB Interior LED Kit | M6 Wheels | ER Charge Pipe | HPB LED Angel Eyes | Helix Intercooler
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      05-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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a new battery needs to be introduced to the car. this can be done at the dealer or an indy with correct software. I just purchased a new battery from the local part store last week. next day, my low battery warning comes on. when I return to the part store they check and tell me my battery is bad. that is when I did my research. I have an appointment with the dealer monday. I drive a 2007 335i

QUOTES: BATTERY LABOR/PROGRAM
DEALER $200 $110
LOCAL INDY $299 $120

That is a first, dealer has the better price.
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      05-21-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
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First: The "battery light" isn't there to tell you that you need a new battery. It indicates a problem with the alternator. The problem is that so few failures actually seem to bring on the light it's probably only useful enough to tell you that the belt broke.

Second: You need to start measuring voltages if you want to diagnose this yourself. "Leaving it" or describing how many lights are on isn't going to help. All batteries new and old need to be charged while the car is running. A one-time failure could be the battery developing an internal short between uses causing it to be "suddenly" useless when you try to restart it. A battery in this condition will read ~10.8V. Repeated failures are probably because the battery isn't being charged, meaning the real problem is the alternator.

With the engine not running, the battery should be 11.8V-12.5V (with a complex array of possible voltages depending on state-of-charge, current load from computers powered up while you're measuring and ambient temperature - it is a chemical process, after all). With the engine running the system voltage should be anywhere from 13.0V-15.0V with wide variance because of the way newer BMWs handle the batteries depending on chemistry (flooded/AGM) and state-of-charge (learned by the IBS system). If you still see 12.x or 11.x with the engine running you need an alternator, not a battery.

Third: If your battery has gone dead but is still viable, charge it with a plug in charger and not the alternator. Recharging a completely dead battery is very hard on the alternator. That makes a lot of internal heat, isn't really designed for that and it will shorten its life. Alternators are meant to operate current demand and "top up" starting batteries. Of course if you're in a pinch there's nothing you can do...

Fourth: If you replace your battery, register it. There's no need to use a dealer battery or a dealer to register it, but get it done. Though you don't need a dealer battery, some batteries are better than others. I really like the Deka/East Penn "Exact OEM" line. I have a Deka 9AGM49 group 49 AGM battery in my E90 right now.
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