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      12-10-2009, 10:23 PM   #1
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Drives: 2006 330i and 2002 M3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN

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Car will not start in zero-degree weather and dealer maintains charging system is OK?

I live in Minneapolis, which obviously gets some very severe winter weather - it was -5 when I went out to start my car this morning. I park outside.

I drive a 2006 330i - the specs are in my sig.

My car will pretty much never start when it is zero or below. Last winter I had Roadside Assistance come out a couple of times to jump it and finally just invested in a Black and Decker jump starter, which works well and always gets it going. The car always starts fine when the weather is 10 degrees or higher.

This began last winter (the first winter I had the car). I took it in to have the dealer check the battery and charging system - they maintained both were OK and the problem was that I take too many short trips. My service advisor blamed it on all the electronics in my E90, and claimed that he himself has to use a trickle charger with his Toyota to get it to start consistently in the winter.

This sounds like BS to me. I have lived in this climate for years and never had a car, prior to my E90, that had significant winter starting issues. Is this legit or am I being fleeced? Any ideas what might be causing this, in light of the fact that they claim the battery and charging system are OK?
2006 330i - 6MT - Monaco Blue over black and burl walnut - Sport, Premium and Cold Weather packages and Comfort Access

2002 M3 - 6MT - Jet Black over black leather - Xenon, power seats and H/K - no sunroof
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      12-11-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Drives: '73 2002,'12 X5 35d,'03 540iT
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: A Whale's Vagina, Ca

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But as you have mentioned, have you ever owned a car that has an electric draw like this one before? Your previous car may have been less advanced?

1988 E28 535is Euro Conversion --- sold
2009 E90 335 6MT --- sold
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      12-11-2009, 01:51 PM   #3

Drives: 08 328xi, 84 318i
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kenosha, WI

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Did they test the battery? If not, you can always request them to do a CCA (cold cranking amp) test. I don't think it'd be the charging system, just probably the battery is either getting old or doesn't have good CCA

edit: didn't notice you said something about short runs, how short is short are we talking about? usually 10 mins of actual driving time is enough to recharge a battery i think.

and by all your electronics, are you stock for electronics? no aftermarket amps etc.? then i would think he's giving you crap
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      12-11-2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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Drives: 2015 435i
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Southeastern US

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Due to the amount of power our cars draw, it's not advisable to drive them short distances on a daily basis because it doesn't provide sufficient time to recharge the battery. I agree with the dealership in that you may want to consider investing in a trickle charger, or drive the car longer, or buy a different car.

Oh and another thing about your car is that the oil/water seperator on BMW is a known weak spot. Short commutes don't allow the engine to heat up enough so that it'll evaporate condensation.
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