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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Remember when I said I was leaving the car for 3 months... well..



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      06-24-2018, 02:49 PM   #1
LaChewy
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Remember when I said I was leaving the car for 3 months... well..

So it's been 6 months and I'm still in Asia; car was doing fine until 2 weeks ago, and now it's having all these random issues? PLEASE HELP. I'm trying to diagnose a car from the other side of the planet... so bare with me.


HERE WE GO:


I got an email from the guy looking after the car (driving it once a a month) and he said the radiator has cracked. There was a small leak before I left in winter. Summer has come and the small leak has apparently turned into a pour. I have another friend who is shade tree mechanic that agreed to fix it while I'm away.

The problem is when my friend (shade tree mechanic) went to pick the car up:


the car battery was dead, when he charged it up over night, came back, the red wheel lock warning light was on and car will not start.

After searching this forum I told him to try various methods I found to rectify this like wheel jiggle, lock unlock etc...


He replied with this:


"CAR IS COMPLETELY DEAD AGAIN. No ding ding when door is open. car will not lock or unlock.. Steering wheel is in locked position and i jiggled it with no luck. worse of it all is that I CAN HEAR A HUMMING (buzzing) NOISE COMING FROM CENTER CONSOLE AREA.. I mean it is constantly making this noice with no key in or anything. This must be what is draining everything. Odly enough several days ago the car would not let you pull the key out without a process. Now the car does not even acknowledge the key going in and out? "


any idea what the buzzing noise could be in center console? why would it be constantly buzzing even with key out?

I'm assuming the battery and what ever clicks the key fob into place are directly linked together? Hence, 'doesn't acknowledge key going in and out' as my friend said.
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      06-26-2018, 05:49 AM   #2
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It sounds like the car is having a serious electrical malfunction, potentially due to a failed battery. Not that I'm an expert on Beamers, but I saw this on another car with a similar issue. Caused absolute havoc including airbag faults, the speedo reading the speed, the digital odometer not tracking mileage properly, the anti pollution system going on the fritz etc etc.

I would trickle charge the battery using a re-conditioner over the course of 24-48 hours, with the battery disconnected from the vehicle. I would then take a multimeter to the car battery and check the voltage. You could try and start the car with a high amp battery charger connected to the battery (minimum 4amps output) perhaps? But it's not going to recover a dead battery, it'll just get the car started and then you can work from there.

If the battery is dead, I suspect the car computers etc will not like that.
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      06-28-2018, 06:25 AM   #3
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your "car sitter" needs to drive it more than once a month, at least once a week if possible. No need for a trickle charger.
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      06-29-2018, 05:59 AM   #4
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Okay thanks a lot for the responses.

I'm considering telling him to just let it sit until I can get there and figure this out myself.. I'm having a bit of anxiety being on the other side of the world wondering how he's going to go about fixing this problem.

I think I'd rather do it myself.

Any other insights are GREATLY appreciated! I know you guys are out there with some ideas!
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      06-29-2018, 06:46 AM   #5
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If the car is stored in a place with electricity, connect a battery maintainer (NOT a trickle charger!) to the under-hood terminals and let the car sit until you get back. What probably happened was the car was under-driven and killed the battery. Next time, search on E90 post for the hundreds of threads on how to store a car for long term, which is basically pump up the tires to full rated pressure (found on the sidewall), fill the fuel tank full and add the proper amount of stabilizer to the gasoline, and connect a battery maintainer and... just let it sit.

Now for a battery maintainer, get one that can restore the battery to an operational state, i.e. de-sulfate the battery. Granite Digital has such a device.

Good luck with it.
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      07-01-2018, 11:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnintyToo View Post
If the car is stored in a place with electricity, connect a battery maintainer (NOT a trickle charger!) to the under-hood terminals and let the car sit until you get back. What probably happened was the car was under-driven and killed the battery. Next time, search on E90 post for the hundreds of threads on how to store a car for long term, which is basically pump up the tires to full rated pressure (found on the sidewall), fill the fuel tank full and add the proper amount of stabilizer to the gasoline, and connect a battery maintainer and... just let it sit.

Now for a battery maintainer, get one that can restore the battery to an operational state, i.e. de-sulfate the battery. Granite Digital has such a device.

Good luck with it.

Thanks. I did do a search of the 'hundreds of threads'. I took every step I could find. I even changed the spark plugs.

Nothing said to keep the car charging as I had a guy to drive it every so often. I'm at the mercy of a man that is on the other side of the world to drive my car. I I don't really have too much control over how often he drives it and evidently he hasn't been.

I have another month until I am home. It's just sitting still waiting for a radiator replacement and I suppose a new battery?

Do you think the battery is ruined?


This absolutely blows as I had the car detailed and put a couple hundred dollars into preventative measures (including a nice vanilla air freshener) so that I'd have a turn key car when I got home. Imagine back to the future when Morty gets back to his truck... that's what I had in mind. Now I'm going to have a headache.
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      07-01-2018, 01:38 PM   #7
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It sounds like there is too much draw when the car is asleep.

I have left my e90 off for two months and it started right up afterwards.

Parasitic drain should be no more than 50mA when the car is asleep.
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      07-02-2018, 04:41 AM   #8
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Sorry, what's wrong with a trickle charger. Aren't they almost identical to a battery maintainer?
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      07-03-2018, 05:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeamerNub View Post
Sorry, what's wrong with a trickle charger. Aren't they almost identical to a battery maintainer?
A battery maintainer controls the rate of charge based on monitoring the charge state of the battery. The good maintainers can bring back otherwise dead batteries to a healthy state by varying the polarity, voltage and current rates of charge.

A trickle charger just puts a low current rate of charge on the battery. Eventually the trickle charger will over charge the battery and boil off the acid.
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      07-04-2018, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
A battery maintainer controls the rate of charge based on monitoring the charge state of the battery. The good maintainers can bring back otherwise dead batteries to a healthy state by varying the polarity, voltage and current rates of charge.

A trickle charger just puts a low current rate of charge on the battery. Eventually the trickle charger will over charge the battery and boil off the acid.
Thanks
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      07-04-2018, 10:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opjose View Post
It sounds like there is too much draw when the car is asleep.

I have left my e90 off for two months and it started right up afterwards.

Parasitic drain should be no more than 50mA when the car is asleep.
I doubt it. The sitter just didn't drive the car long enough and get the battery to fully recover from sitting and then starting the car.

Best thing to do is plug the car in with a tender and let it sit undisturbed.
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      07-09-2018, 07:30 AM   #12
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What about disconnecting the battery altogether until you're back? Anything wrong with that? I used to do it on an old VW I had years ago. Never caused any issue and I suspect it was good for the battery.
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