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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 01-03-2012, 04:45 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Battery OK?

    "all signs on the dashboard appeared showed that the battery is okay..."

    There is no "sign on the dashboard" that shows the battery is OK. No light, no indicator, nothing. There is no "Battery OK" light or indicator on the dash.

    Read the voltage on the battery with a volt-ohm meter. If it is below 11.5 it is dead. It should be at 13.5 or no lower than 12.

    When running, you should be getting 14.0 to 14.5. If not, you likely need a new alternator as well.

    If you don't have a volt-ohm-meter, your local auto parts store can test the battery and alternator for free.

    Why, oh Why, do amateur mechanics ALWAYS ALWAYS dismiss the battery right off the bat, when it is the most common failure mode?

    Wal-Mart has two batteries for this car, for about $100. Takes about 20 minutes to install. You have to remove the spare tire and tire mount.

    Good Luck.
  • 01-02-2012, 11:56 AM
    [h=2]SOS!!! Start failure, 2006 BMW X5, 3.0i (36K mileage)[/h]
    [h=2]BMW X5, 3.0i 2006 couldn't start[/h]
    First time BMW driver :(

    1st Jan 2012, what a first thing to face, my BMW X5 3.0i (2006 with 36K mileage) couldn't start...

    Just bought this car 2 days ago... very well maintained car as the int and ext looked very clean, i can still breathe the leather smell in it. I realized the 2nd day the speedometer didn't work well, planned to bring for car check on the 3rd Jan, as well smog check. Unfortunately, now it can't start at all. When i tried to start, the front lights are blinking, all signs on the dashboard appeared showed that the battery is okay...

    Can anyone be kind enough to assist and advise me what's the problem could be?
  • 10-20-2011, 05:15 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Army in Germany View Post
    Thank you for the's an update.

    The dealer is going to do an experiment. They will replace the Ground Module and the Door Module (?) to see if this fixes the problem of the car not going into 'sleep mode'. The hunch is that while they observe only an 80 milliamp draw on the battery (50 being normal), they can't physically watch the car all night to see if other electronic subsystems are being switched on. If the car is in 'sleep mode', this couldn't happen.

    As the modules are bloody expensive, if this doesn't fix the problem, they will refund my money and look for problems elsewhere.

    BTW, this is one of larger dealerships in southern Germany, but they have only seen one X5 with similar problems; BMWNA also says they know of no systemic problems. However, when I do a search for "dead battery" on this message board, I get 1285 hits. Makes you wonder...
    Have them check the FSU or final stage resistor they are notorious for going bad and cause the things you are talking about
  • 03-09-2010, 06:48 PM

    Wrong Forum! But here's how.

    You are in the wrong forum.

    And thanks for keeping this five year old thread alive.

    Open the hood using the hood release.

    Start the car by jump starting it, using the JUMP START POINTS under the hood. Refer to your owners manual for location. All BMWs have them.

    Once the car is running, you should be able to open the trunk using the trunk release button.

    Batteries appear to fail "suddenly" when in fact they have had just a surface charge for months, and then one day just appear to die.

    If you have a keen ear, you will hear the starter going slightly slower just before it is toast.

    Most BMW batteries last 7, 8 or 9 years. At least mine have on my four cars.

    Dealer batteries are pricey, but they do fit. On my E53 beater, I went with an exide from BJ's Wholesale for $78.

    No snide comments, please.
  • 03-07-2010, 09:56 PM

    Re: HELP--Dead Battery

    I just purchased a 2006 bmw 325I with 73,000 miles. I drove 47 miles, stopped at the store and the battery was dead. Can't open car or trunk to replace battery. any suggestions as to how i can get into the trunk or car?
  • 05-19-2009, 03:46 PM

    Not just iPod charging...

    These new cars run a lot of juice, even with everthing apparently "off". Locking the car and setting the alarm for instance, can really suck the juice.

    If you can, have a tech check how much current draw there is when the car is off - should be only a few milliamps. If it's anything more, start pulling fuses to locate the drain; often a sub-unit has failed and draws excess current.
  • 05-18-2009, 02:17 PM

    Re: I'd start with a new battery & leave a trickle cha

    This has haapened to me - 02 X5 flat battery , replaced two weeks ago and same this morning ! Just wandering having read all these threads if my IPOD is permanently charging (through an ICE connection), have never thought to check until now.But would that be enough to drain a new battery in two weeks flat ?
  • 01-29-2009, 10:34 PM

    Check ignition switch

    Check your ignition switch, that was the point of the thread, I thought.
  • 01-28-2009, 06:13 PM
    andy stokes

    Re: Battery problems & yes a power drainf?

    hi everyone same problem on x5 big letdown by bmw as had bmw all my life and as a rule they are good cars had 3 battery in 18 months had it in ti 4 diffrent auto electrics and i just found this site and got to say bmw has let us all down
  • 01-11-2009, 05:08 PM

    x5 flat battery !!!

    My battery has been tested and is fine so im told by the r a c, they said i do not go far enough to rechage it each day ( about 5 miles a day )I need to jump start it about once a week, does anyone else have this problem ?
  • 11-20-2008, 08:51 PM

    Re: Case Solved?

    Good God! Who knew that such a fantastic vehicle could have such a common problem that BMW can't or won't get to the bototm of. I have gone to my wits end to have "intermitten drain" diagnosed. 2 new batteries etc..Who can really afford a mechanicle nightmare these days? Still open to any suggestions.
  • 04-11-2008, 10:52 AM

    Longer than that! Try 8 years.

    BMW batteries can last a LONG time at least in my experience:

    1997 328iC (BostonGrun): 8 years OWM, 3 on replacement so far

    1997 328iC (Hellrot): 7 years on OEM, 4 on replacement so far

    1999 M Roadster: 1 year, replaced under warranty, presently at 8 years and going strong.

    2002 X5: 6 years so far... and I've run it flat once...

    If you are getting only 3 years out of a BMW battery, something is seriously wrong.

    I keep these cars ona BMW battery maintainer when not in use (storage).

    It is NEVER a good idea to try to recharge a totally dead battery using your alternator alone. If you are lucky, you might get away with it, but it will put quite a load on the alternator, and some brands will overheat.
  • 03-30-2008, 09:41 AM
    Army of One

    About $300

  • 03-07-2008, 04:08 PM

    Re: Final Update

    Thank you,
    I have been having the same problem for a few months and have done all the regular stuff. Today my battery was dead again and the car started after a jump but when it did everything was in German and the gas gage, tach and other computer displays in the dash would not work. I am going to disconnect the negative terminal and make sure the battery is fully charged and hopefully it will restore complete operation. How much did it cost you to replace the ignition switch?
  • 10-19-2007, 02:24 PM

    Re: DEAD BATTERY: HELP! how do i replace it myself

    I don't see a response to the post about how to change the battery without spiking the circuit or loosing all the settings.

    I'm now looking at changing my battery as a preemptive strike (it's seven years old, talk about borrowed time).

    I'd like to know if you can use a solar charger through the accessory plug to maintain power.

    I'm located in Toronto so don't have access to the wide choice of batteries in the US. Anyone got a good suggestion other than original equipment?
  • 10-14-2007, 11:28 AM

    Re: Final Update

    So the key base switch was the final fix? If so, do you have the part number for this part? What was the total cost for replacement?

    Thanks for the help.
  • 10-09-2007, 08:46 PM

    I agree, ask to speak to the service manager

    1995 BMW M3 (BMWCCA I-Stock)
    2003 BMW X5 4.4i
    2006 BMW 530xi
  • 10-06-2007, 08:51 PM

    Hogwash. 25 miles is ample to charge battery

    and to dry out exhaust. You should not be having a problem of any sort.
  • 09-27-2007, 09:40 PM

    Re: HELP--Dead Battery / Dealer Rip Off?

    I just picked my 2007 X5 up from the dealer - 2nd time I had in for maintenance for "excessive battery drain". First time they told me I had "unfavorable driving habit" which, if you crunched their numbers, my starting/stopping the car 3x day was "unfavorable". Let's see - that is going to work in the AM, maybe lunch or a meeting during the day and driving home in the PM. This time they told me I don't drive the car enough to charge the battery. I leased the vehicle in March 2007 and have 10,000+ miles - my daily commute to work is 25 miles minimum. I have yet to experience the "dead battery" but I know it is only a matter of time.
  • 09-02-2007, 03:29 PM

    I'm sad if you're sad

    Indeed, we have several hundred, maybe several thousand members, who have nothing better to do than to read others requests for help, who run the problem through their collective experience banks, and who attempt to provide answers (or sympathy) based on what has worked or didn't work on their cars in the past. But, sadly, if someone told me their car wouldn't start and it had a four year old battery, I would probably tell them to start with a new battery, not knowing about the ignition switch issue.

    I have to chuckle that you find it sad that no one here knew what BMW dealers didn't know either.

    But welcome to the board. Ask away.
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