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  1. #21
    Alan Ireland
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    Battery problems & yes a power drainf?

    I own an X 5 2001, 4.4i V8.... The car has died upon me recently. I've noticed alternating problems with windows activating themselves and rolling down when driving, sprinkler systems working sporadically, air conditioning system not working for day's and suddenly working perfect. Central locking system sticking asif not enough power was getting to the locking mechanis to open and close the car. I've noticed upon returning to the vehicle the central locking system had somehow unlocked the car. Though I was going mad at one stage, but I haev confirmed this as actually happening. I was about to seek the services of a young priest and an old priest(exorcism). SO you are all not alone and I'm about to delve in to the unknown ina bid to get the problems sorted.... Thank you for all your posts... hope this helps to confirm what we alreasy know...


  2. #22
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    I'd start with a new battery & leave a trickle cha

    rge on overnight. My 01 had similar problems and it turned out my alternator was overcharging and killed the battery. But at an earlier time I had similar things the first battery just got old and I replaced it. The weird things still happen on occasion. My passenger window once rolled itself down in a driving rainstorm when I was not in the car. They roll down an inch on occasion. Keeping the voltage right is probably the key. My old 750 did similar things when the battery was getting old (or when I listened to the radio too long without the motor running). Mixing the blood of a brown chicken mixed with dried bat wings and dribbling around the car on the night of the summer soltice seems to work, but you missed the date and now you'll have to wait until next year. Old priests don't do any good. I think Hooters girls will work, but I haven't found one to try.

    Good luck!

  3. #23
    Army in Germany
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    Final Update

    It wasn't the battery. It was the key base switch...apparently a known problem with a tech bulletin.

    I replaced the battery in 2005; car still went dead all the time. We came back from Germany last summer, and I made darn sure the jumper cables stayed with the car, because the shipping company sure needed them.

    Took the car to an independent mechanic who does nothing but BMWs, Alexandria Bavarian Service. Grant, the owner, immediately had a hunch as to the problem---the key base switch. Apparently, it isn't too stoutly built and wears over time. This can cause malfunctions where it allows powering up of electricals (like when key is in accesssory position) even thought the key is removed.

    We still have wierd electrical gremlins with the radio and blinkers cutting out when the outside temp is above 85 or so. At least the car starts!!

  4. #24
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    Re: Final Update

    Thank you so much for posting your issue to this site! I'm so sorry to hear how long this issue lasted for you!

    Less than two weeks ago, I went to start my 2001 BMW X5 one morning and it was dead. After no other problems with this car, I replaced the battery. Strangely, the battery we pulled out of there had a manufacturer date of 11/06. Although we were very concerned, it was a Die Hard and we were advised to only use Bosch brand (I bought the car used, so this was the first I'd learned of what brand was in there). Overall, I bought the new battery and the car had been running great until boom, this morning - dead again - completely drained just like two weeks ago! I scheduled an appointment at the dealership I bought it at (Ralph Schomp BMW) for tomorrow morning and I'll take a copy of your Final Update with me. It's quite possible that you've saved me two years and hundreds of dollars by posting your issue! Thank you!!! The car is under an extended warranty until the end of the month, so hopefully all will be good!

    And to those that just told you to get a new battery and move on - what the heck was that all about - do they seriously have that much time on their hands!! Very sad!!!

  5. #25
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    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.

  6. #26
    Michele
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    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.

  7. #27
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    Hogwash. 25 miles is ample to charge battery

    and to dry out exhaust. You should not be having a problem of any sort.

  8. #28
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    I agree, ask to speak to the service manager

    1995 BMW M3 (BMWCCA I-Stock)
    2003 BMW X5 4.4i
    2006 BMW 530xi

  9. #29
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    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. #30
    Jim
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    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?

  11. #31
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    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?

  12. #32
    Army of One
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    About $300


  13. #33
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    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.

  14. #34
    JenT
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    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.

  15. #35
    Donna
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    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 ?

  16. #36
    andy stokes
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    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

  17. #37
    robertplattbell
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    Check ignition switch

    Check your ignition switch, that was the point of the thread, I thought.

  18. #38
    Colesie
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    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 ?

  19. #39
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    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.

  20. #40
    norma-texas
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    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?

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