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      09-13-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
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Is this a dead/weak battery?

Hey everyone,

Had a wierd problem this morning on my way to work. This has happened about 2 weeks ago but back then I thought it was an anomoly now that its happened twice, its a pattern.

Well the problem is the car wont turn over. No hesitation just wont do it at all. All the electronics on the car turn on when I press the button, like its gonna start but no turnover.

After trying for 30 min and getting frustrated I went back in the house for a coffee and came back out it started up like there was nothing wrong.

What am I missing here?? Im about to schedule an appointment already but just curious if anyone else encountered this.
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      09-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
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maybe just needed that caffeine boost? I know I have trouble starting my day before my cup of coffee too
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      09-13-2010, 06:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
maybe just needed that caffeine boost? I know I have trouble starting my day before my cup of coffee too
haha! It definitely helped me out this morning! On a serious note this is gonna go to the dealer for closer inspection to figure out wth is going on here.
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      09-14-2010, 08:53 AM   #4
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Grab a multimeter and check it for yourself.
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      09-14-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
Grab a multimeter and check it for yourself.
Already beat you to that idea, I measured when I got back home from work but I dont know what is typical voltage, I got a reading of 12.0v exactly but my buddy said it should be higher than that... I thought 12v battery = 12v apparently not.

So now Im trying to find out what is a good reading. I couldnt get an appointment till monday of next week so Im just crossing my fingers right now. btw it hesitated again this morning, but I only had try twice before it started, only thing is I forgot to measure it before since I was running late. Funny thing is usually most ppl get a warning it seems after searching, mine didnt give me one.
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      09-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
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I don't think it's the battery.. Some other electronic issue
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      09-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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I don't think it's the battery.. Some other electronic issue
The lack of battery warning is also making me afraid that you are probably on the right track.
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      09-14-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wuzupfoo View Post
I thought 12v battery = 12v
Nope; 12.6V is the minimum for a healthy battery. Try charging it, but if it doesn't get above that, it probably has a bad cell. Just buy a new one and charge it every once in a while, especially if car is not used regularly. These cars, with all the electronic crap, eat batteries if not charged/used.
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      09-15-2010, 03:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuzupfoo View Post
Already beat you to that idea, I measured when I got back home from work but I dont know what is typical voltage, I got a reading of 12.0v exactly but my buddy said it should be higher than that... I thought 12v battery = 12v apparently not.

So now Im trying to find out what is a good reading. I couldnt get an appointment till monday of next week so Im just crossing my fingers right now. btw it hesitated again this morning, but I only had try twice before it started, only thing is I forgot to measure it before since I was running late. Funny thing is usually most ppl get a warning it seems after searching, mine didnt give me one.
12V is too low. You should be at 12.6V-12.8V at a minimum. Have you checked to see what the parasitic draw is? If the draw isn't too high then a load test is in order. Have someone start the car while you measure the battery. I have feeling it's going to drop into the low 11s or high 10s if it's not even trying to crank.
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      09-15-2010, 03:44 AM   #10
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12V is fine. You want to see around 12.5ish, but you won't have starting issues at 12.

I would check your ground cable (IBS cable sometimes causes issues like this) if the battery is fine.
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      09-15-2010, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Nope; 12.6V is the minimum for a healthy battery. Try charging it, but if it doesn't get above that, it probably has a bad cell. Just buy a new one and charge it every once in a while, especially if car is not used regularly. These cars, with all the electronic crap, eat batteries if not charged/used.
well thats the thing this is my daily driver, granted last weekend I didnt drive at all but cmon now, it only sat for 2 days!! I have a feeling this thing needs to be replaced.

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Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
12V is too low. You should be at 12.6V-12.8V at a minimum. Have you checked to see what the parasitic draw is? If the draw isn't too high then a load test is in order. Have someone start the car while you measure the battery. I have feeling it's going to drop into the low 11s or high 10s if it's not even trying to crank.
Consensus seems my buddy was right and my battery is low. How do you do check parasitic draw??

Thats a good idea on the load test, i will try that this weekend before it goes to the stealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@Powerchip View Post
12V is fine. You want to see around 12.5ish, but you won't have starting issues at 12.

I would check your ground cable (IBS cable sometimes causes issues like this) if the battery is fine.
The 12V result was after driving it one day, so Im assuming when I had problems in the morning it was lower than that. But this is assumptions.
Also doesnt explain how after taking a 30 min break this thing fired right up.. which leads me to my next quesiton on the cable you mentioned.
What is the IBS cable? where is it located? in the rear??
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      09-15-2010, 12:06 PM   #12
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How do you do check parasitic draw??
Hook your multi-meter up in series with your battery connection to the car and read the amps being drawn through it when the car is off.
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      09-15-2010, 02:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike@Powerchip View Post
12V is fine. You want to see around 12.5ish, but you won't have starting issues at 12.

I would check your ground cable (IBS cable sometimes causes issues like this) if the battery is fine.
I disagree. 12V sitting means you'll be lucky to see 11.5V during cranking. 11.5V isn't going to turn over a V8, even a small V8 like ours.

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Originally Posted by wuzupfoo View Post
well thats the thing this is my daily driver, granted last weekend I didnt drive at all but cmon now, it only sat for 2 days!! I have a feeling this thing needs to be replaced.



Consensus seems my buddy was right and my battery is low. How do you do check parasitic draw??

Thats a good idea on the load test, i will try that this weekend before it goes to the stealer.



The 12V result was after driving it one day, so Im assuming when I had problems in the morning it was lower than that. But this is assumptions.
Also doesnt explain how after taking a 30 min break this thing fired right up.. which leads me to my next quesiton on the cable you mentioned.
What is the IBS cable? where is it located? in the rear??
I agree, I think you have a dead cell or two. Especially if it died over the course of a weekend. How old is the car? For some reason German cars tend to chew up batteries. And when they die it's all of a sudden. It's weird.

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Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
Hook your multi-meter up in series with your battery connection to the car and read the amps being drawn through it when the car is off.
Exactly. It's very easy to do but if the battery is totally dead you may have to charge or replace it first or the reading might not be accurate.
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      09-15-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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My car is an 08 i guess this is as old as its gonna get for our generation but still!

Got it on the parasitic draw test, will try that tonight since my car seems fine right now. As far as this weekend, Im actually gonna try and recreate last weeks condition by not driving it over the weekend and testing it.
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      09-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuzupfoo View Post
well thats the thing this is my daily driver, granted last weekend I didnt drive at all but cmon now, it only sat for 2 days!! I have a feeling this thing needs to be replaced.



Consensus seems my buddy was right and my battery is low. How do you do check parasitic draw??

Thats a good idea on the load test, i will try that this weekend before it goes to the stealer.



The 12V result was after driving it one day, so Im assuming when I had problems in the morning it was lower than that. But this is assumptions.
Also doesnt explain how after taking a 30 min break this thing fired right up.. which leads me to my next quesiton on the cable you mentioned.
What is the IBS cable? where is it located? in the rear??
Chances are that if your battery is at 12V, you may have a bad cell. However, it could be caused by a loose connection - meaning the alternator is not fully charging the battery as it should.

Have you checkd the voltage at the battery and jump terminals with the car started?

The IBS cable is the itelligent battery sensing cable. It's connected to the battery in the back, and can cause a whole host of weird electrical issues and starting problems if it's not functioning properly.

In my case my car would "click" about 3/10 times I went to start the car - everything would come on, but no start. It lead to premature wear on the battery, as the ground wasn't fully secure.

The dealer did load checks, replaced the battery, etc, only for all of the issues to resurface within a week. After the IBS cable was replaced, I had not had one single issue with the car. It fixed the starting issue, the idrive going blank sometimes, random bluetooth/sos issues, etc.

Here is the cable I am talking about that fixed all of my issues (#2 in pic):

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...46&hg=61&fg=30

--> Battery cable, negative, IBS 61129184207 $227.47


Good luck!
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      09-15-2010, 04:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@Powerchip View Post
Chances are that if your battery is at 12V, you may have a bad cell. However, it could be caused by a loose connection - meaning the alternator is not fully charging the battery as it should.

Have you checkd the voltage at the battery and jump terminals with the car started?

The IBS cable is the itelligent battery sensing cable. It's connected to the battery in the back, and can cause a whole host of weird electrical issues and starting problems if it's not functioning properly.

In my case my car would "click" about 3/10 times I went to start the car - everything would come on, but no start. It lead to premature wear on the battery, as the ground wasn't fully secure.

The dealer did load checks, replaced the battery, etc, only for all of the issues to resurface within a week. After the IBS cable was replaced, I had not had one single issue with the car. It fixed the starting issue, the idrive going blank sometimes, random bluetooth/sos issues, etc.

Here is the cable I am talking about that fixed all of my issues (#2 in pic):

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...46&hg=61&fg=30

--> Battery cable, negative, IBS 61129184207 $227.47


Good luck!
Thanks for the pic, always easier when you see it... I will check and see and mention it to the SA at the stealer..
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      09-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
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If you're talking about a typical multi-meter, this could very possibly fry the multi-meter, and will almost certainly melt the multi-meter leads. The amount of current required to start the car cannot flow through the typical 18-22 gauge wire of a multi-meter. If it does hold together for a brief moment, you're very likely to fry the multi-meter because of the excessive current. You'll definitely melt the multi-meter leads and most likely fry the multi-meter as well.

However, if you have an automotive type multi-meter that can do this load test, then you'll be fine.

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Whoa, thanks for the warning, I have your typical radioshack multimeter not an automotive one, so i guess im gonna have to pass on that one.

And btw why are you watching me?
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      09-16-2010, 03:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PencilGeek View Post
If you're talking about a typical multi-meter, this could very possibly fry the multi-meter, and will almost certainly melt the multi-meter leads. The amount of current required to start the car cannot flow through the typical 18-22 gauge wire of a multi-meter. If it does hold together for a brief moment, you're very likely to fry the multi-meter because of the excessive current. You'll definitely melt the multi-meter leads and most likely fry the multi-meter as well.

However, if you have an automotive type multi-meter that can do this load test, then you'll be fine.

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He was told to do it with the car off, PG. If eh tried to start the car, yes, MANY bad things would happen.
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      09-17-2010, 02:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
I disagree. 12V sitting means you'll be lucky to see 11.5V during cranking. 11.5V isn't going to turn over a V8, even a small V8 like ours.



I agree, I think you have a dead cell or two. Especially if it died over the course of a weekend. How old is the car? For some reason German cars tend to chew up batteries. And when they die it's all of a sudden. It's weird.



Exactly. It's very easy to do but if the battery is totally dead you may have to charge or replace it first or the reading might not be accurate.
11.5V will turn over a V8. It will be a slow turnover, but it will work. My car would start with 11V.

OP: Does the car "click" when you go to start it? Or do you hit the button and there is no click (like the starter engaging)?

I think if you posted a video up that we would be able to help you more.

Good luck!
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      09-17-2010, 06:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PencilGeek View Post
If you're talking about a typical multi-meter, this could very possibly fry the multi-meter, and will almost certainly melt the multi-meter leads. The amount of current required to start the car cannot flow through the typical 18-22 gauge wire of a multi-meter. If it does hold together for a brief moment, you're very likely to fry the multi-meter because of the excessive current. You'll definitely melt the multi-meter leads and most likely fry the multi-meter as well.

However, if you have an automotive type multi-meter that can do this load test, then you'll be fine.

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Of course not while starting the car. Parasitic is when the car is off. Should be a few miliamps or so
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      09-17-2010, 05:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
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11.5V will turn over a V8. It will be a slow turnover, but it will work. My car would start with 11V.

OP: Does the car "click" when you go to start it? Or do you hit the button and there is no click (like the starter engaging)?

I think if you posted a video up that we would be able to help you more.

Good luck!
Nope no clicking... but thats exactly why im so confused. If it was a slow turnover like every other car Ive owned that had a bad battery I wouldnt question it. But its the on/off nature that I dont get. I will try to get it to do it on Monday morning, im gonna purposely not drive it this weekend just to see if I can get it to do it again, since it seems to disappear when Ive been driving it regularly, like today, after driving all week it hasnt happened at all. Also I want proof to take to the stealer since Im sure they are gonna say its fine because it dissapears after driving it.
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      09-17-2010, 05:09 PM   #22
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Of course not while starting the car. Parasitic is when the car is off. Should be a few miliamps or so
Got it.. okay I was wondering why it would be harmful but took PencilGeeks post seriously cuz I know certain things still run after the car is turned off. anyways got some experimenting to do this weekend..
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