Last post on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#237 of 2734 Battery Problems?
Feb 15, 2003 (1:26 am)
I have 1998 528i and recently changed the battery myself with a generic/Auto Zone battery. The car seemed to work fine until tonight. There were two occasions where the car had abosolutely no electrical power when I tried starting the car, NONE whatsoever! So the first time, I just sat in the car and attempted to start the engine multiple times and finally it caught on. Then later the same night, the same problem. This time I looked into the trunk at my battery. I pressed and messed around with the positive cable and then all the sudden All the electricity came to life. My question is 'Does it matter if it was a non-BMW battery? Do BMW batteries go bad? (I heard they never go bad, they just need water or a charge) OR Did I install the battery improperly? Any answers why the car had no electrical source? ..... p.s. does that motion sensor alarm really work? Thanks everyone!
#238 of 2734 Batteries
Feb 15, 2003 (8:30 am)
jjohnjohn... BMW-specific publications like Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer have had numerous articles and discussions about BMW batteries. You might check out some back issues and their web sites.
All batteries eventually go dead. Laws of physics, etc. The original batteries, installed at the factory, have a good reputation for very long life. You should follow their instructions.
Unfortunately, BMW's replacement batteries get a ton of complaints for lasting only a couple years before failing. I've seen dozens of mentions of this in Roundel and Bimmer over the past 12 months. These publications tend to recommend alternative replacement batteries. There is nothing wrong with using a non-BMW battery, assuming you are using the right size, have it installed properly, etc.
The battery on my wife's '00 323ia failed at around 35,000 miles. It was replaced for free. Will be interesting to see how many miles she gets from it. My '98 540i6 currently has 73,000 miles. I bought her with 53,000 miles. So far, no battery problems for me.
#239 of 2734 Rwhelm
Feb 15, 2003 (8:56 am)
I have had been thinking about your daughter’s car, and I can come up with four possible scenarios:
1) The OBC/DME confirms the engine over speed condition, and your daughter is the only driver of the car. If so, unfortunately, she gets to pay.
2) The OBC/DME confirms the engine over speed condition, and all drivers of the 530i in question steadfastly maintain that it never happened. Could it be that an employee of the dealership took the car out for a joy ride? Ouch, tough to prove. She might still have to pay.
3) The OBC/DME recorded no such engine over speed condition. The dealership may just be trying to buy time (and money) to try and figure out what the problem is. Hopefully, for your daughters’ sake, this is the case.
4) The OBC/DME recorded no such engine over speed condition; however, the damage is too consistent with such an event. As it turns out, it is actually possible (I think) for such a combination of events to occur. On any of the occasions where her 530i was taken back to the dealership (or anywhere else for that matter) not under its own power? By that I mean, you referred to a trip to the dealership on a “Flatbed”, could there also have been another trip where the car was towed? What I am getting at here is a situation where the car was towed (either by the flatbed or an actual tow truck), and inadvertently left in gear, first gear for example. My theory is that with the ignition turned off, the OBC/DME would not record the over speed event that would most certainly have happened if the car was left in gear and towed.
#241 of 2734 530i engine problems
Feb 15, 2003 (2:27 pm)
Daughter and son-in-law are basically the only drivers of this vehicle. When a noise was first noticed in early Dec. took the car to the dealer, he could not find a problem, changed the oil and said there was probably water in the gas. Odd that people at her practice heard the noise but the dealer couldn't. She even asked the service manager to drive the car to try and identify the noise/problem. Was driven for a couple of weeks, noise still there. One morning unbelieveable shaking occurred, dealer was called and they flatbedded it to the dealership. This is the first time the car was towed. They said they replaced valve lifters, were not sure that was the problem, however.. Bringing the car home she heard a noise and was told that was air being released from lifters. Shortly thereafter it acted up again, the dealer told her to drive it to the dealership, she had to take back roads as the car kept on stalling and not maintaining speed. She was given a loaner car, so she left hers. The dealer then called and said there were scratched valves, which could only occur from over-revving and BMW's policy is not to cover this problem. Up to this point there had been no mention of over-revving. Has anyone ever heard of scratched valves? The latest response from the dealer is one bent exhaust valve stem.
We are giving you this info second hand, trying to be as accurate as possible, this is the basic scenario. We want to make clear there was no mention of recorded over-revving.
In response to #234, this is the third stick shift BMW our daughter has had, she does not race or is not a novice on manual transmissions. Seems to me this is a good car with an incompetent dealership. By the way, the loaner car is a Buick, not an Oldsmobile.
Thank you very much for your input, sure do appreciate it.
#242 of 2734 530I Engine Problem ref # 231 #241
Feb 22, 2003 (2:48 pm)
To give closure on the subject problem. BMW has agreed to cover the cost of the engine repair under warranty. The BMW rep said valves # 1 and 2 are bad. The reason for the original question is that I have some doubts about these new long times and mileage between the synthetic oil changes. We received a notice from MB a few months back that our 2000 MB is covered up to 150,000 miles now do to a class action for problems with synthetic oil changes and the variable service schedule.
#243 of 2734 rwhelm
Feb 22, 2003 (4:46 pm)
Extended oil change intervals should not be a factor in the valve failures you described. I change the oil in my E36 M42 and E39 M52 at 9000 mile intervals using 15W-50 Mobil 1 in the E36 and 5W-40 Rotella T synthetic in the E39(though I'm switching it to M1 0W-40 at the next Oil Service). No problems- and both cars have over 78000 miles on the clock. The objective data I have seen indicates that the BMW synthetic and M1 can easily go 9000 or so miles. I'd feel less comfortable going 18000 miles between changes, but I have yet to see any evidence that indicates extended drains are detrimental to BMW engines when a quality synthetic of the proper grade is used.
#244 of 2734 Battery problems...
Feb 26, 2003 (12:13 pm)
My wife's 2000 528i had a similar problem a couple of years ago where the battery went completely dead. This was when the car was only a year old or so. Had the battery replaced once and then had a reoccurence of the problem with the new battery. After several days in the shop they finally found out that the main computer board in the car was faulty and causing the problem. It was replaced under warranty and the problem never occurred again. Maybe there is a similar issue going on in your car.
#245 of 2734 Range: 25 miles
Mar 05, 2003 (12:30 pm)
I've owned a 2000 BMW 540ia for about a
month. Drives great!
Last weekend, I was to drop my daughter and
wife to birthday party. We were running late.
I took the risk and refilled the fuel when
empty light was one for some time and OBC's
"range" showed 20 miles. I was driving it
Question: Should I be concerned about any
adverse effect on engine or catalytic converter?
My typical highway mileage is 21...so it must
have 1 gal. of fuel left when I refilled.
#246 of 2734 RE: Range: 25 miles by ii31
Mar 05, 2003 (4:30 pm)
No need to worry. Yes, running the tank low can harm the fuel pump, but I don't know of any damage that might come to the cats (the 540's got two of them). I generally try to refill when at the 3/4 mark, so I don't have to stress about that bright orange light.