Last post on Jun 01, 2013 at 2:40 AM
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BMW 5 Series, Electrical
#17 of 36 Electrical problems with 2008
May 11, 2010 (1:33 am)
There is a technical bulletin out for those trickle chargers.
Here's the text:
Battery maintenance requirements from the Owner’s handbook
If your car is driven only for short distances of less than 10 miles over a prolonged period of time, without an occasional drive at highway speeds, the engines charging system will not properly maintain the battery.
Insufficient use of the vehicle could result in short term starting problems and in the long term could damage the battery.
In case the car is not operated for several weeks it is advisable to:
A. Consider using a proper trickle charger, following the charger manufacturer’s
instructions, to maintain the battery’s state of charge.
Advanced Battery Charging System with Alligator Clips
This Advanced Battery Charging System can help you extend the life of your battery. Simply plug the 1.25-amp charger into
a standard 115-VAC wall outlet and connect the alligator clips to your terminals under the hood. The device's on-board
microchip monitors and regulates the charge- virtually eliminating sulfating. It can even help extend the life of your battery.
(PN: 82 11 0 406 881)
B. Consult your BMW center regarding battery removal.
Once removed, the battery must be charged and stored in a cool, dry place where it can be protected
If the battery will be stored for over 3 months, it must be recharged every 3 months, or else it will become
damaged and useless.
#18 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [jim367]
Nov 09, 2010 (7:46 pm)
I have a 2006 530i and got the same problem, iDrive is dead due to water somewhere in the trunk, i have found 3 blown fuses but replacing them didn't help.
What part is most likely affected by this, assuming located in the trunk, and how the water got in there?
Any ideas would be appreciated.
#19 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [majko]
Nov 09, 2010 (8:54 pm)
My water damage came from clogged sunroof drainage caused by crushed leaves. The leaves that were blown in while leaving my sunroof vent open were crushed when the sunroof is retracte. Five electrical panels in the truck were all fried and need to be replaced. You may be able to detect rust or water underneath the spear tire. My insurance paid for the repairs due to water damage. Good Luck.
#20 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [5series]
Nov 10, 2010 (6:35 pm)
Woow, thanks for the reply, my problem is going to be the same, roof was retracted when slightly rained, I forgot to close it.
Do you know by any chance what electrical components were replaced in your car ? There are several in the trunk, stereo equipment is there also, amplifier etc...
If you still have the paperwork from the repair, maybe they listed the panels they replaced.
Thank you very much for any help you have.
#21 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [majko]
Nov 10, 2010 (10:36 pm)
there were 5 panels: Air supply, micro power module, tailgate lift, PDC, Satelite Radio.The trunk only floods if there is debris blocking the end of the drains.
#22 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [jim367]
Mar 14, 2011 (5:07 pm)
I have a 2008 528xi, and I have the same electrical problem with the car. The display resets every few days, and all kinds of error messages pop up: e.g. 4x4 system has malfunctioned etc. This is not the first experience though, I had a 528 i before, and had the exact same issue!
BMW technicians only say that I need to drive the car more. Well, I drive it every day about 20 miles. How much more I need to drive? They won't specify that. How ridiculous is it to drive around the town aimlessly just because one owns a BMW!! They should add this as part of their wonderful ownership experience.
I called BMW customer relations, and I was rater hastily told that the owner's manual had battery maintenance instructions, and it was my problem that the car was experiencing electrical problem. (I checked the owners manual, it had nothing that stated anything that applied to my problem whatsoever. It stated "if the car is not driven for 4 weeks....". But, I drive it every day!) I am sure they train their customer relations reps to say that because they know about the issue, and are unwilling to fix it, and are just trying to avoid a recall.
I am done owning BMWs. They make overpriced pieces of junks.
#23 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [kchowdhury]
Mar 14, 2011 (5:31 pm)
I suspect some of your electricals have water damage. If they are located like mine at the lowest point of the trunk (under the spare tire), there may have been water collected from a blocked drainage. If you need to replace the electrical modules anyway think about relocating them to the left side panel, so they won't be at the lowest point of the car even if there is water leakage. I finally did that after $4000 damage, then it was all good. Learned the hard way, bad design!!! Good luck!
#24 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [kchowdhury]
Apr 26, 2011 (8:19 am)
Just found this site and I'm amazed by the number of people that are having trouble with such a simple thing as a battery. Me too!! I have a 2007 530xi that has been giving me indications that something was going to happen to the system. Finally, today, I got the message " high battery drain" When it was checked out by my dealer, the battery did not pass the test and I needed to purchase a new battery at the cost of over $400!!! BMW makes everything too expensive and too complex for the "common" driver to deal with. COMSUMER REPORT has made this statement for years....their systems are very complex and hard to deal with. I got the same answer as you did.."drive the car more." I own two other cars and one of them is a Dodge Van. The battery is over 7 years old and has not given me any problems except I had to charge it about 3 time. The engine is a 3.8 and it includes everthing except GPS. Sometimes this van will sit for weeks and will start without problems. The other is a '98 Toyota truck and it gets very little useage but will start the very first try. I also noticed that a lot of people can't locate the battery. I looked in the trunk and can only hope it is under the spare tire because I can't see anywhere else it could be. Maybe that is why BMW charged me almost $200 to change it out! They couldn't find it either! I do know the Germans over do everything and this is one reason they lost the war....their tanks were too well built but parts, service and gas could not keep up...Seems they did not learn anything from that.
I don't think there is a new BMW in my future either!!
#25 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [maynarda]
Jun 19, 2011 (7:12 am)
Here's a new possible reason that I haven't read on this thread. I have a 2000 740i and the battery just recently started dying. Each morning I'd have to jump start it. Took it to AAA repair center and they said the battery was dead and so I bought a new one ($300 if you don't mind). Same problem started with the new battery. This time I took it to my independent BMW mechanic and, after testing the entire electrical system, he found my nav unit was faulty, that it was constantly draining the battery. He disconnected the nav to test it for a couple of days, and sure enough, no more battery drain. Since the nav in that year is useless, I've left it disconnected. Just a thought . . .
#26 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [audir8dreamer]
Jun 19, 2011 (1:18 pm)
More and more things are potentially 'on' in the modern cars even when the ignition/switch is off. Since they are essentially run by computers (often many more than one), and you don't want to wait for them to boot up when you want to start the car, they go into sleep mode. This does not mean that they stop drawing power, but it gets to be quite small when everything is working properly. The older the car, the less it has that may still be on, until you go way back, then nothing is on at all except maybe a clock.
No battery likes to be deep discharged and will be degraded each time it needs a jump start.
For a vehicle that is not driven much, or, has lots of short trips especially in cold weather that taxes the battery even more, it's a good idea to purchase and USE a trickle charger. This is becoming true of ANY new, complex, modern car; not just BMW. The more do-dads there are, the bigger the problem. Think about it; stuff like the remote receiver needs to be on all the time so it can respond to you pressing the open button on the fob. Most of these cars have an alarm system with ultrasonic detectors (or maybe radar) that try to keep the vehicle from being stolen, or at least make some noise when it happens, and, a gps system might try to turn on once in awhile so you get a quick position fix when you actually do turn it on.
Now that I'm retired, I may need to take my own advice. I pick up a new GT in a little over a week (well, I drove it in Germany in APril, but it's still new). I've been filling the tank on my current vehicle maybe once a month or two..not many miles.