Last post on Jun 01, 2013 at 3:40 AM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Electrical
#7 of 36 BMW 5 series battry issue
Jan 27, 2010 (9:38 am)
I have a 2008 535i that is driven short distances to and from work (about 5 minutes each way). The clock sometimes loses its setting, and the BMW technician and BMW's help line both tell me that I need a trickle charger. (They replaced the battery-not a gel filled one-once, and that worked for a few months.) The charger is variously described as 'trickle with auto shut off', 'maintenance charger', and 'float charger'. I am prepared to purchase one, but I prefer to stay away from BMW's private brand ($$$).
Anyone with any experience with such a charger?
#8 of 36 Re: BMW 5 series battry issue [professor6]
Jan 27, 2010 (3:56 pm)
If they've determined that the battery connections are clean, the alternator is working properly, and the battery is not defective, then any 12v battery charger with a trickle or automatic setting should work. If the 12v outlet is always on, and not switched with the ignition, you can get one that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket. Those are often limited to about 1-2 A, and may not be enough to recharge the battery overnight. ANother thing that should be checked is a leakage or load test to determine if something is not shutting off properly when it should, and thus drawing the battery down. The alarm and clock circuits are the only things that might draw much (and not much) power while the car is off after it has cooled off. The cooling fan on some cars can run after shutdown, but there aren't many other things that do run that draw any significant power. A simple lamp that stays on for some reason can draw a battery down overnight.
#9 of 36 Re: BMW 5 Series - Battery Problem [bizzymum]
Feb 04, 2010 (1:05 pm)
I have 2008 550i and have been having the same exact issues with my car as well as with the BMW service center. They replaced my battery after much complaining by me and out of "good faith". I stated to them all these issues in previous posts and they treated me like a fool. I did not appreaciate my experience with them so far. Don't expect to have anything fixed by them.
I have been looking into solar trickle chargers but I'm not sure if it will solve your battery problem. I'm still trying to find a cheap resolution to keep my battery from draining. However, according the BMW service center rep, I have to drive my car 45 miles A DAY to maintain the battery charge. That's ridiculous.
So far, I have good luck driving my car once every two weeks for a 1/2 hour. 50% of the time i have to redo the clock and date (which I should not have to do).
Anyway, my point is I know exactly what you are going through and been told a solar trickle/maintainer might help.
#10 of 36 Re: BMW 5 Series - Battery Problem [id4yuxian]
Feb 04, 2010 (4:21 pm)
If you know how to use a multimeter, you could check the current draw on the battery when everything is off. My guess is it is probably in the low hundreds of milliamps. If it is higher, try pulling fuses to try to isolate what is drawing the power. Many multimeters can measure up to 10A, so don't turn on anything or try to start it, or you'll blow the fuse in the meter. If you can set the interior lights to not come on, do that.
Any courtesy lamp that doesn't turn off (trunk, glove box, footwell, engine bay, lighter, etc. can, over time, draw a battery down.
#11 of 36 Re: BMW 5 series battry issue [james27]
Feb 06, 2010 (1:09 pm)
A belated thanks for your response to my 27 January post. I am comfortable with the BMW technician who says that he has checked the battery, alternator, and has also checked for any abnormal electrical leaks. I have looked for any lights that might be on after the car is shut down (including disconnecting the trunk light), and I don't think that is the problem.
I contacted Schumacher, who makes several models of trickle chargers, and they recommended one that they make for Sears. I purchased this unit ($30.00), and it is basically fool proof. Of course, how long it will last is another question.
Thanks again for your input.
#12 of 36 Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535
Feb 10, 2010 (2:55 pm)
Has anyone heard of reports of water leakage and electrical problems with 2008 535's? I have the wagon and apparently water leaks in through seals in the sunroof and, instead of draining as designed, water flows to the "trunk" area where all of the electronics are located. The result is a complete electrical short and failure (we're talking TPM, airbags, ABS, level systems, etc). This has happened to my vehicle 3-times in an 18-month period and BMW has been less-than-helpful. I'm interested in learning if this is a common problem with this make/model/year or if I just have a bad car.
#13 of 36 Re: BMW 5 series battry issue [professor6]
Feb 24, 2010 (12:58 pm)
Greetings Re: BMW 5 series battery issue [professor6]
I've read through most of the thread on your electrical problem but one thing is not clear to me.
Are you talking about the interior ventilation fan or the engine cooling fans?
To the point, the engine cooling fans are thermostat activated and will run if the sensors say the motor/water temperature is to high.
Many good ideas posted here but one that no one touched on.
The interior lights are activated by a switch on each door. Many years ago this was
a small button style switch located near the door hinges. In Particular BMW has gone to a "Door guide switch" to activate the interior lights. I'm speaking about that black & aluminum bracket located on the C Post between the front & rear doors.
Check those to insure the switch portion is working correctly.
There is also a gas cap door switch which I believe is electrical, make sure that's in working order. You may have to pull the trunk side panel out to get to the switch
and related wires.
One last area! I had a 1990 BMW 5 series and found a bunch of electrical relays located under the rear seat bottom. Good place to look and check for loose connections.
Battery trickle chargers are great little device. I'm not sure why I should have to buy one of those for an automobile, made in Germany, that cost $40K or more, but that's me.
Good luck with those electrical Gremlins.
#14 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [jim367]
Mar 09, 2010 (11:11 pm)
>--Electrical problems caused by water damage in trunk
I have a 2006 530 wagon (with 46,000miles) that has the same exact problem. Brought it to Dinan and the tech is still trying to figure out the extend of the damage and the cause of it all. So far, he's found 5 panels in the trunk area all rusted and corroded, an puddles of water under the spare tire and battery. He need to first replace these to check further since the computer is not communicated all the way through for fault codes. My I-drive is also dead. Unfortunately the warrenty expired 11/09. The dealer tells me it's not a common problem at all (of course not). Is your problem fixed? What was the cause and cost for repair? Thx much!
#15 of 36 BATTERY DISCHARGING
Apr 05, 2010 (8:51 pm)
My 2002 525it's battery kept discharging when not in use. I traced it to the vehicle system not going into sleep mode. It took a while trouble shooting but after disconnecting the factory navigation system it would go into sleep mode. I disconnected it by removing the two connectors at the back of the nav unit. Only thing is, now, not only do I not have any nav but my monitor is also dead so I cannot adjust the clock, radio tone settings, etc. The battery however keeps a charge. Any idea of a fix??
#16 of 36 Re: Electrical problems with 2008 BMW 535 [jim367]
Apr 24, 2010 (1:41 pm)
I have similar problem on my 2008 BMW 535i where water/liquid inside trunck damaged caused module failure and as a result see TPM and Electric Malfunction messages. BMW NA is not willing to pay for labor charges. This looks like common problem and BMW should fix their design and now cover this under warranty. If not I will take this up to BBB and Consumer court and not sure who else can help me out here.