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BMW 5 Series - Battery Problem



  • 5series5series Posts: 5
    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!
  • maynardamaynarda Posts: 1
    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!!
  • 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 . . .
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    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.
  • miamlomiamlo Posts: 1
    I think I may have this same problem. How did u get ur insurance to pay for the damages?
  • 5series5series Posts: 5
    If you have comprehensive auto insurance it should cover replacing the electrical panels caused by water damage (less ur deductible). Best if your shop can move the panels to the left side of the trunk instead of their original location at the bottom of the trunk (because your drains will continue to have the risk of being clogged by crushed leaves if you use your sunroof at all). My BMW dealer would not relocate the panels so I had to go to an independent BMW repair shop (Dinan Cars in Mountain View, CA). Good luck!
  • hi , im also having huge issues with my e60 battery/car - had your fan issue also,seemed to have a mind of its own just coming on randomly whenever and possibly draining the battery ???? 3 batteries later still having problems the latest being a burnt out ibs sensor on the batteries negative cable - ive only just discovered this damage this morning, and my car has been off the road for 10 days! can i just go and purchase this replacement cable/sensor myself from the dealer - disconnect the battery replace the part and reconnect the battery? im really losing patience with this vehicle 2005 e60 saloon msport pack 530i petrol i would really really appreciate it if you or anybody else could offer any advice on this matter as its really getting me down - it couldnt of happened at a worst time of year either im totally stranded over xmas - ill keep my fingers crossed somebody/anybody can help - :sick:
  • majkomajko Posts: 3
    i think the negative battery cable with the ibs sensor cost around $ 270 from the dealer, replacing it should be easy. They don't sell any parts of the cable by itself, I needed new bolt for the negative terminal, dealer told me I have to buy the whole cable with the ibs sensor and terminal, LOL ....
  • I am having the same problem many have described about the battery dying. I had my 2008 BMW towed twice last April within three days due to the battery being dead. The strange thing is my car was serviced a few days before the problem started happening. The second time my car was towed I demanded a new battery; they replaced the battery. I have now reached the end of my warranty. I had my car serviced last week and wouldn't you know it three days later the battery is dead and would not start. I had a mechanic charge the battery and took it back to the dealer. They are checking to see what happens when it goes into sleep mode. I was questioned about if I had left any items plugged in like navigation or radar detector which I answered no. Also was mentioned about driving short trips. I drive it everyday to work which is 22 miles and every other weekend for 150 miles on the highway. I asked if this was a problem other owners were having and they said no. Now I read here many are experiencing the same problem. BMW needs to step up to the plate and fix this issue! We have got to get together and form a combined effort to get BMW to address the problem!
  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    Guys, I have a 2007 530i CPO which i love. Never had a problem with it, still under warranty until JUNE 2012. BUT - in 2010 I noticed something wrong with the idrive. Took it to the dealer. They called me and said one or two of the battery cells were dead. Truth is, I don't do a lot of driving. In two weeks, I drive maybe just under 300 miles. So what the manual says, I have to pay attention to that about driving the car sufficiently. Anyway, replaced the battery at a cost of something like $300. Problem gone. All systems operating beautifully, vehicle has about 42K miles and never needded a thing except oil changes.
    Remember something: these new vehicles ALL (Audi, Lex, etc) all have sophisticated electronic systems. Even Hyundai now has a push button start for example. I'm use to sitting down at the beach with the car radio on (former 1996 328i) but back then, there were no iDrives. We just have to be aware, these systems draw more current from the batt.

    Re Sunroof: i learned the hard way in my 1996 328i, those sunroof carriage assemblies can go bad. Now, I NEVER open the sunroof (why do you need to?) Just use it for the beautiful sunlight coming through, and keep it closed. And you won't have to worry about that problem. Keep it simple guys. Don't blame the vehicle. You think Mercedes is going to be less complex?

    I love my car otherwise.
  • This is a response to brngmynwtcha's post, have a '08 550i which just got back from a routine service which I paid $1,200+ for and also Paid $69.95 for a vehicle scope check which is supposed to be a multi point inspection apparently that a profit for the dealer since battery died completely 2 days after getting my car back which makes me suspect, of the multi point inspection since they never detected this issue. I also see high battery drain error messages on a regular basis and have to reset time and date a lot, this started happening while car was under warranty, dealer would keep my car for days and tell me they were doing draw test on every single system and would call me after a week and give me a BS solution to the problem, last one was my rear comfort access was faulty and was replaced at no cost to me and this fixed the problem but started having same issues a month later!!!! Car is awesome except for this major electrical / battery issue.
  • I thank you all for posting your battery issues. I have a 2009 528i that left me stranded in a parking lot. Called tow truck to take the car directly to the dealer on a Thursday evening. Come Friday, I was told the car was ready for pick up and that all it had needed was to recharge the battery. I showed up to pick up my car on Saturday. After browsing the new models for a while, decided to get it appraised for trade-in value. Would you believe that they ran it , parked it and then could not start it again! Well, it was obvious that I would not be going home in my car that day. So, I gave them the keys and traded it for a X1 which has less bells and whistles.
    After reading your postings, I'm relieved to know that my suspicions were correct. At least now it will not be my problem and the Dealer will have to figure out and correct the problem if they want to make a profit.
  • safeman7safeman7 Posts: 1
    I just encountered a battery issue with my 2007 525XI and the car is still being repaired (4th day). I left my car at the airport for 3 days for a business trip. When I returned the driver front window was open and some water was on the back floor. The car wouldn't start and the horn blared. I got a jump, drove for about 5 minutes an the horn died out. the next day when I went to start the car, the horn went off again, Brought it to BMW. They said the battery was at 60% charge, probably low voltage caused a module to blow and a short in the steering column and bad wire to the tire sensors. All this for a low battery which I did not have a warning about. oF course the car has been out of warranty for 8 mos..The car has been fine until now. Has anybody experienced this.
  • jb928jb928 Posts: 1
    I have a 05, 545i, just replaced the battery a few months ago .... have electrical problem after electrical problem .... sometimes 20 faults per hour!!! Car will roll down windows, engage cruise control, wash windows, change radio stations, even adjust you right into the steering wheel while driving .... no, much more serious than many have posted above.

    This month though, the car has decided just not to start. In trying to trace the current problem, I notice that the IBS is burnt out. I saw at least someone else mention this. I've found it for as little as $150 US but would like to know why this happened? I though with a degree in CIS, I might be able to handle these problems ... but it's not quitting anytime soon.

    I was thinking of checking the ECM as I here that many of these items send/receive info on a data bus of varying types back & for to the ECM. Any thoughts where to check myself?

    Jonathan Burke
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