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      01-23-2013, 09:55 PM   #1
Buzzman
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Battery dies...

So five times now, I have received a warning that "Battery is discharging while stopped". I guess that it means something is draining the battery? My car came with a trickle charger so each time I plugged it for the night. It works for a while and then, the warning comes back within a day or so.
I drive about 50-60 km daily to go to work, which I assume is enough to keep the system charged. I didn't leave anything on.
Talked to service and the car is going in next week. They seem to think that it is related to the cold spell we have been having, but it all started when the weather was really warm last week. Hopefully, it's only a bad battery.

Has anyone experienced anything similar? Not something I would expect from a brand new car with barely 2K on the odometer.
Thanks
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      01-24-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzman View Post
So five times now, I have received a warning that "Battery is discharging while stopped". I guess that it means something is draining the battery? My car came with a trickle charger so each time I plugged it for the night. It works for a while and then, the warning comes back within a day or so.
I drive about 50-60 km daily to go to work, which I assume is enough to keep the system charged. I didn't leave anything on.
Talked to service and the car is going in next week. They seem to think that it is related to the cold spell we have been having, but it all started when the weather was really warm last week. Hopefully, it's only a bad battery.

Has anyone experienced anything similar? Not something I would expect from a brand new car with barely 2K on the odometer.
Thanks
had the same problem in my E90
ended up being a recall on all E90 LCI models batteries
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      01-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
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Hopefully, that's all it is. At least, I'm still under warranty
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      01-27-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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I had the same battery warning appear in my 2012 328i during the extreme cold temperature we have been having this week. I contacted the dealership and they told me not to bring the car in. They said take the car on the highway and drive it at 100km/h for about an hour and the car will recharge the battery itself.

So i did that, and the problem so far has gone away.
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      01-27-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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They kinda told me the same thing. Sadly, I do not have time to go for a ride... This is not my first car, nor the first winter with a few cold days. It is however the first time I have this issue. I think the most annoying part is that some of the accessories go dead up until the battery is recharged.
And for me, it all started when the weather was mild, so I'm left wondering what the issue really is.
I'll let you know once I get the car back. I know I might be over reacting, but for the price of the car and the claim of quality, it is a bit annoying.
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      01-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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I had same problem few weeks ago. -20 to 25 c temps. Got the discharge msg.called delare, told me it had to do with temp.warmed up to -2 and msg went away.

Last week has been -25 to 35 for 4 days. Same msg. I drive 75 km to work daily. Msg still stays on.

Temp now is - 10 msg still there.

Thinking of taking it into delar. Anyone else haing same issues ?
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      01-27-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
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I haven't had this issue yet, surprisingly. I take fairly short trips in the car, and I've been using (abusing?) the heated steering wheel and seats on practically every trip.
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      01-30-2013, 12:47 AM   #8
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i just got the dreaded message on mine today and it gave me quite a startle... good to hear that this can be resolved simply by drivng around.

it does kind of baffle me though why these cars would be having a problem with the charge, i imagine they would have gone through extensive cold testing which should have generated these issues...

also, have you guys had troubles starting up your cars in -25 weather?
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      01-31-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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I just got the car back. and this is what seems to be the issue.

A diagnostic test revealed that all faults pointed to the battery being low and running at around 70%. Nothing else was found. They charged the battery overnight and it is now at a 100%.

Now for the reasons: Most likely, when I got the car, just before Christmas, the battery was already low, but not to the point that it would trigger an alarm. With the recent cold spell, it worsen the issue, although in my case, I started getting the warning when it was still mild. So not sure really.

The tech told me that because of all the electronics, some of which according to him stay on long after the car is shut down, in cold weather, the battery depletes. Although I understand the concept, I find troubling that this is happening. I mean, this is not my first winter but getting this with a brand new battery, is troubling. Although I suspect that because there is a warning, you are informed, where some other cars can have the same and you just wouldn't know until you can start the car.

The good thing is that they told me that if it happened again, they would most likely end up changing the battery since the remainder of the charging system checks OK.
So we will see.
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      02-03-2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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I had the same problem with my old X1 during extreme weather and the tech told me I used too many accessories at the same time. That's why it disengages some really important accessories, like the rear defrost!! I couldn't see anything...the heating was only working on defrost, my feet were so cold. Can't believe it happened in a BMW...
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      02-03-2013, 05:49 PM   #11
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I had the same problem with my old X1 during extreme weather and the tech told me I used too many accessories at the same time. That's why it disengages some really important accessories, like the rear defrost!! I couldn't see anything...the heating was only working on defrost, my feet were so cold. Can't believe it happened in a BMW...
Yup, one would think that the charging system would be at par with the acessories supported....
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      02-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #12
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Interestingly, I just received this in the monthly Dealer Newsletter. I guess I wasn't the only one :
Tip of the Month

During the recent cold spell we received many calls from people having trouble starting their cars. Although many of the cars were newer, the issues all boiled down to battery voltage. Many years ago we plugged in our vehicles using a block heater to ensure successful cold starts. We no longer use block heaters on our vehicles, but with cold temperatures, we have to take care of the battery, to best ensure successful starts. Because of all the comfort options, like heated seats, heated steering wheels, heated mirrors and rear defrosters, many of our clients who only drive very short distances have starting issues in cold weather. To solve this problem, BMW has a Battery Tender which, when installed, will keep the battery charged.

In most cases 2 or 3 overnight charges during very cold ambient temperature will be sufficient. The charger can be permanently installed into your car or kept as a stand-by. For a low cost and little effort you can make sure your car will start in any temperature. This charger is also recommended for complete vehicle storage. Just plug in when you put your vehicle in storage and unplug when you start driving your BMW again. The battery will be at full strength without disconnecting.


So the take home here is that we have an app for that? I understand the concept of keeping a battery on a trickle charger, my motorcycle is on one during winter. Nevertheless, I still have a hard time directly correlating the demand from the accessories and depleting the battery without somehow having doubts about the charging system as a whole.
Again, my warnings started way before the cold weather....
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      02-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #13
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Ever since taking a long drive, my battery low warning message never came back. For those who don't drive long distances, its worth taking a long drive every so often to keep the battery topped up. Especially in cold weather.

I do tend to agree, that the charging systems seems undersized for the car though.
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      02-09-2013, 05:25 PM   #14
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Ever since taking a long drive, my battery low warning message never came back. For those who don't drive long distances, its worth taking a long drive every so often to keep the battery topped up. Especially in cold weather.

I do tend to agree, that the charging systems seems undersized for the car though.
Agree!!
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      01-10-2014, 08:44 AM   #15
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I just received this message this morning. Admittedly, I use a lot of the electrical amenities, especially where the temperature was -23c when I pulled out of the garage this morning. Has anyone got to the point that they could not start the car? Mine seems fine other than for the message so I suspect this message comes on long before there is not enough juice left to start the car. I contacted my dealer and he just informed me to put it on a charger for the night. That assumes I had one, which I don't although, they will sell me one for $100. Sweet! This is my fourth BMW and this one is kept in the garage in winters. My previous ones spent plenty of very cold evenings outside and I never had this sort of issue.

Last edited by bluemark81; 01-10-2014 at 09:21 AM.
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      01-10-2014, 11:28 AM   #16
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So basically...

1. We (BMW) have saved cost (to BMW) by equipping your vehicle with a substandard battery.

2. But great news! You (the customer) can rectify the situation by either:

i) spending your time and money (on gas) driving around for an hour every day the temperature drops below a certain point. No impact to us (BMW).

ii) spend your money on a trickle charger, which by the way we (BMW) will sell you. Oh, and we (BMW) will charge you (the customer) 2x what you could otherwise pay for the same thing from a retailer like Canadian Tire.

wow...glad I don't live somewhere cold like, oh I don't know, CANADA!

What a scam.

Buy that charger from Crappy Tire...don't give BMW any of your money for this.
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      01-10-2014, 01:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LagunaSecaBlue View Post
So basically...

1. We (BMW) have saved cost (to BMW) by equipping your vehicle with a substandard battery.

2. But great news! You (the customer) can rectify the situation by either:

i) spending your time and money (on gas) driving around for an hour every day the temperature drops below a certain point. No impact to us (BMW).

ii) spend your money on a trickle charger, which by the way we (BMW) will sell you. Oh, and we (BMW) will charge you (the customer) 2x what you could otherwise pay for the same thing from a retailer like Canadian Tire.

wow...glad I don't live somewhere cold like, oh I don't know, CANADA!

What a scam.

Buy that charger from Crappy Tire...don't give BMW any of your money for this.
Don't worry, they are getting nothing from me. I will borrow one, but you've summarized it well.
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      01-10-2014, 01:25 PM   #18
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i was getting the same message, plus my comfort access wasn't working. i have an old ct charger in my basement. so i hooked it up at 2amps (2/10amp option) and charged it over night. the gauge was showing me 40% charge on the batt when i started, next morning was at around 90%. basically just plugged it under the hood. positive to the positive post and negative to a grounded bolt.

message went away for me. haven't seen it since the weather warmed up. i also agree that the battery seems sub-standard if it isn't holding a charge in cold weather... and like some other's i don't seem to have a long enough commute to charge it.
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      01-10-2014, 01:40 PM   #19
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i was getting the same message, plus my comfort access wasn't working. i have an old ct charger in my basement. so i hooked it up at 2amps (2/10amp option) and charged it over night. the gauge was showing me 40% charge on the batt when i started, next morning was at around 90%. basically just plugged it under the hood. positive to the positive post and negative to a grounded bolt.

message went away for me. haven't seen it since the weather warmed up. i also agree that the battery seems sub-standard if it isn't holding a charge in cold weather... and like some other's i don't seem to have a long enough commute to charge it.
Was out a short time ago and noticed my comfort access wasn't working either. I'm hoping this is due to the low battery and not another issue.
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      01-31-2014, 10:47 AM   #20
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Same issue here when temperature went below -20C for a few days. Of course, I was using heated seats and stering, rear defrost, etc. This is normal expected use of the vehicule, right?

Nevertheless, this issue is unacceptable to me. Never had any similar issue with any other car before, so I wouldn't expect this from a brand new BMW. Specially since Efficient dynamics is recharging the battery when you are not touching the gaz pedal.

I agree with the LagunaSecaBlue summary, and would add that if the car requires me to ride it for one hour (100km) just to recharge the battery just because in fact, the battery/alternator combo is undersized, then BMW should reimburse me for the time, gaz and mileage (0,15$ / km they charge me under lease).
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      02-27-2014, 01:30 AM   #21
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Let's keep posting about these battery issues here in Canada.

My colleague with a new X3 asked me whether I have the same battery discharge warning light that he keeps getting: yes.

Dealer looked at the fault codes on my F31, reset them, charged the battery and everything was OK.

I drove home and parked in my heated garage, left my car over the weekend and on Monday am when I drove it 10 minutes to work in -25C I got the warning light again! Strangely it went away when I filled up with gas.

Anyhow, it must be that these batteries, the alternator are crap or the power management module or whatever needs to be replaced.

Wish me luck parking in Jasper NP over 3 days this weekend in -30C temps. I hope I can start my vehicle at the trailhead...
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      02-27-2014, 08:49 AM   #22
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I've been having these issues too when the weather dips below -20, but after my short drive to work(5km) they go away instantly pretty much. I hope it's nothing major and just a glitch.
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