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      12-27-2017, 11:59 PM   #1
ls3c6
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Battery discharged, battery low, restart engine a nerd's diagnosis

Began receiving this message when shutting down my 2016 340xi, 9500 miles in our climate here in west michigan that has been 0f for several days now. I park in my garage which stays around 32f, park outside at work at ambient.

Of course initially alarmed, I restarted the car and noticed no slowing of engine cranking of any other indication of a battery supply problem, I checked the voltage at the battery posts underhood and this was 12.25v... or roughly 60% state of charge... keep in mind this is while connected to car and don't know what other draws may be present engine off etc

Anyway, at 0f you'd need 16v of charging voltage to even ever get to 100% state of charge or whatever state the intelligent battery sensor is trying to achieve, therefore it's my educated opinion the warning is faulty considering the car's charging system could not reach 100% in these conditions.

For reference my gf's 2017 escape is showing 12.15v at the battery terminals parked in the same garage and has no problems or warnings but I don't believe her car has the same battery warning logic.

Seems this is quite common on f30s and newer bmws with the result from the forums being "it just does that below 5f"... this is my technical result of the problem based on how batteries work.
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      12-28-2017, 06:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls3c6 View Post
For reference my gf's 2017 escape is showing 12.15v at the battery terminals parked in the same garage and has no problems or warnings but I don't believe her car has the same battery warning logic.
For most users, "ignorance is bliss" applies.

At least we get a warning and consumers are 'adjusted' for a low battery state.

Incidentally, pre the current energy management systems, older BMWs of mine would start with less then 12V at the under hood terminals.

As you are garaged, I'd put it on a smart charger overnight, improve the SOC.
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      12-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
For most users, "ignorance is bliss" applies.

At least we get a warning and consumers are 'adjusted' for a low battery state.

Incidentally, pre the current energy management systems, older BMWs of mine would start with less then 12V at the under hood terminals.

As you are garaged, I'd put it on a smart charger overnight, improve the SOC.
Corvette and lawnmower already on chargers may need to just get some teslas
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      12-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #4
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Had this message pop up after an hr drive it came on when parking . Dash board says -28c so I assume its just a warning msg ? First time with this car in the winter .
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      12-28-2017, 05:25 PM   #5
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Just had this issue pop up for the first time. It was parked outside for approx 30 hours at -30C, but I drove it on the highway for about 3 hours today and on subsequent starts it keeps appearing. I'm surprised that after a long drive the battery hasn't fully charged.

Driving a 2014 335i xDrive with about 50,000 kms.
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      12-28-2017, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sthomson View Post
I'm surprised that after a long drive the battery hasn't fully charged.
If it's cold enough the battery will never fully charge, which is part of the problem. It might only go to 90-95% in cold weather, plenty to start the car, but not enough to make the diagnostics happy. Just to be safe, and to extend battery life, I put mine on a maintainer at night when it dips well below freezing. I've never gotten a warning, not even this morning at 10 below. I'd be concerned if I got a warning despite being on the maintainer, or if I got a warning when the temperature is above freezing.
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      12-28-2017, 08:44 PM   #7
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In cold climates a Battery Maintainer or periodic charging is a new fact of life. Attached is some information that may be of help.
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      12-28-2017, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quick question since it's so cold lately. Let's say I wake up and the car won't start. Can I just use a booster and get it started that way, or do I need to be mindful of anything special?
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      12-28-2017, 09:07 PM   #9
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I have the same vehicle and never had that warning. All I can think of are:
- Make sure you properly shut off the car, not leaving the ignition on.
- Is your commute long enough to charge the battery?

Does this qualify me as a 🤓?
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      12-28-2017, 09:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livetodrive View Post
I have the same vehicle and never had that warning. All I can think of are:
- Make sure you properly shut off the car, not leaving the ignition on.
- Is your commute long enough to charge the battery?

Does this qualify me as a 🤓?
If you mean me my commute is at its shortest, 25 minutes. So it should be.
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      12-28-2017, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sthomson View Post
Just had this issue pop up for the first time. It was parked outside for approx 30 hours at -30C, but I drove it on the highway for about 3 hours today and on subsequent starts it keeps appearing. I'm surprised that after a long drive the battery hasn't fully charged.

Driving a 2014 335i xDrive with about 50,000 kms.
Exact same car and kms and same message today.
Had my wipers changed and the mech asked if I had the battery discharge warning. He said a few customers have this due to the extreme low temps.

Drove the car a couple hours and got home and message popped up.
I’m ignoring it the best I can, and all the nagging warnings of pedestrians collision is disabled, etc.
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      12-28-2017, 10:52 PM   #12
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I've never had this message. Strange.
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      12-28-2017, 11:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post
I've never had this message. Strange.
You’re in San Diego!
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      12-29-2017, 12:12 AM   #14
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You’re in San Diego!
Yes, it often gets below 50 at night. But, we bear it.
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      12-29-2017, 01:26 AM   #15
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Got the warning today with the temperature at -4F. Drove the car 40min with lots of highway and still have the warning
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      12-29-2017, 01:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotheran View Post
Got the warning today with the temperature at -4F. Drove the car 40min with lots of highway and still have the warning
Highway driving won't charge the battery as much as stop and go. Might want to get a battery tender if you live in a cold climate. Also colder weather may require you to drive more than warmer weather to fully charge the battery
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      12-29-2017, 01:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post
Yes, it often gets below 50 at night. But, we bear it.
Ok, so today in my area, it was -22F. That should give you some context.
I can guess why you don’t get the warning. It is “cold” weather related.
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      12-29-2017, 02:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer456 View Post
Highway driving won't charge the battery as much as stop and go. Might want to get a battery tender if you live in a cold climate. Also colder weather may require you to drive more than warmer weather to fully charge the battery
I generally agree as I find coasting the best. But I found too frequent stop and go in my area didn’t give much time for battery charging after acceleration then soon a deceleration. I found gas then coast on the right lane on the Highway worked pretty well
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Last edited by anotheran; 12-29-2017 at 02:26 AM.
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      12-29-2017, 05:17 AM   #19
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The message has disappeared for now and it's still 5f outside but when it's below 15f consistently I'm going to trickle charge our cars once per weekend. My commute is only 7mi/12mins.
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      12-29-2017, 09:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailec View Post
Quick question since it's so cold lately. Let's say I wake up and the car won't start. Can I just use a booster and get it started that way, or do I need to be mindful of anything special?
Leave the cables hooked up for perhaps five minutes with the other car running to get some charge into your battery before trying to start, otherwise your drained battery will suck up most of the available current and the engine won't turn over.
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      12-29-2017, 09:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls3c6 View Post
The message has disappeared for now and it's still 5f outside but when it's below 15f consistently I'm going to trickle charge our cars once per weekend. My commute is only 7mi/12mins.
There's the problem, particularly for winter driving. 7 miles is nothing, when trying to charge a cold battery.
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      12-29-2017, 10:22 AM   #22
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This happened to me few weeks ago. Cold start in the morning. The weather was around 15-20 Degrees. (I'm in Maryland)

Took a photo of the warning and showed it to my SA. They checked it out and couldn't find anything wrong with it.
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