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      08-31-2014, 09:11 AM   #1
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Unhappy New Battery Options

So what are our options when it comes to a new battery?

I parked the 135i for 5 days while waiting for new tires and my battery took a dump on me. Put the key in and all the electronics turned on then put the brake on and tried to start and everything shut off. The key got stuck in the ignition and I couldn't get it out. Then I had a whining noise from under the car... Sounded like a fuel pump? So after 10 mins of digging out the battery charger to try and jump start it... I was able to get the electronics to turn on and get the key out and stop the whining noise. However with whatever was running for 10 mins started to make a smell... Even trying to start the car with the charger on wouldn't work. And the starter made some nice noises when trying to start it...

I let it sit for 20 mins charging and still didn't work. So i am guessing the battery is completely shot.

So what are my options?

Im really not too keen on the idea of flat bedding it and having to pay the dealership $500... My SA said the battery could be the cause and may be covered under warranty. But they have to connect to the OBD to find out what happened. I mean it only say for 5 days.

Can I replace with the same exact OEM battery and be fine without coding or can we use something like BMWhat to code the battery?

Also should I have it sent to dealership anyway to make sure that whining noise and smell from the 10 mins are all fine? (Thinking this may be my best route to be safe and use my warranty)

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      08-31-2014, 09:45 AM   #2
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Wait, the car is under warranty and you are wondering what to do with it? Call your dealership and say the car isn't working, it's stuck and you need it picked up. Let them handle it. It is always easier when it is something apparent like the car not starting. It is hard for them to say "everything looks normal" or " we can't seem to replicate the problem" when the car doesn't start.
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      08-31-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
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Your battery shouldn't be bad yet, they usually last five or six years, its probably something else. Do you have any aftermarket electronics? My advise would be to send it to the dealer and let them sort it out.
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      08-31-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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OP, why do you have to pay for a flat bed? Just car should be under warranty unless your over 50K miles already. Let the dealer figure it out.
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      08-31-2014, 03:46 PM   #5
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IMO it will be fine to put pretty much any 12V battery in the car without coding, etc to see if it will crank, etc. I installed my lightweight battery and drove it a week or so before getting it coded. You could have it towed to the dealer or if you are a little handy, install a friends battery, see what happens, etc.

As far as other saying the dealer will come pick it up since it's under warranty, that would surprise me but maybe they are right? Btw, my 2008 battery is still working (in another car), but sometimes batteries do go bad early, especially in extreme temps, etc.
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      09-01-2014, 06:38 PM   #6
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Well tow truck came and got her today. She started after cranking for a good 5 seconds (which felt like forever) when he jumped started her. She ran fine no problems. He said it was uncommon for the battery to be dead after 3 years. Possibly a dead battery cell. Ill let you all know if the battery gets replaced under warranty.
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      09-02-2014, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocklanders View Post
Your battery shouldn't be bad yet, they usually last five or six years, its probably something else. Do you have any aftermarket electronics? My advise would be to send it to the dealer and let them sort it out.
My wife's 2011 128i M-Sport convertible's battery died after 3 years in March of this year; she drove home from work 1 day and it would not start the next morning. We attempted to jump-start it and that didn't work either. Called the local BMW dealership and told them we had a "vehicle off road" situation, and they sent a flatbed out to pick it up. They confirmed it was a dead battery and it was replaced under warranty.

Now for the strange part - after the battery was replaced, the car ran better than it ever had, and continues to do so. My thought is that the battery was defective from day 1, and while I thought the car was a little slower than it should be, it had no other problems. If the OP's car is a 2011 MY, BMW will replace the battery and do any necessary coding at no charge.
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      09-02-2014, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
My wife's 2011 128i M-Sport convertible's battery died after 3 years in March of this year; she drove home from work 1 day and it would not start the next morning. We attempted to jump-start it and that didn't work either. Called the local BMW dealership and told them we had a "vehicle off road" situation, and they sent a flatbed out to pick it up. They confirmed it was a dead battery and it was replaced under warranty.

Now for the strange part - after the battery was replaced, the car ran better than it ever had, and continues to do so. My thought is that the battery was defective from day 1, and while I thought the car was a little slower than it should be, it had no other problems. If the OP's car is a 2011 MY, BMW will replace the battery and do any necessary coding at no charge.
Im seriously hoping this is my case. I got my first call this morning from the dealership telling me its a $120 for them to run the diagnostics? This normal or am i getting played for a sucker?
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      09-02-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
Im seriously hoping this is my case. I got my first call this morning from the dealership telling me its a $120 for them to run the diagnostics? This normal or am i getting played for a sucker?
You shouldn't pay for the diagnostic unless the issue is not something covered under the warranty. $120 is steep since you can get the code read for free at some auto parts places, or read it yourself, but the key point with the car at the dealer is to state you pay nothing for warranty items - including batteries. Be prepared for an argument that you are not driving it enough. That is nonsense. Mine often sits for as much as a week at a time and starts normally.

Regardless of what the codes say, it takes a couple minutes to test a battery under load. I would insist they do that if they start the "you take too may short trips and/or don't drive it often enough" routine. I have a $20 tester that does this, I'm sure the dealership has something too. Some batteries will check OK until a significant load is applied.

You might try asking how long the code reading takes. Anything longer than 15 minutes is nonsense. I think the codes go to your key. I've seen the service advisor read the key and had them report results like you would see in a diagnostic. I'm not a service tech and I can do it in 15 minutes or less. (you can too with "Torque" on your phone or tablet).
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      09-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
Im seriously hoping this is my case. I got my first call this morning from the dealership telling me its a $120 for them to run the diagnostics? This normal or am i getting played for a sucker?
Depends on whether you're still under warranty. some 2011s are, some not. Do you know? When was the car first bought?

If you're under warranty, it's just wrong. If not, it's just dealer stuff. Not good, but hardly unheard of.
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      09-02-2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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My dealer will say its x amount for diagnostics but if its something under warranty then that fee is waived.
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      09-02-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rocketpop View Post
My dealer will say its x amount for diagnostics but if its something under warranty then that fee is waived.
Okay I called back and this is whats happening with me. Hopefully they find it to be under warranty otherwise ill have to add the $120 to the total for a new battery and programming...
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      09-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
My wife's 2011 128i M-Sport convertible's battery died after 3 years in March of this year; she drove home from work 1 day and it would not start the next morning. We attempted to jump-start it and that didn't work either. Called the local BMW dealership and told them we had a "vehicle off road" situation, and they sent a flatbed out to pick it up. They confirmed it was a dead battery and it was replaced under warranty.

Now for the strange part - after the battery was replaced, the car ran better than it ever had, and continues to do so. My thought is that the battery was defective from day 1, and while I thought the car was a little slower than it should be, it had no other problems. If the OP's car is a 2011 MY, BMW will replace the battery and do any necessary coding at no charge.
Anyone have advice? Dealership called back. Unfavorable Driving is the result of the dead battery... After sitting for a couple days??? I can understand 3-4 weeks but after a couple days come on!

Trying to get me to install a new battery and programming out of pocket. Told them to have the service manager give me a call back. Am I in the wrong here?

What should I do?
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      09-02-2014, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
Anyone have advice? Dealership called back. Unfavorable Driving is the result of the dead battery... After sitting for a couple days??? I can understand 3-4 weeks but after a couple days come on!

Trying to get me to install a new battery and programming out of pocket. Told them to have the service manager give me a call back. Am I in the wrong here?

What should I do?
If they are arguing that the battery simply went dead because your wife didn't drive it enough, tell them to charge it and give it back to you. If they were unable to tell you that in your driveway and had to take it to the dealership to figure it out, then that is their problem. I wouldn't pay anything.

If they think it needs a new battery then that should be a warranty repair - assuming you are still under warranty.

The key question for them is whether the battery is good or not. They should be able to load test it and answer that question. If it's good, why did the car have to come to the dealer to find that out? If it's not good, then why aren't they covering the new one under warranty?

I do not understand their position but until I did I wouldn't even think about paying for a battery and installation. You might check on the price, however. For awhile the dealer I bought my car from was advertising a below $200 price if I remember right - every once in awhile you get a break. But they haven't demonstrated it's your problem.

A battery might need a charge due to inactivity - I think mine may now (due to work on the house blocking the drive for a few weeks). But that shouldn't cause a battery to fail. One really bad discharge can (like leaving your lights on for a few days at the airport) but not just letting it sit for a few days. If the battery discharged after less than a weeks sitting, the battery was bad or there is a current drain somewhere. Mine has sat for a week more than once with no apparent ill effect.
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      09-02-2014, 05:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD View Post
If they are arguing that the battery simply went dead because your wife didn't drive it enough, tell them to charge it and give it back to you. If they were unable to tell you that in your driveway and had to take it to the dealership to figure it out, then that is their problem. I wouldn't pay anything.

If they think it needs a new battery then that should be a warranty repair - assuming you are still under warranty.

The key question for them is whether the battery is good or not. They should be able to load test it and answer that question. If it's good, why did the car have to come to the dealer to find that out? If it's not good, then why aren't they covering the new one under warranty?

I do not understand their position but until I did I wouldn't even think about paying for a battery and installation. You might check on the price, however. For awhile the dealer I bought my car from was advertising a below $200 price if I remember right - every once in awhile you get a break. But they haven't demonstrated it's your problem.

A battery might need a charge due to inactivity - I think mine may now (due to work on the house blocking the drive for a few weeks). But that shouldn't cause a battery to fail. One really bad discharge can (like leaving your lights on for a few days at the airport) but not just letting it sit for a few days. If the battery discharged after less than a weeks sitting, the battery was bad or there is a current drain somewhere. Mine has sat for a week more than once with no apparent ill effect.
Thanks for this good tip. Ill inform this to the Service Manager when ever they call me back. Im just hoping its not the dealership trying to take advantage of me since im not a frequent customer there. Its in Delaware right now. I usually take it to Passport/Fairfax. Contacted my SA at fairfax and he said if they wont budge to call the Service Manager at Fairfax.

Like you said if the battery did just died then I should be able to charge it back up by letting it run for a hour or by charging it. And I tried charging it for half hour before calling to have it towed.
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      09-02-2014, 08:17 PM   #16
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Irregardless of what happens, buy yourself a Battery Tender or CTEK and use it occasionally.
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      09-03-2014, 06:01 AM   #17
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Stealerships amaze me. If you don't drive it for a couple days it's your fault? My car sits at the airport for 3-4 days at a stretch and once for 8 days, and it started right up. I've wintered cars in a storage facility and once I forgot to start and run the car for about a month and it started on the first crank.

Maybe if BMW didn't overload the electrical system with all the nannies that need coding the battery might last longer.
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      09-03-2014, 07:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
Im seriously hoping this is my case. I got my first call this morning from the dealership telling me its a $120 for them to run the diagnostics? This normal or am i getting played for a sucker?
I've never, ever had a dealership tell me they're going to charge me to run diagnostics. Take your car to another dealership if possible or remind them that your car is still under warranty...it is a 2011, correct? Or has your warranty expired already? What's the in-service date for your car (that's when the warranty begins)?
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      09-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #19
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Just to clarify, the dealer never told me that they would charge for diag. until after my warranty was over.
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      09-03-2014, 08:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
I've never, ever had a dealership tell me they're going to charge me to run diagnostics. Take your car to another dealership if possible or remind them that your car is still under warranty...it is a 2011, correct? Or has your warranty expired already? What's the in-service date for your car (that's when the warranty begins)?
I was told that it would cost roughly $125 for the diagnostic test. If it came back that the problem was under warranty the fee would be waived. But unfortunately for me they are trying to say it is not under warranty. So they are trying to stick me with the battery, programing and the diagnostic test. $$$

My car should still be under factory warranty and I have the Extended Warranty. 2011 @ 37k Miles.
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      09-03-2014, 12:30 PM   #21
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My car did not start a few weeks back and the culprit was a bad battery. I called BMW roadside and they towed it to the dealer. Dealer replaced the battery under warranty at no charge. The strange part of this all was my ECU apparently said the car had only been driven 100 miles in the past 30 days and my SA claimed this wasn't enough to keep the battery charged. I drive my 135 about 1200 miles/month.
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      09-03-2014, 01:02 PM   #22
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Some years ago on my way to work I stopped to get a coffee. I was in the place for maybe 3 minutes and then the car wouldn't start. The radio and gauges were dead. Car would not take a jump. How could this happen when 3 minutes earlier it was running fine? This was maybe a 2-year old car.

Had it towed to the dealer and it turned out the battery had an internal short in it. They replaced under warranty and all way fine.

So batteries don't always die because they are old or because you don't use them enough (that's a pretty lame excuse IMO). Sometimes they are just defective.
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