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      06-07-2018, 12:23 PM   #1
Noc32
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Is it the car battery or not?

Hi guys, long time reader here. Even way back I buy a E87, as a guest reader.
I'm 23, I worked my ass off the last two years and I bought a 2006 118i E87.
A few days ago, I inserted the key, I pushed down the clutch and when I pushed the "Start" button, nothing. Just a faint click behind the steering wheel. Tried a couple of times, still nothing. I called a friend, he pushed the car and I started it. Drove it to the nearest BMW service and they told me it could be the starter, the battery or maybe something else. When I got there, they put a tester on it, no errors came back and when they started the car, it turned on just fine. No problems what so ever. I took the car home and the next day, I had issues again. I could not start it. I went back there again and they asked me to leave the car overnight. I did and went back the next day and they told me they started the car over 40 times but they had no issues starting it.
I am hoping it's the car batter because it's the cheapest solution hahaha.
Is there any way I can check whether it's the battery, the starter or something else? Three days ago, when starting it in the morning before work it was having "difficulties" so to say. Like it was tired, it didn't start like it usually does. I pushed the start button and it was starting slow. It took 3, maybe 4 second to start. I am sorry for the lack of automotive terminology, maybe the word I am looking for is crank, maybe not but it was cranking slow and weird, like it doesn't have enough starting power from the battery perhaps. Thanks for reading such a long post
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      06-07-2018, 12:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noc32 View Post
Hi guys, long time reader here. Even way back I buy a E87, as a guest reader.
I'm 23, I worked my ass off the last two years and I bought a 2006 118i E87.
A few days ago, I inserted the key, I pushed down the clutch and when I pushed the "Start" button, nothing. Just a faint click behind the steering wheel. Tried a couple of times, still nothing. I called a friend, he pushed the car and I started it. Drove it to the nearest BMW service and they told me it could be the starter, the battery or maybe something else. When I got there, they put a tester on it, no errors came back and when they started the car, it turned on just fine. No problems what so ever. I took the car home and the next day, I had issues again. I could not start it. I went back there again and they asked me to leave the car overnight. I did and went back the next day and they told me they started the car over 40 times but they had no issues starting it.
I am hoping it's the car batter because it's the cheapest solution hahaha.
Is there any way I can check whether it's the battery, the starter or something else? Three days ago, when starting it in the morning before work it was having "difficulties" so to say. Like it was tired, it didn't start like it usually does. I pushed the start button and it was starting slow. It took 3, maybe 4 second to start. I am sorry for the lack of automotive terminology, maybe the word I am looking for is crank, maybe not but it was cranking slow and weird, like it doesn't have enough starting power from the battery perhaps. Thanks for reading such a long post

I am afraid its your starter but how old is your battery?

You can start by testing your battery which is the cheapest solution like you mentioned. Take battery for them to do a "load test"
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      06-07-2018, 12:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoRomeo View Post
I am afraid its your starter but how old is your battery?

You can start by testing your battery which is the cheapest solution like you mentioned. Take battery for them to do a "load test"
I am not sure how old the battery is since I never asked the previous owner. I know, rookie mistake. Would you happen to know what Ah battery I would need for my car? It's a 95kW petrol.
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      06-07-2018, 12:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Noc32 View Post
I am not sure how old the battery is since I never asked the previous owner. I know, rookie mistake. Would you happen to know what Ah battery I would need for my car? It's a 95kW petrol.
Just check your existing battery and go from there. Mine was replaced back in 2013. But mine is made by Exide. Its not AGM. I posted this info back in 2013 when I purchased mine. You do the search...
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      06-07-2018, 12:41 PM   #5
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At the dealer they should tested it and not sure the 2006 model if they can pull info from the car about battery problems. low voltage etc. In the newest cars it will be recorded . Maybe someone else can clarify this.
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      06-07-2018, 02:22 PM   #6
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You can check labels, stickers stamps on the battery for manufacturing date
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      06-07-2018, 03:03 PM   #7
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Original poster is saying BMW tested battery and itís not low or damaged (?)
If you turn off all the accessories and just turn on the headlights when u start the car and the headlights really dim out then that is a clue the battery may be low.

If the battery connection are good and not intermittent - then, you can bypass cars battery to the starter and check that components state. On a modern BMW Iím not really sure the instructions for doing this.

If battery and starter check fine and the main ground wire isnít corroded or lose - then the starter / ignition switch gets checked for current.

If u want to get away from just replacing parts to find the fix then you need someone either on the forum or at a shop that knows the procedures.
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      06-07-2018, 03:21 PM   #8
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Sounds like the battery. I am not sure if the car needs to be coded for the new battery like the newer models do. The oem producer for our European e87 batteries was Varta and most likely you stall have the original battery in it. I just replaced the battery in my 2009 e87 this year.
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      06-07-2018, 03:23 PM   #9
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definitely sounds like a battery issue.
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      06-07-2018, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzvero View Post
At the dealer they should tested it and not sure the 2006 model if they can pull info from the car about battery problems. low voltage etc. In the newest cars it will be recorded . Maybe someone else can clarify this.
Not sure why they didn't test the battery. I should have insisted on that.
I thought something on the dashboard would light up, perhaps a battery icon or something, if it was the battery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoRomeo View Post
Just check your existing battery and go from there. Mine was replaced back in 2013. But mine is made by Exide. Its not AGM. I posted this info back in 2013 when I purchased mine. You do the search...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzvero View Post
You can check labels, stickers stamps on the battery for manufacturing date
Not sure about the current battery brand. I don't think it's the original one.
To be honest this is my second car and the previous (Citroen C3 2005) didn't have all these additional electronics and boards over the battery, I did some googling and I'll take it out tomorrow and check the date, brand etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
Original poster is saying BMW tested battery and itís not low or damaged (?)
If you turn off all the accessories and just turn on the headlights when u start the car and the headlights really dim out then that is a clue the battery may be low.

If the battery connection are good and not intermittent - then, you can bypass cars battery to the starter and check that components state. On a modern BMW Iím not really sure the instructions for doing this.

If battery and starter check fine and the main ground wire isnít corroded or lose - then the starter / ignition switch gets checked for current.

If u want to get away from just replacing parts to find the fix then you need someone either on the forum or at a shop that knows the procedures.
No, they didn't check it. They simply tested plugged the tester in and did a check for errors. Thanks for your input, it's really helpful to know these things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by david in germany View Post
Sounds like the battery. I am not sure if the car needs to be coded for the new battery like the newer models do. The oem producer for our European e87 batteries was Varta and most likely you stall have the original battery in it. I just replaced the battery in my 2009 e87 this year.
I am hoping it's the battery
That's another thing I wanted to ask. If anyone knows a new battery needs to be coded for my car, it'd be great. I was planning on getting Exide, in case it's the battery.

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Originally Posted by 420Coupe View Post
definitely sounds like a battery issue.
Fingers crossed that's the problem
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      06-07-2018, 05:25 PM   #11
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85% of all electrical problems are loose or dirty connections. Check at the battery and also at the boosting point under the hood.

Its actually pretty easy to test your battery. An inexpensive digital voltmeter (DVM) hooked onto your battery with all systems off. Voltage should be somewhere between 12.2 volts and 12.7 volts. Now load test by turning on headlights and stepping on brake to activate brake lights. Voltage should not drop below "about" 11.8 volts. Cheap Made in China DVM's are about $10- $20 over here.
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      06-07-2018, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernDancer View Post
85% of all electrical problems are loose or dirty connections. Check at the battery and also at the boosting point under the hood.

Its actually pretty easy to test your battery. An inexpensive digital voltmeter (DVM) hooked onto your battery with all systems off. Voltage should be somewhere between 12.2 volts and 12.7 volts. Now load test by turning on headlights and stepping on brake to activate brake lights. Voltage should not drop below "about" 11.8 volts. Cheap Made in China DVM's are about - over here.
Thanks a bunch. Went through a couple of youtube videos of how to test a car battery with a voltmeter and I plan on picking one up tomorrow and doing a test.
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      06-11-2018, 04:53 AM   #13
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Hey guys, I just wanted to give a quick update. I was away for two days and I came back on Sunday. I was 90% sure the car wouldn't start and it didn't.
I couldn't jump start it either because I don't have another car or a battery charger so my neighbor pushed me
I drove the car yesterday, it didn't have any issues starting after that initial "push". This morning it also wouldn't start so I plugged in my Carista and ran a quick diagnosis. It came back with this code: BMW Code A0B4 - CAS: engine start, starter operation.
This means it's the starter for sure right? I was an about two hours late for work and didn't have the time to stop and measure /test the car battery.
I did some reading about the error code I got back from the Carista OBD reader and some people said the starter might not be dead, something might be out of sync. I just wanted to post this here, maybe someone has an opinion or something. I'll most likely drop the car off at the shop tonight - see what they tell me.
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      06-11-2018, 10:03 AM   #14
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Drive the car home, needed a change of clothes before heading over to the BMW service shop. It's now starting with no problem whatsoever. I've also read that I should have the cables from the starter and the battery checked? Some ground cable under the car? Something like that? I am not too sure of the Carista because I just did a diagnose and it's not showing the A0B4 code anymore...
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      06-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #15
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Check the cable near the positive jump start post under the hood. This goes down to the starter, and it is somewhat common for these to get corroded and fail. This cable failed in my car, and I could not jump start it but the battery was good, and all the lights would still come on. If i tried to start it, I would just get a single click, but the engine wouldn't even try to turn over. Here's my brief writeup of my problem and solution: http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1485975
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      06-11-2018, 06:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerAg View Post
Check the cable near the positive jump start post under the hood. This goes down to the starter, and it is somewhat common for these to get corroded and fail. This cable failed in my car, and I could not jump start it but the battery was good, and all the lights would still come on. If i tried to start it, I would just get a single click, but the engine wouldn't even try to turn over. Here's my brief writeup of my problem and solution: http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1485975
Thank you so much for that input, I'll make sure to check that.
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      06-12-2018, 08:01 AM   #17
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I switched the car battery last night and this morning it started but it took a while, like 2-3 seconds to start. The good this is that I eliminated the battery as the culprit but that's also the bad news
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      06-13-2018, 11:12 AM   #18
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Starter. Semi-recently had the same issue. Battery was okay. IBS was okay. Engine ground was okay. Swapped the starter and the car lived to see more days.
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      06-13-2018, 11:36 AM   #19
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Starter. Semi-recently had the same issue. Battery was okay. IBS was okay. Engine ground was okay. Swapped the starter and the car lived to see more days.
Yup, the starter was the culprit. I'm gonna pick up the car tomorrow
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