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madonthemike
01-24-2013, 09:43 PM
My car failed to crank this morning, dash lighted up and headlights flashed as i turned key, did a quick google search on my fone and found out it was my battery, then called CAA for a boost.

I thought the recent cold weather had something to do with it, When i got home had a look at the battery and found the "eye" to be black - or could be green - the battery seems rather old.

From the top i couldnt really see any indication of date, only visible date is recharge by date 3-09? Not sure what that means, how can i tell how old the battery is? Seems like the original battery.

im thinking of replacing the battery anyway and would just like some help on which ones to get? Also should all the specs be identical? Or can i go higher without affecting the electronics but also robust in winter?

I just want a battery that will be solid during winter. From e46wiki:
"49DL" and "94R" are standardized battery sizes that will have specific height, width, and length dimensions. So i guess i need a 94R?

What are some good cost effective replacement brands?

How is the exide brand from part source?

Also is there an accurate way of reading battery voltage thru diagnostics? I dont have a multimeter? What should the readings be?

FermiParadox
01-24-2013, 11:38 PM
In my experience battery life can be highly variable and just because you had to jump it today doesn't necessarily mean that you will have to replace it. It's "possible" that the residual charge on your battery after the last time you drove it wasn't sufficient to deal with the combination of extreme cold weather (leading to increased resistance to current flow), and the instantaneously high current requirements (a.k.a. inrush current) when first starting the vehicle. Notwithstanding this, if the problem persists you're likely into replacing the battery.

If you do replace the battery it's critical to ensure that the voltage is the same as that on the OEM (12 V), however you have the option to either meet or exceed the OEM specifications on current rating (640 A) or current capacity (80 Ah). It's safe to exceed either of the latter two specifications as they represent the maximums that the battery can support at the stated voltage.

As far as reading battery voltage, you will need a multimeter (~$30), or a battery load tester (~$100). The battery should read 12.6V-12.8V with the car not running (no load), when starting the car expect the voltage to drop below this range momentarily (greatest load), following the car start the voltage will recover and likely fall in the 13V-14V range as it charges.

As far as brands go I'm new to BMW's but with my other two vehicles (Volvo & Toyota) I've never had any trouble after replacing the OEM with MotoMaster batteries.

Best of luck!

gnome
01-24-2013, 11:52 PM
I picked up my battery, exact fitment type 94r at active tire (attached to sears). Diehard brand and specs exceed Oem with 850cca.

Good price, $139, charged on the shelf ready to go. Make sure you attach the vent tube on one side and insert the plug on the opposite side.

Beemsboy27
01-25-2013, 09:11 AM
the excide is usually about 110 for bmw battery depending if you want the 97 or the 49 but they arent half bad batteries

T.Dot_E30
01-25-2013, 09:27 AM
J-08 Is the Manufacture Date I believe.

J = 10th Letter = 10th Month = October 2008

jabela
01-25-2013, 10:21 AM
I ended up going with the Exide group 49 battery from Partsource. It was $125 after core rebate.
It's a little longer, so you have to remove the plastic tab in the battery tray, but it's got 850CCA so there's more cranking power and reserve.
Model BCI CCA CA RC L W H Lbs
49-60 49 850 1000 120 14 6.88 7.44 32
http://www.batterysales.com/exide.cfm
It's definitely not 32lbs though. It's just as heavy as stock (~56lbs)

jabela
01-25-2013, 10:26 AM
One thing you can also do is get an intelligent Barry charger from Canadian tire. It regularly goes on sale for under $50. It will give your battery a good charge or tell you if it's really dead.

Instructions to access the hidden OBC functions: make sure your doors are closed.
1. Hold Trip Reset while turning ignition key to on position
2. OBC should show "Test"
3. Use Trip Reset to select function 19.0 that unlocks all the features
3. Wait for display to show "Off"
4. Depress Trip Reset for 1/4 second and release it
5. With no delay press Trip Reset several times to select one of the following function s
==========================================

BMW E46 On-Board Computer (OBC) Hidden Codes
nr example description
1 Car Engine and cluster data
1.0 46nnn Chassis nr/VIN serial number (last 5 digits)
1.1 4nnn K-number
1.2 690236 Cluster Part #
1.3 045210 Coding (04)/diagnosis (52)/bus index (10)
1.4 1200 Week (12)/year of manufacture (2000)
1.5 09_160 Hardware (09) and software # (16.0) of cluster
1.6 Not used
1.7 04__44 CAN-version (04) KI-revision index (44)
2 (test) Cluster System Test - Activates the gauge drivers,
indicators and LEDs to confirm function
3 SI Data
3.0 1098 Used fuel in liters since last SI (Service Inspection)
3.1 0231 Periodic inspection days; elapsed days (since last SI)
4 Momentary Consumption
4.0 0145+ Instant fuel consumption - 0145=14.5 liters/100km
4.1 0018 Instant fuel consumption - 0018=1.8 l/Hour
5 Distance Gone Consumption
5.0 082 Average mileage; 082=8.2 liters/100km
5.1 0536 Calc. km to refuel (momentary distance to go)
6 Fuel Level sensor inputs in liters
6.0 109330+ Fuel level averaged; Left half sensor input=10.9 liters; Right sensor input=33.0 liters
6.1 0439+ Total tank level averaged; vlgs 6.0: 10.9+33.0=43.9 liters
6.2 0442+ Indicated value (44.2) and tank phase
7 Temperature and Speed
7.0 021+ Coolant/Engine temperature (2.1C)
7.1 130 Ambient/Outside temperature - chg met 5 pts. 125/130/135
7.2 + Engine speed / Current RPMs 1/min
7.3 + Vehicle speed / Current Speed in km/hour
8 Input value in HEX form
8.0 1d0+ System voltage ADC-Value Hex code
8.1 26C33C+ ADC Values HG left/HG right
8.2 0000 ADC Value brake degradation sensor (000=o.k.)
8.3 18C ADC Value outside temperature
9 Battery
9.0 140 Battery Voltage - 140 = UB 14.0v
9.1 242013+?
9.2 074_78+?
9.3 0011+?
10 Not used
11 Not used
12 Not used
13 GonG Gong Test
14 Not used
15 Status cluster I/O-ports (bit codes) 0=low; 1=high
1st-belt contact, seat belt fastened=0; 2) ignition lock contact, key inserted=0; 3) door contact, door open=0; 4) clock button pressed=0; 5) SI reset=0, for reset=0; 6) EGS transmission failure=0
Status Digital Outputs (bits) 0=inactive, 1=active
1) Gong output; 2) Brake warning lamp; 3) Low fuel warning lamp; 4) EGA lamp; 5) seat belt lamp; 6) manipulation dot
16 Not used
17 Not used
18 Not used
19 Lock Status; unlocks functions in range 3-18
19.0 L-On/L-Off Unlock: press button when "L-Off"
20 Not used
21 Software Reset; reset OBC settings
00 End of test

madonthemike
01-25-2013, 12:33 PM
In my experience battery life can be highly variable and just because you had to jump it today doesn't necessarily mean that you will have to replace it. It's "possible" that the residual charge on your battery after the last time you drove it wasn't sufficient to deal with the combination of extreme cold weather (leading to increased resistance to current flow), and the instantaneously high current requirements (a.k.a. inrush current) when first starting the vehicle. Notwithstanding this, if the problem persists you're likely into replacing the battery.

If you do replace the battery it's critical to ensure that the voltage is the same as that on the OEM (12 V), however you have the option to either meet or exceed the OEM specifications on current rating (640 A) or current capacity (80 Ah). It's safe to exceed either of the latter two specifications as they represent the maximums that the battery can support at the stated voltage.

As far as reading battery voltage, you will need a multimeter (~$30), or a battery load tester (~$100). The battery should read 12.6V-12.8V with the car not running (no load), when starting the car expect the voltage to drop below this range momentarily (greatest load), following the car start the voltage will recover and likely fall in the 13V-14V range as it charges.

As far as brands go I'm new to BMW's but with my other two vehicles (Volvo & Toyota) I've never had any trouble after replacing the OEM with MotoMaster batteries.

Best of luck!

Yeah I also thought it was a combination of my short trips to work and the extreme cold, will get a multimeter check the voltage or get it checked at a shop.

I took it for a long drive yesterday - and its been fine since. But will check voltage levels regardless.

madonthemike
01-25-2013, 12:34 PM
J-08 Is the Manufacture Date I believe.

J = 10th Letter = 10th Month = October 2008

Thanks. So its not as old as i initially thought. Still almost 5yrs old.

madonthemike
01-25-2013, 12:37 PM
One thing you can also do is get an intelligent Barry charger from Canadian tire. It regularly goes on sale for under $50. It will give your battery a good charge or tell you if it's really dead.

Instructions to access the hidden OBC functions: make sure your doors are closed.
1. Hold Trip Reset while turning ignition key to on position
2. OBC should show "Test"
3. Use Trip Reset to select function 19.0 that unlocks all the features
3. Wait for display to show "Off"
4. Depress Trip Reset for 1/4 second and release it
5. With no delay press Trip Reset several times to select one of the following function s
==========================================

BMW E46 On-Board Computer (OBC) Hidden Codes
nr example description
1 Car Engine and cluster data
1.0 46nnn Chassis nr/VIN serial number (last 5 digits)
1.1 4nnn K-number
1.2 690236 Cluster Part #
1.3 045210 Coding (04)/diagnosis (52)/bus index (10)
1.4 1200 Week (12)/year of manufacture (2000)
1.5 09_160 Hardware (09) and software # (16.0) of cluster
1.6 Not used
1.7 04__44 CAN-version (04) KI-revision index (44)
2 (test) Cluster System Test - Activates the gauge drivers,
indicators and LEDs to confirm function
3 SI Data
3.0 1098 Used fuel in liters since last SI (Service Inspection)
3.1 0231 Periodic inspection days; elapsed days (since last SI)
4 Momentary Consumption
4.0 0145+ Instant fuel consumption - 0145=14.5 liters/100km
4.1 0018 Instant fuel consumption - 0018=1.8 l/Hour
5 Distance Gone Consumption
5.0 082 Average mileage; 082=8.2 liters/100km
5.1 0536 Calc. km to refuel (momentary distance to go)
6 Fuel Level sensor inputs in liters
6.0 109330+ Fuel level averaged; Left half sensor input=10.9 liters; Right sensor input=33.0 liters
6.1 0439+ Total tank level averaged; vlgs 6.0: 10.9+33.0=43.9 liters
6.2 0442+ Indicated value (44.2) and tank phase
7 Temperature and Speed
7.0 021+ Coolant/Engine temperature (2.1C)
7.1 130 Ambient/Outside temperature - chg met 5 pts. 125/130/135
7.2 + Engine speed / Current RPMs 1/min
7.3 + Vehicle speed / Current Speed in km/hour
8 Input value in HEX form
8.0 1d0+ System voltage ADC-Value Hex code
8.1 26C33C+ ADC Values HG left/HG right
8.2 0000 ADC Value brake degradation sensor (000=o.k.)
8.3 18C ADC Value outside temperature
9 Battery
9.0 140 Battery Voltage - 140 = UB 14.0v
9.1 242013+?
9.2 074_78+?
9.3 0011+?
10 Not used
11 Not used
12 Not used
13 GonG Gong Test
14 Not used
15 Status cluster I/O-ports (bit codes) 0=low; 1=high
1st-belt contact, seat belt fastened=0; 2) ignition lock contact, key inserted=0; 3) door contact, door open=0; 4) clock button pressed=0; 5) SI reset=0, for reset=0; 6) EGS transmission failure=0
Status Digital Outputs (bits) 0=inactive, 1=active
1) Gong output; 2) Brake warning lamp; 3) Low fuel warning lamp; 4) EGA lamp; 5) seat belt lamp; 6) manipulation dot
16 Not used
17 Not used
18 Not used
19 Lock Status; unlocks functions in range 3-18
19.0 L-On/L-Off Unlock: press button when "L-Off"
20 Not used
21 Software Reset; reset OBC settings
00 End of test
I was aware of the obc test, not sure if its accurate. Will try it out today.

jabela
01-25-2013, 12:47 PM
On a side issue, if you're making short trips in the cold, you put yourself at risk of CCV failure. Google it and you will find some nasty stories.
You should try to run your car hot to burn off any moisture in the oil/CCV system.
I have an oil pan heater to help pre-warm the car every morning.

madonthemike
01-25-2013, 05:47 PM
On a side issue, if you're making short trips in the cold, you put yourself at risk of CCV failure. Google it and you will find some nasty stories.
You should try to run your car hot to burn off any moisture in the oil/CCV system.
I have an oil pan heater to help pre-warm the car every morning.

Thanks for the heads up, was just reading some CCV stories. Some claim driving the vehicle once or every two weeks for 30mins should be good to vaporise the moisture in the system? I live in a condo with no receptacle near my parking spot, while the underground parking is not heated, it is significantly warmer than outside. I guess i will have to take some long drives.

BmW1819
01-25-2013, 08:54 PM
Yea battery is 3rd week of 09 maybe u got a battery drain too

pawelgawel
01-25-2013, 09:59 PM
just a heads up to all that need a new batter.. COSTCO is way cheaper then crappytire or partsource.

Bought two batteries in the last two weeks, one was for a '06 TDI, CT $125 Cost $80 and for a '01 Golf PS $105 and Cost $65.

They both exceeded in cca and ca and were ideal in size. 3 year replacement and up to 70 months warranty.

And yes it says Kirkland on them!!