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      01-24-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
elwesso
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How long do Z4 batteries stay in storage...

About a month ago I put my M coupe in storage.. It's in "locked" barn, and I left the doors unlocked so that the alarm wouldn't be armed... I did not unplug the battery, I basically just parked the car as-is.

I'm planning on getting my car out of storage around the beginning of March. My plan is to charge the battery on my 2 amp charger overnight before I get it out...

Since it's been sitting for a month, do you think it would be OK to let it sit for another month without charging it, or do you think there would be any value of charging it now?

The battery is origina (MFG in 2006), so it's on borrowed time and I'm expecting to replace it sometime this summer, so if I toast this battery it's not the end of the world.
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      01-24-2013, 01:32 PM   #2
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If you are not worried about the battery, fine, but if you have to deal with a dead battery, there are other implications for the car's electronics.

I bought the BMW battery tender and leave it on all the time while in storage. I would not leave the battery for more than a few weeks without it on.
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      01-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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There's been at least two of us that have lost a throttle position sensor to a low/dying battery.

If you know the battery is on its way out anyway, might be better to just disconnect the battery and start out with a fresh one to avoid a possible $100 repair or having to deal with limp mode.
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      01-24-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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The battery seemed like it was OK, it still had the green "light" on the window, but seeing how batteries seem to last anywhere between 4-6 years I figure it's going to need replacement sooner than later.

I will disconnect the battery and then charge it before I get it out of storage. However I'm still curious if there's a good battery, how long it takes (in some of your experience) for it to go dead. It seems like the Z4's like to drain batteries for some reason, because on my other cars I've let them sit for months and they always crank right back up.
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      01-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #5
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First winter I stored mine I had it sit for 4 months without being touched or charging (stupid mistake) - The battery was so flat I had to boost it off another car for about 30 minutes to give it enough juice.
After that It would hold a charge for a day or 2 at the most. So eventually I just swapped it out for a new one.
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      01-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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You could always remove the battery from the car and keep it on a trickle charger in your house during the winter.
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      01-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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FWIW On an 08si, I disconnect the negative terminal and come back in five months. Hook up terminal, fires up like usual and I drive off. Cause I have a roadster I have to re-initialize the windows, but that's it. I am told the cold temperatures greatly reduce the discharge rate over time. When I get home(for no particular reason) I charge battery with the 10/2/.75 amp. It charges an hour or so at 10 then bumps down to .75. Original battery.
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      01-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies guys. I will check the battery this weekend. Will probably unhook one of the terminals and give the battery an overnight charge, so I don't have anything to worry about.
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      01-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
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Hey Wes, If you're disconnecting a terminal, make sure it's the negative terminal first (and last to reconnect). Here's an explanation of the "why": http://7faq.com/owbase/ow.asp?GoodEn...tingTheBattery

And...if you're going to place a charger on your battery, either leave both terminals connected, or disconnect both - but not just one.
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      01-25-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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first year, i didn't have tender or unhook neg, i had to go to the dealer 3 times to get the transport mode off.. thats when they turn off ac, misc accessory.

Now i store it with neg battery off and charge it off once a while.. i dont have a garage so i park it at my office's underground garage and limited access to ac outlet

transport mode is annoying
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      02-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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I don't store my car during the winter, but I don't drive it in wet weather. It sits in my garage, unlocked. The battery will last about 2 weeks at the most. I put a 2 amp trickle charger on it after a week and leave it on the car until the next time I drive it.

If you disconnect the neg terminal the battery should hold a charge much longer.
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      02-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #12
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The car had been sitting for about a month, and when I opened the rear hatch the lights came on strong. I put it on the 2 amp charger for probably 4 hours, then went back out and unhooked the negative terminal. Once I am ready to come out of storage, I'll put it on the 6amp charger for a few hours before I plug everything back in.

Just out of curiousity, when I closed up everything I closed the rear hatch after I unplugged the battery, not thinking that I won't be able to open the rear hatch... I think I might be able to reach the emergency grab handle from the front, but is there an easier way of doing this?
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      02-07-2013, 09:01 AM   #13
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My first three (maybe it was 2...I forget now) winters, I stored my car w/o a trickle charger or anything and had no problems come spring. Perhaps I was just lucky. I eventually picked up a trickle charger (Battery Tender) to 'do it right' but not because I had a dead battery waiting for me. I did run into low refrigerant last year. My SA advised briefly running the AC at least once over the winter just to circulate it. He said it looked like some of the seals may have gotten a little dry and it leaked; running the AC would circulate it to keep the seals right. Seems a bit weird to me, though. Anyhoot, I'll probably look into replacing my battery this year out of preventative maintenance since this will be its sixth year.
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      02-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #14
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If it was sitting on the ground with nothing between the battery and the ground, it probably got grounded and needs to be recharged. I put a 6 inch wooden block in between.
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      02-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aakash421 View Post
If it was sitting on the ground with nothing between the battery and the ground, it probably got grounded and needs to be recharged. I put a 6 inch wooden block in between.
Naw. Todays plastic encassed batteries won't discharge their charge into ground, concrete, or even water. Back in the days when they were rubber encassed (with tar tops), battery charge seapage was indeed a problem.
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      02-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike519 View Post
I bought the BMW battery tender and leave it on all the time while in storage. I would not leave the battery for more than a few weeks without it on.
Question for all: I too have left my '08 sitting inside the garage, basically parked and unmoved for almost 60 days now under cover. Its about 50 degrees in the garage. If I run out and purchase a Tender, and put it on the battery now, will it do anything to help the cause? For some reason I am paranoid about having an electric current running into my car all the time.

Also, is the main diff between a tender and a trickle charger... that a trickle charger constantly trickles current, but a tender turns itself on and off between trickles?

Thanks
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      02-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #17
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Battery tender's are never a bad idea. There's a lot of complexities behind what I am going to say next, but here's the simple version: Lock the car if parked for an extended time and you don't have it on a charger. If you don't it's "standby" mode and will draw on the battery. This started with BMW's E90's and then E89's big time and somewhat in E85/86. The new F series are basically laptops that are never shutdown - they hibernate.

Google away - lots of information is out there on this including from BMW
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      02-11-2013, 10:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4dimnzn View Post
Battery tender's are never a bad idea. There's a lot of complexities behind what I am going to say next, but here's the simple version: Lock the car if parked for an extended time and you don't have it on a charger. If you don't it's "standby" mode and will draw on the battery. This started with BMW's E90's and then E89's big time and somewhat in E85/86. The new F series are basically laptops that are never shutdown - they hibernate.

Google away - lots of information is out there on this including from BMW
Thank you. This does make perfect sense, and as such the car is locked, always locked actually.

As for the tender vs trickle... i've googled and searched in the past... but I value the opinions here quite a bit too. Remarkably I havent found a product description I really trust. yet.
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      02-12-2013, 07:15 AM   #19
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I enjoy the old car hobby and as such have 5 vehicles that don't see daily use. I use both the Battery Tender Plus (which happens to be the BMW labeled smart charger) and the Cetek 3300 to maintain the batteries. Both are truly "set and forget" smart chargers that can be used safely on conventional automotive batteries. In my experience they do as claimed and increase a battery's life.
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      02-12-2013, 07:29 AM   #20
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Honestly if you don't trust a battery tender then best to just unplug the battery and be done with it. I will probably get a battery tender for next winter, I didn't have one when I was ready to put the car away, and where my car is now is kind of a pain to get to so I decided to unplug the battery this year. Before I crank it over, I'll put it on the 6 amp charger for a few hours..

My family owns a marina, so obviously we store boats for months on end. Before boats go into storage, we unplug one of the terminals and almost always the batteries have plenty of juice to get the boats started. Normally if the battery is dead, it was old and probably sketchy anyway.

It's an interesting discussion with the car locked vs unlocked.. I was under the impression based on some reading I'd done that leaving the car locked arms the security system, causing a draw on the battery.. If it's unlocked, then it's not armed? Maybe it's one of those things, damned if you do, damned if you don't...
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      02-14-2013, 05:19 PM   #21
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I can bring myself to trust it. Is this basically the one to get?

BMW Genuine Factory OEM 82110406881 Advanced Battery Charging System

on amazon for $60.

I am really trying to avoid killing the battery and even worse having the car go into limp mode.
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      02-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwesso View Post
Just out of curiousity, when I closed up everything I closed the rear hatch after I unplugged the battery, not thinking that I won't be able to open the rear hatch... I think I might be able to reach the emergency grab handle from the front, but is there an easier way of doing this?
Just noticed this. Why wouldn't you be able to open the rear hatch from the outside even without power? Just push on the top of your rear hatch roundel, it exposes a key hole. Insert key and open it as if it were any other door.

I just picked up a c-tek smart charger. Thanks to this thread.... I shoulda done that 2 months ago!
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