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      03-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
strokeZ
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Battery drain

Have 2003 Z4 2.5. After 2 days of no use the battery is dead. Have brand new battery, checks out good (after several checks). Needs 6 hour trickle charge to start it up. Anyone heard of issues or common switches that go bad? Obviously a battery drain, but cant locate it. Have turned all switches off, top up, top down....no luck isolating issue. As long as I start it once per day and drive for a bit, things seem to be fine. I am stumpped! Any help is welcomed!
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      03-27-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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Get a voltmeter and go through the fusebox.
You need to find out which relay/fuse is faulty and not shutting off when the car shuts off.

Hope this helps:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/battery_runs_down.htm
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      04-07-2009, 07:20 PM   #3
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i've been having the exact same problem for the past few months... took several trips to the dealer, first they switched out the battery, then the second time they said it was a problem in the gauge cluster and replaced it, and after that didn't work they replaced the ipod module convinced thats where the draw was coming from. but low and behold, i didn't drive the car this past weekend and monday morning i had to get a jump to get to work.

needless to say, its been quite frustrating.

please post if you find the source of the problem.
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      04-08-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
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I think best approach is to use a volt meter. Going to try it this weekend. I have been told that the convertable top switches tend to go out, but still I am suspicious. Definitely a parasitic drain as I have run the car all week with no problems. will post something if I find the problem.
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      04-08-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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^ Youd hear the motor whirring if the switch was stuck on, of which the motor would burn out shortly thereafter.

Yeah the volt meter technique should work great, thats exactly what I was about to suggest, thats how I used to check for simular problems over the years.
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      04-11-2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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Ok so here is the strange thing.....check battery and NO unusual voltage drain when car is off. Battery is charging as normal when car is on (alt. is working). One shop suggested that even new, the battery may be bad - not able to hold a charge. Not sure if I believe but out of ideas.
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      04-12-2009, 12:11 AM   #7
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^ Do a "carbon pile" test on the battery. Thats basically when they hook up a small ($30) device up to the battery, while it measures the continual voltage as it drains significant amounts of amps. The more of a voltage drop, the weaker the battery.

You can do it yourself, as they can be picked up at any auto parts store for $20-$50++ most times. They come with instructions as per how to use them. That way you can know what to expect, and not be taken advantage of if another shop suggests you may have to replace the battery that you just bought.

I still find it odd that you have this problem. So you checked ALL the fuses for ANY current draw? That is seriously odd. Another thing that they can do (or yourself) is to check the actual charging system power of the altrenator. Your Alt should do around 60-80amps at idle, and do 120-160amps at 2,500 RPM +
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      04-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #8
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happened to me twice in less than a year....it was always after a few days after non-use as well... i remember a i would hear the cd spinning if it was left in, but no key ...i never thought anything of it... 1st time battery was replaced...2nd time i don't remember...haven't heard the cd spinning after car being turned off since..

Last edited by papitosabe; 04-14-2009 at 10:08 AM..
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      04-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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would love to know what your second fix was pepitosabe.....

had battery checked as a few locations and all reported no unusual drain other than power to keep the electronics alive (memory etc....). mechanic tested the alternator and no problems there. Agree this is strange and hard to believe.....but stranger things have happened.
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      04-13-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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Had a similar problem. Installed new battery to replace the oe 6 year old one. Worked great for 3 months as a daily driver. Went on a 4 day trip and battery was dead on return: jumped...charged....everything OK. Car would start fine if I drove the following morning, let it sit for more then a day, battery dead. Clean contacts again, check charging system, check for shorts.....everything OK. Load test on battery was erratic, seemed like it would read fine one time and low voltage another: conclusion was a short within the battery. Replaced the battery and problem solved.
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      04-21-2009, 08:06 AM   #11
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Tested the battery and turns out it was from the factory HU. Seems that it remained ON all the time (even w key out of ignition). I checked the amp in the trunk in the morning and it was still warm. Replaced the HU with an aftermarket and checked battery when car was off....reading 0.16 mA. I think this is normal, as my other vehicles read nearly the same.
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      04-21-2009, 08:10 AM   #12
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After another dead battery incident I replaced my volt meter. Turns out it was factory HU and amp remaining on all the time (even with key out of ignition). Repaced HU with aftermarket and battery reading only 0.16 mA when car was off. I think this is normal (my other vehicle read 0.15 mA). Will post any updates if needed. Good news is that I now have hi speed iPOD connectivity with all the goodies.
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