BATTERY LIFE !

Discussion in 'X5' started by Richyroos, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Richyroos
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    Richyroos

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    Hi all, I have a question about the life expectancy of the battery. This year, I have a had a few problems with my battery going flat, admittedly earlier in the year, the car was not used much due to the lockdown, and when it was used, it was only for short local journeys, so didnt really get charged up much. A few days ago, I had an appointment to attend, and the battery had chosen to go flat again. The car is auto, so no chance of a bump start down out sloping driveway unfortunately!

    I put it on charge, and it was fine afterwards, but with the winter approaching soon, I began to worry whether the battery was on its last legs anyway, so I have bitten the bullet and ordered a new one. I dug out some old paperwork, as when we bought the car 2 years ago, we were told it had been fitted with a new battery recently, which I took at face value, and assumed it was recent, and that now the battery was just over 2 years old, but on rechecking, I discovered that the battery had been fitted in March 2016, so in fact now, the battery is over 4 years old!

    The invoice was from Kwik Fit, and did not specify what make the battery was, that was installed, and as it is such a performance to get at the battery, I have not looked, but could be a Kwik Fit branded battery possibly, it was certainly expensive - £178 !!! I was expecting a replacement to be similar money but after a quick search, I found that I could get a decent make battery for nearer £100, which was rather more palatable than I was expecting, so I ended up buying a Varta battery from Tayna Batteries. I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone looking for a battery, their prices are very competitive, and undercut Euro Car Parts by a fair amount.

    So my question is -what life should we really expect from a battery? I have owned a few BMW's, and I have ended up having to buy a few batteries!! Mostly the batteries have died at around 4 years old - much like this last one, but is this the sort of life other people get?? My cars have varied between 3 Series,, 5 Series, and now an X5, the X5 is a diesel, the others have been a mixture of petrol and diesel, but they all seem to expire at around 4 years old !! These are not cheap and cheerful batteries I am talking about, they were decent makes, like Bosch or Varta.
    Any thoughts on this??

    Rich
     
  2. mach one
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    mach one WARLORD Site Supporter

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    my old 520 D registered in June 2009 needed a new battery in February 2013 so between four and five years for the original battery on that car. not sure how long that one lasted as l traded the car in august 2016

    my 530 D 5 GT was built in January 2015 and still has the original factory fitted battery installed so that has lasted five and a half year to this point
     
  3. The_Master
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    The_Master Site Supporter

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    Hi Rich,

    It is entirely possible that the battery only lasted for 4 years, I wonder if Kwik fit registered the battery, if they didn't the car wouldn't know and potentially charge it incorrectly.

    Modern cars are laden with gadgets that consume battery power and they generally get a hard life which may shorten their life spans.

    Batteries on mine last a variable amount of time

    I had an E46 320d and the battery lasted 13 years (orig BMW), my E39 lasted 7 years, E60 is on 7 years and still going strong...luck of the draw maybe?

    Make sure you register the new battery with the car...

    Thanks

    The_Master
     
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  4. Wynne71
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    Wynne71 WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Sound like possibly the car has been used exclusively for short journeys and/or the battery was not the correct spec or installed correctly.
    I’m sure me writing this will be the call for mine to give up, but the car still has its original BMW battery from 2012. Have used a multimeter today check the standing and charging rate and seems healthy to me. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
     
  5. GunRunner
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    GunRunner WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I found that putting the battery on charge frequently and then trickle charging it for long periods if I had planned on letting it stand for a couple of weeks or more or in the winter months. I would recommend purchasing the CTEK charger. In my case the CTEK MSX 5.0 was suitable because my 63 plate F25 X3 xDrive 30d M Sport had lots of electrical accessories and being a diesel had a heavy duty battery.
    So far I have been lucky with most of my cars and have not ever replaced a battery. Not so for my wife, because she had to replace hers on the little SEAT Ibiza we had some years ago.
    I see the OP has an X5 diesel. That most likely has a heavy duty battery, so IMO a battery charger is a must.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  6. a.s.uk
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    a.s.uk

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    5 years plus a bit, we got out of our 640d
    ( Stop start technology..)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Kev2005
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    Kev2005 WARLORD Site Supporter Good Egg

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    On my 2012 320D ED, i got 4.5 years out of it and then it came up with a message about the battery. Unfortunately i needed the car at the time in the next few days from what i recall so i phoned up BMW and they were able to book it in so i took it in, they concluded the battery was no good and needed a new one at some extortionate cost as it needed the battery, re-programming to the car etc. I went with it as i needed the car.

    My current 2016 320D M Sport still has the same battery i bought it with, whcih i presume is original as i never looked, and so far it's been ok to date, no warning messages etc.

    I keep considering maybe getting a tester to test the battery or a ctek charger to just put it in charge and maybe that will help it last a bit longer. Until recently my car was doing approx 5-6k miles a year on average but due to current climate i'm now driving it daily to work which consists of sitting in traffic and 30-50mph roads so sometimes it gets a bit of a run at 50mph and other times its more stop start and 10mph in traffic but i'm not keen on using public transport at present so i'm going with this for now but maybe that's helping it as before it could easily sit unused for 2 or 3 weeks at a time.

    Kev
     
  8. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    @Richyroos Is this an AGM battery? It's likely your Owner Usage Profile is not doing your battery any favours i.e. short runs and spells of none-use are the cause.

    Best solution(s) are as @GunRunner suggests, a CTEK conditioner charger, and @The_Master is probably spot on re the previous failure to register the battery to the car after changing it.
     
  9. Alan Gunn
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    Alan Gunn

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    How long is a piece of string.
    Original batteries seem to last longer don't know why but i changed the battery on my 07 e90 320d a few months ago and my old e46 320d lasted about 12 years.
     
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  10. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    In addition to which, in days past, slower cranking meant you got warning. Now it's here one day, gone the next.

    I suppose it's because there are multiple circuits demanding attention when the key is turned, as opposed to just a couple before? @.@
     
  11. Richyroos
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    Richyroos

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    Thank you all for your replies! In many cases 4-5 years does seem to be an average life, a diesel such as mine does of course place a heavier load on starting, and as we all know BMW's have a good many electrical gadgets that all take a draw of some degree, which does mean the battery takes a bit of a pounding. In my case - certainly at the moment, I am not doing any long journeys, normally by now, we would have done two trips to Cornwall, and also a trip to France, but none of those took place this year, because of this pesky virus!!

    The new battery has just arrived today, so I shall be fitting it in the next day or so! It will be interesting to see what battery is actually fitted at the moment!

    What do I have to do to "register" the new battery to the vehicle? Does that mean a trip to the garage? The only gadget I have, is a basic fault code reader, the sort you use to check the back pressure in the exhaust filter.

    Rich
     
  12. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I'm afraid it will be a trip to the garage to get them to plug in their diagnostics machine to get that done.

    That said, if it's exactly the same spec in terms of Ah etc., then afaik you'll not need to do other than swap them over. (y)
     
  13. Highsided
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    Highsided Site Supporter

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    There may be two issues you should address: battery type wet cell vs AGM; and register or code.

    If the original battery was wet cell it can be replaced with either a wet cell or AGM battery. If the original was an AGM it should be replaced with a similar (or better still and identical specification) AGM battery. A wet cell battery shouldn't be used to replace an AGM. AFAIK all stop/start vehicles use AGM, and I'm guessing that given that your X5 is a diesel, it would have left the factory with an AGM battery - there again perhaps not.

    Should the replacement battery be substantially different to the original (note original, which is not necessarily the same as the one being replaced) it will require coding. For example, changing from wet cell to AGM requires coding, as would a battery with a different AH rating etc. How different, your guess is as good as mine. From what I've read, when coding say a change in AH, the choice is from a list, so a difference of perhaps 5AH would be OK (ie not need coding), whereas 20AH would need attention.

    If the replacement is substantially the same, although it doesn't need to be coded, it will need registering; this is because an old battery has a different charging regime to a new battery.

    You, of course, have the added complication of not knowing whether or not the last battery was correctly coded, in which case coding would appear to be the safest option.

    As an aside, similar to Wynne's experience with his 2012 E92, my 2011 E92's original battery is still going strong. Batteries packing up after just four years, along with rusting panels, exhausts et cetera, is something I associate with the distant past.
     
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  14. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Agree. Unless really bad driving profile, or some serious failure. My F11 (2011 build) is still on the original battery, at 9+ years old. I'm suspecting it may be dropping in performance, use this year is so low. Using CTEK charger to keep battery in best condition. May need a new battery before winter. I'm 'half' prepared to require a change.

    To the OP, nothing to add to what has been stated already.

    Peter
     
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  15. mach one
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    mach one WARLORD Site Supporter

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    when l bought my 520D the battery was already having issues and l suspect it was caused by a lot of short journeys and battery was never getting fully charged as it was a four year old car with 19000 miles which says the car did not do much in the first four years of its life

    not good for a car with an early DPF but once the car had a new battery fitted by the selling dealer and started doing some miles it was fine
     
  16. E39mad
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    E39mad

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    Our soon to be 10 year old F11 is still on the original battery with no sign of it deteriorating yet. We don't have stop/start and try to avoid short journeys of less than 7 miles.
     
  17. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Same here, just predates the stop/start being added. Most trips from cold are 12 or more miles each way.

    BTW, what sort of mileage? That will also have some bearing on battery life. Mine is just over 61,000 miles.

    Peter
     
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  18. E39mad
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    E39mad

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    Coming up to 77000 miles now. It rarely does less than 18 miles on a one way trip. It predominantly does long journeys and last week took me 133 miles each way for an ascent up Scafell Pike, and before that 245 miles each way to Emsworth for a few days sailing in August. Tomorrow it's off to North Yorkshire to the highest pub in England which is another 120 miles or so each way. Reminds me I need to get the gearbox oil changed but that's another discussion.
     
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