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Art
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 10:47:27 PM
Hi, guys, quick question, how do I isolate between a starter problem or a battery problem?

On my 02 M3, I noticed last week when I was starting the car, even though it started fine, it had a weak cranking sound. I thought, okay, low battery, no big deal, I'll just hook up a charger. After 1.5 days of charging, the charger shows the battery at full charge, but when I tried to start it, it still made that muffled cranking sound.

So how do I tell whether the starter is going bad or the battery is just not outputing enough amperage to crank it fully? :nixweiss:

I assume the starter is covered under the 4yr/50k warranty, how about the battery, is it covered under the maintenance warranty?

Thanks for any suggestions,
Art

ArtM3
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 10:49:48 PM
If you jump the car and it cranks OK, it's probably the battery or connections

if not, probably the starter

Art
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 11:42:26 PM
Thanks man, I just went out and tried it, although I think the result is a bit inconclusive.

After I connected it with my wife's X5, it felt like it cranked a bit stronger, but not by much.

Should I just replace the battery and then if the problem persists, take it to the dealership to have the starter replaced as well?

ArtM3
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 11:54:50 PM
Thanks man, I just went out and tried it, although I think the result is a bit inconclusive.

After I connected it with my wife's X5, it felt like it cranked a bit stronger, but not by much.

Should I just replace the battery and then if the problem persists, take it to the dealership to have the starter replaced as well?

did you jump it from under the hood?

if it's under warranty have the dealer look at it, I've had good luck with BMW batteries, never had to replace one

could be as simple as cleaning the connections

Art
Mon, Jan-24-2005, 12:05:40 AM
Yeap. Jumped it under the hood. I did some search and am reading some threads on our batteries, it seems like quite a few people have problem with them.

There is also a potential problem with the climate control module during cold weather that could've drained the battery, although I am pretty sure I've done the recall for that one...

Thanks, I'll swing by the dealer for them to take a look at it.

askharjoon
Mon, Jan-24-2005, 05:22:54 AM
My battery went completely dead last month. When I tried to jump it, the interior lights would work but it wouldn't start right away. Took the car to the stealer and had the battery replaced under warranty with no issues.
Take the car in and have the battery checked.

Art
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:25:46 AM
Just want to close the thread.

I took it into the dealership today, and had them replaced the battery. They said the battery is covered only if you drive minimum 15k miles a year, but since I only have 15k miles total for a 3 years old car, they won't be able to cover it. My maintenance warranty also expired 10 days ago, so that didn't help either. However, after the service manager placed a call to the BMW Regional Rep, he said he'll split with me 50-50. He'll cover my battery and I'll pay the labor of $30. I was pretty happy with them. This is the first time I actually had a happy experience with this particular dealership(BMW of Bellevue).

Now the car is back to normal!

Thanks everyone.

askharjoon
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:34:20 AM
Errrr, I have a total of 18k miles on the car and its a 2001, the battery was replaced a couple of weeks ago under warranty with no hassels. You may want to double check on that "good will" by the stealer....just trying to help.
good luck

Beowoulf
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:46:43 AM
Just as a FYI, I wouldn't go with another BMW battery from the dealer if I had to pay for it. The best choice is a nice light-weight battery that will also save you at least 30lbs.

luxautodetail
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:48:42 AM
Batteries are known probs. w/ our cars. Mine has already been replaced. Take it to the dealer. It is covered under warranty. All they need to do is hook it up to the Midtronics device and then it should print out a warranty code for you.

snook
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:50:01 AM
correct, or even an equivalent sized battery from odessey......go to www.batterymart.com....

mickstobes
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 08:55:14 AM
This 15.000 mile per year requirement on the part of your dealer and/or BMW is complete crap. If it is a manufacturer's defect they should cover it under warranty regardless of how many miles you drive per year.

Art
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 09:20:55 AM
Yeap, Alex, I agree completely with you that if I have to pay for it, I'd have gotten the Hawke battery. In fact, that's exactly what I told the sales advisor if they didn't cover the battery, don't even bother taking the car into the shop, because I'll just get my own. Once they told me I'd only be paying the $30 labor, I figure that's convenient enough for me I went for it.

For the 15k/year requirement, his reasoning was that the battery would've been properly charged with that kind of mileage. If it's a lie and BMW doesn't have that requirement, well, let's just say it's not the first time they did that.

As for whether battery is covered under the warranty or the maintenance program, I don't know, and I imagine different dealerships have different policy on that. I talked with a friend who is a service advisor at another dealership, he said it's covered under maintenance, but since mine is expired, he could possibly work it under the warranty for me. So I don't think it's a black and white scenario, and if you have a nice dealership, yeah, I can see they cover it completely for you. But like I said above, this particular dealership hasn't been known to be the 'nicer' type. They have a huge client databases due to their locations, and have been pretty arrogant in my past dealings with them.

luxautodetail
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:53:40 PM
IT'S COVERED UNDER WARRANTY!!!! :banghead:......i didn't pay a penny for mine...