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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Aug-10-2017, 02:46:49 PM   #11
WyattH
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

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Originally Posted by rilla View Post
My little Braille atv battery drains faster when locked because the alarm is armed
This is my guess. Not sure why unlocked could draw more, so I'd think it's either the same or more draw when locked.
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Old Thu, Aug-10-2017, 11:58:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

I just did a test with my power supply, an HP 6033A. This is a laboratory-grade 20 v / 30 a autoranging dc power supply, which displays voltage and current to two decimal places (i.e., 10s of millivolts or milliamps).

The voltage of a fully charged unloaded lead acid battery is 2.1 volts per cell or 12.6 volts. My battery was somewhat discharged, so it was sitting at around 12.25 volts, connected. With a lead acid battery, if you provide it with charging current, the cell voltage will increase, so to prevent that from happening, I set the power supply to 12.27 volts. At this voltage, the power supply was supplying around 50 ma, steady-state, with the key out and doors closed (i.e., nothing turned on). When I locked or unlocked the car, there was a brief surge of current (around 1 a), which over a few minutes returned to around 50 ma. When the car is unlocked, the inside lights turn on and it's possible to see the current draw until they turn off. The lights draw around 500 ma. Based on this, the steady state draw of the car appears to be about 50 ma and it makes no difference whether the alarm is active or not.
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 12:10:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

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I just did a test with my power supply, an HP 6033A. This is a laboratory-grade 20 v / 30 a autoranging dc power supply, which displays voltage and current to two decimal places (i.e., 10s of millivolts or milliamps).

The voltage of a fully charged unloaded lead acid battery is 2.1 volts per cell or 12.6 volts. My battery was somewhat discharged, so it was sitting at around 12.25 volts, connected. With a lead acid battery, if you provide it with charging current, the cell voltage will increase, so to prevent that from happening, I set the power supply to 12.27 volts. At this voltage, the power supply was supplying around 50 ma, steady-state, with the key out and doors closed (i.e., nothing turned on). When I locked or unlocked the car, there was a brief surge of current (around 1 a), which over a few minutes returned to around 50 ma. When the car is unlocked, the inside lights turn on and it's possible to see the current draw until they turn off. The lights draw around 500 ma. Based on this, the steady state draw of the car appears to be about 50 ma and it makes no difference whether the alarm is active or not.
Very thoroughly done - props! And thank you!
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 03:13:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

I don't buy it. The clown nose draws power when the alarm is armed
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 04:43:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

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I don't buy it. The clown nose draws power when the alarm is armed
Go ahead and do your own test...
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Old Fri, Aug-11-2017, 12:04:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

Just disconnect the battery between track days.
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Old Sat, Aug-12-2017, 09:50:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

BMW states ~40mA after 16 minutes(locked or unlocked with all doors latched/closed). Anything consistently above 50mA should be further investigated with a current draw test. If your battery is dying it could be a faulty control unit waking or bad battery. Trickle charger is great if car is left sitting for long periods.
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Old Sun, Aug-13-2017, 05:23:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

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BMW states ~40mA after 16 minutes(locked or unlocked with all doors latched/closed). Anything consistently above 50mA should be further investigated with a current draw test. If your battery is dying it could be a faulty control unit waking or bad battery. Trickle charger is great if car is left sitting for long periods.
If you're responding to me, when I did the test, the battery was slightly discharged, so it was "happy" to draw some current. I had the car running today so I decided to take another run at this, since the battery is fully charged.

I put the power supply back on and adjusted the output voltage so the battery was drawing as close to zero amps as possible. (The power supply will sink current if necessary - within limits - to hold a constant voltage.) At 12.63 v (not surprisingly, that's the expected voltage for a fully charged battery), the battery was drawing 0.00 a, which means 10 ma, plus or minus 10 ma (because that's the resolution of the display), plus or minus 0.3 %, which is the rated accuracy of the power supply (not to mention that this power supply hasn't been calibrated for a while).

So as you can see, measuring the steady-state current draw on the battery using a power supply isn't straight-forward. (A more straight-forward way would be to use a shunt-resistor. I have one, but I don't feel like disconnecting my battery to install it.) What's more useful than the absolute measurements is the difference between the readings for locked and unlocked, which is less than the display resolution (i.e., plus or minus 10 ma), based on this test, so I stand by my previous claim that it makes no significant difference.
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Last edited by bimmerdriver; Sun, Aug-13-2017 at 05:33:44 AM.
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Old Sun, Aug-13-2017, 05:12:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

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Originally Posted by lmtfi View Post
I now have a small, lightweight battery in a track-only car that spends all of its non-track time parked in a garage.

Yes - I can put it on a trickle charger - but I generally don't prefer to do that 24x7. The answer has practical application.
I re-read and see it's a track only vehicle with light weight battery. I would just disconnect it if not using a trickle charger. Either way the ~40mA or less while asleep applies whether the vehicle is locked or unlocked.
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Old Mon, Aug-14-2017, 07:13:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked?

Locked for sure if you have an alarm in my experience. My tests aren't that scientific though since I only test it when I go on trips and stuff. Leave car for 3 weeks locked = can't start, doesn't even turnover. Leave car for 3 weeks unlocked = barely starts lol If you lock it and disable the interior sensor, then it lasts about as long as just leaving it unlocked. I've done it multiple times although with different lengths of time. The only time when it didn't start for all states was when the battery actually needed replacement. Generally the 2 week mark is where the car will start up regardless if whether it's locked or not. Although my car is a 330ci so iono if that makes a difference with the M3. Should be similar though.
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Discussing Does The E46 M3 Use More Power Parked Locked - or Unlocked? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)