How Can a Dead Battery Impact Your BMW?
Posted on August 24, 2019 by Keith Cox
BMW has a long history of being in an elite class when it comes to luxury motoring. With gorgeous interiors and stunning exteriors, combined with brilliant innovations and intelligent engineering, driving a BMW is an extravagance car enthusiasts live for. These perks are just some of the reasons people choose BMW throughout their motoring lives.
However, something that can completely hinder such an incredible driving experience is a dead battery. With this in mind, we will take a closer look at your BMW’s battery as well as learn what drains the battery, and we will discuss the signs and symptoms that your BMW could imminently fail.
Car Battery 101
Remember when you were a kid and all your toys needed batteries to work? Every car is basically a giant version of that with a large rechargeable battery to match. The main purpose of your car’s battery is to power electrical current to your car. This power feeds the starter, which is responsible for starting the engine. Once the engine is running, the battery takes a back seat and the car’s electrical systems are then powered by the alternator. If kept in good condition, your vehicle’s battery could last 5 years or more.
What can drain my BMW’s battery?
There are many factors that can cause your battery to drain:
1. Leaving the Lights on
Probably the most common cause of a drained battery, many drivers have accidentally left their lights on overnight at some point or another. Because the engine isn’t running, and therefore the alternator isn’t powering them, the lights turn to the battery for power. Overnight, the battery becomes drained, leaving you with a dead car in the morning.
2. Electrical Issues
The second most common reason for a drained battery is electrical issues. When you turn off the ignition, not all functions cease running. Normally, these are functions designed to stay on, such as the security alarm, the clock, and the radio. However, if your BMW experiences an electric glitch, other systems may remain active, such as the overhead light, which can really suck up battery power.
3. Weak Battery
As previously mentioned, the life span of your battery is around 5 years. When your battery becomes old or has been poorly maintained, it can become weak and struggle to hold its charge, resulting in a dead battery.
4. Corroded or Loose Battery Connections
Another direct consequence of poor servicing or inadequate maintenance is loose or corroded connections. These bad connectors won’t allow your battery to properly charge. It may even cause the battery to drain of the charge it already has.
5. Faulty Alternator Diode
As mentioned, the alternator is what takes over the work powering your BMW’s electrical systems when the engine has started. However, if the alternator diode becomes corroded, it can affect the charge of your battery, sometimes drawing power even when it isn’t in use.
What are the warning signs of failure?
When it comes to any issue in a vehicle, being able to pick up on the signs or warnings that failure is imminent can help you to correctly prepare or seek repairs before the issue is able to catch you off guard. In the case of a dead battery, the warning signs you should look out for include:
- An engine that cranks, but isn’t able to start
- An engine that refuses to crank or start
- The lights won’t come on
- Intermittent starting, i.e., one day your vehicle will start up fine, and the next it refuses to start, indicating an unreliable battery charge
- Your BMW struggles to crank in cold weather
- Your vehicle has required jump starts in the recent past
Seek Servicing at Keith Cox Autobahn
With great maintenance and servicing standards, your battery can far surpass its 5 year life span. However, if it’s been a little while since you visited your mechanic, now might be a good time to do some routine maintenance to prolong the life of your battery.
Luckily, if you live in or around Bellingham, WA, then Keith Cox Autobahn has you covered. We are specialists in European cars. Our friendly technicians are on hand to help bring your battery back to peak performance. Our goal is to become your trusted BMW repair and maintenance shop. Come by or call today for a consultation.