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I am having the same problem with my 2002 X5. There is a motor or fan running behind the AC control panel on the dash and if I pull fuse 48 it stops and the battery doesn't drain. Still looking for the cause and solution so that I don't have to keep pulling and installin fuse 48. BMW garage suggested that it was the Final Stage Blower Resistor. I replaced this and no change. I hope someone has an answer that will help us both.
Seems highly unlikely. I can imagine a possibility for a drain that might discharge he battery when the car is off, but your description suggests that you have determined that it is not charging rather than draining when turned off. You can rule out a drain in the seat heater by removing the fuse for the seat heater and see if the problem persists.
The software upgrade answer sounds Bogus.
There are a lot of good German car specialty shops out there. Check the Mechanics Files on the CarTalk web page or hook up with your local BMW owner's club, and find a good independent shop.
Did you have the battery tested? It should hold 13+ volts at any time. Wal- mart will test it for you. If the battery is good, get the car fixed before you kill the battery, car batteries can only go dead so many times before they are shot. If the alternator is not charging, get that thing to the shop too and have it tested, if it is OK, then you have to have something running like a clock, radio, alarm system, something is draining the battery, you have to find it and get her fixed or carry a spare battery. I have heard of fuel pumps running on, and draining the battery, see if you can hear that thing going when the car is off. Check it out. Hope this helps.
it seems like something is draining your battery while the car sits overnight. causing the battery to get weaker and weaker putting stress on the alternator making it fail prematurely. the dealership will do a paracidic drain test where they'll find out what is draining your battery while your car sits overnight. it could be a bad module somewhere that's staying on when it shouldn't be.
You probably ought to get a professional mechanic fix the problem before it gest worst. Call around some local mechanics for free estimates. Heck, I know the following site has a small auto section where they offer great deals, like free estimates from local auto specialists in your area, whom I would think would be able to assist you in diagnosing the problem and having it fixed before it gets worse--right now one ad-link says you could save like 50% through what I read as competitive bidding or something like that--here's the link:
Sounds like the alternator may be missing an excitation current source.
Check the 'IGN' dash indicator lights when you turn ignition switch on prior to starting motor,
if not one of the below may be problem:-
1) check exiter control wire is connected to alternator D+ terminal (low current wire, +V with Ign on),
2) replace dash 'IGN' indicator lamp.
This is not a sloution but i had a similar problem about 6months ago.
I left the lights on which drained the battery, road assistant came to booost start it, there was power but no turn over, not even a clunk of the engine trying ( all electrics are working and lights in the dash are live), tried a new battery same situation,
I took it to BMW independant specialist who put it down to a ECU fault , i was duped into having a new key made as i had no spare as it was believed the immobilizer had locked the car up so to speak, this didnt work , so the mech ordered a new ecu, and had it reprogrammed and it turned over first time, It was bumpy idling at cold start cos i had my original dead battery but after a day it ran like it used to sweet as a nut.
it was expensive 500 quid to put right, but then you may have better luck with your mechanic.