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98 328is starting issues
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: 98 328is starting issues Reply with quote

My 328 has been garaged and off the road sporadically for the past year because I travel outside the US for a month at a time three times per year.

I have a BMW charger, but can't leave a tickle charger on it all the time (it's not my own garage). In the past whenever I returned I'd plug in the charger, leave it for a couple of days and everything would be fine.

This time it's been no go: I left the charger plugged in till the light on the unit went from red (charging) to green (maintenance), but the car will not turn over.

The lights work, radio works.

I'm hoping that it's a just a case that the voltage dropped so low that it would not take a charge from the charger. Is this something getting a jump might fix? Does this sound possible?

If so, can the jump be done from the battery itself (in the trunk) rather than the terminals on the engine? I ask that because it is not possible to pull a car into the garage next to it (garage is too narrow). Trying to avoid having to push the car out of the garage.
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1998 Morea Green 328is 5-speed sports pkg
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:12 pm    Post subject: battery replacement: OEM necessary or aftermarket OK? Reply with quote

As a followup, I was able to get a jump and the car started.

I drove for about an hour, hoping the battery would charge, but it apparently did not: It would not restart. It's charging now, but it's pretty obvious I need a battery.

Is this something a local mechanic can do or is it absolutely necessary to go to a dealer?

Info I found online seems to indicate that BMWs since 2002 need to have the computer synced to the battery. But what about in E36s?

If I can get a local mechanic to do it and an aftermarket battery is OK, I'd prefer to do that.

Hope someone can weigh on this.

Thanks.

dg
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geminiys



Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 182
Location: SF, California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No special equipment is required to change batteries on E36 models. You can do it yourself and ask a salesperson at Automotive shop to help you doing it. Make sure you get vented battery. The E36 battery are in the trunk and has a little hose attached to prevent gasses to be trapped inside the car. All process will take about 5-10 minutes. Be prepared to enter a code for the radio afterwords if you have a stock unit. Good Luck.
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

geminiys wrote:
No special equipment is required to change batteries on E36 models.


Thanks--I spoke to my local mechanic and he's familiar with installing them in E36s, so I should be OK.

geminiys wrote:
Be prepared to enter a code for the radio afterwords if you have a stock unit. Good Luck.


I have a replacement BMW head unit and I know the code (I noted it when I bought it in 2002). How/where is the code entered? Is it input on the head unit itself?

I thought that if you put something in the cigarette lighter to draw current that you don't lose the code: Is this not correct? (I read that online.)

dg
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geminiys



Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 182
Location: SF, California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure about Cigaret Lighter but the minute Radio Unit looses power the code is required to be activated again. You just punch the code on the head unit itself.
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

geminiys wrote:
You just punch the code on the head unit itself.


Great--thanks so much for your reply.

dg
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PJK



Joined: 14 Feb 2002
Posts: 1829
Location: Shingle Springs, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 98 328is starting issues Reply with quote

Hi dg27,

It is imperative that you use either a battery with a vent tube like the OEM battery or an AGM battery such as an Optima, or you will get acid rain in the trunk. You don't want that. I am a fan of AGM batteries however the mounting of at least the Optima does not match the OEM so you have to get creative to secure it.

On the cigarette lighter thing - Drawing power from it won't do any good as there won't be power when the battery is removed. There exist devices which will power the electrical system via the lighter socket when the battery is removed to preserve radio codes and computer memory. If you use such a device you need to be careful not to short the battery cables when you remove the battery or your effort with the lighter power thing will be in vain.

Phil

dg27 wrote:
My 328 has been garaged and off the road sporadically for the past year because I travel outside the US for a month at a time three times per year.

I have a BMW charger, but can't leave a tickle charger on it all the time (it's not my own garage). In the past whenever I returned I'd plug in the charger, leave it for a couple of days and everything would be fine.

This time it's been no go: I left the charger plugged in till the light on the unit went from red (charging) to green (maintenance), but the car will not turn over.

The lights work, radio works.

I'm hoping that it's a just a case that the voltage dropped so low that it would not take a charge from the charger. Is this something getting a jump might fix? Does this sound possible?

If so, can the jump be done from the battery itself (in the trunk) rather than the terminals on the engine? I ask that because it is not possible to pull a car into the garage next to it (garage is too narrow). Trying to avoid having to push the car out of the garage.
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Phil,

I had a Bosch battery installed and have had no issues (it seems to be identical to what was removed, which was a BMW-stickered Exide, in terms of the install).

Thanks for your reply--I'll forget about that cigarette lighter thing.

dg
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PJK



Joined: 14 Feb 2002
Posts: 1829
Location: Shingle Springs, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are probably good, but look for the little plastic tube from the top of the battery through the bottom of the battery box venting to the outside. Unless the battery is sealed like an AGM it is imperative.

Phil

dg27 wrote:
Hello Phil,

I had a Bosch battery installed and have had no issues (it seems to be identical to what was removed, which was a BMW-stickered Exide, in terms of the install).

Thanks for your reply--I'll forget about that cigarette lighter thing.

dg
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
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Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for explaining this, Phil. I'll double check with the mechanic, but the battery he removed had no such tube that I recall and looked sealed, as does this one.
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PJK



Joined: 14 Feb 2002
Posts: 1829
Location: Shingle Springs, CA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dg27,

It could be that BMW switched to AGM batteries for the later e36s. My old '93 came with a flooded battery.

If your Bosch is something like this:

http://www.worldpac.com/pdfs/Bosch%206%20Page%20Brochure%20-%20June%2020%202011.pdfbe

You should be good. I was not aware that Bosch was making AGM batteries. I'm glad to see that. The competition should keep Optima honest.

Phil

quote="dg27"]Thanks for explaining this, Phil. I'll double check with the mechanic, but the battery he removed had no such tube that I recall and looked sealed, as does this one.[/quote]
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PJK wrote:
Hi dg27,It could be that BMW switched to AGM batteries for the later e36s. My old '93 came with a flooded battery.


Phil: The link you provided did not work. I had to Google "flooded" and "AGM" to determine what those terms mean.

The battery that was removed and the battery that was installed are both sealed (not "wet cell"). Never had to add fluid.

The Bosch I had installed looked something like this (this might even be the exact one):

http://static.pepboys.com/images/productImages/56564100/BOSCH-BATTERY-48-690B.jpg

Thanks for all your help.

dg
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PJK



Joined: 14 Feb 2002
Posts: 1829
Location: Shingle Springs, CA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dg27,

I must have done it wrong. I guess you have to use the URL button.

At any rate a flooded lead-acid battery is the traditional car battery we have known and loved since well before I was on this Earth. With that battery there plates of "spongy" lead and I believe lead oxide separated by a porous insulating material. All of that is submerged in a soultion of sulfuric acid. As the battery is charged, in addition the the chemical reaction which we want some of the water is electrolysized into hydrogen and oxygen which leave the battery. That's why we have to add water. Also those gasses carry with them sulfuric acid mist which is corrosive. If such batteries are used in an enclosed area they must be vented to the outside.

An AGM battery is a modern evolution of the lead-acid battery. AGM is an acronym for absorbent glass mat. The chemistry of this battery is similar to the old flooded type but there are refinements. The lead is much purer and not alloyed with the stuff needed to give strength in the old design. Instead the lead plates are sandwiched with the fiberglass insulator which is wet with sulfuric acid. The needed strength comes from the construction and the batteries are sealed. The oxygen and hydrogen formed when charging recombine into water. The up sides of this is of coarse no need to add water, but more important no acid rain.


The battery which you linked seemed to have vest-ages of battery caps. It could be that these are not intended to be removed and are safety vents. If a battery is truly sealed they usually make a deal of it. Low maintenance is not necessary sealed. If that battery can't be mounted in any position (an Optima can be mounted upside down) insist that the vent tube be installed.

Phil



dg27 wrote:
PJK wrote:
Hi dg27,It could be that BMW switched to AGM batteries for the later e36s. My old '93 came with a flooded battery.


Phil: The link you provided did not work. I had to Google "flooded" and "AGM" to determine what those terms mean.

The battery that was removed and the battery that was installed are both sealed (not "wet cell"). Never had to add fluid.
The Bosch I had installed looked something like this (this might even be the exact one):

http://static.pepboys.com/images/productImages/56564100/BOSCH-BATTERY-48-690B.jpg

Thanks for all your help.

dg
http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/838838/00774?isPayInStoreOnlyStore=false

Last edited by PJK on Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PJK



Joined: 14 Feb 2002
Posts: 1829
Location: Shingle Springs, CA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mistake
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dg27



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 433
Location: Long Island City, NY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil:

I spoke to the mechanic who installed the battery (I had to get a state inspection).

I was completely wrong: The battery he installed is a flooded cell and does have a vent. He said that the Bosch batteries have a vent but, for example, Delcos do not.

I learned a lot from your post: Thank you!

dg
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