Grrrr! X5 not starting again!

Grrrr! X5 not starting again!

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Discussion

Dave9

579 posts

109 months

Tuesday 7th December 2010
quotequote all
kerry katona recently had problems with her x5

Windymiller

Original Poster:

1,917 posts

187 months

Tuesday 7th December 2010
quotequote all
Dave9 said:
kerry katona recently had problems with her x5
Haha. F*ck off wink

redtwin

7,518 posts

129 months

Tuesday 7th December 2010
quotequote all
Windymiller said:
redtwin said:
Windymiller said:
Unfortunately we live on the 7th floor of an apartment block, the car lives on -3, and the only power down there is for the lighting.

Bummer.



Better invest in one of these then as you will be needing it on a regular basis. Pick them up for £30ish, it recharges from the mains in your flat.

You can also help things out by not using the climate control or heated seats etc while on the short journeys. Also when starting, switch ignition on until glow plug lamp goes out, then switch ignition off then back on again to give the glow plugs a "double shot" if you get my drift. Always seemed to make starting easier in the winter when I had my 330d.

Edited by redtwin on Monday 6th December 14:40
Where's that from mate? The one's I've seen don't seem good enough, only listing a 2.0 engine as the best it will start:

http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/...
To be honest I just did a search for images so you would have a better idea what I was on about, I don't know the exact spec of that one. The one I had was just a cheapy from Aldi, no clue what it was rated for. Those Clarke ones seem to have a decent output, but then they are easily double what I paid for mine.

Edited by redtwin on Tuesday 7th December 17:59

Eggman

1,253 posts

158 months

Tuesday 7th December 2010
quotequote all
You get what you pay for with the cheap ones - they're not really suitable for larger engines. I bought one of the £30 jobbies and used it to start a Range Rover twice (with a charge in between) before it died completely, presumably with warped plates. A little bit disappointing; it was a low compression engine that turned over as easy as anything.

Chunky ones more suited to diesels seem to be around £100 at Machine Mart. Still not sure I'd bother, though. I generally keep an old car battery in the shed which gets checked periodically with a voltmeter and put on charge every so often. That's fine for the amount I use it.

redtwin

7,518 posts

129 months

Tuesday 7th December 2010
quotequote all
Not a bad idea, but OP lives in a flat, not sure I would want an old car battery lying around in a flat. They also tend to be lead acid which will give off noxious fumes when being charged.

Booster packs tend to be "cleaner" (providing you don't get then dirty!) and are probably safer to store in confined living spaces.

Eggman

1,253 posts

158 months

Tuesday 7th December 2010
quotequote all
Noxious fumes? A little bit of Hydrogen - safe as houses (unless it explodes wink).

I generally charge batteries inside anyway - next to the back door, where there's a tiled floor and I can keep an eye on proceedings. SWMBO used to complain about it, but she stopped when she realised I didn't take a blind bit of notice biggrin

Windymiller

Original Poster:

1,917 posts

187 months

Tuesday 21st December 2010
quotequote all
westom said:
Windymiller said:
I use the car every day, but my commute is only 2 miles each way, then I do about 50 miles over the weekend.

Any suggestions? Is there any way I can test the alternator myself, or for a power drain?
Two miles (ten minutes) is more than enough to recharge a battery. But some mechanics do not understand how the meter reads; how a meter finds and reports each failure.

You may have two different problems. The first is that only half an alternator is working. Or that it is not charging when RPMs are above idle.

As others noted, a normal battery is 12.6; 11.x volts when defective. However that measurement should be taken with engine off and high beams on. Loading is necessary so that a charged but defective battery does not appear good.

Same applies to checking charge voltages. 13 plus volts must exist when the engine is idling AND highbeams on, rear window defogger on, and heater fan on high. This voltage must also remains constant when the engine speed is raised above 1500 RPMs. A loose belt means charge voltage drops at higher RPMs. Some failed alternator diodes cause charge voltage drops when at idle (800 RPMs) under load. All measurements made with maximum loading (high beans, defogger, seat heaters).

A second problem would be a device that is constantly on - slowly discharging the battery. With the car off and battery terminal temporarily disconnected, use the meter in current mode to measure a current drawn from the battery. In current mode, the meter sits between battery and car's battery cable. First measure for 10+ amps. If at zero, then measure for lower currents. The consumption on a battery when everything is off (even doors close so that no interior light is on) should be about 0.1 amps (100 milliamps) or lower.

If meter is measuring 100 mA and you open a door, the large current drawn by interior lights might blow a fuse inside the meter. Be careful about unexpected loads when measuring current.

If that current too high, then remove fuses one at a time to find the function discharging that battery.

You definitely have a failure - no way around that. Too many mechanics want to keep replacing a battery rather than first find what is discharging or not properly recharging a battery.
One thing I had thought though was that the built-in car-phone (Motorola V50) is always plugged into the armrest, and never used, but possibly always on charge? So I've unplugged that to see...

Last night, I took some measurements with my multi-meter:

—no draw, engine off, 12.55v
—no draw, engine on, 13.75v
—draw (blower, lights, nav), engine on, 13.75v

I also checked what the current draw is when she's totally powered down (sleep mode):



Suppose all I can do now is see if removing the phone has cured it?

eliot

8,548 posts

201 months

Wednesday 22nd December 2010
quotequote all
Windymiller said:
One thing I had thought though was that the built-in car-phone (Motorola V50) is always plugged into the armrest, and never used, but possibly always on charge? So I've unplugged that to see...

Last night, I took some measurements with my multi-meter:

—no draw, engine off, 12.55v
—no draw, engine on, 13.75v
—draw (blower, lights, nav), engine on, 13.75v

I also checked what the current draw is when she's totally powered down (sleep mode):



Suppose all I can do now is see if removing the phone has cured it?
That appears to be pulling 20ma which is fine IMO (assuming you have the meter in series with the battery).
I found that sometimes the motorola v50 phone did go a bit haywire and keep drawing power, so you may be onto something.


Windymiller

Original Poster:

1,917 posts

187 months

Tuesday 4th January 2011
quotequote all
Well, after all that it turned out to be the bloody built-in phone! Seems my girlfriend had a play with it one day and turned it on, so it's been powering itself off the car ever since I thing. Removed the phone plus relevant fuses and (touch wood) it's been fine ever since.

Anyone need a new X5 battery? wink

GreatGranny

7,180 posts

173 months

Tuesday 4th January 2011
quotequote all
Windymiller said:
Well, after all that it turned out to be the bloody built-in phone! Seems my girlfriend had a play with it one day and turned it on, so it's been powering itself off the car ever since I thing. Removed the phone plus relevant fuses and (touch wood) it's been fine ever since.

Anyone need a new X5 battery? wink
I knew it would a woman's fault! Always is. smile

Also get off your arse and start walking/cycling the 2 miles.

Windymiller

Original Poster:

1,917 posts

187 months

Tuesday 4th January 2011
quotequote all
I had every intention of doing so this morning... then I woke up and there was snow everywhere!

I'm sure it's not safe/possible to cycle in snow paperbag

Petrolhead_Rich

4,656 posts

139 months

Tuesday 4th January 2011
quotequote all
Windymiller said:
my commute is only 2 miles each way, then I do about 50 miles over the weekend.
I remember being told it takes 5-10 miles to recharge the battery from starting, with a 3.0L diesel it will take a fair bit of power to start, especially in the winter!

Does it start ok monday and tuesday but then get low by thursday??

I'm thinking there is nothing wrong to be honest!

Oh and 2 miles a day in a diesel eek thats going to be knackered and full of gunge, need a good run to clear its lungs and charge the battery!!!

ETA - Read page 3, it could be the phone boxedin

Still the point stands about doing a 2 mile commute in a diesel which clog up on short journeys!

Edited by Petrolhead_Rich on Tuesday 4th January 18:23