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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 03:37 AM
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Battery Problems

So 10 weeks into ownership, an "issue" has appeared with what seems to be the battery.

This week, I've experienced "Low Battery Discharge" warnings on and off all week. I took it straight to the dealership on Wednesday and was told that I'm probably not driving the car enough, which I accepted, given that this week in particular, I've only gone to/from work which is only about 5kms each way.

So yesterday, I gave the car a good drive up and down the freeway, around the burbs etc in an effort to give the car time to charge up the battery. I also picked up a trickle charger to use today, however as the weather is pretty wet did't want to be playing with electricity in the rain.

So last night, get in the car, after driving around all day and the warning appears again. I left the car overnight, even unplugged the iPod so as to not cause any issues and again this morning same warning. Today it has even been hard to start after driving it.

It's going in on Tuesday to the dealership for the turbo water pump recall and they are going to have a look at it the battery for me, but no doubt, will just trickle charge the battery overnight. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

I had it at the dealership two weeks ago before this started to happen to have the software on the bluetooth upgraded due to poor iPhone connections. Apparently they updated ALL the software on the car for every control unit. Could the car not have liked the update and a control unit is staying on?
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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When you leave the car overnight is it garaged? do you lock it up?
The reason if you dont lock it, the car computer nevers closes down properly and this will over a short period cause the battery to drain.
They have this problem with the new cars in the dealers showroom, they have a flat battery in a matter of a couple of days if they arent locked.??
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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We don't have a garage but parked on the drive. I always lock it. I had no such problems with the X5 before it. I know it's been cold lately, but cold in Perth is hardly that cold. It's only been down to about 3 degrees Celsius this week, but colder the past few weeks before that. I know batteries don't like the cold weather.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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If the cars only 10 weeks old then its under warranty, let the dealer sort it out
Sometimes it can be something simple like a boot light not switching off.
You need to put a meter on the battery when its all switched off to see if theres anything still on thats draining it. There will always be a small current due to things like the computer memory and clocks etc needing to stay on, but there should be nothing significant.
I assume they have checked the alternator is giving its full charge when the engine is running?
And if the cars not new and the battery is around 5 years old or more then its probably on its last legs with a faulty cell and needs renewing?
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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Dont get fobbed off, you obviously have a serious problem, unlikely to be battery. They need to check the alternator output etc, its easy for them to do this.

The mileage you are doing is not a problem, leaving it for two or three weeks may be.
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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Nun (original)
When you leave the car overnight is it garaged? do you lock it up?
The reason if you dont lock it, the car computer nevers closes down properly and this will over a short period cause the battery to drain.
They have this problem with the new cars in the dealers showroom, they have a flat battery in a matter of a couple of days if they arent locked.??

Sorry, and with respect, but I disagree. Ours have been left garaged in an unlocked state and been fine for a month or more. The official 'recharge cycle' for a showroom car is monthly and that's unlocked with people clambering all over them. 'Sleep' mode is normally initiated after 16 minutes - locked or otherwise. Part of the car is always awake - like the key receiver - but the current draw is if the order of 100mA.

Short journeys are a battery killer as the modern AGM batteries do not like being underused, and if ever allowed to discharge will suffer shortened life. I have had a similar issue with my X6 and if that is not in regular (and long run use) then I connect a CTEK conditioner/charger to keep it topped up. The Dealer flagged a low battery issue after the car saw little use when I injured my spine and could not drive for 5 months.

These cars use huge amounts of power doing nothing (my X6 draws 60A with the engine off and in 'radio ready' mode) so I can't imagine the Mini being any different and especially if loaded with options. Some alternator work only takes place on the 'overrun' as this is supposedly greener.

Certainly our Mini Dealer echoed the BMW comments to not do short journeys. According to them, starting the car needs a run of at least 20 miles just to put the starting charge back. Not only that, but for those of us with diesel versions it will also knacker the DPF. What it does to a CAT I'm unsure as I haven't owned petrol power for 20 years.

Unless the battery is faulty, Mini can claim incorrect use and therefore fair wear and tear - and refuse warranty claims - in the UK at least.

Current: 2011 X6 40d & 2012 Countryman SD All4
Project: 2005 E46 330Cd M Sport convertible

Last edited by X6Sport; Aug 15th, 2012 at 03:24 PM.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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So it turns out that the battery was failing. Guess it wasn't happy with the short trips. The car was a dealer demo so has spent its life doing short trips to date. Fortunately was fixed under warranty. Guess that's an excuse to drive it more.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by saw005 (original)
So it turns out that the battery was failing. Guess it wasn't happy with the short trips. The car was a dealer demo so has spent its life doing short trips to date. Fortunately was fixed under warranty. Guess that's an excuse to drive it more.

Get yourself a battery charger, the type you can leave on and connected when the car is not in use they exercise the battery automatically by running it up and down, keeps it in tip top condition??
Ideal if you only use the car infrequently or do lots of short runs like you.
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