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Fullserve
07-16-2003, 12:41 PM
I have a mostly stock '97 that has not been holding a charge on a new battery. I bought the battery about 5 weeks ago and have noticed in the last two weeks that when the car sits for a couple of days, it turns over prettty slowly when I do start it.

Finally, it sat over this past weekend and on Monday the battery was completely gone. The only drain on the battery should have been the factory alarm.

My first guess is the alternator, but I have never gotten an idiot light telling me that anything is wrong. Are there any other possibilities?

Thanks,
John

tcrews
07-16-2003, 01:29 PM
You could have a short somewhere as well. Was everything fine before you installed the new battery?

My ABS unit died and it would run the pump continuously until the battery would drain-die.

Fullserve
07-16-2003, 01:45 PM
Hmmm...thanks for the post.

No, everything was not ok. Same thing happened to the old battery, but it took a lot longer and I thought it was just old and needed to be replaced.

Did the ABS failure produce any warning lights for you? Maybe I'm expecting too much of the computer, but I get nothing to tell me anything's wrong.

Thanks again,
John

tcrews
07-16-2003, 08:01 PM
Well...you could hear the pump running when the car was off....and the ABS light had come on about two days (and then go off) before the pump started running all the time.

Not sure if the alternator would through a CEL or not...kind of doubtful that it would.
Most CELs are triggered from emissions, and other engine functions, usually not any 'accessories'.

cobrabitn
07-17-2003, 11:59 AM
You have a draining problem and it won't be the alternator/regulator. Check all connections to see that they are tight especially look to see if you have corrosion on the cables. Odds are, that's the problem. Listen when the car is off to hear something running and make sure all accessories are off when you turn the engine off. Let us know what you find out. :doubt:

Fullserve
07-17-2003, 12:25 PM
Thanks, cobrabitn. Will do. Looks like I have some work cut out for me this weekend!

big dave
07-17-2003, 12:37 PM
I would put a volt meter between the battery and the car to see what it is pulling when the car is off. and then start pulling fuses.

cowboyharry
07-28-2003, 01:15 AM
Could be you might just have a bad battery.

Fullserve
07-28-2003, 02:18 PM
Thanks to all for the advice. I've isolated it to the factory alarm. For some reason, it is pulling too much juice when activated and will run the battery down in a few days.

After running the car for a half hour the new battery is cranking just fine. I don't have a solution for the alarm, but at least I know what the problem is...

John

willyumm
07-31-2003, 11:02 AM
John, are you driving this car daily? I am having the same issue with my car, but I drive it maybe 5 times a month.

William

Fullserve
07-31-2003, 07:10 PM
No, I'm not driving it daily right now. I'm trying to sell my '97 328i and have been driving it 90% of the time (with signs in the window!).

Well, now I've let it happen again. It sat for the last 6 days and it's dead. I fully expect it to jump start and recharge, but I can't seem to let it sit for more than a couple of days. I guess it's not the alarm (necessarily), and I'll have to go through the previous suggestions of pulling fuses...

More later...

Bartman01
08-01-2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by Fullserve
No, I'm not driving it daily right now. I'm trying to sell my '97 328i and have been driving it 90% of the time (with signs in the window!).

Well, now I've let it happen again. It sat for the last 6 days and it's dead. I fully expect it to jump start and recharge, but I can't seem to let it sit for more than a couple of days. I guess it's not the alarm (necessarily), and I'll have to go through the previous suggestions of pulling fuses...

More later...

I would definatly check the main cables for corrosion as previously suggested. It can cause some weird symptoms. I have seen everything from car dies and cant be restarted (severe corrosion), to a freind who was about to buy a new battery (based on family and shop diagnosis) because the car wouldn't start after sitting for a couple of days. In the latter case, we cleaned his cables and the car was "fixed" - no more starting problems.

Fullserve
08-01-2003, 11:29 AM
Okay, now I'm bummed. I tried to jump it last night and it didn't even turn over. I let the battery charge for 5 minutes from the starter car just like before and the lights and radio even worked after I unhooked everything.

Since it didn't even click the solenoid, I'm wondering if there's a problem with my alarm kill switch. I'm pretty confident that it had plenty of juice to start. Has anyone had trouble with the factory alarm?

Fullserve
08-01-2003, 11:47 AM
I will definitely do that this time. It's just a pain because my car is stuck in my work building's underground parking - not good lighting and such. Thanks for the reiteration, however.

smashedheadcat
08-03-2003, 07:36 AM
It's not your factory alarm (PATS). This doesn't keep the car from turning over. If your THEFT light isn't flashing, then you're okay. Check the engine block grounding wire (left hand engine mount) and make sure it isn't loose. A bad engine ground could be causing the problems you are describing as well.