The BMW has a serious battery drain -- that seems all too
common for these cars. Indeed, BMW's come from the factory with a battery
cut-off switch installed, which the dealer here in the states remove.
So, if I leave the car sit for a few days, I will often
come back to a near-dead or dead-enough-to-not-start battery. This
presents a few problems.
- The locks are electronically controlled (no power, no
- There is an emergency 'entry' procedure, but 8 of 10
people I know that have tried it; it doesn't work.
- You can "jump" the battery (located under the rear
seat) thru a trunk lid light to get enough power to unlock the doors.
This is a pain, plus you risk the possibility of blowing a fuse, then you're
screwed. (Break a window time)
Since this has happened to me a number of times, I started
carrying one of those battery-jumper boxes (I got mine from Griots -- it's small
and works well -- I have jumped the car 4 times and a truck on one charge).
But this too is a bit of a pain.
|My 1st action was to install a
device -- which honestly, works magic -- when the battery gets low, it
automatically disconnects the battery. It will not disconnect
when the engine is running. When the battery is disconnected,
the device monitors for a higher electrical draw from the car (ie: the
lights turned on, or the brake peddle depressed) and automatically
re-connects the battery -- this device is awesome -- I've since put it
in our two cars, truck & boat -- if they had one for a motorcycle, I'd
probably do that too.
The PriorityStart is
the yellow thing under the red battery cable.
Still; when using this; the clock & computer settings are
lost, the radio pre-sets sometimes get lost, a real pain.... so I though about
the garage.... Most of the time, when the car is in the garage, I put the
car on a 1amp battery tender. The battery never goes dead.
|This has lead me installing a solar panel -- it
fits nicely on the shelf, doesn't look too bad -- and even I have tinted
windows, it charges at maximum (1.5 amps) in a cloudy day! There
are a LOT of choices out there for solar power -- but I like VDC (BatteryMINDer
products!) and they have one model # VDC-SCC015
- I got mine thru
batterymart.com -- It arrived quickly well packaged.
The picture didn't come out so nice; but there was no
good way to get a shot of it w/o glare -- you can't even see it if I
take a picture from the outside in due to the tinting...
|I wanted the control module, which tells me how
it's charging & battery status, in an easy to access place, but not
"right out in plain view". As I was running the wires, I realized
there's a good space behind the arm rest -- behind the leather "flappy"
bit.... This allows me to see the charger & battery status
w/o removing the seat. I was originally going to put it in the
trunk; but this is much easier for me to see...