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Thread: Use Your Trickle Charger!

  1. #1
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Use Your Trickle Charger!

    The other morning I experienced my first engine fault. I hadn't driven the car in about ten days. So, I decided to go for a spin. While driving the car on a coolish morning (hey, this is Texas) and after about three minutes since warm-up, I felt the car miss, and then the check engine light came on. I turned into a parking lot and shut down the car for about thirty seconds. After restarting, there was no CE light, and everything seemed normal.

    That afternoon I took the car into Lonestar Bavarian in Fort Worth for them to read the historical codes. The fault codes indicated that the miss was due to slightly low voltage. Trent from Lonestar, who has a high mileage E39 M5 daily driver, explained that he has learned that the ignition/electrical system on the S62 is a bit sensitive. He said, that if the car sits for a while you can have enough power to start the car, but if the battery and charging system are fractions of volts down from spec, you can have problems. As I only drive the care one or two days a week, Trent suggested that I use the BMW trickle charger when the car is in the garage (I guess ?in the garage? is an obvious statement - not like you can really use it while driving).

    Most importantly, there was no permanent damage, and it was nice getting to BS with Trent about all things BMW. If you?re in the DFW area and haven?t used Lonestar, they?re a great alternative to the dealer, and they regularly service one other Z8. Trent has two BMW certified master mechanics on staff, and their hourly rate is only $82! For more info check out the Lonestar Bavarian website at http://www.lonestarbavarian.com/

    While I'm still skeptical of some of your cars that will not start after a few days sitting, I've made a new practice of using the handy BMW charger in order to keep the battery at peak charge. Anyway, if you were fortunate enough to get the charger with your car, use it. If not, you might want to looking into getting one - BMW or other brand - especially if you do not drive the car daily.
    thegunguy

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Good advice....

    as it really does keep the battery fresh, and our cars come with some inbuilt 'trickle drains' like the alarm and phone circuits.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
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    As my car is only driven on nice days, it spends a lot of time on the trickle charger. I think any of the newer cars with Nav & so forth put a real strain on the batteries. I think this is why it's not uncommon to see cars on the dealer's floor hooked up to a charger. Definitely makes sense to get one, I think. Best to all on the board for the coming year. Hope to be able to meet some of you at some point in the future.

    Mike

  4. #4
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    We had unseasonably warm weather in MI yesterday - mid 70s and sunny. The trickle charger did its part and my bone stock Z seemed to enjoy touring the town as much as I did. Snow is forecast for this weekend so she's put away probably for at least another month.

    I must confess that I had failed to hook up the trickle charger and let the car sit for a couple months. After a particularly cold spell, I tried to start the car to no avail. The battery was so weak that I feared the charger would not be sufficient to resuscitate. Plus the instructions warned not to hook up to a frozen battery. So I waited a couple weeks for the weather to warm and plugged her in. I checked back in 3 days and all was well. I use the BMW trickle charger and heartily recommend it.

  5. #5
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    Just brought my Z out on Monday after a long winter's storage. Trickle charger worked wonders as she started up immediately. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't even offer up a tappet tick despite 6 months of slumber.

    However, today I drove her to work she sounded a little "throaty", but otherwise seemed fine. When I pulled in to the parking lot, I noticed the engine light was on. Granted, she has been off the trickle for two days but she has been on the road every day since Monday. I will start her up again at lunch time and hope not to see the engine light.