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  #21  
Old 03-17-2019, 01:03 PM
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Battery for E53 2005 4.4i

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Originally Posted by talljames View Post
Hi all, I am looking at getting the Varta H3 100AH 830A Lead Acid for my X5 E53 2005 4.4i petrol. I dont think I need a AGM version which is a lot more expensive. Are these the ones BMW use? Also, I think Zi can replace my battery myself. Is this a good choice?



regards


I changed it in my E53 (same 4.4i) almost 3 years ago, for one with CCA650 and 100A. and the X5 in 150m went from a sluggish almost bore car into a sharp, direct and powerful machine.
It might be the most (simple) rewarding thing Iíve done to the car. Really amazing.
I didnít expect that.

Last edited by Drevco; 03-17-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-17-2019, 02:59 PM
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For a daily driver never taken off road I would not veto a liquid axis battery. The BMW branded battery I replaced last year on my x5 was liquid but I upgraded to AGM when I found a good value at Sam's club


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  #23  
Old 03-17-2019, 05:52 PM
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Before you replace the battery I suggest you have it load tested. The test will be conclusive one way or the other. Keep in mind that BMWs are very sensitive to voltage variations so there should be some urgency replacing the current battery if it test bad and should be considered in what the specs are on the new battery. I wouldn't purchase a battery that doesn't at least meet the original specs. I think the purchase of a battery is not about what is sufficient for normal conditions. It should be about what will still be sufficient in extreme conditions. Also consider the length of the warranty and how long the two types of batteries normally last as part of the pricing decision. The AGM battery could be a better value even at the higher price. Based on the importance of a good battery, it has always served me well replacing original batteries with heavier duty batteries.
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Last edited by bcredliner; 03-17-2019 at 06:04 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-17-2019, 06:04 PM
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Battery for E53 2005 4.4i

It actually is not conclusive. My battery that could start my 3.0 at 0įF and tested 550 CCA on an old school resistive tester couldn't run an iPhone for 30 minutes nor the hszzards for 8 minutes and start the car after.

All I can figure is that somehow the plates were covered in such a way it affected only capacity not current or voltage. Basically rather than having an 800A,100AH battery it was a 550A, 1AH battery (could supply 200A for a start a couple times but the capacity being literally about 1AH means I could crank a few times at best or run the iPhone charger maybe 20 minutes (30 and I couldn't start the car)

That all said: normally bc is correct, a load test *should* by all means give you a definitive answer about the battery condition, but only a long term load test (eg pull 10A for half a day) will test the battery fully. Nobody ever performs that test but it really should be done occasionally. An 80AH battery should be able to run a 1A load for 80 hours, and a 10A load for maybe 6A for 10-11 hours (internal resistance costs you some storage the higher the draw)

My dad has a 100A load tester I think it might have a lower setting I'll have to check.

+1 on the upgrade a bit concept, especially if you live in a cold climate. There's a very good reason nobody talks about the hot cranking current
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  #25  
Old 03-17-2019, 06:38 PM
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I disagree that you have to do more than a load test these days. Current equipment even that used in chain auto parts stores checks all the boxes. A load test is easy to have done at least in US and is free. It's an important troubleshooting step as It eliminates the question if the problem is elsewhere such as the alternator voltage output.
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  #26  
Old 03-17-2019, 11:07 PM
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Battery for E53 2005 4.4i

You maybe missed the point of my previous message:

A load test "confirmed" that my battery was perfectly ok and they sent me on my merry way. Less than a week later my car wouldn't start after 8 minutes of blinking the flashers.

A load test can as it did in my case give you a false sense of security. It can't be trusted trusted blindly as proof it's ok. It will definitely prove a battery is shot though so it's the first test to perform.

The problem is they can't test capacity which is also pretty important, it determines literally, how long the car can sit before it won't start, and good long leaving on an accessory will take to cripple the car. A normal battery will run an iPhone for perhaps a week or more, my "passed the test" battery 1/500th of a week did it in.

You definitely should do a load test it's the most important factor in determining if your battery has reached end of life, but a completely worthless end of life battery CAN pass a load test with flying colors and then leave you stranded when you go into a store for 20 minutes and your kid has his iPhone plugged in. (True story)

If your battery (like mine) passes a load test but you are bewildered when your car won't start after sitting overnight or with the radio on for an hour (a normal battery can probably run the radio for at least 30 hours and still start the car), then some more testing is needed. Eg. Run the radio for six hours and see what voltage is left and if you can start the car.

If a battery can start the car after 2-4 hours of radio play AND passes a load test, I would call that acceptable. it would be worth figuring out a combination like high beams on but nothing else to get a standard load test to perform once in a while rather than just wait to be stranded method that is the normal test for end of life
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  #27  
Old 03-18-2019, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
You maybe missed the point of my previous message:

A load test "confirmed" that my battery was perfectly ok and they sent me on my merry way. Less than a week later my car wouldn't start after 8 minutes of blinking the flashers.

A load test can as it did in my case give you a false sense of security. It can't be trusted trusted blindly as proof it's ok. It will definitely prove a battery is shot though so it's the first test to perform.

The problem is they can't test capacity which is also pretty important, it determines literally, how long the car can sit before it won't start, and good long leaving on an accessory will take to cripple the car. A normal battery will run an iPhone for perhaps a week or more, my "passed the test" battery 1/500th of a week did it in.

You definitely should do a load test it's the most important factor in determining if your battery has reached end of life, but a completely worthless end of life battery CAN pass a load test with flying colors and then leave you stranded when you go into a store for 20 minutes and your kid has his iPhone plugged in. (True story)

If your battery (like mine) passes a load test but you are bewildered when your car won't start after sitting overnight or with the radio on for an hour (a normal battery can probably run the radio for at least 30 hours and still start the car), then some more testing is needed. Eg. Run the radio for six hours and see what voltage is left and if you can start the car.

If a battery can start the car after 2-4 hours of radio play AND passes a load test, I would call that acceptable. it would be worth figuring out a combination like high beams on but nothing else to get a standard load test to perform once in a while rather than just wait to be stranded method that is the normal test for end of life
I didn't miss the point at all. If your battery passed the load test the testing equipment was either ancient, malfunctioning or the tester didn't know what they were doing. State of the art load testers measure rate of drain, detect a surface charge and won't run the tests if the battery is not charged.
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  #28  
Old 03-18-2019, 08:48 PM
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Battery was charged, the test was done at battery plus with a state of the art tester that have a print out of a "perfectly operational" battery that had no problem putting out 500A but literally could not run an iPhone for 30 minutes.

So back to my original comment that a load test even from a modern tester can not measure capacity and can in fact give you a false sense of security with a glowing report on a battery that is end of life.
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  #29  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:34 PM
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Thanks for your opinions guys. It has been pouring in rain here the last couple of days so now I have a bit of an update.

I did a trial run of accessing the battery to measure the voltage. The car had been sitting all night and at mid morning I started it up and turned it around to access the cargo bay.

To my disappointment the spare wheel cap that holds the wheel down was missing (see pic) and the two bolts/nuts at the bottom of the triangle shape long plates that have the air compressor on top that needed removing were stripped. Some mechanics are shocking!

Anyway, with a multimeter I got this:

1) Before starting with everything off 12.13V
2) Adding a load (air con, lights) 11.56V
3) Starting engine and running (very short time) 13.66V
4) Stopengine and remeasure 11.93

Interesting to note that the battery isnít what I was expecting. A Century and even though it has more CCA I dont think it is correct one for my car. Also, I understand the date stamp code for this one is under the battery so I couldnít get to it at this time.

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  #30  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:58 PM
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Battery for E53 2005 4.4i

The plate is missing because it would not fit your rim.

Group 94R for 6 or 49 for 8 cylinder is what I see.

If yours is a Group 95 as hinted by the model number ; but can't confirm by partial UPC, than it's a huge battery much bigger than needed.

The numbers you describe from your test sound just about what I'd expect to see.

Are you having hard to start issues, etc? Usually the first post would include I've had to get a jump start xx times in a month so I'm thinking the battery might be at fault.

In the past year I've seen three cases of somebody replacing a battery to only discover shortly thereafter, that their starter was shot not the battery.

If you have a clamp ammeter, or a peak reading dmm, you can measure the current that your starter is pulling at start up to determine if it's failing.

A Starter will typically pull 50-70% more current at end of life.

These giant batteries we use will mask this failure quite well: a 200A starter that pulls 400A is nothing for a 950cca battery but it's definitely not good for the battery to pull double the design current, so just like the solid advice from BC that the main test for a battery is the load test with a proper tester, you would be ill informed to only use that test. Before you replace a battery get a current draw test on the starter.

I developed a method to get you a ballpark starter current value: measure the voltage drop from the B+ terminal to the lighter socket in the cabin. My baseline is 0.75v with the petrol i6. Using that value I multiply by 280 and get 210A. It's an estimate but gives me a relative value I can test annually and before I change a battery. If suddenly that voltage drop is 1.25v than my starter would be pulling 350A and means it's toast!

I have yet to get a DC clamp ammeter to more precisely calibrate the 280 factor but I know that's close. (Based on kw spec of the starter).
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Last edited by andrewwynn; 03-19-2019 at 12:11 AM.
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