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Thread: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

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    Default Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Just came back from a 2 week vacation and found that my M3 2011 GS won't start. When I cranked it, I would only hear rapid clicks which means my Battery is probably dead. However, the dashboard lights did come on and I had power to lock my car via remote and so on.

    Then I went to Costco and picked up one of those Kirkland brands, popped it in and it started fine. The next morning, car decides not to start anymore and has a different crank sound. Dashboard indicator lights do come on and I come to see these:

    Low Engine Oil Pressure
    Charging System Malfunction
    Power Steering Malfunction
    Check Engine Light

    Car was working fine just 2 weeks ago and I had a shop do maintenance on it back in July. I got a small spark when I put the new battery in on the "-" terminal when the "+" was already attached. I'm hopin that didn't have anything to do with it because the car started fine just after that. Anyone have any ideas and can provide some detail explanation on next steps? My only plan now is to have it towed to a service shop and hope to not pay big bucks.

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Do you have something plugged in or a lamp left on that could be a slow drain? Those lights just come on if your key is in the on position without the engine running

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    dbear (11-19-2017)

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff7670 View Post
    Do you have something plugged in or a lamp left on that could be a slow drain? Those lights just come on if your key is in the on position without the engine running
    Nope don't think so and yeah I noticed those indicator lights all go on after I try to start it up but a few seconds later, some of them turn off with those 4 still displayed when the key is in the on position.

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    The fact that it didnít start after 2 weeks is not too surprising. The fact that you got 4 indicator lights go on is. How is the oil level?
    Iíd get this car towed to a trusted mechanic right away.


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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    They stay on with the key in the "on position" because with the engine not running you have a zero oil pressure reading, no pressure in your power steering, no power coming from the alt. I think a bad alternator could be your culprit if the new battery drained. Keep us posted.

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    So an update. Just charged my car using jumper cables connected to my wifes car and it works now with no warning indicators on the dashboard. I had to wait about 5 minutes and it took 5-6 cranks to get it going again. I let it sit for about 20 minutes and then took it for a spin around the block. Suddenly, car drops dead in the middle of the street with those indicators on as mentioned. 10 seconds later, I turned it off and it started again. Then I quickly drove home to park it for the night. I also double checked the battery connectors and tightened them even more on the positive and negative. I'm not sure what to do at this stage other than hope that it'll start again the next morning so I can take it to my mechanic to get it checked out. I'm guessing it could be the alternator that isn't charging the battery very well or my new Costco battery needing a charge after sitting on the shelf for a while.

    Anymore thoughts? Having the car die right in the middle of the street was scary and a first time experience for me

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff7670 View Post
    They stay on with the key in the "on position" because with the engine not running you have a zero oil pressure reading, no pressure in your power steering, no power coming from the alt. I think a bad alternator could be your culprit if the new battery drained. Keep us posted.

    Thats what I'm guessing too.
    Last edited by dbear; 11-20-2017 at 12:27 AM. Reason: added quote

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Do you have CAA? Itís a helpful service just in case. There are a wide variety of situations when they can help. Tires, car battery, towing.
    Consider getting an OBDII reader as well to check out the CEL. You can get a fairly cheap one on Amazon.
    Keep us updated.


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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
    Do you have CAA? Itís a helpful service just in case. There are a wide variety of situations when they can help. Tires, car battery, towing.
    Consider getting an OBDII reader as well to check out the CEL. You can get a fairly cheap one on Amazon.
    Keep us updated.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I don't have CAA but somebody mentioned to register on their website. I think I'll look into that later. Will also look into the OBDII reader. Thanks a lot!

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    If it's your alternator, then the battery light would be lit up on your dash (it indicates when there's a net discharge).

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by dbear View Post
    So an update. Just charged my car using jumper cables connected to my wifes car and it works now with no warning indicators on the dashboard. I had to wait about 5 minutes and it took 5-6 cranks to get it going again. I let it sit for about 20 minutes and then took it for a spin around the block. Suddenly, car drops dead in the middle of the street with those indicators on as mentioned. 10 seconds later, I turned it off and it started again. Then I quickly drove home to park it for the night. I also double checked the battery connectors and tightened them even more on the positive and negative. I'm not sure what to do at this stage other than hope that it'll start again the next morning so I can take it to my mechanic to get it checked out. I'm guessing it could be the alternator that isn't charging the battery very well or my new Costco battery needing a charge after sitting on the shelf for a while.

    Anymore thoughts? Having the car die right in the middle of the street was scary and a first time experience for me
    This is concerning but if it started up right after then battery should be ok. Car doesn't use the battery while driving, car relies on alternator. Is there a MIL light on while engine is running? I would recommend getting codes scanned.

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    Default Re: Car won't start. Possible Battery issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyMZ3 View Post
    This is concerning but if it started up right after then battery should be ok. Car doesn't use the battery while driving, car relies on alternator. Is there a MIL light on while engine is running? I would recommend getting codes scanned.
    No indicator lights while engine is on. I just took the car to my mechanic and he did a thorough check with the new battery and alternator. He said that everything is running smoothly even the alternator at 6.5 years old. He said it must have been the terminal cables that werent tight enough on the battery when I installed it. Rookie fault on my part as I tightened them the other day and it seems fine. Other than that, used some time to get my oil changed and a power steering flush. Im hopin never again for a while that it wont die on me when driving somewhere. Thanks again guys.

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