A BMW battery might not charge for a variety of reasons. The battery could be past the expiration date. Batteries can also expire more quickly if the vehicle is very infrequently started or usually only driven short distances. Cold weather can also cause batteries to produce less power. Finally, corrosion on the battery cables can prevent the battery from becoming fully charged or maintaining a charge. Performing a quick series of visual assessments can determine the potential cause of a BMW battery that will not hold a charge.
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Things you need
- Polycarbonate protective glasses
- Long sleeves
- Battery terminal cleanser
Put on gloves, long sleeves and polycarbonate protective glasses, such as lab goggles.
Open the BMW boot and locate the battery in the boot of the car. The battery is located in the right of the boot under the carpeting, which can be moved aside to allow access to the battery.
Check the expiration date or date of manufacture of the battery, which is located on the top. If the battery is more than four years past the date of manufacture, it may be expired and unable to hold a charge.
Examine the battery cables and terminals for visible signs of corrosion. Corrosion can prevent a battery from maintaining a charge. If necessary, clean the battery terminals with a terminal cleanser.
Assess the eye indicator, if possible. Some brands of BMW batteries have a coloured eye indicator located on top of the vehicle for convenient diagnostics. A green indicator denotes that the battery is fully charged, while a yellow or black indicator is seen when the battery is discharged. If the eye indicator is red, immediately shut the hood and call a professional for assistance, as this can indicate a severely damaged battery.
Check the BMW battery for any other signs of failure, such as a strong odour or hot temperature, which can both indicate a severely damaged battery. Do not attempt to charge the battery again if there are signs of severe damage. Instead, call for professional assistance.
Tips and warnings
- Always avoid smoking when working with car batteries, as they contain highly flammable hydrogen and oxygen gasses which can easily ignite.
- Always wear long sleeves, protective glasses and gloves, because battery acid is highly caustic.
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