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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When my second privately purchased and aged 5 Series was in need of replacement, as a sixtieth birthday present to myself I decide to go the main dealer route for number three, largely attracted by an advertising campaign offering ‘a two year extended warranty’. After 18 months, I started to get regular low battery charge warnings, frequently having to reset the clock, etc. The main dealer who supplied the car (Frank Keane, Naas Road) diagnosed that the battery needed to be replaced but refused to do it under warranty as they concluded that the battery failure was occurring because my 'driving style' involved too many short journeys and was not because of there was any inherent problem with the battery. And to add insult to injury, I was required to pay €85 for the diagnostic as the issue was found to be a non warranty matter.

This was a shock. The following is a direct quote from their website and almost identical wording appears in the glossy brochure extolling the benefits of buying ‘premium selection’ used cars.
"BMW Premium Selection Warranty - The finest of its kind
We believe that the minimum 12-month Warranty covering your BMW Premium Selection Car is the finest and most extensive of its type available.
Designed to protect your investment and reduce your cost of ownership, the BMW Warranty even guarantees your vehicle's battery and exhaust system for 12 months.”​

I appealed the decision to BMW Ireland Customer Service on the grounds that my driving was normal for an urban environment and that the warranty emphasised the inclusion of battery coverage without any qualifications relating to how the car was being used. In their response BMW chose to sidestep the driving style issue completely and rejected my claim by stating that while the car has a two year warranty, the battery an exhaust system are only covered for 12 months. In other words the extension of the 12 months of the first paragraph to 24 months does not apply to the second paragraph - pure chicanery!

I am very disappointed and dissatisfied with the much lauded BMW Customer Service and I am determined to pursue the matter Does anybody out there have any precedent I might use or any advice on how I should proceed. Is a complaint to the National Consumer Agency likely to be of any benefit?. My preference is to pay for a replacement via a main dealer in order not to put the remaining 6 months warranty at risk and to file a claim with the “Small Claims Court. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I'm not surprised BMW Ireland sidestepped the driving style argument, as sounds like someone in FK went a bit off-piste with that one. Didn't happen to get that in writing did you?

As for whether the extended warranty covers the exhaust and battery too, I'm afraid that'll probably need a magnifying glass over the small print

I sympathise, but I've never had much faith in these warranty schemes unless backed up by a decent dealership. FKs have never impressed me in the slightest in my limited dealings with them

A second letter to BMW Ireland stating your intention to go down the legal route unless you are refunded the costs of the new battery and associated checks on your car would probably be my next step before actually going legal

Best of luck with it and let us know what happens
 

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That "Unfavourable Driving Profile" comment is actually built in to the BMW diagnostic system so I'm not surprised that it was mentioned. You can do a driving style analysis on the power module and it will give you a breakdown of the types of journeys undertaken in the previous 28 days. It give:
# journeys > 5 km
# journeys 5km - 20km
# journeys 20km -100km
# journeys > 100 km

It also gives total distance & number if journeys within the period. It clearly states in the diagnostic system that a characteristic of short journeys will "severely deplete the battery".

I'm not defending BMW, in fact as an Electrical Engineer I think it is a major design flaw that such a system was allowed in to production. I am merely pointing out that the dealer is only quoting BMW's own system.

This problem is a blight on all e6x & e9x models that are used infrequently & only for short, urban journeys. The reality is that if you replace the battery the same thing will happen again. In fact for "driving profiles" such as your own BMW are "supposed" to recommend that you attach a battery maintainer to your car when not in use. They have a BMW branded unit (which is really a CTEK unit) that they sell for such purposes.
There has been lots of cases if this type of battery failure on US fora & very little success reported of anyone getting a replacement battery after having an "unfavourable driving profile".

To add insult to injury when you do replace the battery you have to "register" the new battery to the car with software. This is so the power control module can adjust its charging cycle profile to one suited to a new battery. Otherwise you risk prematurely killing your new battery by not having the correct charging profile. The dealer might tell you that it is only an authorised BMW dealer can do this but a good independent specialist will also have the necessary software to do it. If you do go outside the dealer network to get a replacement battery don't take any bullshit from the guy selling you the battery if he tells you it doesn't need to be registered. He doesn't know what he is talking about. The battery won't fail immediately, it happens over time.
Also if you change the Ah rating of the battery or you change from an AGM to regular battery you also should get the car coded to tell the car it has a different battery type. Again there are different optimal charging profiles built in to the power control module for different battery ratings/types.

I would still push hard with the dealer on the warranty but take note of all that is mentioned above. Consider getting the battery maintainer to preserve the life of your new battery, there is no magic fix from BMW for this design flaw. I recommend the Ring RSC 512, available in Halfords or a CTEK unit.
 

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That "Unfavourable Driving Profile" comment is actually built in to the BMW diagnostic system so I'm not surprised that it was mentioned. You can do a driving style analysis on the power module and it will give you a breakdown of the types of journeys undertaken in the previous 28 days. It give:
# journeys > 5 km
# journeys 5km - 20km
# journeys 20km -100km
# journeys > 100 km

It also gives total distance & number if journeys within the period. It clearly states in the diagnostic system that a characteristic of short journeys will "severely deplete the battery".

I'm not defending BMW, in fact as an Electrical Engineer I think it is a major design flaw that such a system was allowed in to production. I am merely pointing out that the dealer is only quoting BMW's own system.

This problem is a blight on all e6x & e9x models that are used infrequently & only for short, urban journeys. The reality is that if you replace the battery the same thing will happen again. In fact for "driving profiles" such as your own BMW are "supposed" to recommend that you attach a battery maintainer to your car when not in use. They have a BMW branded unit (which is really a CTEK unit) that they sell for such purposes.
There has been lots of cases if this type of battery failure on US fora & very little success reported of anyone getting a replacement battery after having an "unfavourable driving profile".

To add insult to injury when you do replace the battery you have to "register" the new battery to the car with software. This is so the power control module can adjust its charging cycle profile to one suited to a new battery. Otherwise you risk prematurely killing your new battery by not having the correct charging profile. The dealer might tell you that it is only an authorised BMW dealer can do this but a good independent specialist will also have the necessary software to do it. If you do go outside the dealer network to get a replacement battery don't take any bullshit from the guy selling you the battery if he tells you it doesn't need to be registered. He doesn't know what he is talking about. The battery won't fail immediately, it happens over time.
Also if you change the Ah rating of the battery or you change from an AGM to regular battery you also should get the car coded to tell the car it has a different battery type. Again there are different optimal charging profiles built in to the power control module for different battery ratings/types.

I would still push hard with the dealer on the warranty but take note of all that is mentioned above. Consider getting the battery maintainer to preserve the life of your new battery, there is no magic fix from BMW for this design flaw. I recommend the Ring RSC 512, available in Halfords or a CTEK unit.
Yeah what he said :D
 

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Are you 100% about this, I am nearly adamant that ive Read the E46 M3 requires a new battery update though Coding. ?
I have just opened TIS & the only cars listed as requiring registration are:

- e65, e66, e67, e60, e61, e63, e64, e81, e82, e87, e90, e91, e92, e93, e70, R55 & R56.

In addition to these the newer cars than those listed above.
I have attached the Battery Master document just for completeness that details this out. Go to item 5.
So I am 100% on this.:D
 

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Old Timer
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not surprised BMW Ireland sidestepped the driving style argument, as sounds like someone in FK went a bit off-piste with that one. Didn't happen to get that in writing did you?

As for whether the extended warranty covers the exhaust and battery too, I'm afraid that'll probably need a magnifying glass over the small print

I sympathise, but I've never had much faith in these warranty schemes unless backed up by a decent dealership. FKs have never impressed me in the slightest in my limited dealings with them

A second letter to BMW Ireland stating your intention to go down the legal route unless you are refunded the costs of the new battery and associated checks on your car would probably be my next step before actually going legal

Best of luck with it and let us know what happens
A big part of the problem is that there is no small print to read, just a single page warranty 'certificate'. Thus it seems that BMW can and do interpret the warranty conditions any way they choose. The only bit of detail I can find is what I quoted in my original post.

The point is that while I was sold a car with an 'extended' two year warranty BMW are using wording which was clearly drafted to describe the 'standard' 12 month warranty to conclude that the battery is covered only for the first 12 months of the extended two year warranty. They are interpreting the wording to their own advantage, an interpretation which is, in my view, unjust. Surely the normal 'man in the street' would interpret the quoted text in my original post to mean that if the 12 month warranty being described in the text is extended to 24 months, the extension would apply to all elements covered under the warranty.

I have written to BMW three times but they refuse to budge. It is interesting also that while the dealer used the driving style argument to refuse a replacement battery, BMW seem to have recognised the nonsense of this and have dropped that part of of the argument.

Quotes for the replacement battery from main dealers (not Frank Keane) are from €350 upwards. Plus €65 charge for fitting & registration!! There is five months warranty remaining on the car. Based on my experience with BMW on this issue, if I go the non main dealer route to replace the battery and have any subsequent issues with the car, I am sure that BMW will use this as an excuse to refuse any future warranty claim.
 

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Old Timer
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That "Unfavourable Driving Profile" comment is actually built in to the BMW diagnostic system so I'm not surprised that it was mentioned. You can do a driving style analysis on the power module and it will give you a breakdown of the types of journeys undertaken in the previous 28 days. It give:
# journeys > 5 km
# journeys 5km - 20km
# journeys 20km -100km
# journeys > 100 km

It also gives total distance & number if journeys within the period. It clearly states in the diagnostic system that a characteristic of short journeys will "severely deplete the battery".

I'm not defending BMW, in fact as an Electrical Engineer I think it is a major design flaw that such a system was allowed in to production. I am merely pointing out that the dealer is only quoting BMW's own system.

This problem is a blight on all e6x & e9x models that are used infrequently & only for short, urban journeys. The reality is that if you replace the battery the same thing will happen again. In fact for "driving profiles" such as your own BMW are "supposed" to recommend that you attach a battery maintainer to your car when not in use. They have a BMW branded unit (which is really a CTEK unit) that they sell for such purposes.
There has been lots of cases if this type of battery failure on US fora & very little success reported of anyone getting a replacement battery after having an "unfavourable driving profile".

To add insult to injury when you do replace the battery you have to "register" the new battery to the car with software. This is so the power control module can adjust its charging cycle profile to one suited to a new battery. Otherwise you risk prematurely killing your new battery by not having the correct charging profile. The dealer might tell you that it is only an authorised BMW dealer can do this but a good independent specialist will also have the necessary software to do it. If you do go outside the dealer network to get a replacement battery don't take any bullshit from the guy selling you the battery if he tells you it doesn't need to be registered. He doesn't know what he is talking about. The battery won't fail immediately, it happens over time.
Also if you change the Ah rating of the battery or you change from an AGM to regular battery you also should get the car coded to tell the car it has a different battery type. Again there are different optimal charging profiles built in to the power control module for different battery ratings/types.

I would still push hard with the dealer on the warranty but take note of all that is mentioned above. Consider getting the battery maintainer to preserve the life of your new battery, there is no magic fix from BMW for this design flaw. I recommend the Ring RSC 512, available in Halfords or a CTEK unit.
For info, I managed to get a copy of the driving profile stats from FK, They were as follows;

Evaluation period 30 days
distance travelled 929km
48 journeys > 5 km
37 journeys 5km - 20km
6 journeys 20km -100km
2 journeys > 100 km
The latter two journeys were in fact a 330km motorway round trip exactly 10 days before the diagnostic. Even that was not enough to restore the battery.

Interestingly, while driving pattern was the reason given by Frank Keane for refusing a replacement, BMW themselves have not mentioned this issue. They are simply saying that the the two year warranty only covers the battery for 12 months !! This is not state anywhere in the limited amount of info available on the terms of the warranty. It is purely their interpretation. That's the scam.

Joe
 

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For info, I managed to get a copy of the driving profile stats from FK, They were as follows;

Evaluation period 30 days
distance travelled 929km
48 journeys > 5 km
37 journeys 5km - 20km
6 journeys 20km -100km
2 journeys > 100 km
The latter two journeys were in fact a 330km motorway round trip exactly 10 days before the diagnostic. Even that was not enough to restore the battery.

Interestingly, while driving pattern was the reason given by Frank Keane for refusing a replacement, BMW themselves have not mentioned this issue. They are simply saying that the the two year warranty only covers the battery for 12 months !! This is not state anywhere in the limited amount of info available on the terms of the warranty. It is purely their interpretation. That's the scam.

Joe
That's sickening alright, especially when the warranty was not itemised as to what was specifically coverd for 12/24 months & what was not specifically covered. Sounds like a trip to the small claims court is in order. Although I would be sick handing over €350 for a battery change. There are a number of independent specialists out there (including some on here) that can do the registration. I'd say you could do the lot for half that money. I'd do the registration for you if you were in Cork.

BTW, here is what the driving profile stats look like in the system:



Can you imagine what they'd say about my driving profile!
 

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As a bit of an aside, have you tried hooking the battery up to a reconditioner, to see if it'll bring it back to life? The better versions of the CTEK chargers that Mark (Rebel Ranter) mentioned have this function, and cost about €70, like the MXS 5.0. They also work as a standard trickle charger for keeping the battery topped up. Might save you having to buy a new battery and all this hassle
 

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As Leins has said the Ctek is the business as I have been using one for the last few years and still on oem battery and everyone knows how little I drive my M3:)
 
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As Leins has said the Ctek is the business as I have been using one for the last few years and still on oem battery and everyone knows how little I drive my M3:)
As with this, I still think I'm on the original Mini battery in the E46 after nearly 10 years, as it seems to have been on charge for a lot of its life
 

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As Leins has said the Ctek is the business as I have been using one for the last few years and still on oem battery and everyone knows how little I drive my M3:)
It's a totally different style of battery not saying the charger won't work .. My mate has a 2011 F10 And had a start issue they done everything replaced the starter and alternator and in the end put in a battery had the car for two wks and he had a courtesy car
 

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It's a totally different style of battery not saying the charger won't work .. My mate has a 2011 F10 And had a start issue they done everything replaced the starter and alternator and in the end put in a battery had the car for two wks and he had a courtesy car
Must be to power the electrically heated cup-holders or whatever other crap they've come up with now
 

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It's a totally different style of battery not saying the charger won't work .. My mate has a 2011 F10 And had a start issue they done everything replaced the starter and alternator and in the end put in a battery had the car for two wks and he had a courtesy car

AGM Battery

Yeah, the new cars & some of the later e6x have the AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries They are deep cycle batteries & are used because of all the electronics in the cars these days. These cars draw huge amounts of power when you go to start the car as all modules are waking up, hence the need to drive longer distances to fit the "driving profile" needed to recharge the battery properly. The "deep cycle" bit is the need to support the constant big drain & recharge required.

Charger Compatibility

The latest battery maintainers/chargers/reconditioners (like the Ring RSC 512) are compatible with AGM batteries. AGM batteries should not be charged with high power battery chargers & not with anything over 14.8V. Some of the older chargers charge at over 15V.

Charging

Also it is important with modern BMWs not to charge the battery with the charger directly connected to the battery terminals. The IBS system needs to be kept in the loop otherwise the car will still think the battery is not charged & you'll be getting random errors & issues. So the best place to hook the charger up is the jump start points under the bonnet.
 

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The CTEK operates at between 14.4-14.7V, so should be OK, although the recondition function seems to rise to 15.8V, so not sure: http://www.ctek.com/int/en/chargers/MXS 5.0

It says they're suitable for AGM batteries, and there's a charging adapter through the cig lighter, which I know are active on some BMWs even when the ignition is off
 
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