premature alternator failure? or dead battery?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by EnderTheX, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Ok, so I am currently sitting on the side of the freeway waiting for my friend to pick me up... my bike is dead.

    Died suddenly then wouldn't start back up. Initially I couldn't even get thee gauges to twitch or the dash to light up. After waiting a minute and removing the key and trying again it lights up but doesn't turn over.

    I take the seat and bat cover off to look at the connections, erything looks solid. I disconnect my gps and sae plug and try again, nothing.

    Then I get a jump start from someone and the bike comes to life, it runs! Then we disconnect the leads... DEAD CRAP!!! Try again, hold leads on longer, disconnect, Y seconds dead...


    So I am thinking alternator but I only have 17k miles!!!! :cry
    Worse yet I don't think I am under warranty...

    Does anyone think things I have done could have caused this? I have noticed my battery was weak for a while now, at least the past year.

    I have my gps and sae hard mounted to the battery...

    I keep it on a battery tender junior almost all the time in my garage, notice it gets weaqk after just a few days off

    I have used synthetic motorcycle oil for past 3k miles, reg before.

    I have almost drained the battery a couple times but charged to full after, this was months ago.

    I use heated grips a lot but no heated gear

    Don't use the brights much, normal running lights

    Other than that I can't think of anything else related....
    :eek1
    #1
  2. lmclamore

    lmclamore Citation Collector

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    Not sure Ender. Sorry about the PIA. From reading about these types of occurances, I bought a different battery just to reduce the possibility that they are Exide related. Try that first...$70 and gives you a "known" to work from.
    #2
  3. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Your stator is most likely fine..... Bad battery... Remember if the battery is dead...these bikes will not run....even with a good stator. You have a PM...
    :thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #3
  4. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Cool, hopefully it is just my battery!!! Alternators are expensive..

    If anyone has ideas let me know! I am thinking I will go Odyssey....
    #4
  5. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Battery`s are like tires...and oil.....many oppinions... My next one will be a yuasa.....but that`s just me...:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #5
  6. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

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    Some else on this forum had an alt go. Might have been CHITOWN, but if I remember,BMW covered it despite being out of warranty. Icould be wrong.
    FYI
    You basically described my bike too.but I only got s'not 9500 on the clock.
    #6
  7. Firefight911

    Firefight911 Been here awhile

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    ONLY 17,000???? Mine did it at 6,000 miles.

    It's the battery. Sudden death battery for sure. With the symptoms you describe I would consider you very lucky to have had it last as long as it did.

    Replace it, have the charge system verified, move on.
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Let us know what you find out so I can fix your thread title.. I keep reading good things about Shorai lithium ion batteries.. That'll be my next battery.
    #8
  9. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    These bikes won't run sans battery, and it is very hard on the electrical system to run sans battery for the few seconds they take to die.

    Your symptoms are nominal for sudden battery death.

    YTZ Yuasa, Odyssey (some mods required), or new DEKA BMW part# 61 21 7 723 566. Not sure what the DEKA # is, but all 3 above are tried and true.

    P.S. if your stator ever does fail out of warranty, buying a new one from BMW is just one option. Another is to take the stator to a quality alternator rebuild shop and have it rewound and dipped in glass. Cheap quick and easy.
    #9
  10. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Cool, thanks Joel and everyone for the comments. (Thanks GB for changing the title, I was thinking about that when I was at dinner).

    What I will do is put the battery on the tender overnight (can't hurt... right? :rofl) and see if the bike runs in the morning long enough I can get my volt meter on it and see if the alternator is working.

    I do like the idea of the lithium ion batteries but I am not certain of the reliability or downsides, I will have to read the battery thread again.


    Very good info on the rebuild for the stator, something I would try if I find mine is dead... or in the future when it inevitable goes, hopefully later than 50k! :freaky
    #10
  11. AlanI

    AlanI Adventurer

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    #11
  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Has everyone who has experienced a battery failure hooked up their battery to a charger at one time or another? I know these things seem to fail suddenly, but I've never had to charge mine, and the bike has sat unused for as long as a month and a half from time to time over the course of 3 winters now. I wonder if unnecessarily charging the batteries may contribute to their failure.
    #12
  13. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    When mine failed for the first time..... I charged it on a 10 amp setting....for 10 minutes..... Then boosted it to a start...... Worked for another month..... Tried the same thing.... this time it would not take the charge....and called roadside ass. Had been on a yuasa 900ma tender...... Worked all the way up to the failure.... no indication of slow crank..... then tanked.....:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #13
  14. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    We replaced a lot of batteries last year! Some were charged by customers, some were not.

    In every case of a battery under warranty failing, the customer was interviewed, battery charged by us, tested on an uber expensive battery tester sourced from BMW ect. Also bike charging systems were tested.

    Discernible paterns?

    A certain battery made by Exide that was loaded into certain years of f800, r12, and k13s accounted for about 85% of in warranty failures, though only 40% of the bikes we sold.

    This battery as of 2011 is no longer sold or equiped by BMW, though a similiar looking Exide battery is which ends in the part# 073.

    About half of these Exide batteries that failed were charged by customers.

    Durring all of this time the DEKA 566 battery was installed from the factory as a quality control test on perhaps 10% of these bikes. We didn't see a single DEKA 566 fail that was not atributal to customer abuse (bike laid up for greater then a month, battery left in bike and never charged).

    In short, it's the battery that is the problem. Not all are bad, not even half are, so some who treat the battery well will experience sudden death while others that treat the battery relatively poorly will have their batteries last 3 years.

    I believe BMW knows this, though it took them a while to figure it out. Currently all USA dealers are to report any in warranty battery failures of Yuasa or DEKA batteries through PuMA, but we aren't required to report exide battery failures.

    That kinda says to me, "we know the exides have a quality issue, were trying to make sure the DEKA and Yuasa models do not".

    In my opinnion, riding all year is the best for battery longevity. If extended layup is necessary, use a charger.

    A certain number of customers kill their batteries using the wrong charger, or a defective charger.

    A certain very small number of bikes have a battery killing defective charging system.

    A larger though still small number of bikes have a defective ZFE or ABS module that kills batteries.

    Some bikes also have accesories wired in a way that kills batteries, or just too much load hooked up.

    For this reason, when a battery does fail, you should bring the bike, battery, and any external charger you use into the dealer so all can be omitted or determined to be the cause.

    But long story short, the Exide oe battery fitted to most k7x F800 and F650 bikes manufactured before 11/10 are of questionable quality.

    Going forward, it appears BMW is done with that battery which is great, cause I'm tired of making excuses for them lol.

    If anyone wishes to know way more then the average soul knows about batteries, this is a good resource: http://batteryuniversity.com/

    Ride often and enjoy.
    #14
  15. Noyah

    Noyah poser

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    Only charged my bike with the oem BMW charger during winter storage, got new from BMW.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
    #15
  16. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Tried my bike again today... The trickle charger indicated "green" which means charged and maintaining the battery...

    Removed charger and put voltmeter on bike... 12.9 looks good.

    Put key in and tried to start bike, CLICK dead. Voltmeter: 9.5

    Tried again, click dead... Voltmeter: 4.5

    dead battery for sure :eek1, not sure about alternator... hopefully OK :D

    I didn't try another battery from another bike to see if my alternator is working, too tired from all the yard work today, maybe tomorrow. :1drink
    #16
  17. reinerka

    reinerka Been here awhile

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    This was your first sign of a battery that is dying.

    Drained battery = problem battery.

    A battery that is drained (below 50%) has its remaining life cut in half. That is where your problem most likely started.

    It is your battery and not the alternator. I only had an alternator fail on the GL1800 - but at that point it had >160K miles on it. In the same time I went through several batteries.

    Reiner
    #17
  18. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Just ordered an Odyssey PC535 :D

    I couldn't wait for the Shorai... back ordered for at least another month! :eek1
    #18
  19. GeckoRider

    GeckoRider Been here awhile

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    I am in the same boat. Looking at the Ballistic 12 cell Evo 2. Any word on them?

    http://www.advmachines.com/product_p/12cell_evo_2_%28101-005%29.htm

    Otherwise I'll be looking at the Odyssey too. BTW where you source your Odyssey?
    #19
  20. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    #20