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What's up with this electrical glitch?


Don M

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There have been several posts in the last couple of weeks, mine included, that have described the same problem....the starter periodically has difficulty turning the engine over and the clock zeros out. After this happened to me, I had my battery load tested and it checked out OK. I pulled my starter took it apart and all the magnets were firmly attached to the housing. I had it bench tested and it checked out OK. My alternator belt is in good shape and tight....I'm stumped

 

I am still suspicious of the battery but am reluctant to lay out the bucks to replace a perfectly good battery. I've got a 2004 RT with the original BMW gel battery in it. The BMW shop told me this particular type of battery was prone to problems and that they are now using a different type of maintenance free battery. I don't know what model years used the battery I've got but I'm wondering if this could be the glitch we have in common?

 

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Go with a new battery. 4 years on a Gel Cell is close to end of life for that battery. Even if it tests good, it's not as good as it was when new. And even new, it wasn't an ideal choice.

 

I am assuming of course that you have checked all the battery connections, starter connections, and ground connections for looseness and corrosion.

 

Stan

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I would also suspect a loose ground or bad battery. BTW I have one of those BMW gel batteries on a shelf that came in my bike when I bought it. What a POS. Glad I got an Odyssey instead

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There have been several posts in the last couple of weeks, mine included, that have described the same problem....the starter periodically has difficulty turning the engine over and the clock zeros out. After this happened to me, I had my battery load tested and it checked out OK. I pulled my starter took it apart and all the magnets were firmly attached to the housing. I had it bench tested and it checked out OK. My alternator belt is in good shape and tight....I'm stumped

 

I am still suspicious of the battery but am reluctant to lay out the bucks to replace a perfectly good battery. I've got a 2004 RT with the original BMW gel battery in it. The BMW shop told me this particular type of battery was prone to problems and that they are now using a different type of maintenance free battery. I don't know what model years used the battery I've got but I'm wondering if this could be the glitch we have in common?

 

I'd bet on the battery. Mine was doing the same last year and tested fine. I bit the bullet and got an Odessey AGM and no trouble since.

 

Good luck with it.

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Had a similar issue, where the bike would not start after running for a bit of time?! Replaced battery, verified starter and still the problem kept coming back. In the end someone rightly suggested I check my cable connections again. After a more carefull visual inspection of the cable connection I found light rusting on the cables, in the area where it contacts the battery posts. Once the rust was sanded off, and with application of electrical 'grease' to the posts, no more starting issues.

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Odyssey model PC680 from BatteryMart.com - comes with adapter terminals that will require a little common-sense 'whitling' to fit right. Replacing battery is DIY: remove the seats and left-side plastic. Pull-out the old battery and recycle to local battery shop. Install the new - they come charged, need no water or acid. Once installed, you'll need to reset the throttle position sensor/Motronic. Do this by turning the ignition switch to "ON" position and twisting the throttle from 'home' to full throttle twice, then turn key to "OFF". Turn on and start like normal to test. See the Odyssey battery here: http://www.batterymart.com/p-odyssey-pc680-battery.html

 

Some also recommend the Panasonic batteries because they are less expensive than Odyssey. My opinion is the Odyssey is the best you can buy and still cheaper than BMW - which are notoriously short-lived. For an extra few $$ over a Panasonic, I'd rather have full starting amps and not replace it every few years - maybe avoid getting stranded a time or two.

 

Use the search feature of the forum for battery to read previous posts on the subject - comes up frequently.

 

Good luck to you!

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Some also recommend the Panasonic batteries because they are less expensive than Odyssey. My opinion is the Odyssey is the best you can buy and still cheaper than BMW - which are notoriously short-lived. For an extra few $$ over a Panasonic, I'd rather have full starting amps and not replace it every few years - maybe avoid getting stranded a time or two.

 

Use the search feature of the forum for battery to read previous posts on the subject - comes up frequently.

 

Good luck to you!

 

Panasonic was the battery that I replaced. It didn't last all that long. That Panasonic was a sealed lead/acid battery, the Odyssey is an AGM, (absorbed glass mat) which would explain the cost difference. An AGM battery is far superior to lead/acid and Gell, IMHO.

 

I am still using the Panasonic for various things around the shop including starting my emergency generator. It is holding up OK, but wouldn't tolerate the current draw when starting the RT.

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