How To Check The E38 BMW Battery Can Not Recharge

If your BMW has a red battery indicator or a charging system mistake on iDrive, the car might abruptly stop while you’re traveling.

Thus, whether you drive an old or brand-new BMW model, you should know many things about car batteries.

A BMW E38 battery will typically last 3 to 5 years. Yet, various factors can affect the battery life, causing recharging difficulties.

How to check the e38 BMW battery can not recharge? This article will give you a step-by-step guide to do that and things you should grasp about this equipment.

Read carefully not to miss essential information!

Symptoms Of A The E38 BMW Battery Can Not Recharge

How To Check The E38 BMW Battery Can Not Recharge

Almost all BMWs employ many monitoring systems to make sure that charging operations are balanced and effective.

In the event of a sudden issue, the monitoring system will notify the driver with a warning message about a charging fault on the iDrive display.

This way, you can know that the equipment has some problems to have a timely inspection.

Moreover, there are some more obvious symptoms you can take notice of, including:

  • The car won’t start, although you charged the car battery a few days ago.
  • The battery warning light glows on the dashboard.
  • The airbag light is on.

Why A The E38 BMW Battery Can Not Recharge?

There are many reasons for this problem. Two of the most common factors are a weak battery and malfunctioned alternator.

More reasons can be connections, corrosion, and the serpentine belt. Here we will have an in-depth look at how they make the battery unable to recharge:


A typical automotive battery has a lifespan of three to five years. However, its longevity can be shortened by upkeep, driving style, and the general health of an automobile’s electrical system.

The weather is also a key factor since extremely low or high temperatures greatly impact. Finally, since some electrolytes will leak into the environment, wet batteries need to be maintained.

Loose Connection

Depending on the circumstances, battery terminals may deteriorate over time. The build-up of rust on the clamps and posts can lead to poor ground. Thus, you should clean them up as soon as possible.

This will not only make your car battery last longer, but it will also guarantee that it has a sufficient amount of BMW battery charge.

You can remove the buildup with a toothbrush and a solution of baking soda and water.


Corrosion is another frequent issue. Charger troubles are one of the electrical problems resulting from this.

A nut holding the cable to the chassis most frequently loosens or corrodes. Look for corrosion or damage in the grounding cables and carefully clean the corrosion.

Serpentine Belt 

The engine spun the alternator using an auxiliary or a serpentine belt. The alternator won’t turn and produce power if this belt snaps.

Your car will also lose its air conditioning and power steering. Finally, the engine would quickly overheat because there won’t be a coolant pump.

Similar issues might arise if the belt tensioner is weak, resulting in a loose and sliding serpentine belt.


When the alternator fails to provide the necessary current, a warning message will appear on iDrive, and the battery light will illuminate the dashboard. This is because the bad alternator causes drainage.

How To Check The E38 BMV Battery Can Not Recharge?

Simple visual inspections are an easy approach to determining your battery voltage with the aid of the Test Number 9 system Voltage. There are four steps to do a BMW battery check:

Step 1: First, turn off your car and turn the high beam headlights on for about 5 minutes. As a result, any potential testing surface charge can be eliminated.

Step 2: After 5 minutes, turn the headlights off. Then, turn the ignition switch to the first position while maintaining pressure on the Check Control button on the car’s instrument cluster (the RIGHT button).

You may choose Test Number 1 to display the vehicle’s identifying number.

Step 3: You can see the “Test Nr. 19” option when you press the right button.

Enter the number from the previous step into the menu by hitting the LEFT Button. Click the LEFT button one more time after inputting the total.

By doing this, you’ll be able to access your instrument cluster and all the test modes.

Step 4: Select “Test Number 9 system Voltage” using the left button to see the result.

When To Replace Your E38 BMW Battery?

How Often Should You Change The E38 BMW Battery?

As mentioned before, almost all the batteries of BMW models can last about 3 to 5 years, and the E38 BMW is no exception. As a result, after this period, BMW owners should change their vehicle batteries.

However, if you can inspect any problems with this equipment, you might replace it as soon as possible. If you find it challenging to do it yourself, you can take your car to an automotive shop.

Signs To Replace the E38 BMW Battery

Dimming headlights

When you start your car or when it is idle, the interior lights may seem dimmer than normal or flicker, which are both signs of a bad battery condition.

Longer time to start the engine

The dead battery is frequently the cause of a car that won’t start or starts very slowly. A new battery could be necessary in this case.

Unusual electrical fluctuations

It may be the battery or another electrical problem (such as a wiring issue) if your power rear windows or door locks don’t appear to be functioning consistently or if any other strange things are happening with your electronics.

Dashboard Warning Light

When there is a battery issue, most cars will have a distinctive light to alert you. Get your battery checked as soon as possible if you see it lit.


Another sign of BMW battery drain problems you must notice is corrosion. Whenever you find corrosion at the connecting points or any fluid leaks, you must have a new battery.


When To Replace Your E38 BMW Battery

This post has instructed you on how to check the e38 BMW battery can not recharge. Moreover, many problems with the equipment are also included here.

In short, this car component is crucial in car operation. That’s why you need to maintain and replace it periodically to prevent your car from more serious issues.

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask us by leaving your comment below!

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