BMW Increased Battery Discharge

BMW Increased Battery Discharge

An increased battery discharge message on a BMW comes up to warn the driver that the car battery is low or getting discharged quicker than it can be charged by the alternator.

Remove the phone charger from the cigarette outlet, turn off unnecessary accessories such as the seat heaters sound system, defrost and keep the engine running until the message disappears.

It may take five to thirty minutes for the battery to charge and the message to reset. This warning usually appears when you start your BMW in the morning, especially during freezing weather, but you may also get it when you stop at a red light.

bmw increased battery discharge charge battery

Suppose you see this error message on your dashboard. Some electronic consumers (such as heated seats, power features, blower fans, door locks, interior lights, comfort access, etc.) may automatically be switched off to conserve the battery.

Please do not worry if the windows, mirrors, seats, sunroof, etc., stop working. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with these systems. Your BMW is trying to charge the main battery quickly. Normal operation should return once the increased battery disappears.

The next step would be to verify that the battery is in good condition and holds a proper charge if the problem remains. If you recently had your BMW battery replaced, ensure your BMW battery has been registered.

The next step in troubleshooting this problem is to perform a charging system test. For this test, you will need a battery analyzer. Your local auto parts store may also perform this test free of charge.

If you leave your BMW parked for an extended time or have a parasitic drain, connect a 12-volt battery smart trickle charger at the jump terminals in the engine bay to keep the battery fully charged.


  • Increased Battery Discharge error message
  • BMW may not start
  • Flickering Instrument Cluster
  • Electrical Malfunctions
  • The car may shut off while driving or at idle.
  • A warning goes away once you start the car.
  • Charge battery warning
  • Service vehicle icon on the dashboard. Vehicle on a lift.
  • Increased battery discharge when stopped
  • Electronic consumers turned off.

Error Messages

The error message may vary between BMW models. Here are some symptoms of the most common errors:

  • Battery Discharging while stopped. Turn off, unnecessary electrical consumers. Reset date and time if required. In case of a repeat occurrence, have the system checked by a mechanic.
  • Increased battery discharge when stationary. The electrical consumer was temporarily switched off.
  • Battery discharging while stopped. Electrical devices were temporarily switched off.
  • The vehicle battery charge is low. Charge by driving for longer periods or use an external charger. Features that consume the battery will be switched off.
  • Increased battery discharge when stationary. Electrical consumers were temporarily switched off.

Possible Causes

Several issues can cause increased battery discharge, some of the most common being an old battery, defective IBS sensor, or poor ground connection.

  • The battery is over 5 yr old. Not holding a charge.
  • High electrical demand by a module
  • Loose battery contact or ground
  • IBS sensor defective
  • Electronic devices are plugged into the 12volt outlet.
  • Junction Box defective
  • Defective DME / DDE
  • Faulty EDC module in trunk draws excessive current.
  • Defective CA (Comfort Access) module
  • The scanner is plugged into the OBD2 port.

Old Battery

bmw increased battery discharge

Stock BMW batteries typically last around four to six years. If your battery doesn’t hold a charge, you can get the increased battery discharge warning at startup or while driving. If the battery is failing, you typically get several warnings.

bmw dim lights

Look at the low beam lights or the running lights (engine must be off, ignition on), and determine if they look dim. If they are slightly dim or the car struggles to start, the battery may be the culprit. It is not uncommon for a BMW battery to fail even for two years due to a bad cell.

Other possibilities include the battery getting drained overnight or the battery isn’t getting charged properly. If your BMW keeps dying when parked, make sure that the smart key is not too close to the car.

For example, if the car is parked in the garage and the key is too close, it keeps the system awake. The car will start fine in the early stages, but your BMW may struggle to start over time. If your battery is over seven years old, it is a wise investment to change it.

Follow our guide to learn how to replace the BMW battery and perform battery coding if you need help with those steps.

IBS Sensor

bmw increased battery discharge error message

A faulty IBS sensor could be the culprit. IBS sensor is installed on the negative battery terminal. When it fails, it starts to drain the battery when the vehicle is parked. To check if the IBS sensor is the culprit, check for a parasitic current draw with a digital multimeter.

Battery Connection

bmw increased battery discharge while stopped

A poor battery cable connection can also cause an “increased battery discharge” warning message. Check the battery terminals to ensure they are not loose, especially if you get this error message after replacing the battery.

If the battery terminals are not loose, remove them and clean them using a battery terminal brush. Corroded terminals can trigger the increased battery discharge error message. Check and clean the IBS sensor cable connected to the negative battery cable. Related possible issues include a defective alternator failing to charge the battery properly.

Short Trips

short trips

If your BMW is mainly parked or you use your BMW for short trips, you will not give your battery time to get charged.

If that is the case, you may want to connect a 12-volt smart trickle charger overnight to the battery or take your car on longer trips (at least 30 min drives) once a week. You don’t need to drive on the highway to allow the battery to charge; city driving works.

Keep electronic consumers to a minimum, such as the stereo or heated seats. Keep the day running lights off. This will allow the battery to charge faster.

EDC Module

EDC module can also draw excessive current. To verify, disconnect the EDC module, which fails and triggers an Increased Battery Usage warning. The EDC module is located in the trunk. You should still drive your BMW but can not change the stiffness mode if you disconnect the EDC module.

Cigarette Outlet

An electronic device or a high-power charger plugged into the cigarette outlet may drain enough power to trigger this error message. Ensure you unplug any phone chargers or GPS units from the 12-volt cigarette outlet. Don’t forget to check the rear outlet if you have one.

Cold Weather

During cold temperatures, battery performance drops. On top of that, you are more likely to turn on several consumers, such as heated seats, defrost, wipers, etc. If you have an old car battery on your BMW, there is a high chance you will get an increased high battery discharge error.

Troubleshooting Increased Battery Discharge

First, ensure you don’t have devices plugged into the 12-volt outlets. For example, unplug all phone chargers, GPS charging cables, or any other device. Next, check the age of the battery and replace it if it is older than five years. If the battery was recently replaced or is relatively new, make sure the BMW battery is coded properly.

Fully charge the battery either by using a battery charger or driving your BMW for at least 30 minutes. If the error message comes up again, it is time to perform further troubleshooting. The second test you can perform is to measure the battery voltage. Ideally, you want to use a car battery analyzer, but you can use a digital multimeter.

  1. Connect the multimeter to the battery-positive terminal under the hood while the engine is off.
  2. The battery needs to provide at least 12 volts.
  3. Turn on the ignition, and the battery voltage should remain over 12 volts.
  4. Start the car and recheck the voltage. It should be between 13 and 14.5 volts.
  5. If the battery doesn’t maintain over 12 volts, it may need to be replaced or a charging system problem.
  6. If the battery tests well, the next step is to read the DME module’s codes and perform a full system scan.

Reading fault codes is a simple procedure that you can perform yourself but requires a good BMW All System Scanner. Pay attention to other modules that may have stored fault codes. It is possible that another module is malfunctioning and drawing too much current from the battery. For example, the stock amplifier could be drawing too much current.

Another thing to check is to verify that your BMW goes to sleep once it is parked. Once the BMW is parked and turned off, most systems stay powered for another five to twenty minutes. Then most systems will go to “sleep” or turn off. If one of the systems never turns off, it can slowly drain the battery.

BMW shows increased battery discharge with a new battery

In rare cases, you may get increased battery discharge after you install a new battery. The most common problem that leads to increased battery discharge warnings after installing a new battery is that the new battery is not fully charged.

Car batteries sit on the shelves of auto part stores for months, where they can slowly discharge. Another problem that can cause the warning message to come on even though the battery is new is that the battery terminals are either corroded or are not on tight enough. Tighten the clamps on the battery posts using a 10mm wrench.

We hope you find the BMW Increased Battery Discharge guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your BMW.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes when I start my car (now became too frequent) – I get on the dashboard the message “Charging Fault”. However, I the car runs for 4-6 mins the warning goes off and I do not get it again during the day. I noticed that it appears when the car is stopped for a while (over the night for example). Sometimes the interior light flickers as well. I did the voltage check (from the car’s hidden menu) and it was showing healthy batteryalternator.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My new 2019 BMW X5 with less than 5,000 miles just displayed the warning message: Battery Management: Start engines. Malfunction while shutting down the vehicle electronics when vehicle is stationary. If problem recurs, have it checked by your service center.
    This is the second problem of this vehicle. The first one was that the automatic sensor of remote control to lock and unlock doors did not work at the beginning. Dealer had to re-set the system to make it work again.
    I am started to be concerned about this vehicle with too many electronic systems.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My battery is draining while switched off and I am getting
    93076A – Deactivation of terminal 15: upper stability limit reached, but deactivation preventer active
    93076B – Deactivation of terminal 30B: upper stability limit reached
    93076C/Intermittent – Deactivation of terminal 30B: upper stability limit reached, but deactivation preventer or legal load/consumer active
    B7F86A/Intermittent – Gateway sleeping is prevented
    8011FD/Permanent – Ioniser. Signal line, short circuit to ground or open circuit
    801222/Intermittent – Air conditioning compressor: Switch -off due to missing DME/DDE release
    E14A6/Intermittent – No message (status ambient brightness 0x2A5), receiver KOMBI transmitter JBE/BDC
    8020E6/Intermittent – Ignition on: stability limit reached or ignition on for a long time
    8020E8/Intermittent – Reset or deactivation of terminal 30F

    Would the “8011FD Ioniser. Signal line” be the main cause of the battery draining and best to isolate?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Could having this message and the alarm going off sparadically be linked?
    I’ve had this message twice now and in between those messages my alarm will go off randomly.


  5. MercedesMedic says:

    You are right that they don’t stay on for very long but they still draw current from the battery for a few min. Some rear auxilary outlets may be on all the time. When you turn off the ignition gets worse bc the battery is not getting charged.

    Other makes don’t suffer from this problem. BMW has a quite complicated charging system and monitors the battery discharge more carefully than any other make out there.

    I have seen a poor battery cause all sorts of issues on BMW.

    Those who have this problem if you really only use your car for short trips let it idle for a few mintues before you go on a trip. Or use a smart battery charger hooked up to the jump start terminals under the hood.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You are mentioning cigarette lighter outlets plugged in which the dealer also mentions. It’s wrong because the outlets don’t stay on after a few minutes. I hate when they try to blame the owners, also for the short trips… It seems only crap bmw has an issue with that as none of the other cars I worked on had issues with short trips.