I left my BMW unused for 6 weeks. Then I started the engine for 10 seconds and turned it off. A few days later I started the engine and drove it 10 metres and turned it off. Then I attempted to start it again and it failed. Now it won't start. All the electrics seem to work apart from the engine.

It took me an hour to find the battery. It took me another hour to remove the stupidly designed plastic cover on top of the battery.

I have a portable charger. The instructions are awful but I think it's telling me that the battery has too little charge to be charged without mains power. There is no mains power point within the area that I can push the car.

I think the battery is the original. The car worked perfectly before this.

How should I charge my battery?

  • Battery is currently in kitchen being charged from the mains. Will report on outcome.
    – cja
    Feb 15, 2013 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


Do you have access to another vehicle you could get a jump-start off? Perhaps a friend or neighbour?

If not, you're probably looking at removing the battery and carrying it to the nearest power supply (beware - they are heavy!), but I suspect that won't be easy on a modern BMW, especially if it took that long just to get at it!

To be quite honest, if the charge has dropped sufficiently that a portable charger can't do anything for it, you will probably find that the battery has failed - particularly if it is the original, 10 year old, battery - they don't like being allowed to run right down, especially when they get old. You should be able to get enough charge in it to start and run the car, but there is a good chance it will no longer hold much charge, so you'll probably find it goes flat more frequently.


After about 36 hours on a gentle charge from the mains I put the battery back in the car and it started and I drove it for 2 hours. Then I left it overnight and it started again, so hopefully it'll be ok

  • @Larry - This is the answer! It solved the problem!
    – cja
    Jan 13, 2014 at 11:59
  • Careful. An 11 year old battery is going to die pretty soon. Jan 13, 2014 at 12:40

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