I’ve noticed in the past two weeks my 2003 BMW 525i starts a bit harder each time I get in and turn the key. At first it was one somewhat slow grind - now it’s two or three before it turns over. Battery? Starter? I am vary car illiterate and am afraid one of thes etimes it won’t turn over at all. Thanks!
You need a fresh battery. The original is now 5 years old and BMW’s are very hard on the battery. In fact, even when the car is not in use there’s a bit of a draw on it, which slowly sucks the life out of it. This is not uncommon on these cars at all.
If the battery is the original one, most likely it is ready for replacement as it is now at least 5 years old. While batteries can last longer than 5 years, since a new one can be had for ~$60. in many cases, why keep an old battery that can wind up killing your VERY expensive alternator?
Have the battery load-tested at Sears. While this service used to be free, they now charge something like $10.95 for it, but if you are lucky like me, the technician will just tell you to have a nice day and not charge you for it!
If the battery is weak, then just buy a new one while you are at Sears, as their batteries are among the best. Or, if you are willing to do it yourself, you can buy a battery identical to the Sears Diehard at Costco for considerably less money.
If you are not a Costco member, then decent batteries can be found at places like Auto Zone. Just don’t get their cheapest battery.
And, don’t go to the dealership for a load test, as they will try to sell you a battery for…maybe $120.00, and it will be no better than what you can buy elsewhere.
If the battery is not weak, then you should have your independent mechanic look for other problems that are affecting your starting.
I just want to add that since your car illiterate to stay on top of maintenance on this car. If you plan on keeping it a long time have the oil changed every 7500 miles/once a year, as well as your “Inspection 1” every 30k miles and “Inspection 2” every 60K miles. These cars respond very poorly to abuse and lack of maintenance. Many problems that cost owners a lot of money could have been avoided during a regular service.
Actually independent testing has shown that many of Sears batteries are overpriced and perform WORSE than other brands, but in reality they can all do the job. However, I strongly recommend that the original poster not deal with Sears, but instead a BMW specific shop, just in case it goes beyond a battery issue.
Thanks Dave. Appreciate that. I am getting close to the yellow indicator light telling me my next inspection is due.
A lot of BMW have special size batteries that can only be purchased at a BMW dealer for like $500.00 plus dollars. Ouch!
Did some research, and it looks like Interstate battery makes one that fits for around $200.00
I believe that your BMW battery will have to come with a vent tube since the battery is located inside the car. That would be the reason for the battery’s higher cost. An Interstate battery, with the vent tube, would be fine.