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Old 01-03-2010, 05:39 PM   #21
msb046
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I don't want to replace the alternator or voltage regulator myself. Is the dealership the best option (what my parents are pressuring for)? I was recommended a good mechanic by a guy at autozone, should I take his word on it for a repair as simple as this? Don't wanna get sooo overcharged for this.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:52 PM   #22
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With your alternator running, the voltage across the battery should show at least 12V, usually more like 13.8V or so. I would guess it could be a bad alternator, but as likely could be bad wiring between battery and alternator? Are you sure it isnt something as simple as a bad battery contact? Worth checking...
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:26 PM   #23
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Yup ^^ agree. Charging voltage shoudl actually be a bit higher than 14v, like 14v2 to 14v6. I'm not reading out of the Bentley but this is typical.

So, also agree, your alternator is not pumping out enough to pull the complete system up.

That doesn't mean that the alternator is the bad component. If you have a really hard current pull the alternator just will not meet demand. OR the starter or battery could be bad stressing the alternator causing it to fail. Removing you battery and having a load test is not sufficient. You can get false test results.

Time to take it to a mechanic. We can have you spinning in circles with this Q&A setup.

If the recommended mechanics work on european cars I would go for it. But ask questions - don't let him take you. You will get raped @ the dealer. The dealer is only familiar with the current models. They know nothing about e46's.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by nightingales View Post
With your alternator running, the voltage across the battery should show at least 12V, usually more like 13.8V or so. I would guess it could be a bad alternator, but as likely could be bad wiring between battery and alternator? Are you sure it isnt something as simple as a bad battery contact? Worth checking...
Didn't touch the wiring between the alternator and battery when installing amp (not sure exactly where it is), but checked the contacts on the battery - they are snug and there doesn't appear to be any sort of corrosion.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post

That doesn't mean that the alternator is the bad component. If you have a really hard current pull the alternator just will not meet demand. OR the starter or battery could be bad stressing the alternator causing it to fail. Removing you battery and having a load test is not sufficient. You can get false test results.
Gonna take it in tomorrow, so we'll see...
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:30 AM   #26
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Gonna take it in tomorrow, so we'll see...
Yup, I think it's a good call @ this point.
PLease keep us posted.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:03 AM   #27
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Every car can run without a battery, but not without an alternator. You could check your alternator also by starting your car and unplugging the ground on the battery. If it stops, your alternators shot.

Can anyone else verify this?
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddingtonpeke
Every car can run without a battery, but not without an alternator. You could check your alternator also by starting your car and unplugging the ground on the battery. If it stops, your alternators shot.
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Can anyone else verify this?
That's true, but running an alternator on low or no reserve battery power will destroy an alternator immediately.
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #29
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Took it in to the stealership this morning- they verified that it was the alternator that had failed. THEY WANT $1100 to fix it!!! using a rebuilt alternator. Planning on doing a DIY (I just graduated with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering...hopefully that'll help)? I have a 2001 330 xi with business cd. Could someone please send me a link to which alternator I'd need to buy (I think its the bosch 120amp cause its the 330 but my car is still at the dealership so I don't know how to verify if it was originally bosch or valero?)?

got the parts number from the dealership and went out and picked up a bosch 120amp for $200. Planning on swapping it out tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes.

Last edited by msb046; 01-05-2010 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:49 PM   #30
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Swapped out the alternator today - took me a few hours since this is pretty much my first time working on a car other than installing the sub and amp. Voltage now measures 14.1 volts at battery terminals with car running, so it is a success. Here are some helpful links I used because I know some other people were searching for alternator replacement DIY.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ternator+bolts

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...eplacement+diy

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...alternator+diy
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:07 PM   #31
steve.325i
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Originally Posted by msb046 View Post
Swapped out the alternator today - took me a few hours since this is pretty much my first time working on a car other than installing the sub and amp. Voltage now measures 14.1 volts at battery terminals with car running, so it is a success. Here are some helpful links I used because I know some other people were searching for alternator replacement DIY.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ternator+bolts

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...eplacement+diy

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...alternator+diy

Very cool. I'm glad you got it sorted out. Thank you for updating us.
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