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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-08-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
gameboy86
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Really weird electrical problem?

Hey guys, having a strange problem. My battery died today so I went in and got a new one and just put it in. Car now has lots of warning lights on the dash and seems really sluggish. If I am hitting the gas all my brake lights come on but when I hit the brakes everything turns off and seems to somewhat work normally. Also my climate control turns on and off randomly, all the lights and everything.

Ive replaced my battery before with no problems. Does anyone have any ideas? Is there some kind of reset I need to do? Thanks guys.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
jfoj
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Suggest you check the link below for the Hidden OBC to bring up the battery/charging Voltage and you can see what is going on directly on your dash.

Also you may want to check the engine to body ground wire that is on the passenger side near the motor mount and connects to the frame rail. The frame rail side tends to be the problem end.

You may want to refer to this thread with a better description.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=ground
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 09-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
gameboy86
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Thank you for the info. I will check that ground strap tomorrow when its light out.

Here is an update:

went to Autozone, they scanned my codes and got this - P1891. It reads system voltage high
Makes sense, because there is slight leaking and sizzling coming from my brand new battery. They told me that could be because of the alternator over volting the battery.

So, it's looking to me that I need a new alternator. What do you guys think? Could a bad alternator be causing all of my warning lights? Dont know if it could be connected, but my transmission warning light sometimes comes on and the car is crazy sluggish, I had to pretty much floor it to get it to move...

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
jfoj
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Be careful as some codes could be old ones??

Suggest you use the Hidden OBC menu and monitor yourself. Should not be over 14.5 Volts.

Also depending on the alternator, you can change the Voltage regulator and brush assembly pretty easy for about $40 in parts. I think you can actually do it with the alternator still on the car?

Usually oil leaking from either the power steering reservoir or oil filter housing gasket.
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
NorCalZman
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Side question. Why does my local dealer tell me not to change the battery myself since the car has to be coded each time a battery is put in (for some reason). Are they just saying that to get money from people or is there coding that has to happen when a battery is replaced?
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #6
jgold47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalZman View Post
Side question. Why does my local dealer tell me not to change the battery myself since the car has to be coded each time a battery is put in (for some reason). Are they just saying that to get money from people or is there coding that has to happen when a battery is replaced?
Thats only for newer cars. E46 does not need a coded battery.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:00 AM   #7
gameboy86
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I think it might be the alternator giving too much voltage. So would that be causing my warning lights?

I tried letting my car run and pulling the positive cable on the battery though, and the car didn't die. I'm stumped.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:05 AM   #8
jfoj
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I know Toto is from Kansas, but this is a BMW/newer car and you DO NOT PULL BATTERY CABLES WHEN THE ENGINE IS RUNNING. Save that for your tractors or pre 1970 cars and trucks.

You never checked the Hidden OBC Menu and indicated what the charging Voltage was.

What probably happened is if your car is in fact over charging, when the battery cable was removed, the battery was keeping the charging system from going too high, without the battery there to load the charging system, your Voltage probably shot up to 16 Volts or more and the DME is programmed to protect itself and will kill the engine when the charging Voltage gets too high. This is expected.

DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN, you can damage the electronics in the car very easily.

Read the charging Voltage and post it back here for comment.
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:12 AM   #9
gameboy86
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Location: Wichita KS
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I got on that menu, are you talking battery voltage or system voltage? Battery voltage (9.0) reads 12.1 volts. Is that normal? My car seems to be acting a little more normal today, not as many warning lights and my lights werent dimming and brightening as much as they were, however my car still feels pretty sluggish. What do you think?
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:19 AM   #10
jfoj
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Battery should read about 12.4-12.5 Volts with car off (meter on terminals should be 12.6 Volts.

Charging should be between 13.5-14.5 Volts with engine running.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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