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General E46 Forum
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
thefrog1394
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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My Ride: e46- 1999 323i
Alternator Advice

So today my battery light came on when my RPMs dropped to idle. Voltage is low, sometimes will go up to normal when revving but mostly around 11.5V.

My car is a 99 323i. Not sure whether it is the Bosch or Valero alternator, I need to check that.

A ton of people on here say to just buy the voltage regulator which comes with new brushes. My car (and alternator) have 240k miles on it, so I am not opposed to buying a brand new alternator, I figure its past due. I would normally just run out to Autozone and get their off brand one, but apparently the off brand alternators for our cars suck?

So, anyone have experience with autozone alternators? Also, am I able to replace a Valero with a Bosch?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
richkopena
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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My Ride: 2002 330Ci
From experience, do NOT buy the autozone alternator. Mine lasted 4 miles. Numerous other people have had short time failures and weird operating conditions like fluctuatoing volatge and idle speed.

Try a search on "autozone alternators" and you will see what I mean.

Get a rebuilt Bosch unit.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #3
Stinger9
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Yes, get a whole alternator at your mileage.

Off brands are problems quickly frequently. Get name brand replacement that you have in there now.

www.furiousmethod.com

Last edited by Stinger9; 11-07-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:47 AM   #4
thefrog1394
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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My Ride: e46- 1999 323i
Got a new alternator from BMA Parts. Rebuilt Bosch. Interestingly what came was a valero in a Bosch box and has a sticker on it saying "this unit may differ from the original but is an authorized replacement"... weird
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1999 323i - 210,000 miles and counting.
Rear Wheel Bearing Tool (SitTools B90) Rental, ~$60
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
thefrog1394
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 965
My Ride: e46- 1999 323i
*Valeo of course, not valero
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1999 323i - 210,000 miles and counting.
Rear Wheel Bearing Tool (SitTools B90) Rental, ~$60
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:05 AM   #6
Stinger9
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Mske sure your plug connector is an exact match before you do all the labor to remove the old and install the new.


You can return to your post and edit like this. See.

Last edited by Stinger9; 11-10-2012 at 01:06 AM.
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