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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:32 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northeast, USA
Posts: 65
My Ride: 2004 BMW M3
Unhappy Is it the Battery or the Alternator? PLEASE ADVISE!!

Hello my Bimmer friends,

Last night, I drove back from work, and everything was PERFECTLY normal. 2 hours later, I started the car and the Flashing Red Battery light kept going in and out. On my way back home, all lights came on in the dash, and eventually the car shut off to the side of the road. The AAA guy couldn't figure out how to tow my low, low car, so he jumped/juiced the car up with his portable jumper, that started the car right up and got my home... 1 mile away or so.

Reading here, everyone suggests that the Alternator is the culprit for the flashing red light. So I am all set and ready to order the Alternator, but I decided to do the Self Load Test on the car via the Internal Diagnostics.

Here's the readings I saw:

Key not turned ON:

Constant reading between 119 or 120

Key in ON position, BUT CAR NOT STARTED:

Reading starts at 112, but continues to drop consistently to all the way to 105, at which point, I shut the car off.

Other symptoms:

1. The car DOES NOT start, when I attempt it, quick clicking noises and lights going on and off, but the car wouldn't start...

2. The electronics of the car are still running, or Unlock/Lock with remote, internal LEDs and Trunk LEDs

With the information I have above, and without a Stress Test on the battery (because the car is immobile, I'd have to call AAA to move it), can you guys help me make an educated guess whether it's the battery on the alternator on the car?

I need some QUICK help on this guys, so your prompt responses are DEEPLY appreciated! Thank you SO MUCH for reading!
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