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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:44 AM   #1
Rafandresperez
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Bmw 2003 e43, battery or starter?

Hey guys, I have a problem with my car (e46 2003 sedan, manual), a month ago I started my car as every morning, and all of the sudden the car wont start, headlights flashing, dash flashing, so I charged the battery and guess what, car is working fine now, 2 weeks later the same problem, I check the battery and it says "green=fine yellow=not enough charge and black=dead" and its clearly green, so I charge it again, and it worked fine again, but this time it lasted only a week, the only different thing is that this time the car started but my radio monitor went off, and the red battery light came out and wont go away, the engine was running, but I prefered to turn it off, tried to start it again and nothing, I check the OBC and instead of showing 12v it was showing 9, (I still have the original battery. Is like 13 years old I guess) is it the battery or the alternator (I would take to the mechanic but a diagnose in my country is expensive af so I want to know if I can diagnose it myslelf) thanks in advance.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:51 AM   #2
jmo69
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You need a new battery if it's 13 years old, it's about 9 years overdue for replacement. Once you do that get it started and use a multimeter to check the output of the alternator, it should be about 13.6 volts at idle and a fully charged battery should be 12.5-12.8 volts.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:57 AM   #3
1.8TT0ny
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Charge the battery.
Start the engine when the battery has a full charge.
Disconnect the negative battery cable while the engine is running.
If the engine dies after you remove the battery cable, it means you have a bad alternator.
If the engine continues to run with the battery cable disconnected, it means you have a bad battery.


It is possible that you have a bad alternator AND a bad battery at the same time because a bad battery will make the alternator work harder than it is supposed to and the alternator will eventually be bad.

Good luck.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:03 AM   #4
jmo69
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Don't disconnect any cables a volt meter will tell you what you need to know. Yes a bad battery can ruin an alternator. Are there any parts stores that can test your battery for you? not familiar with Guatemala, here we have parts store chains that do it for free, AutoZone, Advance, etc.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:22 AM   #5
Rafandresperez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
Don't disconnect any cables a volt meter will tell you what you need to know. Yes a bad battery can ruin an alternator. Are there any parts stores that can test your battery for you? not familiar with Guatemala, here we have parts store chains that do it for free, AutoZone, Advance, etc.
I will charge it and test it tomorrow, but I was watching a video on youtube right now, and the guy on the video said "if you boosted your battery, car run for a couple days, then suddenly wont work, then you might have an electric problem that is draining your battery". You guys think is possible that this is happening to my car? (I have xenon and a radio screen, I dont know if that is important or not) btw thanks for the quick answers guys, Im loving this forum.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:28 AM   #6
1.8TT0ny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafandresperez View Post
the guy on the video said "if you boosted your battery, car run for a couple days, then suddenly wont work, then you might have an electric problem that is draining your battery".
This situation is known as Parasitic Draw.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...b-0QOkerjVk7fQ
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:29 AM   #7
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafandresperez View Post
I will charge it and test it tomorrow, but I was watching a video on youtube right now, and the guy on the video said "if you boosted your battery, car run for a couple days, then suddenly wont work, then you might have an electric problem that is draining your battery". You guys think is possible that this is happening to my car? (I have xenon and a radio screen, I dont know if that is important or not) btw thanks for the quick answers guys, Im loving this forum.
That statement probably didn't account for a battery 13 years old.

Get it replaced and go from there.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:33 AM   #8
1.8TT0ny
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Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
That statement probably didn't account for a battery 13 years old.

Get it replaced and go from there.
I think the OP thinks the battery is the original 2003 battery.

I've never heard of any car battery lasting more than 6 or 7 years. Typically, the average battery only lasts 4-5 years.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:41 AM   #9
Rafandresperez
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"I think the OP thinks the battery is the original 2003 battery."


He is right, I got my car 4 years ago, and its a BMW battery, so I guessed that it might be the original, however I was not aware that batteries does not last that long.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:32 AM   #10
jmo69
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The PO could have bought a BMW battery, but even a 4 year old battery could be suspect. I'm assuming it's hot in Guatemala, and heat is harder on batteries and alternators than cold is. Don't be surprised if you need both.
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