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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 10-26-2014, 01:08 AM   #1
ABE-E46
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Orange County
Posts: 3
My Ride: 1999 328i
Exclamation Electric Problems on a 328i

Hey guys I am new on here so I enrolled in college this year and obviously I had to get a car to get there. I ve always been a bimmer fan so I wanted my first car to be a BMW. I basically got the car off craigslist for 2.5k its a 1999 328i with m3 rims clean exterior and interior but the only catch was it needed a new alternator and the drivers window usually jams but nothing to talk about.
Long story short I got a new battery + a alternator off a salvaged bimmer( I had it tested it was good) I installed both of them and the battery still wouldnt charge. Today I had my friend give me a jump start battery was completely dead but he gave his car a bit of gas so it would charge my battery so I got a dc tester tested the battery showed it was charging. The dashboard had the red battery sign before i got the alternator changed now the battery sign just goes away when i start the car. Oh and the car doesnt really run after a jump start it ll probably just move a few feet. P.S the belts are in bad condition bad i mean they still move so before I change anything else I want to know what the exact problem is and the voltage regulator on the alternator is good thats the most information i could think of I d appreciate if any of you guys could help me solve this.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
Alex323Ci
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Huntington Beach -Surf City USA
Posts: 20,240
My Ride: M3 & 323Ci (sold)
well those are the two main things: battery and alternator.

i would check both again. i would say its the alternator, since your car should run off that after started. you said its been tested ok and no battery idiot light is the only thing makes me not totally sure. so it could be a wire connection or even a frayed grounding wire not allowing proper charging. this would also account for the battery not charging and being dead. to eliminate the battery, put it on a trickle charger and fully charge it.

there are several ways to view the charging of the cars system through the dash panel OBD. I'll let someone else tell you which "easter egg" it is in dash cluster, i don't recall offhand. you can do a search also.


*last thing unrelated is to check your subframe mounts in the rear, your yr and model are very prone to this demise that can cost thounsands to have a repair done.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
jfoj
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My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
See 4th link in my signature, Hidden OBC Menu and you can display the Voltage directly on the dash.

Also check the engine/body ground under the engine on the passenger side near the motor mount. The frame connection is the side that has the most problematic.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:54 PM   #4
ABE-E46
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Orange County
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My Ride: 1999 328i
Alright guys i changed the belts everything is working great thanks for the help
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