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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 12-06-2015, 11:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: California
Posts: 5
My Ride: M3
Driving Range W/ Full Battery

Hello all,

I am new to this forum. I think my alternator in my 2005 M3 coupe is done for and I need to drive to an independent shop to get it checkout and replace the alternator.

I have a fully charged battery and would like to know what is the reasonable range for the M3 driving with a fully charged battery? Can I make it to the shop which is 12 miles away?

I did the battery check and the voltage never went higher than 12.4V with the engine running and slowly dropping voltage. The battery is BMW OEM (Exide) and Autozone said the battery is good so the possible fault remaining is in the alternator.

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Old 12-07-2015, 09:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 973
My Ride: M3 - SMG
I would suggest its more a matter of how long it will take you to get there. With the lights and radio off my car draws about 10A. With the engine running I'd expect a bit more for the fuel pump. Go figure.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
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When my alternator died, I was able to drive about half a mile.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:30 PM   #4
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Location: Perth, Australia
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My Ride: 2004 6MT M3
I drove my old E36 328i over 100km with a dead alternator and fully charged battery. Plus I had the stereo cranked the whole time with 2 12" subs and an amp.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Apexeon View Post
When my alternator died, I was able to drive about half a mile.
I was able to drive for about 10 miles and called a tow for the rest of they way. The short tow didn't cost anything with AAA membership.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:52 PM   #6
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Location: Florida
Posts: 2,267
My Ride: ///M3 Vert
Just DIY the alternator, it is literally 6 bolts you need to loosen its held in with 2.

Here's how to do it...

1. Remove airbox

-remove 4 pins holding air duct into airbox
-loosen band clamp closest to airbox
-unlatch 2 metal tabs holding lid to airbox
-remove airbox lid, remove plastic cover on module next to airbox (remove 2 connectors then pull up on plastic cover)
-remove 2 bolts holding module in place and the bolts holding lower airbox in place
-remove lower airbox

2. Remove fan shroud on right side
-remove upper clip and clip on right side behind upper radiator hose
-pull fan shroud up and to the side and maneuver out of way (hose goes through it so cannot be removed)

3. Remove belt

-loosen belt tensioner (t50/5, or 8mm hex most will be the hex)
-while loosening tensioner (turn wrench to right) slide belt off to the side and remove from alternator as well.

4. Remove alternator

-remove bolt for idler pulley up top
-loosen bolt on bottom of alternator (same side as idler pulley) and swing alternator outward to loosen
-remove bolt
-loosen alternator more by rocking it
-remove connector from back of alternator, push spring clip and pull outward
-remove positive terminal from back of alternator (open end wrench or a socket with a swivel head ratchet from the back behind oil cooler lines that are around alternator.
-rock alternator until it comes out. Leaning it back towards you will work easiest.

5. Install alternator following steps in reverse.

And that's how you do it in 30 min and do t have to remove oil cooler lines making it a mess/pita

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alternator, battery, driving range

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