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General E46 Forum
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:07 PM   #1
Qwest
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Iowa
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My Ride: 2004 330xi
Not Quite Sure What's Wrong

My car has been sitting for a little while as I'm a college student and didn't want to pay for the full coverage on my car (2004 330xi 6 speed). I did however start and run it monthly for the past year and a half. Recently started having some problems. After jumping the car (it's cold here and not running kills the battery, its a brand new battery by the way, couple months old) I'll pull the cables off and let the car run, rev it a couple times, and then the tachometer stops moving, my radio turns off, the A/C and heat controls turn off, the premium sound light by the shifter starts flashing, and alas, my car dies. I've tried jumping it again thinking the battery just wasn't charging quickly enough to keep up, but even after trying another jump it won't start. Also as soon as it does start (when it does) the speakers start popping and crackling. Maybe it's a bad ground? Has fresh gas and my dad dumped some heet in it while I was in school. Not sure what could be wrong.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:41 PM   #2
My325XI
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Maybe an alternator, or voltage regulator issue if all the other stuff shuts off after it's running, plus battery may need a full charge.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:22 PM   #3
jmo69
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Try a search for OBC hidden menu. It will give you the alternator voltage output plus many other things. I've had failed alternators and never had any of your symptoms. Just no starts and maybe a battery light.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:27 PM   #4
zander271
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OP sounds like the alternator, you need to check the voltage like jmo stated. If you see less then 13.5-14, I would just replace the alternator. It could be the voltage regulator but most of the time it's just the alternator. It's a really easy job. I've done twice and had to remove it for other jobs done on both my e46. If it's your first time budge 2 hours if you are quick 30 minutes. Also have a crow bar ready.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:38 PM   #5
jmo69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zander271 View Post
OP sounds like the alternator, you need to check the voltage like jmo stated. If you see less then 13.5-14, I would just replace the alternator. It could be the voltage regulator but most of the time it's just the alternator. It's a really easy job. I've done twice and had to remove it for other jobs done on both my e46. If it's your first time budge 2 hours if you are quick 30 minutes. Also have a crow bar ready.
I can see 30 minutes on a manual like his, but automatics like mine will take longer. I can get mine out in about 20 but I'm on my fourth.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:36 PM   #6
Carina2002
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I also wouldn't recommend disconnecting your battery cables while it runs. That allows the alternator to charge it. And what you describe sounds like an alternator issue. Check the voltage and replace of it is under spec.
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:06 PM   #7
Qwest
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I thought maybe it was a bad ground at first because of the speaker noise (I have the harmon kardon system so maybe it's the amp not being powered properly) on the plus side I got to see my newly installed angel eyes light up before it died.
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:29 PM   #8
Kubica
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Originally Posted by Qwest View Post
I thought maybe it was a bad ground at first because of the speaker noise (I have the harmon kardon system so maybe it's the amp not being powered properly) on the plus side I got to see my newly installed angel eyes light up before it died.
Remove angel eyes. Problem solved.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:06 PM   #9
Qwest
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Remove angel eyes. Problem solved.
Too bad it was happening before I installed them.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:58 PM   #10
jmo69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina2002 View Post
I also wouldn't recommend disconnecting your battery cables while it runs. That allows the alternator to charge it. And what you describe sounds like an alternator issue. Check the voltage and replace of it is under spec.
I think he means the jumper cables. I'd charge the battery and have it tested, if it's good put it back in and start it then check the voltage at the battery while it's idling, should be close to 14v. Had a low battery on mine yesterday, charged it and when it started I had 14+ at the battery. Going to charge it again on Friday at have it tested on Saturday just to make sure, it's gonna be cold next week.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:47 PM   #11
jmo69
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Battery tested good, the guy held the load longer than usual and it passed, Rayovac, purchased in July of 2012.
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