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Old 04-21-2017, 05:23 AM   #1
cwaltz666
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Trans limp mode/battery light on

Driving on the highway and auto trans went into limp mode and all my dash lights came on. Turned it off and now just the cog and battery light are on. Shifts fine but won't accel fast at all (limp mode). Also, the seat warmer turns off when I give it gas....Any ideas? Low voltage? I got the battery checked at autozone and they said it's fine. I replaced the battery and alternator about 4 months ago. Alternator is a Duralast....maybe that's the issue.

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Old 04-21-2017, 05:45 AM   #2
ryanr1299
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Well I'd start with the battery and alternator. I don't really trust the AutoZone battery and alternator testing, but to each their own. To test the battery, check the voltage with the car off, should be 12.5v. Then start the car and check the voltage at idle, should be 13.5v+. If both of these check out, use the OBC to monitor voltage while driving...you should stay above 13.5v, going up to 14-14.5v under load. All approximate, but if you're basically in this range then battery and alternator are good. More than likely the battery is good since it's brand new...If you're not getting enough voltage at idle or when driving, OR the voltage is highly erratic or too high with the car on, you should be looking at your alternator. Start by checking the connections to it are good and tight.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:11 AM   #3
cwaltz666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanr1299 View Post
Well I'd start with the battery and alternator. I don't really trust the AutoZone battery and alternator testing, but to each their own. To test the battery, check the voltage with the car off, should be 12.5v. Then start the car and check the voltage at idle, should be 13.5v+. If both of these check out, use the OBC to monitor voltage while driving...you should stay above 13.5v, going up to 14-14.5v under load. All approximate, but if you're basically in this range then battery and alternator are good. More than likely the battery is good since it's brand new...If you're not getting enough voltage at idle or when driving, OR the voltage is highly erratic or too high with the car on, you should be looking at your alternator. Start by checking the connections to it are good and tight.
Thanks! I'm having it hooked up to a dealer scanner today to read all the specifics and see what's going on. Will keep this thread updated!
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:45 AM   #4
jfoj
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Stay away from the Stealership, this sounds like either a bad battery and/or alternator/charging problem.

Pretty straight forward and easy to figure out.

You can even use the Hidden OBC Menu to display the Voltage directly on the dash. 13.5-14.5 is a typical charging Voltage.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:48 AM   #5
cwaltz666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanr1299 View Post
Well I'd start with the battery and alternator. I don't really trust the AutoZone battery and alternator testing, but to each their own. To test the battery, check the voltage with the car off, should be 12.5v. Then start the car and check the voltage at idle, should be 13.5v+. If both of these check out, use the OBC to monitor voltage while driving...you should stay above 13.5v, going up to 14-14.5v under load. All approximate, but if you're basically in this range then battery and alternator are good. More than likely the battery is good since it's brand new...If you're not getting enough voltage at idle or when driving, OR the voltage is highly erratic or too high with the car on, you should be looking at your alternator. Start by checking the connections to it are good and tight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Stay away from the Stealership, this sounds like either a bad battery and/or alternator/charging problem.

Pretty straight forward and easy to figure out.

You can even use the Hidden OBC Menu to display the Voltage directly on the dash. 13.5-14.5 is a typical charging Voltage.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

My buddy works at a euro car shop and is gonna scan it for me free
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:16 AM   #6
jfoj
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A "scan" will not usually tell you much about a battery or charging system problem which you clearly have. There seems to be too much placed in the value of a "scan". Sometimes you need to start with the basics.

Suggest you read the attached link and you you will be able to find out how the charging system is working. Takes about 2 minutes in your driveway.

Time to check connects and the engine to body ground under the passenger side motor mount. You are located in the RUST belt!
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 04-21-2017 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:23 AM   #7
cwaltz666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
A "scan" will not usually tell you much about a battery or charging system problem which you clearly have. There seems to be too much placed in the value of a "scan". Sometimes you need to start with the basics.

Suggest you read the attached link and you you will be able to find out how the charging system is working. Takes about 2 minutes in your driveway.

Time to check connects and the engine to body ground under the passenger side motor mount. You are located in the RUST belt!
Where exactly are these grounds?
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:25 AM   #8
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwaltz666 View Post
Where exactly are these grounds?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Time to check connects and the engine to body ground under the passenger side motor mount.
The body/frame side is the most problematic side of the connection.

The other way to check/bypass/supplement this connection is to use a jumper cable to connect on the engine and then on the negative jumper post behind the passenger side strut tower. If the ground is bad the jumper cable will stabilize and increase the charging Voltage.
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 04-21-2017 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:39 AM   #9
cwaltz666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
The body/frame side is the most problematic side of the connection.

The other way to check/bypass/supplement this connection is to use a jumper cable to connect on the engine and then on the negative jumper post behind the passenger side strut tower. If the ground is bad the jumper cable will stabilize and increase the charging Voltage.
Thanks, I will check this out after work!
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:01 AM   #10
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwaltz666 View Post
Driving on the highway and auto trans went into limp mode and all my dash lights came on. Turned it off and now just the cog and battery light are on. Shifts fine but won't accel fast at all (limp mode). Also, the seat warmer turns off when I give it gas....Any ideas? Low voltage? I got the battery checked at autozone and they said it's fine. I replaced the battery and alternator about 4 months ago. Alternator is a Duralast....maybe that's the issue.

HELPPPP ME


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That alternator, specifically the VR in it is probably the issue. That's how my VR went out. Mine was from age, yours probably from that made-in-China Duralast. Based on experience there's nothing durable or lasting about it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:05 AM   #11
cwaltz666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
That alternator, specifically the VR in it is probably the issue. That's how my VR went out. Mine was from age, yours probably from that made-in-China Duralast. Based on experience there's nothing durable or lasting about it.
That was what I first thought too. Might just replace the VR on it and see what happens. Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:30 AM   #12
cwaltz666
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I did the dash Voltage check and the car is spiking to 15-16V when it's driving! As soon as I rev the gas and it hits 15.5V the limp mode activates. I'm %99 sure its this shitty Duralast alternator.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:34 AM   #13
cwaltz666
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http://www.autozone.com/batteries-st...6598_477164_0/

Say's Bosch equipped, is this what I want?
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:50 AM   #14
jfoj
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High and unstable Voltage can cause problems, put a jumper cable on the motor to the body and see what happens.
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:58 AM   #15
cwaltz666
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Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
High and unstable Voltage can cause problems, put a jumper cable on the motor to the body and see what happens.
While the car is running? so engine to body?
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:13 AM   #16
SSchwab
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No, just get the free replacement from AZ and try again.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:17 AM   #17
cwaltz666
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No, just get the free replacement from AZ and try again.
Guessing there is a limited lifetime warranty?
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:24 AM   #18
SSchwab
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Yes, at least at the location near me. I avoid AZ for significant performance parts, but bought a reman alternator once when I was in a hurry. I get a free replacement a few months later.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:26 AM   #19
cwaltz666
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Ill give it a shot
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:35 AM   #20
cwaltz666
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Hey guys, I got a new alternator and it fixed the issue! So bad voltage regulator was the culprit. Thanks for all the help!


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