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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
IndianaChef
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Battery? Alternator?

I have looked through the posts and haven't found a problem quite like this. If anyone can help, I would be grateful. I have a 2001 330I and it developed a coolant leak. Ended up replacing the water pump today, but now it will only run off the battery. I charge it up, it reads 13V on a tester, start the car, and the tester will slowly go down until it gets to about 11V and the dash lights come on and it dies. Charged it back up, let it sit overnight and it held 13V but did it again. I took the alternator off and had it bench tested twice and it passed both. Can a bad battery hold a charge and start the car, but then not take a current from the alternator?
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:43 PM   #2
lszlszx
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Measure voltage with the engine running and report back.
Read section 1. of my No start thread.
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E46 NO START - A list of possible causes

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Old 01-15-2015, 08:04 PM   #3
IndianaChef
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As stated, it will start at 12V when the engine is started and slowly go down as the engine runs until it reaches around 10 or under and dies
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:19 PM   #4
IndianaChef
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I cannot get 14V when running
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
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This might be obvious, but are you sure the belt is routed/installed correctly?
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkasson View Post
This might be obvious, but are you sure the belt is routed/installed correctly?
+1
guessing either the alt pulley was missed completely or perhaps running backwards? That snakey serpentine belt can be tricky.

Last edited by TerryH; 01-15-2015 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:12 PM   #7
IndianaChef
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The problem began after the water pump started leaking, before the belt was ever touched. None the less, it was put back correctly, I double checked it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:17 PM   #8
lszlszx
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If everything is connected properly, it's a bad alternator.
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E46 NO START - A list of possible causes

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Old 01-15-2015, 10:37 PM   #9
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+1
Sounds like that to me
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:43 PM   #10
kkasson
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Maybe coolant got back behind the alternator and it isn't making a good connection there. Try cleaning the wire?
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:02 PM   #11
piston-whip
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Do a connection check at every terminal. Make sure there is no corrosion or frayed wires. Be sure to check for secure connections at the terminals, ie: washers and nuts flush on the mounting surface.

You said this started after the leaking water pump. Was there any dimming of lights or any other sign of power loss?
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:09 PM   #12
Stinger9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piston-whip View Post
Do a connection check at every terminal. Make sure there is no corrosion or frayed wires. Be sure to check for secure connections at the terminals, ie: washers and nuts flush on the mounting surface.

You said this started after the leaking water pump. Was there any dimming of lights or any other sign of power loss?
OK, might as well throw in the engine ground strap. Could cause charging trouble.
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:37 PM   #13
IndianaChef
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no dimming of the lights, no warning until the battery went dead. I have taken the alternator to two different parts stores and it tested okay at both. i am going to re-install it and check that ground strap and all connections. Thanks everyone!
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