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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 04-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #21
ChasCan
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littlegti is correct. When you had your alternator tested, you only had it tested for voltage output. To get the full picture, you also have to know what the maximum amperage output is. You can have great voltage, but really sh*tty amp output, which could possibly ruin an otherwise good battery. Low amps would also have your car celebrating "Christmas" with all those lights. Get to a good indy to have a full charging system evaluation, or if you have the equipment, the voltage output of the alt s/b approx 13.2 to 13.8 volts. Amperage output can vary according to your cars equipment package, however it should sit at the 115 to 145 amp range with the idle at 2k rpm & all equipment off. HTH. Chas
You have to really do a full test. Then you will know where to start or what is actually bad. If you can find a "home" for this extra wire, then plug it in. Cars today have male & female connectors & are all are different. If it won't fit, then it doesn't belong there. Chas
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:42 PM   #22
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yeah i really wanna put the wire on the connection but im just scared cuz i dont know what it is, if anyone knows, can you share some thought on it? i mean Doug if u say the connections are really stable, that means this connection thing must have been off for a year at least because the last time i took it to the dealer was more than a year ago, so im just currious as to what this connector is?
Search realoem.com if you haven't already. Also, search voltage regulators...I know they go bad and show up as odd electrical gremlins in car...and although I do believe the connections are stable and better well should be, I'm thinking that maybe you can live without a voltage regulator. The cable carries power to battery, so the connection has to do something, and I know the alt has a connector...just was there a couple of weeks ago. So, me, I'd disconnect battery just to be safe; plug it in after cleaning it out well and letting cleaner dry...blow out with compressed air? Recon after waiting as long as you can stand to wait...recon battery. Pray that this Doug guy isn't an idiot...which I'm assured by many that I am!

If there's a connector hanging free, and it fits into the alt that has an empty connector, you know that's the one. Every connector it seems has a slightly different config...not all of course, but if it plugs in and there isn't any slack in the line, they were meant to be together.

Anyway, since there's only the alternator and a connector, and I know the alt has a replaceable voltage regulator, I'm pretty sure that's what the connector is for.

Might it have failed...you'll see when you plug it in whether it's firm or not...might've had someone nick it in prior repairs somehow...might never have known.

Doug
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:58 PM   #23
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Sorry, backup a little. I'd assumed the extra wire was one with a connector at the end, but now I'm wondering if you mean just a single wire hanging around?

If this is a small wire and there's an empty hole in the connector already plugged into the back of the alt...then get new connector and hook new wires into it...think that'd be best...you can't really just stick a wire into a connector hoping it'll stick...it'd be very squirrley!

If the wire is 1/4" thick or so hanging loose, that's the cable to battery...and it should be bolted under the rectangular black rubber cover on back of alt.

Sorry if this confuses you...does me too!

Doug
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:12 PM   #24
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its not a wire that is bolted on, its just a wire that is connected to a plastic connection piece at the rear of the alternator on the black plastic portion of the unit

EDIT here lemme find a pic of it, somethign about this wireis just bothering me

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:20 PM   #25
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here it is see that connection thingy with two prongs tahts the one im referring to (under circle #1), it has nothing plugged into it but there is a wire nearby that looks like it will fit but it is hanging loosely, but im just afraid to plugg it in because it might screw something up in the electrical system (ex. im talking about it was faulty, so instead of replacing it, the dealer just removed the connection prior to my purchase and hoped that i wouldnt notice, but if i did plug it in, it would do no good to the electrical system *just an example, speaking hypothetically**)

and the connection does appear to be part of the voltage regulator, but the wire that is suppose to connect to it.... what is it for? and its suppose to be connected right?

Last edited by joneperry; 04-29-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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