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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 07-07-2011, 01:26 AM   #1
Airmanwheeler
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I got gremlins in my bimmer!

Alex Comments: I'm in urgent need of your help! I have a 2004 BMW 325ci. My car a couple days ago wouldnt start at first, it just clicked but no drain on headlights or anything when I had the ignition on start, so I waited a couple minutes and it finally it worked. The next day my car didn't start at all and I had to push start it! I thought I needed a new battery so I went to get a new one and put it in but my car still didn't start, I returned the battery. I got my old one back and checked the charge and it was fine. I got my starter replaced and this is wut the mechanics told me.... My original starter was bad because the power going to my little terminal on the starter was recieving constant power and was burning the motor on my starter because the motor was constantly running on it. So they hooked up my starter and left that wire off my new starter so it wouldnt burn the new one out. I was back to push starting my car... Then when I was driving home I felt this jerk like my brakes were depressed slightly and my traction control, and ABS Brakes light popped up in my dash, then my airbag light popped up, then my A/C shut off, then my headlights didn't work, then my radio, then I tried to roll down my window but it seemed like my car didn't have enough juice, then I tried my windshield wipers and it seemed liked they didn't have any juice, then my car just totally died while driving!!!!!!!! Help me!!!! I've already spent 560$ on the starter! And I'm scared how much the rest of this problem could cost me!!!
July 6, 2011
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:31 AM   #2
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do you have a check engine light?
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:43 AM   #3
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I don't know much but it sounds electrical. May not have a choice but to take it to the dealership if not them then a good mechanic you trust
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
EJL486
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I'd replace the voltage regulator on the alternator... its a $50 part from pelican including 2 day shipping - I had very similar symptoms last week, replaced the regulator, car is running great now. the contacts on the old regulator wear out over time and eventually stop making contact with the alternator which when its at that point, causes some bizarre electrical issues. do some searches on voltage regulator / alternator issues and you should see a lot of similar stories.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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could be you drained/killed your battery by trying to start your car all the time. Get a new battery (again) and start from there. If your current battery is 4-6 years old, it's probably time for a new one anyway
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:30 AM   #6
Airmanwheeler
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I tested the battery at auto zone and they said the charge on my battery was better then the new one. The thing is I tried the new battery when I had the bad starter on my car, so I'm thinking maybe the test might have been wrong for my battery... But that wouldn't explain why my starter was actually receiving constant power to the Starter motor... I did some research and it looks like it could be eather my starter relay, or a guy said that he saw this problem once when the ignition was stuck between start and on causing the starter to recieve constant power... But that doesn't explain all the other problems.... The voltage regulator/ alternator does sound like a likely cause, maybe the alternator was overcharging the battery wich caused my battery to be at a higher charge then a new battery and caused all these other problems, but it doesn't explain the starter..... Maybe I'm not connecting the dots here.... Help me out guys!
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
Joeggernaut
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Gremlins are only reserved for VW. There is no eradicating the gremlins from VW. I know a girl who had two different vw beetles a 98 and 2000 and both randomly caught on fire while driving and burned to the ground.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:53 PM   #8
Airmanwheeler
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Well usually that's what fuses are there for... Maybe this person tried to bypass some fuses and caused the fire!
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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No it was VW fault (I am thread jacking I know sorry). It was kinda like the thing with our e46 sub frame issue. VW knew about people's car catching on fire because of faulty wire harness but didnt want to issue a recall due to money. After both times her car burned to the ground they gave her full retail value + 3000 towards VW at the dealer. She didnt make the same mistake three times to say the least.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airmanwheeler View Post
I tested the battery at auto zone and they said the charge on my battery was better then the new one. The thing is I tried the new battery when I had the bad starter on my car, so I'm thinking maybe the test might have been wrong for my battery... But that wouldn't explain why my starter was actually receiving constant power to the Starter motor... I did some research and it looks like it could be eather my starter relay, or a guy said that he saw this problem once when the ignition was stuck between start and on causing the starter to recieve constant power... But that doesn't explain all the other problems.... The voltage regulator/ alternator does sound like a likely cause, maybe the alternator was overcharging the battery wich caused my battery to be at a higher charge then a new battery and caused all these other problems, but it doesn't explain the starter..... Maybe I'm not connecting the dots here.... Help me out guys!
I had a battery test fine at Autozone too before for my E39. Turned out a new one solved my starting problem and Autozone replaced the old battery (an Autozone battery) for a new one free of charge. Never rule out an old battery just because it tests fine.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:17 AM   #11
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I can almost guarantee that your problem is incredibly trivial (in solution, although it gives you nightmares). It's definitely electrical, it could be something as simple as loose battery connection. I would change cables that connect to the battery and continue from there.
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