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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 04-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #41
Drayko
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So as u can tell I'm not to car savy but I assume it's not the voltage regulator since the alternator is less than a week old. And I only know where 2 of my grounds are and have no clue where the other ones are to check them. Also how do I post a video on here and I can show u what's goin on
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #42
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here's a couple videos with my stereo hooked up and whats happening



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Old 04-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #43
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Try reading through this. Also check all fuses.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...Alternator.htm
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:14 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Drayko View Post
here's a couple videos with my stereo hooked up and whats happening
Wow, I had no idea that the dash on an e46 ever had been so different from the sophisticated look it ended up as.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #45
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Wow, I had no idea that the dash on an e46 ever had been so different from the sophisticated look it ended up as.
What u mean?
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Blind_Shooter View Post
Try reading through this. Also check all fuses.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...Alternator.htm
All fuses good and a brand new alternator, all relays good as well
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #47
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Wow, this is not a BMW E46 anymore!!!

So the rule book probably does not apply too much to your car?

So a few things, the E46 Voltage does not come up immediately when the car is started, it takes a 15-30 seconds as I recall?? So a slow peak to proper charging Voltage is normal.

You really need to access the Hidden OBC Menu on the dash to display the battery/charging Voltage below the speedometer. This may give you more insight to what is going on.

The pillar mounted Voltmeter, who knows how an where this is connected, it is likely an accurate meter, however, depending on where and how it is connected the Voltmeter on the pillar may not be reading battery Voltage.

What is the deal with your engine idle, is it dropping due to alternator loading? Is it dropping due to something else?

What is the deal with your dash in the car, this is not a standard BMW dash or at least the face is not stock. This is why there was a comment on it.

I assume you purchased the car with a lot of what is currently installed in the car? If so, you have a lot of reverse engineering to do and trying to figure out what what done to the car.

Again, we can only help so much here as your car is heavily modified and if you likely do not know the full history on the car, you will have to start at ground zero and figure out how everything is wired up.

You also need to have a crash course in measuring Voltage drop, figure out the wire sizes that were used and determine if they are large enough for the current draw, also figure out if the battery is the proper type as well. Not sure if AGM batteries are the best bet for heavy peak loads or not.

Good luck, you will need your Voltmeter.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #48
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All the mods where done by me I bought the car stock, the dash is the new s7 gauges for the e46 which is a pain to do but hook up is fairly easy, the volt meter is hooked up to the main power wire directly connected to the cd player and hooked up properly. And the rpm gauge drops everytime the alternator gets drained of power and it also does it usually when I start the car just not as much and the rpms will drop here and there while I'm driving.

Last edited by Drayko; 04-01-2013 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:43 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by jfoj View Post


Wow, this is not a BMW E46 anymore!!!

So the rule book probably does not apply too much to your car?

So a few things, the E46 Voltage does not come up immediately when the car is started, it takes a 15-30 seconds as I recall?? So a slow peak to proper charging Voltage is normal.

You really need to access the Hidden OBC Menu on the dash to display the battery/charging Voltage below the speedometer. This may give you more insight to what is going on.

The pillar mounted Voltmeter, who knows how an where this is connected, it is likely an accurate meter, however, depending on where and how it is connected the Voltmeter on the pillar may not be reading battery Voltage.

What is the deal with your engine idle, is it dropping due to alternator loading? Is it dropping due to something else?

What is the deal with your dash in the car, this is not a standard BMW dash or at least the face is not stock. This is why there was a comment on it.

I assume you purchased the car with a lot of what is currently installed in the car? If so, you have a lot of reverse engineering to do and trying to figure out what what done to the car.

Again, we can only help so much here as your car is heavily modified and if you likely do not know the full history on the car, you will have to start at ground zero and figure out how everything is wired up.

You also need to have a crash course in measuring Voltage drop, figure out the wire sizes that were used and determine if they are large enough for the current draw, also figure out if the battery is the proper type as well. Not sure if AGM batteries are the best bet for heavy peak loads or not.

Good luck, you will need your Voltmeter.
And thanks for the 15 sec volt info, I didn't think that was normal to go so slow
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:05 AM   #50
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is your power steering resevoir leaking? also, when was the last time you changed your spark plugs?
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:09 AM   #51
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All the mods where done by me I bought the car stock, the dash is the new s7 gauges for the e46 which is a pain to do but hook up is fairly easy, the volt meter is hooked up to the main power wire directly connected to the cd player and hooked up properly. And the rpm gauge drops everytime the alternator gets drained of power and it also does it usually when I start the car just not as much and the rpms will drop here and there while I'm driving.
When was the last time you changed your spark plugs? If you recently had to deal with a leaking valve cover gasket and either didn't check your plugs, didn't check them after replacing gasket not before, then I would recommend checking all SIX of them. I had oil practically living in 2 or 3 of my plugs causing similar symptoms.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #52
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When was the last time you changed your spark plugs? If you recently had to deal with a leaking valve cover gasket and either didn't check your plugs, didn't check them after replacing gasket not before, then I would recommend checking all SIX of them. I had oil practically living in 2 or 3 of my plugs causing similar symptoms.
I've never checked them actually, and yes my power steering reservoir is leaking?, just haven't got around to fixing it yet

Last edited by Drayko; 04-02-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:16 AM   #53
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Buy a Bentley manual (and a voltmeter), not only it contains a lot of information of your car's electrical system, but also explains how to do basic electrical tests.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #54
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that may be the mother of all your problems. trust me, I know. if your power steering is leaking, in order for it to cause issues on the scale you are facing, it has to be just bad. How often do you top off that reservoir?
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:14 PM   #55
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also, other than the dropping off of voltage and the needle on your gauges constantly plummeting, when its not acting funny, mechanically speaking, how does your car run?
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:48 PM   #56
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I fill it about every month lol. Other than my issues if i'm not playin any music she runs fine except for a few sporadic rpm jumps while I'm drivin
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #57
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fill it once a month. yeah buddy, you're still on the boat that I just got off. at first, I topped off once every 1-2 months. then it became weekly, and eventually daily. its so odd how it gradually leaks worse and worse yet, other than a huge leak pool under the car you can almost never tell. most of the liquid nearest to the reservoir gets either cooked off by the heat from engine and alternator to if you were trying to catch it with its pants down, it did a very good job of hiding its leak. indirectly, the act of you needing to top off the reservoir like that says otherwise. you my man have a power issue. some blood sucking leech is robbing you or the way I see it, is preventing you from generating it. do a visual inspection of your alternator. if it hasn't been peed on, it should be a bright aluminum color. if violated on by the guy living upstairs, it'll be darker stained color. to confirm that this is the mother of all your issues, wait till engine is cool. using duct tape, wrap the hose as close to the reservoir as you can get it, and continue wrapping all along the hose till you can confident that the run off and dripping of the fluid will empty itself somewhere else. it won't take long for you to notice whether or not it worked. if your problems are solved, don't be relieved just yet. by routing the fluid somewhere else, it began eating at one of my coolant hoses connected to expansion tank. it softened it up to the point where a hole easily formed in that rubber hose. once you got that hose wrapped up, see if alternator looks a bit gunked up. if so, spray cleaning solvent to help give it a quick makeover and take it for a drive. results should be almost immediate. also, in the process of wrapping the hose with tape, it should also become apparent that it is indeed the mother of all your issues if before you can even finish wrapping the hose up very well that the tape has troubles staying on the hose. if its slipping and sliding and sliming up due to the fluid getting in the way, your problem has been found}
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:18 PM   #58
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ur car is trying to commit suicide
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #59
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by starving itself? Well, not unheard of. Ghandi did something like that. however, I can't be 100% sure but a lot of power related problems can be traced to that damn power steering reservoir.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:31 PM   #60
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My alternator is only a week old
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