View Full Version : Automotive electrician

10-09-2007, 12:58 PM
Hello All!

I was wondering if anyone knows an automotive electrician who can help me out with some major problems with my e30.

The other day i posted a thread about an on-going starting problem; thank you to those who posted suggestions... I'm ledt with the problem that something was draining my battery while the car was off...

so this thanksgiving weekend i spent some time with the e30 trying to figure out what the hell is draining that stupid battery. I started with the aftermarket alarm, the wiring led past the fire wall and under the steering column and low and behold i found a mish mash of wires, kind of like that 80's anti-drug commercial where a hand starts snipping wires at a brain shape ball of wire and says "this is your brain on drugs"...
well needless to say the whole thing is butchered... now i think the best thing to do is to get someone who knows the ins and outs of the e30 electrical layout or any vehicle electrical layout to have a look and assess the damage...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

10-12-2007, 03:22 PM

10-12-2007, 03:44 PM
I remember that commercial - sounds bad. Paying someone to Diagnose/fix that could cost as much as the car might be worth.

10-12-2007, 04:09 PM
why don't you take it to Bimmersport, Charlie works on E30's and he is a licence mechanic so he'll know electrical to, most mechanics do, unless they are old timers & don't believe in electrical work:D

10-12-2007, 06:17 PM
Try fixing it yourself First! I'd remove the alarm and make sure all the wires which the alarm either tapped into, or had run through it (Starter only) are intact. You can google for a wiring diagram of the E30 if you need one.

Second, go buy a multi-meter from crappy tire or somewhere. Read up on, or have an electronics type nerd show you how to use the amp meter feature of the multi-meter.

next, starting from fuse #1 in the block, remove it and place one of your DMM (Digital Multi-meter) leads on one fuse socket contact, and the other lead on the other contact. MAKE SURE YOUR CURRENT SETTING IS SET TO 10AMPS! if you get a reading with your car turned OFF, then reduce the scale on the DMM to the next lowest setting. If you don't get a reading, then replace the fuse and move on to Fuse #2

I'm not sure exactly what the current draw is for the ECU or radio, but I can't imagine it's more then 20mA or 0.020A. If any fuse location is higher then that with the car off, doors closed alarm pulled out, and hood light (if applicable) removed, you know where to start.

Chances are that it's somewhere along the +12V Always hot line which is Red with a black stripe if my memory serves me right.

Try that and see how it goes.


10-13-2007, 12:28 AM
if the alarm 'brain' isnt still under there then thats not your problem. the alarm wires themselves cant do anything without the alarm part in.

id check for maybe an interior light (trunk or glovebox maybe?) that stays on when its respective door is shut.

other than that, what engineer suggested is a good idea. problem is, those stupid 7.5A fuses (theres probably 7 or 8 of them) all power multiple things. i have a full electrical schematic of an '88 if you need it.

good luck! electrical problems can be a bitch.

10-13-2007, 12:49 PM
Thanks for your suggestions guys...

I've taken it to charlie a while back, and he's just as stumped as i am... whenever i come in he still asks me if i've solved the problem...

As for the DIY, i have done the multimeter test to battery to check its hold and charging abilities, i've also done the check where i disconnect the negative terminal and connect the dmm leads to the battery and to the negative to complete the circuit and removed each fuse to determine which circuit is producing the drain, there were no significant changes in the numbers to lead me to a circuit...

I'll try the one where i put the leads directly into the fuse sockets and will let you know what happens...

Furyriderx.. thanks for the suggestions.. how is the ix? my buddy misses it a great deal probably even more when the snow hits...

10-13-2007, 03:47 PM
that car is awesome. i love it - pretty much 0 major problems so far. i knew your screen name looked familiar, but couldnt place it. look out for some snow drifting vids when the white stuff starts piling up :P