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Old 11-30-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
HavocSteve
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Oh f%^&k!!!

Title says it all.

I put the battery terminals on wrong because someone messed with the battery at Canadian Tire (the red and black caps) and I didn't look at the battery itself to double check (my fault). So sparks and crap from the back when I put the battery in and took it apart as fast as ever. Well then smoke started billowing from the front of the car in the engine bay. Call my father and asked what it could be (it's dark around 6pm) and he thinks I blew my starter or alternator or both because I changed the polarity of the car. Well today I went and got new fuses (some were blown) and connected everything properly and went to try to start the car. Well I'll be damned. The F$#ker started.

So here's my problem now. It smells like burning (from the day before) and no more smoke. The battery icon on the dash stays lite all the time even without the keys turned on (or keys even in the ignition), just stays on when the battery is connected. Everything works except the stereo?!? no power to the radio at all. Thinking that I might have blown a wire (reason why the smoke started) connecting to something.

I'm open to all ideas and possibilities. I've already began a search for a newer car (eyes on a 95 E36 318) but I would like to hold off as long as possible and fix this battery light issue along with stereo not getting power before hand.

I'm going to look over the engine bay tomorrow as it got to dark today after work but I'm not 100% sure where to look, so even anything that guides me in the right direction is helpful.

EDIT : Does the alternator on the E30 have a voltage regulator in it or is it from an external source? Just wondering if I fried my alternator.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:50 PM   #2
InfiniteDice
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Drive it. if it was toast you'd know. Use your nose and follow the smell, It could be residual by this point. There could simply be damage to the instrument cluster.

Get a volt meter on the battery, make sure it's 13.5+ when running to check the alternator.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by InfiniteDice View Post
Drive it. if it was toast you'd know. Use your nose and follow the smell, It could be residual by this point. There could simply be damage to the instrument cluster.

Get a volt meter on the battery, make sure it's 13.5+ when running to check the alternator.
Yea I just called my dad. I need to get a volt meter now to check over things. Just wondering about my edit question now so I don't have to play hide and seek with a voltage regulator.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
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God knows what's melted, fried, grounding out ect, take a good look for burnt wires and terminals.

I bet there was a face palm followed with a oh shit last night!!
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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There was a serious yell. Followed by firetruck sirens and lucky no one called because my car was smoking lol. First battery install was a EPIC FAIL! I'll for sure never make that mistake again.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
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I think I've narrowed it down to the alternator keeping the light on. The Bentley manual has some wonderful info on it. I'm sure by warning light, it means the battery symbol that's on and glows red at the moment. But I'm going to replace the ground wires on the starter and such.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:49 PM   #7
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^^Dont waste your time, friend of mine did that years ago on his E21, all that ended up blowing was the alternator. Forget about volt meter, just take off one terminal when car is running, if it shuts off (and i'm sure it will) then the abternator is gone...
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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fil's right, just disconnect a battery terminal. If your car dies your alt is toast.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:04 AM   #9
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Remember that you can always get the fault codes by doing the following steps
■For safety reasons, put the transmission in neutral, and turn the ignition key to "On" position but do not start the car
■In quick succession fully depress and release accelerator pedal 5 (five) times
■After couple of seconds Check Engine light will blink once, and start to flash code(s)
■All codes are composed of 4 digits (see table below). For example, code 1211 is represented as Blink, pause, Blink Blink, pause, Blink, pause, Blink
■When code(s) start to repeat, all of them have been displayed
Then you can go here : http://e30world.com/fuel/BMW-E30-DME...ic-fault-codes
The unplugging of the battery will definitly do the job to check if your alternator is dead +1.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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Yea, I need a alternator. Who has a parts car in Ottawa?! lol.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:29 AM   #11
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:O you mean you don't drive around with a spare in your trunk? LOL
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:18 AM   #12
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Nope, and actually, I cant get back into my trunk stupid central lock wont work.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:23 AM   #13
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What does central locking have to do with getting into your trunk?
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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What does central locking have to do with getting into your trunk?
The pins are seised so the only way to lock and unlock the truck with with the central locking system. So now that there is no power, means it's locked for good.

Apparently the EU Auto guy has 2 donor cars. I'm hoping instead of fixing mine, I'll just swap him vehicles and put the good from mine into the better donor car and give him some $$ for a better body E30. Mine needs floors and rockers and also the trunk leaks a bit, so getting one that has those fixed would be awesome.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:09 PM   #15
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You check any or all of your fuses?
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