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Old 04-01-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
captain E34
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Charging issue

Hey guys, i have an isssue and dont know the cause.... Saturday morning my car battery was completly dead, sooo i gave it a boost, started and i thot all wasgood, i got to wrk and its about a 15 min drive, so i turned it offf and tried to start it, battery comepletly dead still, dis some reaserch and noticed the battery light isnt turning on, checked bulb, its fine, and now im stumped is it my alternator? Y isntmybattery light lighting up? Ohand its a 1990 520i
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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Also i tried to boost the car, it started then i unplugged the battery, it ran the same till i put a load on (turned on the lights). Then the car instantly turned off.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #3
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a couple of things, dont know if its the same on yours but on the e36 obc, you can actually see and read the output voltage the alternator is putting out. If your obc does not have that function, then get a volt meter and check the output of the alternator when it is running, should be over 13 volts. if the alternator is below 11 volts then either your alternator is shot, or the voltage regulator is shot and needs to be replaced if your alternator has that capability.

Another is your battery may be on its last leg, how old is the battery? if its been over 5 yrs consider getting a new battery. Hope that helps you out.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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Mine doesnt have the obc, just the anolog clock, and i do not have a voltage meter :/
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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If this helps at all, my battery light would come on slightly at idle... It was wierd, once i pressed the gas it would go away and i never had any dead bTtery issues before... Does this sound like the alternator slowy dying? Now its just totally not charging
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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then get one ($10-$20), they are essential to any vehicle electrical troubleshooting. Other than that, you cant do much but go to a indy garage or bmw and pay $$$$ for a simple diagnosis that you could of done yourself.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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Yaa alright ill go do that!
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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you cant assume its not charging, the alternator may be ok but your battery is shot, or your battery is ok and your alternator is shot. BUY A VOLT METER..
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
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How do i test it? Run the car and put the testers on the battery?
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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alright i figured it out, with the car running, voltage at the battery is around 11.3v, new alternator?
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:09 PM   #11
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alright i figured it out, with the car running, voltage at the battery is around 11.3v, new alternator?
sounds like it. you get get the alternator itself tested once out of the car just to be sure.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #12
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I'll do that tmrw!! Thanks guyes
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:51 PM   #13
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your problem may well be a very worn voltage regulator. change with a new one and that would probably solve your problem, as well as spending high $$$ on a new or rebuilt one.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #14
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your problem may well be a very worn voltage regulator. change with a new one and that would probably solve your problem, as well as spending high $$$ on a new or rebuilt one.
i'm not sure about the model in question but i think that in some bmw's the voltage regulator is built right into the alternator and can't be replaced separately.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:28 PM   #15
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I know I can buy the actual voltage regulator but if it's built in or not I'm not exactly sure, it has the same alt. As the 1991 525i m50b25 if that helps
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