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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 12-05-2010, 03:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question '86 325e losing electrical power/dying

I've been driving this car for several years, but yesterday after I went to drive back home, it started having electrical issues. When it started, the tachometer went crazy, bouncing all over the place, yet the engine speed stayed constant. After driving about a mile, the inside dash lights got really dim and the headlights started fading out. Eventually it started to de-accel even though my foot was floored and it eventually died. I checked several fuses, and turned the headlights on and they were super bright as if the car were running. After getting a jump start, I drove about 1/4 mile and it did the same thing. After I turned all inside electrical stuff off and went to start it, it would struggle to revolve once. Later that night (a good 3 or 4 hours later) I stopped where it was parked and tried it once more. It fired right up with no problems. I was thinking the alt. was going bad, but if it was, wouldn't the batt be dead?

The little battery image on my dash would randomly, lightly flicker on and off. The battery connections are tight and it's a new-ish battery.

Any ideas?
Thanks in advance!
- Matt
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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im not an expert but check the ground lead between the frame and oil sump
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey tim96, thanks for your advice. I'll give that a good look over. I talked to a BMW mechanic and he said that its the alt. going bad.. I guess I'll know after a quick test.
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