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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 02-05-2009, 04:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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'86 325es Electrical Issues

My '86 325es seems to have a major electrical issue. It started fine on Monday, so I went to school as usual. At lunch, I drove to a restaurant and parked. When I came back out, it wouldn't start. Sounded like a dead battery. I managed to find a ride back to school, and when I came back 3 hours later it started with no problems at all. Tuesday morning, I came outside to find that the car wouldn't start at all. I jumped it with my father's Volvo 740, and I didn't have any problems for the rest of the day. That evening, my father bought and installed a new battery for me -- I figured the problems were over! Not quite: Wednesday night, after running fine all day, the radio lost power. Then the AC fan went, then the dash lights, then the turn signals, and finally the engine. I had it towed home, and now it's pretty much useless. We're assuming there's a short somewhere, but does anyone have any idea where that might actually be? I haven't had a chance to look over it yet, but I was hoping that someone might be able to point me in the right direction.
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get the alternator checked out, it may not be working/charging the battery.

The alternator runs the car, any thing left over then goes to the battery, if the alt is not working the car will take all the power from the batt and will run dead very quick, so I would say this is you problem and the red light inside wont always come on if the alt dies.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Alternator and Tech Help

We sell that alternator for under $195 with free shipping if you wind up needing one. Also we have a certified technician on duty if you want to call and run the scenerio by him, he may be able to help you pin point the problem. Best of Luck!!

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Old 02-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I say alternator too. Also check your battery and make sure there isn't a dead cell.
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Took the alternator out today. Getting it rebuilt Monday. I hope this is it!
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Update: it wasn't the alternator. It was the alternator mounting bracket. Seems the head of the bolt that holds the bracket to the front of the engine block got broken off somehow. Thanks for pointing us in the right direction, though!
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