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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 05-02-2004, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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about 2 month ago my car battery died out, so i changed it and today after not starting it in a few days it died? why does it keep dieing or getting wasted. the only thing that i see that stays on when i turn off the car is the time on the dashboard next to the CD, but i dont think that little LCD thingy will kill a car battery any ideas.
thanks alot
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If the battery is not a suspect, I would get the charging system checked.

Usually it is a regulator brush assembly that needs changed.

Alternator Regulator

Here is a picture of the old and a new part.



They can wear into a grooved pattern and the impact of driving can make them vibrate out of the normal groove.

Since the regulator has to increase output to jump the gap it does.

You can clean up the slider rings with abrasive paper.

You can get the brushes as a separate part requiring soldering skills or you can get a Regulator brush assembly for $70.

Some instruction for changing:

It is a very touchy installation and about 5% of the installation end in the ground link bent and the alternator not functional.

You can remove correct and reinstall the regulator.

The output must be 14.25 or higher on a Volt Ohm Meter not the dash gauge.

Some hints on the regulator change.

Replacing Alternator Regulator

For those who work on their cars and have not had alternator problems, here is a simple action that should save you down-time and significant costs.

Most alternators on German cars fail due to brushes wearing down (as they are supposed to) between 150k and 200K miles. Brush replacement is very easy -- it should not take over 20 min. and the brushes are attached to a new regulator.

To replace regulator assembly -- back of alternator held in place with two straight slot headed screws. This has a round transistor mounted on the outside on Bosch alternators -- the other type is similar but uses different brushes. Pop the regulator out, after removing the screws.

Fitting the regulator back is simple, but you must install it starting at an angle, to assure that the brushes compress when the regulator is flush with the alternator and the screws are tightened.
You are now ready for 200K miles of alternator life.



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Old 05-02-2004, 09:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i cheaked the Alternator by taking the positive wire of the battey as the car was running and the car didnt turn off.
does that mean the Alternator is good. or just of waste of time
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Old 05-07-2004, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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check your fuses for burned out ones.
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