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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. is the premier BMW Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2012
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More weird electrical and fuel delivery problems

The headlight relay lasted about 6 months. Something in there is drawing too much current. When I went to the parts store to get a new one, I pulled the relay out of the panel and it was very warm. I had been driving with the headlights switched on (the beams weren't on but the marker lights were lit up) so something isn't right...I'm kinda thinking a grounding issue or something along those lines. I'm not overly concerned with this but it is something I eventually want to make right. The relay is cheap and I always try to keep a handful just in case because this car has left me on the side of the road once for a $5 part.

I'm not sure if this is related because it just started doing this today. When I start the car it starts just fine, but within a couple seconds it's wanting to die and I have to hold the throttle open to about 2000rpm to keep the engine from dying. If I push to WOT it hesitates, sometimes coughs and chokes, but climbs very slowly in rpm's. If I'm driving and push to WOT it will crawl for about a hundred yards and then it'll surge, and after about 5 minutes of driving it around it'll act all normal. I thought this was another bad relay because of past problems, but replacing it with a new one didn't help any.

Right now I do need to change the alternator because the bearing is wearing out and I can hear it doing that. I don't know if this is related either. I'm not sure if the alternator is going bad, it very well could be and I haven't been able to test it because it's been raining every day - this is why I haven't put my new alternator in...I don't have an enclosed space to work on the car and I'm sure not gonna do it in the rain.

The vacuum lines look okay and I don't see visible cracks but there is always a possibility that may be the problem also. They were replaced a few years ago.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you have a voltmeter? I would start testing the voltage in the areas having problems. If you have to replace the alternator anyway thats okay, but you should get some comparative values to see if a new alternator has fixed the problem or the values stay the same.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Lord Vader, I'll do just that. As soon as this rain lets up I'll be replacing the alternator and let you know what happened.
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