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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-22-2010, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Battery Or Alternator?

Car crapped out with a dead battery. I can charge the battery with a shop charger but how do I know if the alternator is bad. What is the best way to check the alternator for a '98 328i?

Thanks!

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Old 01-22-2010, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If the altenator is dead normally you will get the battery warning light com up on the dash, if its just the battery you will be able to drive it usually without too much issue once its started provided you don't suddenly load it up at low revs.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Car crapped out with a dead battery. I can charge the battery with a shop charger but how do I know if the alternator is bad. What is the best way to check the alternator for a '98 328i?

Thanks!
You can attach a voltmeter to your battery with the car running......
you should have 13.5 to about 14.5 volts engine running & nothing turned on & a little over 12 volts with everything turned on.......

Things you can do, remove your battery & fully charge it, then bring it to a Pep Boys or Advanced Auto parts store & have it load tested, if it checks ok!
and you still have a low voltage issue then the alternator is bad.....


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Old 01-23-2010, 12:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks like it could be the alternator.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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That would be my first guess.
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