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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 12-22-2005, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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battery died... little help here

whats up guys.. recently i bought an optima red top battery... and its been working great... no probs whatsoever... anyways, yesterday, when i go and hit the unlock button on my remote... the BEEP BEEP sounded very dim... so i start the car up, and didn't think much about it...

today i go out to my car.. and realized that the alarm beep is low again...so i go to start it.. and all i get is a CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK noise... the car doesnt start... i tried again.. and nothing...

so anyways, i borrowed a battery charger from a friend of mine, and hooked it up... waited 3 hours.. and started it agian,

it started right up, no problems...

my problem is... how do i know what the problem is... chances are its the alternator... which isn't charging the battery..

any input is appreciated...
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To check the alternator, put a multi-meter (on DC volts) across the battery posts with the car running. You should see about 13.5 to a little over 14 volts if the alternator is working. Any less and the alternator is not working properly. If the alternator tests Okay, probably something draining the battery.
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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sound's like something is draining the battery overnight...or the battery wire may be loose and not recharging the battery correctly. For eg. if you have HIDs turn them OFF before taking the key out your car.
I've had similar problems in the past and thse were the solutions.
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if you suspect a short and dont have a multimeter you can disconnect a battery cable (pos or neg) and reconnect it. if you see a big arc when reconnecting it, odds are something is drawing too much current. If you have a multimeter, set in in ammeter mode and probe across the subsystem fuses. if you do in fact own a multimeter i will assume you know what i am talking about.
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Old 12-23-2005, 01:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How long are you driving your car... cause if your alternator is dead... it wouldnt last all that long... your car will die... but I'd check the alternator output... and see where that stands... if she isnt sending all the volts... she will not charge the batter... order of importance for power. Car > batt.

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Old 12-24-2005, 12:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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well here is half of the follow up... i brought the car to the mechanic to check out my alternator... the alternator seems fine.. when he checked the battery, he said that the battery isn't holding the charge... chances are its a faulty battery... LETS JUST HOPE... but besides that... how am i sopposed to know what is drawing power from the battery overnight...???

i mean, i have a system in the trunk, and a viper alarm... i mean, thats pretty much it...

i checked to see if the amp is still on when the car is off.. and thats not it... my only other guess is the alarm????

how will i be able to figure this out... too see what is drawing the power...??
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Old 12-25-2005, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooldUp
if you suspect a short and dont have a multimeter you can disconnect a battery cable (pos or neg) and reconnect it. if you see a big arc when reconnecting it, odds are something is drawing too much current. If you have a multimeter, set in in ammeter mode and probe across the subsystem fuses. if you do in fact own a multimeter i will assume you know what i am talking about.
Do this when the car is off.
For the fuses, unplug the battery and you can test the ohm resistance, if you have infinate resistance then the equipment that uses that fuse is completey off. If there is less than infinate resistance, then current will be flowing when you hook that battery up and thats where your overnight drain is coming from. ... From there, you gotta figure out what is using that fuse bank and trace it back to the component that's fscking up.
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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great, i was just about to buy the red top and now have doubts..
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hope it's the alternator for easiness's sake
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