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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 01-23-2004, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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damn battery light just came on last night when as soon as I pulled up in front of my garage, and it's like very very dim, when I push the gas down and rev it a bit the light gets a tiny bit brighter,but no signs of stalling or battery being weak turning the car over... Only other sign is the wipers are going hella slow now... I don't know maybe When I went through some thick snow there was a wire on the alternator that was pulled off?? any idea's for the battery light coming on like that? or rules in general.. plus the CE light just popped on for a second and it gave me a 1231 code.. wtf is this now... ahhh, guess it's back to the drawing board...
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Old 01-23-2004, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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OK, mark if you read this, The code 1231 in my folder tells me it's my battery Voltage/DME Main Relay if you have any information on what that is could you help me out bro?? thanks i'd like to get my part and fix it before it kills my battery...
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Old 01-23-2004, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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battery light is telling there is something wrong with the charging system. you may have to look into a new alternator. i dont think it will be your DME relay. unless you did something crazy to the car lately.

my bet is alternator. youll know soon, if the car starts to die while driving.

or if you have access to a volt meter of sorts you can keep an eye on the voltage and see if its the battery of the alternator.
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Old 01-23-2004, 04:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah I have a volt meter, I read a thread on another tech site about a kid replacing his Voltage regulator after seeing the CE light and it went away... I have not had any idleing or stalling problems yet. I did go off the road and bump a tree on monday, but nothing too crazy, and i've been plowing through some seriously thick snow... wonder if I knocked a wire loose underneath or my battery acid is getting low....
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Old 01-23-2004, 04:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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use the voltage meter it will at least point you in the direction you need to go.
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what do you suggest, using it to test the alternator as a circuit? and is there a thread that has the directions to testing the alternator with one? i'm yet to have ever done that with an alternator...
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Voltage Regulator, 323i/is/iC (1996-99), 325i/is/iC (1992-95), M3 (1995-99)


this is a pic of the Voltage regulator, I figured it would probably be on the back of the alternator...
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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no just test the battery with the car on, what does it say? 14, 13,12? i think proper running voltage should be between 14 and 15


ALSO is your ABS light on?
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ye, the abs light was popping on at the last few seconds when I pulled in my driveway
what does that mean??
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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actually i've heard testing the the alternator through the battery with the car running, you should have it under a load as well, like lights on and radio on... but i might be wrong on that...
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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yeah its probably the alternator. the reason it comes on is because when the charging system is having problems the ABS shuts down as a saftey precaution.
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ahhhhh shitt.... back before december and the weather turned to hell I could hear the alternator kick on when I turned the lights on, sorta like a buzzing noise, now I can't hear that at all...
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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NEVERMIND, thanks for the help though mark, but I just went outside and started the car, no lights, no nothing. I Just washed it a few days ago in -7degree weather and also have had the bottom of the engine bay and components packed with snow bad... I came to the conclusion it was just a fluke, alternator put out a 14.5V strong under a full load as well... Everythings back to normal... what a f*$Yed up car IMO but thanks for the help broo...
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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well, the car finaly stalled out fro loss of power on the road this morning... The Check Engine light and ABS light came on real dim, the c player stopped playing and the blower wasn't working... I didn't see a battery light on at the top of the instrument cluster though.... code is pulling a 1231, Battery Voltage/DME Main Relay.... I wonder if it's the connections on the battery, or maybe the Voltage Regulator.... if your around mark or TECH, if you have any idea's on a direction to go let me know.. i've gotta go try and charge up the battery enough so that I can drive the car back home and pull it up in the garage to run some tests..
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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just got the car home after we sat with the jumper cables and charged the battery up some... on the way home i had everything turned off so it wasn't running down the battery at all... but before i got home i put the wipers on and they were going really really slow, plus the blower was not putting out full potential blowing speed.... so right now the car's in the garage with the heater on warming up so i can go out there and figure this out.. My guess is that it is either the Alternator is bad or the Voltage Regulator is bad preventing it from putting off any charge at all and recharging the battery up as well... help would be appreciated..
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