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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 10-06-2005, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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e39 540i alternator and battery question

Hi,
my 540i ha been standing in garage for a while and today the battery was dead, when tried to crank the engine.
Last time when running i noticed headlights going lighter with higher rpm-s and also instrument cluster behaving same way. So i suspected faulty alternator. Now there has been 2 weeks from last time i run the car and as i said, battery was dead.
Is there a way i could check the alternator, if its faulty or not?
Also when i bought the car, it got another battery installed by seller, and i quess it might have been some junk.
As i understand, remanufactured alternator is like a lottery, but how much do the new ones cost? (rem are about $250?).
Also what battery should i get for a 1997 540i?
Thanks guys.
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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go to http://bmwtips.com and click on tips & tricks to look at replacing your battery at a cheaper price
also on that same site, there's an e39 forum tab that will take you straight to roadfly's forum... its the best place to go to to get help with your issue
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had my alternator replaced on my 97 540i at 160,000mi and cost me about $300...Honestly, it was well worth it as a lot of little electrical issues disappeared, including my alarm that would go off randomly and like you, the headlights would dim and brighten with acceleration.
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I installed an INTERSATE battery for $90...Fits in the trunk--with a groove for the bracket, and Works as good as the dealers!!
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The size of the e39 batter always makes me laugh.

Does this car *really* need a battery that large?? I can't think of too many other car's who have one like that!
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Old 10-11-2005, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with you Sp0rky...It is a lot of overkill! I guess because BMW decided to put electronics all over, they freaked out and decided to put in a battery that takes up half the trunk.
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