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  • E46 Alternator/Voltage Regulator Failure Symptoms

    Hi all,

    Car decided to shuts off/died today when I was driving slow looking for a space to park (about 10 km/h). Car was just started about a minute or so when engine died when I turned on the air-conditioning. Decided to put gear back in P, restarted and it cranks up with only one crank.

    Couldn't replicate the same issue again after that and when hooked up to BMWscanner & INPA, no errors were detected. Hence, I have ruled out the camshaft sensor.

    Many have told me it may have been the alternator as I often have this pulsating OBC backlight when driving which may points yo unstable voltage?

    Anyone can advise what are the symptoms of a failing alternator? Hve been through the US forums and some pointed that it could be the voltage regulator too.
    1992 AE100 4AGE20V
    2010 E90 320d N47D20

    In loving memory:
    2004 E46 325i M54B25


  • #2
    Originally posted by wingzee View Post
    what are the symptoms of a failing alternator?
    My experience on the alternator kong was most of my instrument cluster light was lights up and my battery no more charging. Solution was repair/change the alternator and every things comes bck to normal.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________
    ================================================== ======
    sigpic
    FS: http://www.mudah.my/BMW+E46+DVD+GPS+...r-21200525.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      Use a multimeter across the battery terminals to see what the voltage is at idle. It should be around 14V. Anything less than 12.8V or so means your alternator is not putting out enough voltage.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by e34_lover View Post
        Use a multimeter across the battery terminals to see what the voltage is at idle. It should be around 14V. Anything less than 12.8V or so means your alternator is not putting out enough voltage.
        I did a check through my OBC and it shows 12.8V before starting the engine and 14.2V during idle after started. Is that normal?
        1992 AE100 4AGE20V
        2010 E90 320d N47D20

        In loving memory:
        2004 E46 325i M54B25

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wingzee View Post
          I did a check through my OBC and it shows 12.8V before starting the engine and 14.2V during idle after started. Is that normal?
          Looks healthy, that's presumably without aircond on? Because mine only register 13.8~14.0 during charge.

          ♥ 2007 E90 N46B20 Black Sapphire ♥ Style 158 225/45R17 EuFori@/N8000 ♥ BMW Performance Strut Bar ♥ Aluminium Pedals ♥ CF Wrapped Gurney Flap ♥ Cadmus Sunshade ♥

          Comment


          • #6
            Bro, might be agood idea to check for loose cables.
            With the rattling, uneven road and pothole that our roads are famous for maybe the cable/wire becomes loose.
            Try to tighten the nuts and screws.

            Just my 2 cents.
            BMW 3 series E46 325i 2.5 2004 M54B25
            Toyota Innova G spec 2.0 2007

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by astroboy View Post
              Looks healthy, that's presumably without aircond on? Because mine only register 13.8~14.0 during charge.
              Yeap that's without anything turned on. Just the engine. Will do another check tonight with aircond, lights and radio turned on.
              1992 AE100 4AGE20V
              2010 E90 320d N47D20

              In loving memory:
              2004 E46 325i M54B25

              Comment


              • #8
                Check your alternator carbon brush, it might be wont out.

                Refer pics borrow from bro moots below;





                Replace the carbon brush can save you a lot
                __________________________________________________ ____________________
                ================================================== ======
                sigpic
                FS: http://www.mudah.my/BMW+E46+DVD+GPS+...r-21200525.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alex5522 View Post
                  Check your alternator carbon brush, it might be wont out.

                  Refer pics borrow from bro moots below;





                  Replace the carbon brush can save you a lot
                  Thanks bro Alex! Any idea where can I get mine replaced?
                  1992 AE100 4AGE20V
                  2010 E90 320d N47D20

                  In loving memory:
                  2004 E46 325i M54B25

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am not sure at KL area maybe some one in KL can recommend, fyi i did it at my friend's workshop at Senawang Light Ind Area almost 2 yrs bck.
                    __________________________________________________ ____________________
                    ================================================== ======
                    sigpic
                    FS: http://www.mudah.my/BMW+E46+DVD+GPS+...r-21200525.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wingzee View Post
                      Thanks bro Alex! Any idea where can I get mine replaced?
                      This 1 can get from ebay. As i saw more than RM200. It cannot just change the carbon due to it is not letting u to open the carbon. Must change whole set as the picture shown above.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Changed mine almost 2 yrs back and use my original alternator till now.
                        Only some SKL tell cannot change..
                        __________________________________________________ ____________________
                        ================================================== ======
                        sigpic
                        FS: http://www.mudah.my/BMW+E46+DVD+GPS+...r-21200525.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another pic from bro moots which show the carbon brush

                          __________________________________________________ ____________________
                          ================================================== ======
                          sigpic
                          FS: http://www.mudah.my/BMW+E46+DVD+GPS+...r-21200525.htm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Could it be your idle control valve that needs cleaning maybe?

                            Also Bavarian Auto is selling Bosch alternator for RM850 new

                            330i SMG M-Sport2 Euro Spec
                            BMC CDA, FCAB P/Flex, Alutech front & rear struts, black grills, 7300K angel eyes, 6300K HID fog lights, CF roundels all around, Hamman lip, ACS roof spoiler, ProRS braided kit, ///M billet oil cap, pedal set and mats

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by B33mEr View Post
                              Could it be your idle control valve that needs cleaning maybe?

                              Also Bavarian Auto is selling Bosch alternator for RM850 new
                              I have this erratic idling issue too during cold start but not sure if that's related to my current problem?

                              Got home and retested via OBC and results as below:

                              - Engine on, idle but nothing else on: 14.3v
                              - Engine on, lights on, radio on: 14.2-14.3v
                              - Engine on, lights on, radio on, air-cond on: 14.1-14.2v
                              - All the above plus interior lights on: 14.0-14.1v
                              1992 AE100 4AGE20V
                              2010 E90 320d N47D20

                              In loving memory:
                              2004 E46 325i M54B25

                              Comment

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