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jitsjaf2009 01-28-2013 07:14 PM

"New" 1995 740i
Just bought a 95 740i to introduce my Wife to BMW. Got it real 'cheap' since the check engine light and the battery light are on and have been for about a year. PO is running Mobil 1 and has since he owned it (abour eight years). It is immaculate inside and out. The battery reads 12.4 volts with engine off and about 13.7 with it running and no change when swithing the headlights on. POs mechanic said he thinks that it is low output from alternator causing the battery light to stay on????? He also said the check engine light is probably same issue. He decided to sell it since it was his wife's and she has decided to get a new one and he couldn't get it smogged due to the check engine light. If she is getting a new one anyway, he would not put any money into it and sell 'as is'.
The driver side seat doesn't adjust (though the lumbar adjust works fine. The power steering column quit working at the same time (about three months ago). Once again his mechanic said it is probably a common problem as they are both tied to the memory???
I am still excited about the acquisition but hope for a little guidance from someone who knows these. (I have learned a lot from my 1995 325i covertible and 1995 325i four door,
but his is a different critter. Thanks for baring with my long-winded thread.

BMWFatherFigure 01-28-2013 09:44 PM

New alternator. maybe battery will come good - don't hold your breath. Chean all battery terminals, cables and earth points. Check all other earth points and plugs for clean and tight. That should make most of your problems go away. Hope you both enjoy your E38 as much as I enjoy mine.

JasonSC540ia 01-28-2013 11:10 PM

BMWfatherfigure is right. You need a alternator asap. Its going to leave you stranded on the side of the road one day. Eng light and battery light are not related. You need to pull the codes so you can see why the eng light is on.

jitsjaf2009 01-29-2013 08:17 AM

Thanks to both of you for sharing your knowledge. I am going to go through all the items BMWFatherFigure suggested this weekend. Didn't have the opportunity w/e past. I am kind of anal on those types of things and like to "get to know" my car(s).
I do have a rebuilt alternator for an e36 passed on to me by a friend. Somehow I doubt it would be the same. I will get codes pulled this week. Will let you know. Any thoughts on the driver's seat and steering power adjustment??

BMWFatherFigure 01-29-2013 04:33 PM

That should all come good as you work through the terminations, plugs and earths. Switch / contact cleaner, Loctite 767 with a critical eye and patience.

jitsjaf2009 02-05-2013 05:59 PM

Got the CEL taken care was intake duct leak and gaskets on the intake manifold. Working on the battery light now. It isn't draining, and the battery and alternator check good. There sure are a lot of grounds and connectors on these!

BMWFatherFigure 02-06-2013 05:58 AM

More of everything than in your worst nightmare!! Once you get everything clean and tight I think/hope that all your problems will go away. E38's are VERY volts sensitive so a couple of bad joints or a dirty earth will really throw spanners in the works! Beware that code readers can be mislead by bad connections so make sure the simple stuff is good B 4 you spend bulk $'s on faults that don't exist.

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