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Old 12-11-2012, 09:04 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,620
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
As stated above, you often get the red battery light way too late (ask me how I know).

But you're in good company as almost everyone has had to replace their battery and/or alternator at least once by now.

These links are for the E39 but they should apply as well to the E38:
- DIY how to test a BMW battery & alternator

If you have to replace the battery, I think you use the same one we do - if so - these should help:
- What batteries to purchase (1) and a simple battery replacement DIY (1)

if it's the alternator, these should help:
- How to test your generator (1) & how to determine exactly what alternator you have (1) & a DIY for replacing the V8 alternator (1) (2) (3) (4) & why rebuilding an alternator is preferable to replacing (1) & cdawg246's quest for materials for a Bosch water cooled alternator rebuild (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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