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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-08-2013, 07:40 PM
snowlizard snowlizard is offline
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Location: Fresno
 
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Mein Auto: 92 BMW 325i
92 325i needs jumpstart randomly

So I was going in reverse today and stalled out(I'm still pretty new to driving manual), I went into neutral and turned my car back up but it wouldn't start I jump started and bam it started up again. But now I randomly have to jump start it because it won't start or even turn on. A worker at O'reillys told me that my alternator is at 13.3volts and said normal is 14.8. Is it the alternator or is it somthing else?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2013, 09:15 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
What is your meaning of "jump starting"? Rolling it and popping the clutch, or connecting another battery to it in parallel and using it's power to start the engine?

Yes, while running the alternator should be putting out something above 14 volts. Get them to load test the battery. It may have a cell going bad.
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Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #3  
Old 12-09-2013, 05:18 PM
snowlizard snowlizard is offline
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Location: Fresno
 
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Mein Auto: 92 BMW 325i
I used a battery booster to jump start my car.
So is it the alternator or the battery? The battery is new when I went to get it checked the guy from O'reilly's said that my battery needed charge when I turned the car on so he could test it.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2013, 06:28 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,755
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
I don't suppose he checked the alternator then? Because that's sure what it sounds like. The battery is gradually dying because it's not being charged, or charged sufficiently.
__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #5  
Old 12-09-2013, 07:21 PM
snowlizard snowlizard is offline
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Yeah he didn't check the alternator. I'll get it checked this friday(I work out of town).
You wouldn't know any good places to buy an alternator? One that'll last a while and performs well.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:17 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,755
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
All the alternators you can get now that are exact replacements in the E36s are rebuilds unless you want to go mega-expensive and buy an OEM new one ($400+).

Get yours TESTED first. Don't just buy one assuming I'm right.

IF it's the alternator, buy one with a lifetime warranty (which is better than an OEM's one year warranty!).
__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #7  
Old 12-10-2013, 05:40 PM
snowlizard snowlizard is offline
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Location: Fresno
 
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Mein Auto: 92 BMW 325i
Alright I'll get my battery and Alternator tested before buying anything. Thanks man!
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2013, 12:14 PM
snowlizard snowlizard is offline
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Location: Fresno
 
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Mein Auto: 92 BMW 325i
Ok so I went and got the battery check again my alternator is the problem it seems to be failing because now the alternator is putting out only 11volts.
I was wondering which alternator is best for my 325i and if anyone knows any good ones out there with life time warranty
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/se...=1992&make=BMW
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2013, 07:35 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,755
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
All the big box store rebuilt alternators come for two or three sources. There is essentially no difference. Read the customer reviews of the alternators on the O'Reilly, Advance Auto, Auto Zone, NAPA, CarQuest and any others that you have locally; pick the one that has the best reviews. Keep a list of prices. If the best review isn't the cheapest, ask them if they'll price-match. I saved $22 on the last one I bought because one chain had it cheaper than the rest, but didn't have it in stock. Went two blocks, showed them what their competitor was selling the same unit for, and got a price match, AND walked out with the alternator in hand.

Hmmmm. No reviews on the O'Reilly site. That's weird.
__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?


Last edited by hornhospital; 12-14-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2013, 02:26 PM
snowlizard snowlizard is offline
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Mein Auto: 92 BMW 325i
Thats awesome I wish I could have done that but I couldn't find one for a cheaper price. And I searched everywhere!(well atleast where I knew where to look.) So my problem ended being the alternator and the battery seems like the previous owner had a smaller bettery so I had to get a bigger one. But thankfully the old had warrany and we exchanged it for only 50 dollars! Thanks for the advice hornhospital I really apreciated it!!
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