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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 11-12-2005, 08:16 AM
hardwire hardwire is offline
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Mein Auto: 86 325
battery drain/electrical problem?

Well I've had this car for a short time and it ran great at first except for one thing. The genteman I bought it from said he had to unhook the battery cable everytime he turned the car off for an extended period of time, if not unhooked the battery goes dead. I have been reading online and various manuals to try and fix this. Since then the problem has gotten worse or the car has developed another electrical problem. Now when driving down the road, for no reason at all I lose all power (electrical and exceleration) and the car wants to turn off, sometimes I can save it from shutting off, other times not. If it shuts off it will not restart unless jumped. Not sure if this has any bearing on it but there seems to be a problem with the radio/speakers when I turn up/down the volume it makes this gawd awful noise like EXTREMELY LOUD static. Any ideas you may have would be greaty appreciated........ thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2005, 09:14 PM
PuebloPete PuebloPete is offline
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Just me, but sounds like it could be the altinator to me. Haven't tried this on a BMW before but on other cars, so it might be different, but if you start the car and let it run, disconnect the battery I believe it should continue to run. If not, its usually the altinator. Once again, not sure if BMWs are the same. But there's not much happening when the car is off to drain the battery, just maybe not charging.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2005, 10:23 AM
hardwire hardwire is offline
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Thanks for the fast response, ive disconnected the battery cable and the car shuts off. I also dont kno if bmw works the same way Got a new alternator from bmw still dies when i pull off battery cable
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2005, 09:41 AM
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Orangefiv5 Orangefiv5 is offline
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OK just thinking out loud and sometimes that helps. If the battery is dieing out and you replaced the alternator check the batttery and alternator and see if the power is constant to the alternator or not? There has to be somewhere where the power is draining so check the wires running off the battery to see which one it is.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2005, 02:47 PM
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BMWjunkie BMWjunkie is offline
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did you ever get to the bottom of your problem,,,,i might be in the same boat!!!!
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2005, 09:45 AM
hardwire hardwire is offline
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Not sure if the problem is solved or not. Seems to be running and stay running now, but so far it's only running in the garage. All I did was readjust the alternator belt [which to me seems a little lose, but followed bmw guidelines] and unhooked the radio. About to hook the radio back up to see if it drains the battery again. I'll let you know what happens after I hook the radio back up.
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2005, 12:28 PM
hardwire hardwire is offline
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Found the problem finally Interior lights were causing the drain removed the fuse and problem solved. Now i just have to find ware the problem is in the interior light. But i can drive the car without a problem
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2005, 11:59 AM
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BMWjunkie BMWjunkie is offline
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how did you find out that was causing it,,,,? i know you pulled the fuse, but what was your method to locate it?
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2005, 12:51 PM
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Bimrpwr Bimrpwr is offline
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he prolly just started to pull fuses and see what was causing it. That would be my plan of attack. Process of elimination. best of luck to you on solving it
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2005, 05:00 PM
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BMWjunkie BMWjunkie is offline
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maybe we can narrow this down some................what fuses should be constantly on when the key is OFF??
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2005, 01:05 PM
hardwire hardwire is offline
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I let my buddy at a garage find it. He did a draw test. The way i understand it was he put a light hooked to the battery and the other cable was used for checking fuses when the light lit up, it meant there was a draw.Some sort of test light i am guessing. Ill try to get in touch with him and then repost. Sorry i cant be more help at this moment.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2005, 05:45 PM
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THANKS for checking. i'm a regular on my infiniti site (love the Q45!), but i also love my 325,,,,,and electrical problems are definitly notorious with german cars. would be nice to keep an easy to find database on these problems here. it is one of the most COMMON complaints!!!! obvious!
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2010, 03:31 AM
inky inky is offline
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I also have a battery drain on my E30 320 1989. Just so you know you are not alone.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2010, 03:51 AM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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just so you know, he made this thread 5 years ago....
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2010, 08:44 AM
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LeVandaman LeVandaman is offline
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:17 PM
Jason_boateng Jason_boateng is offline
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I have a 325 with the exact same problem . I just replaced the alenator and put on a brand new battery but the car wouldnt start after a day of sitting there. I havent yet tried pulling out the fuse for the interior lights but did you notice your interior lights on when the car was off and locked? do interior lights draw enough power to kill the battery after hours of the car just sitting there?

Last edited by Jason_boateng; 01-27-2011 at 03:19 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:49 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_boateng View Post
I have a 325 with the exact same problem . I just replaced the alenator and put on a brand new battery but the car wouldnt start after a day of sitting there. I havent yet tried pulling out the fuse for the interior lights but did you notice your interior lights on when the car was off and locked? do interior lights draw enough power to kill the battery after hours of the car just sitting there?
under 2 hours no, over 2 hours yes
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2011, 08:13 AM
Pennyw1se Pennyw1se is offline
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^ So what happens at exactly 2 hours?
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2011, 04:30 PM
ehtee9ine ehtee9ine is offline
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The Drain

Hey Guy's I have a strange battery drain as well from time to time, my charging system is fine around 13.8 v. & my 3 mo. old Interstate bat. is perfectly charged. My car (89 325 is) fires up every time, but sometimes it is completely dead, so I charged the battery back up & now it's fine. Last night I was sitting in the car with drivers dr. open, the dome lights flickered & made a clicking sound, I reached down and pushed on the dr. jam switch & it made the same clicking sound that came from a relay in the engine bay. I dont know about you guy's but I think I found My short?
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2011, 04:34 PM
Jason_boateng Jason_boateng is offline
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Mein Auto: e30 325is
i had more than one short. from interior lights to lights in the trunk to lights in the glove compartment. you should check if all of those are working too
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  #21  
Old 03-26-2011, 01:57 PM
Mike Boyle Mike Boyle is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 550
battery drain

I struggled with the battery drain for some time. Noticed that sometimes my steering wheel did not retract when I kill the ignition. It seems when the wheel is set at the max down or max forward position, it fails to automatically retract with ignition kill. I moved the settings slightly off the max positions and it retracts fine...and no more battery drain message for several months now.

I went through the glove box light and door handles and taking out nav DVD and all kinds of rituals to hope this problem would stop. The dealer always said there is no problem. I suppose they reposition the steering wheel as soon as I hand over the car and never see it happen. After 2 months, I think this is cured. If the steering wheel does not go up when you turn off the car.....it might not be able to go to sleep....

Maybe some fellow sufferer can verify if this works. Or maybe it just drove me insane.... '07 5 series
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  #22  
Old 07-19-2011, 12:02 AM
smgamer smgamer is offline
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Have same problem with electrical system

I have the same problem with my system always going dead if it sits in the garage. I pulled the alternator out, had it tested at two places and it is good. I have a brand new battery that was completely killed because of the system having some type of draw. I have tested the system multiple times and am not sure where the draw is. Everything seems to be pretty normal. After the sleep modes goes into effect, the draw is noticeably less. I also tested the voltage regulator. That is good as well. When you put the ohmeter on the terminals of the battery, the battery is around 12.56 volts which is good. When you start the car, put a load on it with the headlights on and etc., around idle the system is at about 14.02 volts which is great. Can't figure out why the system keeps dying though.
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  #23  
Old 07-19-2011, 04:19 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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get a ampmeter disconnect the negative battery terminal, then put one lead on the cable and the other on the battery. should be under .2 amps. if above you got something pullin extra juice
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  #24  
Old 11-09-2011, 02:21 PM
louisvenezia louisvenezia is offline
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Mein Auto: 328ci
Unhappy battery drain somewhere

I have a 2000 328ci. So after the car sits for an hour the battery is dead enough so that the cars ignition turns on but when you go to start there's just clicking under the hood. As the clicking happens, the driver side window starts to go down. Also the trunk will not open and the sun rood is functional but when i try to close it, it never can find home position. so i have to move it manually with the controls. The alternator is fine, the car reads 14.1volts at idol and the battery reads 12.78 when off. The starter is fine as well. I checked everywhere for shorts. The blower, head unit, interior lights and the central locking system do not draw power but i still get a reading of .3 amps when off. Obviously I've jumped it it and go for long rides and it starts up fine after that but let it sit for an hour and it wont. It not the battery either. The light is green and I even replaced it to make sure. Does anyone know whats going on my my bimmer???
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  #25  
Old 11-09-2011, 07:38 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Grounds. Start at the battery chassis ground and work forward. Pay particular attention to the multiple grounds going from the engine to the frame. I'd be very suspicious of the connection (physical and electrical) between the starter and block.

Also, have the battery LOAD checked. Yes, I know you said it was new. It may read fine with no load on it and be useless when the starter load hits it. You cannot know that without testing it with a battery load meter.
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