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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 07-16-2014, 09:27 PM
Flynn328xi Flynn328xi is offline
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Please help, car will not start back up!

I drive a 2007 BMW 328xi Today I drove about 30 minutes and parked. When I returned to my car about 20 min later it started normally. I backed up and pulled away. When I began turning right my car died. It had power still as all electrical systems were still on, but the car will not turn back over. It did not make any noise or have any indication of dying. We have checked the battery, starter wires, and all fuses in the box and the ECM. I'm at a loss at what it can be. The starter does not even make a noise when attempted to start but it does have 12.4v. I called the dealer to check for recalls and there is none for my car. Mine was not one of the ones in the battery cable/terminal recall group. Please help, I have a new job that starts in 6 days I desperately need this taken care of.
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2014, 09:30 PM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Alternator is your next culprit.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:31 PM
Flynn328xi Flynn328xi is offline
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If my alternator were bad wouldn't I still be able to turn my car over? It has 12.4v at the battery and the starter.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:41 PM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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12.4 volts is actually low for a 12V battery. If you can jump start the car and it stays running, your alternator is probably ok but needs to be outputting anywhere from 12.8 volts or higher. if your car dies, it can be alternator or battery. Since your battery is only kicking at 12.4 volts, I'd go for new battery if it is an old battery, then regulator in alternator next.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:43 PM
Flynn328xi Flynn328xi is offline
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Jump start does not help. The 12.4 was tested after a lot of electrical use after the car had been off. When running my car usually puts out an oddly high 14.6v
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:56 PM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynn328xi View Post
Jump start does not help. The 12.4 was tested after a lot of electrical use after the car had been off. When running my car usually puts out an oddly high 14.6v
That voltage is normal for output to charge it. It has to charge at a higher rate. I just had to change my battery out and was jumpstarting my car until it wouldn't take anymore jumpstarts. I even hooked the new battery up to the front where the jumper connections are and no-go. Swapped out the battery in the trunk and now starts stronger than ever. Being that your car is a 2007, I would start with the battery and and the you tube video on how to do it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:28 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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12.4v is not that low. These cars normally hover around 12.3-12.4v. Mine can go as low as 12.2v and still start the car.

But voltage is not a useful parameter to consider when gauging performance. Just because a battery has a good voltage reading, doesn't mean it can supply the necessary current to start and engine. You need to have a load test performed on the battery to gauge its performance abilities.

My guess would be alternator.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:00 AM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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I've had batteries at 12.2-12-5 volts that could not turn the starter. Until I got a new battery showing higher voltage (around 12.6-12.8), car seemed dead except for small things within the car that would still run.

"The average duration a car battery can last is 4 to 5 years or even 3 years in hot climates such as Arizona and Florida. Therefore if your battery is more than 4 years old, it is possible it has reached the peak of its useful service life and requires replacement especially if it does not hold a charge but it has a normal working charging system."

When you start your car, your battery has to be able to run everything. The car does not run off the alternator. The alternator charges the battery (at 13.5 V-14.5 V) which powers everything. If your battery cannot be charged up, it is probably your battery. Have it tested first. Then, if it can, have the output from your alternator tested to see if it is outputting enough current to charge your battery.

"In case the battery has a reading of 12.4 from the voltmeter, it means it is low (discharged) and should be recharged. A battery fully charged has a reading of about 12.6 volts."


http://carbatteryworld.com/car-battery-voltage/
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:16 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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That's not entirely true.

The alternator DOES power the vehicle once the engine is running. However, when the vehicle is initially started, the battery does supply all the power. Once the belt gets the alternator moving and generating power, it then supplies the car with power and charges the battery when there is minimal load on the engine.

A full charge should be 12.6v. A battery is 6, 2.1v cells, hence 12.6v. There can be surface charge floating that cause the battery voltage to read higher than 12.6v, but it is minimal and any decent draw on the battery will quickly bring it back down to 12.6v

Btw, these cars like the keep the battery around 80% charge. Don't ask me why. That's just how the car is designed to charge and maintain the battery. That's why you normally see the battery in these cars around 12.4v

Anything over 12v should start the engine. If it's not, than the battery is bad. I've started my 06 330xi with 11.8v
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Last edited by fdriller9; 07-17-2014 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:40 AM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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[QUOTE=fdriller9;8468312]That's not entirely true.

The alternator DOES power the vehicle once the engine is running. However, when the vehicle is initially started, the battery does supply all the power. Once the belt gets the alternator moving and generating power, it then supplies the car with power and charges the battery when there is minimal load on the engine.

A full charge should be 12.6v. A battery is 6, 2.1v cells, hence 12.6v. There can be surface charge floating that cause the battery voltage to read higher than 12.6v, but it is minimal and any decent draw on the battery will quickly bring it back down to 12.6v

Btw, these cars like the keep the battery around 80% charge. Don't ask me why. That's just how the car is designed to charge and maintain the battery. That's why you normally see the battery in these cars around 12.4v

Anything over 12v should start the engine. If it's not, than the battery is bad. I've started my 06 330xi with 11.8v[/QUOTE


That makes sense. So theoretically you should be able to unhook the battery and run the car with just the alternator spinning?
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:19 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Originally Posted by sptt144 View Post
That makes sense. So theoretically you should be able to unhook the battery and run the car with just the alternator spinning?
Well, no. There needs to be a complete circuit.

On an older car without all the monitoring systems cars have today, yes theoretically, the car should run without a battery.

But in these cars, the DME is looking for voltage at the IBS sensor, which is attached to the negative terminal.

Also, while the alternator is powering the majority of the vehicle with the engine running, there are still tasks that demand excessive current draw. In this case, the car will pull power from the battery to reduce load on the alternator.
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2014, 11:23 AM
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sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Further research:

"Your engine runs on air, fuel and spark. The spark is the center of it all, and for that we need electricity. Your battery supplies electricity, but only enough to get you a few miles down the road. We need more. That's where the alternator comes in. The alternator continually charges the battery so that we never have to worry about that whole "running out of juice" problem. Your battery is 12 volts, but to keep the battery 100% charged and run all of your car's electrical doo-dads at the same time, the alternator has an output of between 13.5 and 14.8 volts. We'll learn more about that in a second. The alternator has three main components: The Stator, Rotor, Diode and a voltage regulator. When the alternator belt or V-belt spins the pulley on the alternator, the rotor inside the alternator spins ... fast. The rotor is basically a magnet or group of magnets that spin, with all that speed, inside a nest of copper wires. These wires are called the stator. I won't go into all of the details about why a magnet spinning within a bundle of copper produces electricity, but it does. (If you want some more technical details, check out this great article on How Electric Motors and Generator Work from my buds at Alt Fuels.) The next step in the chain is a diode assembly that changes the electricity from AC to DC current that your battery can use. There is a final step in the chain, the voltage regulator. In modern alternators, this is a built-in component. Back in the day voltage regulators were big black boxes that had to be bolted somewhere under the hood and wired into the system. The voltage regulator is basically a gatekeeper that will shut off the flow of juice to your battery if the voltage goes above a certain level, usually 14.5 volts. This keeps your battery from getting overcharged and cooked. That's it! As your battery is drained, current is allowed to flow back into it from the alternator and the cycle goes on and on".

According to the Bentley Manual, the battery provides power to the coils and plugs. The alternator provides power to connections 30g relay and 30G_f relay. These both go to different electrical management systems which monitor the car and the charging and discharging of the battery. Since the battery provides the spark, the ECU monitors the need of battery charging and also ensures it is not overcharged.
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