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mlawlan69

320CD electrical gremlin?

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Hi guys, new to the forums, and BMW in general (owned 1 - current car for 2 years) so i apologise for my distinct lack of knowledge

 

About the car;

 

BMW 320CD on a 55 plate with a manufacture sticker of September 2005

151,000 miles 

6 speed manual

M Sport trim

Car is (almost) completely standard aside from a set of 55w ballasts and bulbs and a front decat pipe, as the old one was rattling and i decided the best course of action was to do away with this cat completely and leave just the centre.

 

The issue;

 

Up until approximately two weeks ago the car started with the first turn of the key and drove absolutely brilliantly, since then however i have discovered that the battery powering the car was dead as it was failing to start from cold, and some of the dash lights were flickering intermittently,  battery appeared to be the original BMW one, whether or not it was the one installed to the car 12 years or not i cannot be sure, but it was labelled BMW and appeared to be in quite a state, halfords checked the battery and it was giving out 299(of not sure what) he said it should giving 650+ so i changed it out for a brand new  MUTLU 110 battery

Driving to collect my girlfriend from work on Thursday and the dash lit up like a Christmas tree for absolutely no reason whilst i was driving on an A road at 50 mph, approximately 30 minutes later i nipped into the shop on the way home and when i got back into the car and inserted the key there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

It was AS IF the car was completely devoid of power, no interior lights, no hazards, not one thing in the car run by electric would work, i spun the key in the barrel 3/4 times, but it absolutely dead as a dodo, and then as if by magic it shot into life again.......

 

I have checked all the terminals in the battery, i have tightened them to kingdom come, the battery is completely secure and does not move what so ever, the vent is attached to the battery and the earth strap is clean and securely attached to the chassis in the boot.

 

All of the electrics function in the car as they should, but it seems to have an issue with starting intermittently, i really thought a new battery would be the end of my issue, but how wrong i was, i should also add that SOMETIMES when the car will not start, the temperature gauge will shoot all the way to the very top, and is the only one in the cluster to act abnormally.

 

I have opened up the OBC menu with the car running and the car off and taken some pictures which i have uploaded HERE

 

I have recently gone back to college as a mature student :huh: so money is tight, the car has been trouble free for years and as soon as my bank wont allow, the car decides to play silly buggers, sods law....

 

If anyone can give me some insight into where i can begin to look, or know of an issue that can cause these kinds of weird problems i would be indebted and eternally grateful

 

Matt.

 

 

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650 is Cold Crank Amps.. The juice it needs to start the car basically..

Tbh i'd get the alternator checked. If it's original, it needs replacing. My original one went as you would expect. Sourced a cheap refurbed one locally.. That 2nd one started doing something very similar to yours. Mine was also original battery so got that replaced for a Bosch one with like 900 CCA. Every test showed it was outputting the correct voltages, but every now and then the dash would lit up like a tree.

Bit the bullet and bought a Bosch one from ECP - no issues since.

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21 minutes ago, momo said:

650 is Cold Crank Amps.. The juice it needs to start the car basically..

Tbh i'd get the alternator checked. If it's original, it needs replacing. My original one went as you would expect. Sourced a cheap refurbed one locally.. That 2nd one started doing something very similar to yours. Mine was also original battery so got that replaced for a Bosch one with like 900 CCA. Every test showed it was outputting the correct voltages, but every now and then the dash would lit up like a tree.

Bit the bullet and bought a Bosch one from ECP - no issues since.

 

hey momo, thanks for the quick reply, also west yorkshire here, just over the road in Leeds.

 

i was unsure of the alternator as i was getting readings of 12.3v whilst the car was off and 14.5v whilst the car is idle.

 

I have driven the car 10-15 miles with the obc set to show me current voltage and it sits almost exactly at 14.5v constantly, would these values be considered low and therefore a dead alternator?

 

regards.

Edited by mlawlan69
imatit
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Sounds like your alternator is doing what it should. I would check the earth to the starter motor and as many other earths you can find. Weird electrical issues are often down to poor earths and you've checked the battery one.

Kirkynut 

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Good to see another local lad!

My first alternator went like you'd expect, low voltages across the board.

The 2nd one was different (after only 14months btw so just outside warranty) - It was showing the correct voltages while off and at idle. Occasionally the dash lights up. It was almost as if the pulley was slipping every now and then. Checked all the connections, all good (as i'm sure yours will be if it's the original one, they rarely work loose).

Like I say, no issues since I replaced it for a Bosch from ECP. It's now been in for a few years, so all good.

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so this morning i turned the key in the barrel just one time and immediately the temperature gauge shot to red, when this happens i have now realised that the car will not start, i am guessing this is a safety feature for the car so that idiots don't keep running it when the car thinks it is overheating, which mine obviously wasn't as it was an icy cold morning !!!!

 

turning the key a few more times until the gauge sits at cold as it should, and the car fires up immediately, drives like it always has (spot on) and off i pot.

 

earlier this evening car fired up first time after being sat for 5 hours, but the DSC lights on the dash were on as was the TPS light, tried to turn them off using the buttons in the car whilst i was driving...they were simply staying lit on the cluster.

 

really really hoping that its an earthing issue somewhere under the car, perhaps the mechanic who fitted the decat has taken one off and not refit it correctly?

 

i'll have a look on the internet and see if i can find a good resource for earthing locations.

 

I do appreciate all your inputs BTW and am keeping them in mind for when i eventually take it to a mechanic, if anyone knows of someone in West Yorkshire who's good with BMW & doesn't charge an arm and a leg id love to know about them !

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On 28/10/2017 at 07:59, momo said:



Like I say, no issues since I replaced it for a Bosch from ECP. It's now been in for a few years, so all good.

I can back MOMO up on this one my father had the same issue with his 530d replaced his battery been no issues for over 4 years. 

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1 hour ago, DaveNE said:

I can back MOMO up on this one my father had the same issue with his 530d replaced his battery been no issues for over 4 years. 

My battery is brand new?

 

Did you mean to say the alternator? 

 

I am going to have the alternator checked on Monday and will report back here wether or not it is bad. 

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