Tip & How-To about BMW 318

Car battery voltage check

All you will need is a multimeter.
Start your engine, with the handbrake engaged ( safety first), then touch the measuring cables of the multimeter, on the + (red) and - (black) poles of the battery. For 12V installation vehicles ( most passenger cars and two wheels)
the voltage on the poles with engine running around 2000 - 3000 rpm, should be anywhere between 13V to 14V. Lower Voltage, means that the alternator doesn't charge the battery, and higher means that soon the battery will be destroyed by high voltage. Not good. Can blow up.

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I have replaced the starter relay and still have the same problem.

it could be a bad wire or connection to or from the relay ,or it could be a ground strap has rotted away. or it could be the starter itself not engaging when it recieve the signal to do so.. these things can be checked with the use of a voltmeter and a ohmmeter to check where the issue might be. (just get a cheap little multimeter if you dont already have. they are always useful)

this might be easier if you have a friend to help you.
first go over and look at all the ground straps (the woven metal straps or wires connecting the engine block to the chassis.. and the one between the negative battery terminal and chassis for corrosion damage or corroded connections. you can also check this by using a ohmmeter and measuring the resistance between the outside of the starter (you can probe any metal parts on the engine block. but doing it at the starter will reduce the chance for incorrect results) . and the negative battery connection. there should be a very low resistance.
next you will need to use a voltmeter. connect the positive probe to the big terminal with the big cable on the starter. make sure not to short anything. and the other probe to ground. here it should always be almost the same voltage as the battery is (battery voltage varies a little, but around 12 v).check that the car is in park or neutral. handbrake should be on. then try cranking a few times until it fails to crank.. check to see if it has voltage (here is where a friend is helpful) if thats ok. then we move the positive probe to the small terminal on the starter . this terminal is where the starter gets its signal from the relay to engage and start cranking the engine. have a friend either turn the key or check to see if the voltmeter say 12v while its failing to crank.
if it has 12 v but not engaging and cranking. then the issue lies with the starter unit itself. this is the most likely point of failure

if it does not have 12 v at the small terminal of the starter you should probe to see if one the legs of the relay has 12 v.all the time. , just remove the relay to probe the contacts beneath.

by looking at the relay you should be able to find out what leg is normally open (NO) . use the ohmmeter and connect from this leg to the small terminal on the starter (if you are unsure of what you are doing here it is reccomended to have a multimeter at voltage measuring to avoid damaging the multimeter by connecting it to the wrong connection. it will not survive it if you send 12 volt through the ohmmeter. and the voltage measuring will not allow enough current to accidentally make the starter crank) this wire should have a very low resistance.. if it does not. the wire or a connection has failed at either the starter end. or the relay end

good luck with the repairs :)

Oct 25, 2016 | 2001 Lincoln LS

2 Answers

my handbrake needs adjusting in my Toyota Corolla 1994. Can u please explain how this adjustment is done.

Hello, My usual Brands are Ford products, but Foreign cars usually use simple, less expensive ways to do things. Assuming the brake pads are good, there should be a cable connected to the handbrake. You would usually pull the handbrake up to engage about 1/4 the way to engagement and lock it there.
Then you would go underneath the car and find the cable that stretches from the handbrake lever to a juction with a second cable. There should be an adjusting thread somewhere at this intersection.

With the rear wheels off the ground, you would tighten the nut on the threads of the handbrake cable until you hear rubbing in the rear brakes. Then get inside the car and pull back on the handbrake lever and you should not be able to move the rear wheels with the handbrake set. You then release the handbrake 100% and the rear wheels should turn mostly without noise.

Now if you can not find an adjustment nut under the car, it is possible the handbrake adjustment nut is under the handbrake cover/boot inside the car. Still use the same process of setting the lever 1/4 engaged and tightening the threaded cable until the rear wheels start dragging.

I hope this helps you.

Sep 28, 2011 | 1994 Toyota Corolla

1 Answer


check oil level in gearbox with engine running and reverse gear selected ,handbrake on and a brick behind wheel for good measure

Mar 20, 2010 | 1994 Buick Park Avenue

1 Answer

parking brake not engaging

check for seized caliper pistons and pivots also check handbrake cable adjustment

Dec 13, 2008 | 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta

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