Question about 1999 BMW 323 Series
My batt is keep going flat
Okie dokie, this is another one of those situations like a game of ping-pong (a fault that can be pinpointed to one of two major faults, or possibly three in the most serious of cases) and will often leave you frustrated and scratching your head in sheer confusion.
Now rectifying this situation means you need a methodical approach, which is why you are here, and the very reason why I am here to help you.
Now to the nitty gritty.
Your battery will keep going flat for a number of reasons, and this can result from any number or combination, or even a single of the below listed faults.
Shorting, open or bad circuit which drains battery
Fault with alarm or immobiliser
Failed or incorrectly functioning alternator
Incorrect battery fitted to the make and model of your vehicle
Ancillary/ drive belt not correctly fitted (not turning alternator)
fault within the starter relay/ motor (noticed when car wont start)
Engine Management Unit (look for yellow engine light on dash)**
** This is very expensive if faulty.
Battery is sulphur corroded (look for white crystals in battery)***
*** This battery is end of life and should be replaced
Right now for the solution........
Your battery could just simply need replacing or need maintenance (unless it is the maintenance free type) and often changing your battery could solve your issue. However, if you do change your battery (which i would do first) and you still have the same problem, then you know that you have a problem elsewhere within the electrical system of your car. (Still at least with this method you still have a spare battery just in case your primary one fails.
Now to test the effectiveness of your alternator, you should get yourself a car battery and run it until it is completely flat, and check this by linking the battery to a multimeter until you get a reading of 0.00Volts DC (direct current). Now once you have done this, you will need to put the battery into your car, if you haven't already done so, and then jump start your car only to the point of your engine running. Yiu then remove the jump leads from the two cars, and leave your engine to run, this will then allow you to test that your alternator IS actually supplying a charge back to your battery (much in the same way as a dynamo does) and therefore ensuring a constant charge. Once you have completed the engfine run until battery is fully charged, disconnect the battery from the vehicle, and see if the battery looses charge. |If the battery does not charge, then it is likely that the fault is either to do with the alternator, or the wiring directly associated with it. It IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY that you will have a fault with the drive belt/ ancillary belt itself as you would notice that your water, fuel and power steering pumps will be no longer operational.
Now should the battery actually charge, and you are still loosing the power of your battery, then it is most likely that you have either a bad earth, or a fault elsewhere within the electrical system. Now this can be very difficult and costly, not to mention time consuming for the everyday person to try to sort out, and in the worst case scenario, you may have to remove your entire wiring loom in order to find and pinpoint where exactly the fault is located. Just as bad and expensive, is the need to either overhaul or replace your ECU/ EMU Engine control unit/ engine management unit. A fault with this will be definitely evident by an amber/ yellow coloured light that is shining on your dashboard that has the picture of an engine on it, or anything with three letter abbreviations. Now some models of car even have a very annoying high pitched foul squeaking noise that is emitted when this fault occurs, and then you will certainly become whats known as "aware of a problem". In addition to this, any problem with your battery will be indicated by a red light with a square box with two symbols on it, these are a + and a -. If you see this, then you likely are having a critical time with your battery's supply.
Now the best bet for you (if you are competent with automotive electricals) is to grab a multimeter and probe the areas and get your readings and then work out where your fault is coming from (displayed as either nil or low voltage or resistance). and work in a way where you start from the battery and work to each component from there.
One word of warning though. DO NOT cross the poles anywhere near the starter motor relay or the starter motor iteslf as doing so could instigate the engine to "fire up" and run, with potentially serious results if you are near any mechanically moving parts. Further to this, the "coil" and HT ignition system carries large voltages and amperages required for the spark/ glow plugs to work, and any contact or direct involvement with this area CAN BE FATAL. DO NOT RECIEVE AN ELECTRIC SHOCK FROM THE IGNITION SYSTEM.............IT CAN BE FATAL as there are over 1000V that are generated through the coil and HT leads/ plugs.
If in doubt, consult an approved motor vehicle electrician/ mechanic, and ALWAYS READ THE USER MANUAL that should be included with your car.
If there is anything further i can help you with, please do contact me and i will be glad to help.
Posted on Jun 24, 2008
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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