Last post on Apr 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM
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BMW 3 Series, Sedan
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#4817 of 5349 Can battery charger damage alternator?
Sep 21, 2010 (8:18 pm)
Recently my 2002 325 battery light came on during driving and the car stalled with practically all lights came on. Upon towing to the technician who found out that the alternator was bad, so it was replaced. We have 56,000 miles on the car. We have had six BMWs over the years without ever having the alternator requiring replacement even at the mileage well over 100,000. The question I had about this problem related to the fact I have been using a trickle battery charge for this car since a year ago, as we don't drive this one as much, thus I put the charger on it once a week or so to keep the battery fully charged. With this recent alternator problem, I wonder if putting on the battery charger, even a trickle type, may do damage to the alternator, particularly now I had a new battery put in also.
I have been trying to find information on this matter. The only piece of information on the potential damage to the alternator is to have a practically dead battery using driving (alternator) to fully charge it, then the alternator might be damaged. Even this theory was not definitive. Does anyone know if using a trickle charger frequently would potentially damage the alternator? Hope to hear from some of you mechanically inclined to advise me to this question. Thanks.
#4818 of 5349 Brake Noise
Sep 21, 2010 (8:37 pm)
My '09 328 xdrive with 17K miles makes a high pitched chirping/squealing noise audible only at very slow speeds. Applying the brakes causes sound to stop. Dealer said the brakes have plenty left to them, that it's probably a "hard spot" on the pad(s) causing the noise, and it should go away on its own. Two months later there's no sign of the sound abating. Any suggestions of what is the cause and how to get rid of it would be appreciated.
#4819 of 5349 Re: Brake Noise [jaj]
Sep 21, 2010 (8:46 pm)
I have a 2007 335xi and I think I got the same problem (I have more mileage though).
It usually happened on a hot day. I brought the car in couple times but they couldn't duplicate the problem. At that time I got ~40K but they took me all the brakes were ok.
I ended up drove the car in when it happened and force the guy to do the test drive with me to hear it.
On the day of the appointment, they couldn't duplicate the problem but the guy who heard it test drove the car with another service guy.
They took the rear brake pads out, cleaned them, and put them back. The noise was still there. They ended up replacing the rear brakes and the noise was gone.
#4820 of 5349 Re: Can battery charger damage alternator? [rhmass]
Sep 22, 2010 (3:12 am)
I do not think using a battery charger on trickle, even for an extended period of time, would cause any damage to the alternator.
But, I would not use the charger at all for a couple of weeks and see what the state-of-charge of the battery is.
Were you having problems with the car not starting after sitting for a while, or were your just being proactive?
#4821 of 5349 Re: Can battery charger damage alternator? [rhmass]
Sep 22, 2010 (8:42 am)
definitely wouldn't harm the alternator. The alternator is doing nothing when the car is off and not running, so charger can't do anything to it.
Sometimes things just fail. The brushes in the alternator wore down/got dirty, that's all. I wouldn't worry about it.
#4822 of 5349 Re: Can battery charger damage alternator? [srs_49]
Sep 22, 2010 (11:42 am)
Thanks to both srs_49 and qkrozen for answering my questions.
Knowing the trickle charger won't harm the alternator has relieved my concerns. The cost of the alternator (OEM) was quick costly at $499, so I want to make sure I do the right thing with the charger. The car has never failed to start. The reason i got the trickle charger a year ago was because the battery which came with the car was getting pretty old, so I though to make it fully charged may help to prolong its life. I had the battery replaced as well even though the technician thought this old battery is still taking charge and works. After almost 8 years, I thought I might as well replaced it. Thanks again for the reply.
#4823 of 5349 Re: rfl/Shipo [kyfdx]
Sep 26, 2010 (8:39 am)
Thanks. I found a local shop that can keep the winter tires and wheels on site. They will change it for the seasons for free if you buy it through them. So hopefully that headache is over now.
Started test driving this weekend finally to narrow down the choices. I did drive the 2011 E550 coupe and Audi S5 (highway and city). Both are excellent cars.
E550 - Excellent HK audio system, V8 is excellent. More of a luxury cruiser than a true performance car. Definitely can be pushed a bit though. You can bomb down the highway and have no inkling as to how fast you are going. I really like the quality of the navigation system as well. The screen was super vibrant and beautifully detailed. It looks classy with a tinge of aggression if it has the appearance package. Some bits were slightly a little too plasticky. Wish it came with the 4matic system as the sedans did. I liked it more than I thought I would. Very professional sales staff.
Audi S5 - Great seats. Just as good if not better than the E550 seats. Good audio system though I felt perhaps the MB had a slight advantage here. Though I was listening to Sirius on the Audi and a CD on the MB. Loved the look of the car - very sexy. It has the AWD system which is a plus for me. The interior at first glance looks excellent. Even better than the MB but some of the buttons when you press them feels a bit too plasticky and clicky in their response. The car does drive amazingly well though. It feels more secure and well planted throughout the turns. Definitely liked the way it drove and handled compared to the MB E550 coupe. The navigation system is good but to me it was a bit cartoony and perhaps not as elegant in execution compared to the MB E550. Sales experience was a bit sub par compared to the MB dealer.
Came across the Infiniti FX50S - didn't drive it. A dealer had a fully loaded one sitting on the lot. The interior sure looked like a nice place to be at first glance. Focus focus.... I need to stay focused or I will never buy a car.
BMW - hoping to schedule a test drive later today for the 335i convertible and perhaps the Z4 with the same engine as well. Saving the best for the last
Both are indulgences w/ the 3 conv having a bit more practicality. The Z4 does speak to me from an emotional level and I have always loved the classic roadster look. The time in my life when I owned a Mazda MX5 was one of the best in terms of driving fun.
Once the top choice is finalized, next phase is pricing and poring over these forums to see how much these cars are being discounted from MSRP. Car shopping is fun!!!
Sorry for the brain dump in here. The Mrs. things I am nuts staying up late poring over these details. Had to get these thoughts out of my system.
Have a good one folks.
#4825 of 5349 Re: 2000 323i 5-Speed Manual Rear Clunk [silvernubira]
Sep 27, 2010 (9:04 am)
Hope it is not your rear differential mount. My brother broke his in his 02 330 manual. He said it was loud as hell when it broke and clunked every time he shifted after. He welded it back together himself because fixing it with a new part meant dropping the suspension. ">
#4826 of 5349 unlocking driver side door with remote
Sep 30, 2010 (12:43 am)
I have never had any problems with my car remote however, this evening I suddenly discovered I am unable to unlock the driver side door of my 2005 325ci with it's remote. The car locks with the remote but I have to open the driver side door manually with the key. The locks on the remaining doors, i.e., the passenger side door and trunk door are working fine and they open and close with the remote Any ideas as to what is going? Is this some type of an electrical malfunction or did some part of the door lock break? Is this something worth getting repaired and approximately what cost am I looking at for the repair?