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I went to start the car yesterday after a short drive. The starter lurched before I turned the key to crank. Then I had a no battery, no start situation. I checked the ground straps as well as hot leads. Got a remote jump, it fires up immediately. After a 1/2 hour drive home. The battery still does not have enough juice to crank, or seem to have charged at all. If I leave the key turned to the second position, the gauges seem to gain more juice. alternator and battery removed and brought to local box auto store and they check out. Car wil start from remote box alone. No access to voltmeter yet. No L light, volt meter on gauge pod will sit at 13.5 when driving, 12.5 when idling, and drop when lights are on, flicker with hazards and turn signals.

Battery is old

Battery mounted in trunk

320i 65amp alternator

TIA daron

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Get your battery load tested. It sounds like your battery has failed. Putting a volt meter across the battery will still give you 12v+ but if a proper load tester is used this measures the voltage across a significant resistance.

This is what you see on the dash volt meter when you put the lights and heater fan on. It pulls the voltage down below the voltage measured by only the volt meter being across the battery.

Edited by Simeon

rtheriaque wrote:

Carbs: They're necessary and barely controlled fuel leaks that sometimes match the air passing through them.

My build blog:http://www.bmw2002faq.com/blog/163-simeons-blog/

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 you may have a bad cable (positive or ground) running back to the battery.


you say the starter engaged before you turned key to start?  you may have a bad ignition switch.  i may have one too.  every once in a while, when i turn key to start nothing happens.  like there is not enough 12v getting to the solenoid.   if i jump the pins in the diag connector to engage starter, it works fine.  so i just keep a jumper switch in the hood cowl...eventually i will replace the ignition switch......

Edited by mlytle


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Check your voltage regulator as well.  I had a similar problem on my 1600.  Had an old regulator from a parts car that I carried around for years.  Swapped them & did not have the problem again.  Replaced with a new voltage regulator a few weeks later and has been fine for the last several years.

1970 Granada 1600 "The 16",  2000 528i Siena Red "The 5",  1968 Mustang 289 Muscle Car Blue, 

1999 318ti M Package Green,  1982 633CSi 5 speed Blue,  2011 550i M Package Black (6 speed manual)


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+1 for the regulator. I had the same problem, but with a brand new battery. I scrubbed all the terminals super clean, and dropped in a new voltage regulator. No problems since. Even if it's not the regulator, it's a fairly inexpensive part, and replacing it can help you trouble shoot.

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The upgraded 320i alternator is internally regulated, if you have an external regulator it isn't being used so it shouldn't be the problem.  I would replace the battery if the alternator tests out OK, the battery can test good on the part store equipment but still not take a charge, it needs a load test performed to confirm it is truly good.

74 Golf

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