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Old 01-30-2004, 09:39 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Utah
Posts: 80
W124 idiot lights, alternator? (again)

My wife's car died with a dead battery. I had replaced the alternator voltage regulator last October--brushes were worn. As I recall, most of the symptoms then were repeated this time. She said the dash warning lights had been dim again, recently. (Of course, whenever I drove it they went out after less than a minute--Murphy's Law in reverse?.) After I recharged the battery I test drove it. Five of the lights and the fuel light are always dim. The headlamp, SRS, and check engine stay off. ABS, ASR and Traction! are off but come on bright when braking below 20 mph. The red battery and brake lights are dim at idle and bright while driving. The battery showed 11.95 V while running at 2000RPM with headlights, fan, and wipers on. I pulled code 2.

My battery cables gave a slight spark when I disconnected and reconnected them. A post I found while searching mentioned this could indicate an electrical short, possibly a wire under the passenger side carpet. (The engine wiring harness was replaced 15 months ago). We also have an left rear window that readily goes down but intermittently is balky about going back up.

My plan is to either order and replace the voltage regulator, and to phone the local alternator rebuilder, who is very good and almost free, and maybe bring the car or alternator into him. It certainly needs new bearings anyway. The car has 140k miles now.

Thanks for any ideas/comments.
__________________
TomO
94 E320 Wagon, 170k, totalled in 2006
2002 BMW 525i Wagon, 75k
1991 BMW 318is (two of 'em)
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