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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 05-25-2008, 09:10 AM   #1
Mishee
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Had to replace Alternator

I have a 04 E46 SMG with 46,000 miles. Last week I had to replace the alternator. Has anyone else had this issue? Thanks
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:52 PM   #2
bmljanssen
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They all have this issue!
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:38 AM   #3
zwede
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My '05 w/ 35 K miles puked the alternator also. Got it replaced under warranty but it doesn't give a good impression on the quality of the car with all these alternators dying early & often. Worst part is it seems BMW has not updated the design any. The replacement is the same design as the one that failed so in 2-3 years it's time again, but now out of warranty.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:59 PM   #4
swddadl
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I've got an 05...my alt just died last month with 50,075 miles. My service rep was cool, and got BMW to cover it. I only hope this one lasts at least another 50,000.....
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:23 PM   #5
Mishee
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Originally Posted by swddadl View Post
I've got an 05...my alt just died last month with 50,075 miles. My service rep was cool, and got BMW to cover it. I only hope this one lasts at least another 50,000.....
BMW service rep replaced mine free of charge as well. This must be a known issue
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:41 PM   #6
Miami M3
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mine died at around 98,500 miles -- dealer wanted upwards of $1200 for part and labor

indy shop did it for $150 labor and $400 part
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:06 PM   #7
ZoomingM3
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Question

For those of you who replaced your alternator, did the alternator make any noise before it died? I ask this because I'm trying figure out what is making a clicking/squeking sound at idle. Thinking it was one of the upper pullies, I replaced both and I'm still hearing the noise.

Thanks
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:37 PM   #8
Miami M3
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Originally Posted by ZoomingM3 View Post
For those of you who replaced your alternator, did the alternator make any noise before it died? I ask this because I'm trying figure out what is making a clicking/squeking sound at idle. Thinking it was one of the upper pullies, I replaced both and I'm still hearing the noise.

Thanks
nope, got a red battery light which at first flickered on and off

came home, did my research on the forums and found that it was 99% the alternator

had it replaced the next day


fyi, i had my alt go out at 48,000 miles on my Range Rover -- same thing - red battery light came on - car was dead before i could make it home - stuck on the side of I95 for 2 hours at 2:00 in the morning waiting for a flatbed to tow it away - plus a $100 cab ride = not fun
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:14 PM   #9
Bill-banger
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When I flew out to San Antonio to pick up my '02 M3 they salesman met me with a strange look and said the car wan't ready as promised. That morning they'd moved it to wash it and the red battery symbol came on, they checked and found out the alternator was going out. They found on at the BMW dealer in town ( I bought it frm a MB dealer), but it was going to be the next morning before they could get it installed. Cost them about $6-800 they claimed. They loaned me a new MB C series to drive 'til the next day so I was happy.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:37 PM   #10
Mishee
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No strange noises. Just the red battery light came on...Stopped at BMW dealer. They told me go ahead a drive it till later in the afternoon. I left dealer and parked 1/2 mile down the road..turned car off. When I went to start it back up, all the dash lights started flashing...then it died. The BMW Tech came over, hooked up a charger and the car started right up. As soon as he took the charger off, it died. Needless to say, they towed my car 1/2 mile to the dealer and replaced the alternator. They gave me a break on the towing and replaced the alternator at no charge. These guys at this dealer are Great!
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoomingM3 View Post
For those of you who replaced your alternator, did the alternator make any noise before it died? I ask this because I'm trying figure out what is making a clicking/squeking sound at idle. Thinking it was one of the upper pullies, I replaced both and I'm still hearing the noise.

Thanks
Yep, mine did. Sounded like valve clatter, but only at idle. If I reved the engine it went away until it came back below 1200 rpm again. I also thought it was the pulleys but the noise went away with the new alternator.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:26 AM   #12
Brian W
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Mine started making a ticking noise near the alternator last night. It was very loud at first but has quieted down to the point now where you can barely hear it over over other engine noise with the windows down. I haven't had any power issues yet so I'm hoping it's just a pulley or tensioner that needs to be replaced. My '02 only has 21k on it so I'm hoping I won't have to spend $1200 to replace the alternator.

Last edited by Brian W; 06-17-2008 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:20 PM   #13
speedlaw
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mine barfed today. Car is a 330i, 2003 with 161k. Ticking sound at idle for a while. Light came on. Barely made it to my great indy shop. Will advise.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:58 PM   #14
speedlaw
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part two. shop replaced the alternator, but bought a BMW oe part at dealer. ow. Discovered that the battery after the running flat was no longer holding a charge, even with the wall charger. Off to the local auto parts store for an Exide.

Interestingly, the battery tray for the car is set up to accept a variety of batteries, which is appropriate for a car which is sold worldwide. I had no fitting issues.

At this mileage, I also don't feel ill used for the battery or the alternator....the car is better built than just about any other car out there and I'm expecting 3ook miles from this beast.l
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:58 PM   #15
R1blade75
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Interesting as my alternator in my 04 M3 with 42k miles died as well! I had it replaced with a refurbished alternator for $ 175 plus $ 200 for labor to a local BMW tech working on the side. It took him literally 45 minutes.

The symptons were that the battery light flickered on and off at mid to high rpms.

On the other hand, I had a 2000 323ci in which I put over 175k miles from new without any problems with the alternator!
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:37 AM   #16
zwede
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I'm convinced that it's the high redline that kills the M3 alternator. The alt pulley is very small and coupled with the 8K redline that alternator spins like crazy. That's why the non-M cars don't have this problem: lower redline.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:41 AM   #17
R1blade75
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I would agree with you, however, to be honest, my M doesn't see high RPM's too much, maybe sparingly here and there and certainly not every day.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:51 AM   #18
ajk_01
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Originally Posted by zwede View Post
I'm convinced that it's the high redline that kills the M3 alternator. The alt pulley is very small and coupled with the 8K redline that alternator spins like crazy. That's why the non-M cars don't have this problem: lower redline.
I can relate to that, my alternator went after about 30 mins of on/off red-lining. I can pretty much guarantee that if i hadn't been doing that it wouldn't have gone. It went just as I got to about 7500rpm and then the red light came on. 20/30mins later car dies whilst driving.

I suppose as the cars get older something will give at those revs. Next time you redline listen to the engine and you will realise how much strain everything is under, it just feels like something is going to break!
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:45 AM   #19
briansol
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old thread, i know...

but same thing happened to me. 57k on my 04 m3. alt is dead. I was at a red light when it first started flicking. wasn't but a few miles form home so i just drove it home no issues and jumped in my truck to go to work. i didn't rev high or anything. maybe saw 4k.

i'm going with a a bosh remanu for 180 bucks and putting it in myself.


And to the 'rev' topic, what about hondas? they rev to 8500 all day and don't have alt issues.
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:10 AM   #20
jjojo2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zwede View Post
I'm convinced that it's the high redline that kills the M3 alternator. The alt pulley is very small and coupled with the 8K redline that alternator spins like crazy. That's why the non-M cars don't have this problem: lower redline.
Very good point. If you notice the specs on the Z4 M or M Coupe, the last cars to use the S54, the redline is now officially 7900, not the lofty 8000 from the E46 M3. No doubt a way to reduce stress on the engine!
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