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Old 07-22-2009, 05:05 AM   #1
sonaldinho89
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subwoofer caused car to go into limp mode??

hey,
so i just installed an aftermarket sub and amp into my sedan firing through the ski port. which is awesome and whatnot....but yesterday, was stuck in traffic on toorak road not moving at all (if you live in melbourne australia, you'll know what i mean) so i decided to check out just how loud i can pump my new sub.

so i'm sitting there idling, turning the volume righhhtttt up
cars shaking, people are staring, so i turn it back down
traffic starts moving, and i start moving, and almost stall (manual)...so i was thinking what the eff? but start creeping along with the traffic
then i realise the cars still shaking, cept the music is really soft
rev the engine a bit, and it's shaking heaps
struggles to get to 4k rpm, and is misfiring like an old V8
plus i'm getting a staccato beat, making it sound like a cylinder or 3 are out.
manage to limp it home, stopping the engine and starting makes no difference.
anyway
disconnected the battery, left it for a while, and when i got back it was as good as new
now the amp i put in isn't all that powerful (2x200W bridged, and my sub only takes 150RMS, so i haven't even pumped the amp all the way up), but could the voltage fluctuations from the amp have set my car into limp mode? i know the bmw electronics are more sensitive than most, but has this happened to anyone else?
hasn't happened since, and i've been pumping it up a fair bit. makes me think it might just have been coz i was idling (i.e alternator output was v low.) or maybe just bad luck/coincidence

anyway, i'm not worried enough to install a capacitor, coz i'm not gonna be pumping in that hard with the engine idling ever.

EDIT: Also, the strange thing was, nothing came up on the dash, no engine light, nothing.
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Last edited by sonaldinho89; 07-22-2009 at 06:05 AM. Reason: stuff.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:27 AM   #2
franz
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cap won't help the idling thing, it's to protect the system from peak loads when your overall available voltage is there. It may not be enough when you are just idling.

You may have something else coming up, keep your eye out for SES lights, it not as you say just don't worry about it.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franz View Post
cap won't help the idling thing, it's to protect the system from peak loads when your overall available voltage is there. It may not be enough when you are just idling.

You may have something else coming up, keep your eye out for SES lights, it not as you say just don't worry about it.
Thats exactly what I was going to say.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:48 AM   #4
sonaldinho89
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k thanks
was just weirded out by the lack of any engine/SES light
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:50 AM   #5
hvaycrgo
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i noticed this in my 545 E60 today. same thing, sitting still and turned it way up car started missing.. but oddly enough i felt it thru the seat so i turned it back down and a few seconds passed to it to restore all cylinders.. lmao also noticed that sticker on the windshield that says no aftermarket subs or amps!
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:48 AM   #6
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Funny, maybe it's an oddity. I have a 1300w amp and 2 10 inch subs I crank it in my E46 and nothing happens along these lines. Bad battery maybe?

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Old 12-31-2019, 08:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by hvaycrgo View Post
i noticed this in my 545 E60 today. same thing, sitting still and turned it way up car started missing.. but oddly enough i felt it thru the seat so i turned it back down and a few seconds passed to it to restore all cylinders.. lmao also noticed that sticker on the windshield that says no aftermarket subs or amps!
I was going to guess that the bass is rattling the clamp on the battery. Some clamps are tightened, but the terminals on the battery are too small. See if you can lift up the clamp. It might be tightened, but otherwise loose.

Also, look up the positive cable for the bst and a nut that sometimes gets loose. Again, I could see the bass loosening a connection over time if it wasn't properly tightened.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by E46newbie02 View Post
Funny, maybe it's an oddity. I have a 1300w amp and 2 10 inch subs I crank it in my E46 and nothing happens along these lines. Bad battery maybe?

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Improbable.. I've forked over hundreds a couple months before the amp and sub for a brand new BMW alternator. (NEVER buy a reman Valeo alternator, they don't care about the voltage regulator)

Also spent a couple hundred more for a platinum 95ah agm.. even though the coding only goes up to 80ah...

Only thing I can say is the car wasn't warmed all the way up.. maybe the knock sensors were extra sensitive at the moment..

Last edited by hvaycrgo; 12-31-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
I was going to guess that the bass is rattling the clamp on the battery. Some clamps are tightened, but the terminals on the battery are too small. See if you can lift up the clamp. It might be tightened, but otherwise loose.

Also, look up the positive cable for the bst and a nut that sometimes gets loose. Again, I could see the bass loosening a connection over time if it wasn't properly tightened.
You are probably right as hell... the T-clamp on the ground i'm pretty sure I started stripping last time I tightened it down...

Gonna go buy 2 new T-bolts from Advance... but otherwise the battery connectors are tight though.
14.3-14.4v to the gauge cluster, 14.2v at the underhood jump connections, 13.8-14v to the DME (reading with INPA), and 14v at the trunk battery cables. With the system turned all the way up it only drops to 13v with a really hard kick only for a quick second...
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonaldinho89 View Post
hey,
so i just installed an aftermarket sub and amp into my sedan firing through the ski port. which is awesome and whatnot....but yesterday, was stuck in traffic on toorak road not moving at all (if you live in melbourne australia, you'll know what i mean) so i decided to check out just how loud i can pump my new sub.

so i'm sitting there idling, turning the volume righhhtttt up
cars shaking, people are staring, so i turn it back down
traffic starts moving, and i start moving, and almost stall (manual)...so i was thinking what the eff? but start creeping along with the traffic
then i realise the cars still shaking, cept the music is really soft
rev the engine a bit, and it's shaking heaps
struggles to get to 4k rpm, and is misfiring like an old V8
plus i'm getting a staccato beat, making it sound like a cylinder or 3 are out.
manage to limp it home, stopping the engine and starting makes no difference.
anyway
disconnected the battery, left it for a while, and when i got back it was as good as new
now the amp i put in isn't all that powerful (2x200W bridged, and my sub only takes 150RMS, so i haven't even pumped the amp all the way up), but could the voltage fluctuations from the amp have set my car into limp mode? i know the bmw electronics are more sensitive than most, but has this happened to anyone else?
hasn't happened since, and i've been pumping it up a fair bit. makes me think it might just have been coz i was idling (i.e alternator output was v low.) or maybe just bad luck/coincidence

anyway, i'm not worried enough to install a capacitor, coz i'm not gonna be pumping in that hard with the engine idling ever.

EDIT: Also, the strange thing was, nothing came up on the dash, no engine light, nothing.
Yep. Same thing happened to me, in my '03 330cic.

It's the amperage drain on the alternator from the subwoofer amp; with the car rpms down at idle or lower (happened to me twice when my car was at a stop light in "D" - auto tranny here - and I tried the 1200w sub at max volume / power)... limp mode activated, car ran rough for a bit. Turned car off, waited a few minutes, turned back on (with the sub off, of course) - back to normal. No codes (actual or pending). Has only happened the 2 times (first time was a surprise; second time I did it on purpose just to see if it would happen again).
Tested the alternator, battery, checked all the cables, etc. Nothing was loose and the alternator and battery outputs tested well in the acceptable ranges...

This was over a year ago, and otherwise, zero problems with the charging system or battery.

I've also "experimented" with blasting the sub while the car is at normal cruising highway rpms and I've not had a repeat occurrence. My thought is it's the lower rpms / lower alternator output that triggers this.

As long as your alternator tests out with the proper voltage & amperage output I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it's going bad. I would assume that perhaps there is a more 'heavy duty" (higher amperage) alternator that you could install if blasting the neighborhood at idle is your thing.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
hvaycrgo
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maybe for you straight-6 guys... i dont think so for us V8s. even if you could buy an aftermarket one it probably costs more than the car.

Last edited by hvaycrgo; 12-31-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:10 AM   #12
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Another possible option might be to get a 145A alternator from an E46 M56 SULEV car. In the process of retrieving Valve Covers from the M56 engines to sell on fleabay, I noticed that they have higher capacity Bosch alternators, 145A or 150A, on them. I retrieved one of these higher capacity alternators, rebuilt it with new brushes, voltage regulator, and bearings, and it is now on my car working just fine. This will only work if your car is already equipped with a Bosch alternator.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:15 AM   #13
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:26 AM   #14
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All time bump record? Over 10 years! Lmao


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it took some time for us to save up for extras.. not just to keep the car going ;(
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Old 12-31-2019, 03:22 PM   #15
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It's a 'poor taste detector'-

your car can't stand the negative attention, so it punishes you.

It iz ze German vay...

t
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