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E36General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.
I am new here. I just purchased a '92 318is with only 45,000 original miles! Everything stock. The car is awesome but I am having some problems.
It starts up fine but the headlights, dials, computer etc. seem to flash erratically. Not blinking like a flasher but very quick bright then dim. It does not seem to affect the car's performance although there is a slight rocking back and forth in idle. All the fuses are good. I checked the charging circuit and get a strong 13-14 volt reading even with everything on. I should probablly change the alternator to the Bosch 140 but I heard that you have to change the ignition coils as well? I know there have been other threads on this but I can't seem to pinpoint my problem. Thanks for any help....
First -Welcome. Re; dimming of lights check the following - belt tension -if the belt is glazed or loose it will slip at "low load" situations causing lights to vary. Also check ALL the grounds (and there are a ton of them) usually you'll find bundles of wires (usually brown) tied together in misc locations throughout the car, check them for tightness & possible corrosion.
I checked the belt and tried to tighten it the best I could. It is a new belt replaced last month when I bought the car.
Here is the readings which are really strange.
When the car is off-12.8v
When the engine is running-14.9v-15.2v every other second!
Then, and this is really wierd, when I turn on the rear defrost the blinking stops and the meter is 14.2v. Yet when I press the gas the blinking starts again....
I checked some of the grounds I could find and they all look good. The car is in excellent shape(I am the second owner).
I am stumped. I guess I will take the alternator in and have it checked out...