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Old 08-08-2017, 10:23 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Died while flying down the freeway

My car died while on the freeway last month. I was in Illinois at the time. The first sign was a loss of power with electrical. The windows went down slowly and the windshield wipers crept across my windshield. I was alerted to the issue when the anti theft light and beep sounded on my stock stereo, which was off at the time. I pulled off the highway where the car rolled to a stop and died at a gas station. No power. No start. Sat for an hour waiting for a tow truck. I went into the car to grab a cold water and mindlessly turned the key in the ignition...the car stated. Drove 8 miles to the hotel I had found which was closest to the auto parts store. Car dies again. No power. An hour later I start the car and drive the 2 blocks to the auto parts store. They check the battery and see it's a bit low. I drive back to the hotel and wait for the alternator to come in the following morning. Wake up the next day and remove the alternator. Exchange and replace it with a new one. Drive away from town on the freeway. 25 miles later...power loss. Sit for an hour, car starts and drives fine. Drive another 10 miles to another auto parts store for a new battery. Car does great for 75 miles. Then, it happened again. Stopped at the same store (different location of course) and remove the alternator. Take it in to be tested. It's fine. Re-install and drive to a rental car store. Rent a car and leave my beloved 318ti there. Continue on my trip. 8 days later I return. Unlock the car. Start it and let it get up to temperature. Leave the keys under the seat with doors unlocked. I had arranged to have my car transported back to South Florida where it arrived without troubles.

Everything tests out fine. Replaced the alternator again. Same issue. Checked and replaced the main ground strap. Same issue. Took a volt meter to every wire in the engine compartment. Nothing unusual.

My car is still down. It only runs as long as these poor batteries will allow. It just seems to have a serious power draw somewhere...and, I can't find it.

Any ideas?

1995 Active
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:02 PM   #2
paul somlo
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What was the voltage at the battery when the car was running? And when not running?
Also, do you have a current probe, a clamp on one?

'96ti 237,000mi.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:23 PM   #3
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Samething happened to my 97ti, driving home it just died any suggestions, was going to replace alternator. CP
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:39 PM   #4
paul somlo
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Were there any warning lights on the dash just prior? ABS light, battery light, anything? If not, I don't think the alternator is at fault. Did you have the headlights on? If not, I wouldn't be looking at the alternator. Replacing parts can get very expensive, very fast - you want to be reasonably sure before proceeding.

'96ti 238,000 mi.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:12 PM   #5
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nothing it just died I use my batt charger I had in car it got me home, I'm thinking alternator, but after the post where the guy puy 3 new alternators, has me concerned, I'm waiting for my friend to bring a meter to see it\f its charging
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:42 PM   #6
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alternator bad, thanks
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