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  1. #1
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    newbie to the e36 and problems

    Hi all, I'm a new e36 owner and I've discovered some problems. Brought the car home today in pretty heavy rain. When I shut the car off I heard a very faint (fan?) still running somewhere in the dash. A little while later I went to drive the car again and of course the battery was dead. No lights were left on or anything else that I could have shut off. I jump started the car, ran it, shut it off and heard that fan running again. Alternator checks out as does the battery. Something continues to run behind the dash and drains the battery. The ignition switch seems to have some problems as in sometimes you can spin the key around and around and sometimes it works properly. Sometimes when I shut the car off that fan sound goes away but not usually and within 20-30 minutes the battery is dead. I'm wondering electrical short because of the rain or possibly faulty ignition switch. Anyone run into something like this and if so how did you correct it? Car is a 97 M3. Thanks.
    Pete


  2. #2
    Steve G
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    Small fan for climate control

    Hello Pete.

    An M3. Nice choice.

    There is a very small fan in the dash that draws interior air to a temperature sensor. It is normal for this fan to run for 5 or 10 minutes after shutting off the car. Usually the sound is very low and only heard if the ambient noise is low. Some fans may be louder than others due to age or particles inside. This fan uses very little power and would not drain your battery in 1/2 hour.

    Are you sure the battery is good? Connect a voltmeter to the battery and have a friend start the car. While cranking the engine the voltage should not drop below about 9.5 volts.

    Are you sure the alternator is okay? Turn on the heavy electrical loads (ie heater fan, headlights, rear window defogger, wipers). Run the engine at 2000 rpm. The voltage should be above 12.0 volts.

    These are basic do-it-yourself tests. If you want a proper test try an autosupply place that will test for free.

    If the battery and alternator are okay, check the static current draw. Anything below about 400 milliamps is considered normal. If a good fully charged battery is dying that fast the static draw will be large (maybe 10 amps or more).

    Your key problem has been discussed on this board before, so a search should get you some good info.

    Happy motoring!

  3. #3
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    Re: Small fan for climate control

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the advice. You were right, bad battery. I appreciate it.

    Pete

  4. #4
    Brian 328is
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    I've disconnected this fan without any problems

    Being [Oops!] and liking a quiet car, I disconnected this fan. It is only used when you select "Auto" for climate control. I enjoy the quiet more than I use this setting.

    Enjoy the M3,

    Brian

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    Re: I've disconnected this fan without any problems


  6. #6
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    Re: I've disconnected this fan without any problems

    Thanks

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