2002 E46 330ci Conv - Broken Positive Battery Clamp

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  1. 2002 E46 330ci Conv - Broken Positive Battery Clamp 
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    chiefmeisterflex's Car Details
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    Hi,

    I've read a few posts on this matter so just want to check I'm on the right track. A bit of necessary history first.

    My brother's 330ci convertible had a flat battery about 2 months ago (it was the original battery). So he took it his local mechanic and got a brand new battery fitted - a real cheapo budget brand (the tightwad!).

    A week later when I was driving it around, the new battery unexpectedly died. So two batteries dead in a matter of weeks, we suspected the alternator. Although the AA breakdown guy did say that he thought on voltmeter thingy that the car might have been draining power when the car was turned off. Anyway my brother took it to his local mechanic again and got a brand new alternator fitted. At this point I had noticed that the positive battery clamp (the circular metal part that fits round the battery post) was loose, and had a big crack in it, but it was solid enough for the time being.

    As soon as the new alternator was fitted the airbag light was permanently on. The mechanic said he would get round to clearing the code/fault when my brother brings the car in next time, and not to worry about it. Also the red battery light was on intermittently. Once again the mechanic said this was just down to the cold weather. I did think it strange that temperatures of worst -7c would cause this to happen, but my bro just took the advice of the mechanic.

    Over the next 3-4 weeks cars been driving fine, albeit with a constant airbag light and a constantly flashing battery light.

    Just yesterday the battery completely died. I had a look at the positive battery terminal and that previously loose clamp has now just split in half. Although, arguably it was solid enough not to be displaced during regular driving, but then I can't seem to think of any other reason why battery light should be flashing on and off when driving only.

    Been having a look around and it seems you can't just replace the clamp part but the entire safety battery terminal clamp, which seems a bit expensive.

    My brother's abroad for 3 months so I get to drive that car but also fix the problem :(

    Have taken battery out and recharged it fully and it hooked it (not safely) back up and car starts fine. Have not driven it yet.

    Firstly, would a roll of insulation tape holding the two broken clamp parts together serve ok as a short term/medium term solution.

    Secondly, is the safety battery terminal (SBT) the real problem here. I've read that it's got something to do with airbag deployment in the event of an accident. The car definitely hasn't been in an accident, but it seems coincidental that airbag light is on when there is a problem with the SBT. Was that the problem in the first place? Did my brother's mechanic just replace an alternator for no reason?

    Have found a pdf which details how to replace the SBT part, and have found the part on ebay


    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BMW-E46-3-d-sa...item4398a57b45

    Any ideas suggestions on how can I found out the exact problem without an error/code checker tool. As I don't want to fork out for the part if the problem is elsewhere and/or if a bit of blue tape and solder will do the job.

    Will post picture's of the broken clamp shortly.

    Thanks for your help.
     
     

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    That's not the part you want...it's for diesel models only. You want part: 61128387512.
    Also, there is a kill switch on that pole which is linked to the SRS system.
     
     

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    strange one mate..you may have too bite the bullet and get the codes read...my airbag light is constantly on due too my battery being disconnected when the steering wheel got retrimmed..never got it reset yet...so im pretty sure that why your airbag liteis on..no sure wy the battery is draining tho
     
     

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    Nice spot, NealP, didn't read it carefully enough...could have been a costly mistake!

    gap141070 - I think you're right, might have to get the code's read just to be sure.

    With regards to part I want: I have a friend who does a spot of welding, is it too cowboyish to consider getting the two broken parts of the clamp welded back together, or am I just gonna have to get the genuine part and replace the whole shebang.

    I've read on another forum that the BST (Battery Safety Terminal) and I quote "They both contain a pyrotechnic charge designed to tighten your seat belt about an inch and disconnect the positive electrode of the battery in collision accidents". Could this be the reason for the clamp splitting in two, i.e. it sensed a collision and split the clamp. I was under the impression that it would just be a fuse that blows and nothing so dramatic. If that is the case, then of course, I will need to get the part.
     
     

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    If the kill switch was activated, your car would not start. It cuts off the fuel pump.
     
     

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    Back after a month...will be going to a BMW specialist to get my codes read as I still have the battery draining problem. However, they'll obviously just point to the broken safety battery terminal, so will get that replaced first and then get the codes read.

    Just got a quote from BMW for £312 for the part No aftermarket, OEM or ebay parts available.

    Managed to find a breaker who's got the part from a scrapped E46. Has confirmed to me that the airbag wasn't deployed and will be going to see and buy it tomorrow if it all seems ok.

    Would there be any visible signs or damage to the part if the airbag had been deployed (i.e. burnt housing etc) just in case the breaker's trying to pull a fast one. I know my terminal was cracked (see attached pic) but I think this was due to wear and tear, and not as a result of the SRS kill switch kicking in.

    Also I'm aware that I won't be actuall buying the BMW repair kit for this cable (P#61128387512) BUT the factory fitted version. Will this make any difference to the install? Any advice before I go tomorrow would be appreciated.
    Attached Images
     
     

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