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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 01-11-2012, 12:47 PM
dweezy2012 dweezy2012 is offline
Registered User
Location: California
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 325i
Just took in mine today

Hi I'm a newbie with maybe a dumb question - is there any way a short like this could affect other parts of the electrical system?? yesterday my alternator died -- while waiting for BMW to approve me for an appt to go to the dealer...

I heard about the recall last fall just about the time my taillights really started acting up on my 2002 325i. My usual mechanic tried replacing the bulbs and other things but it was shorting occasionally and showing false warning lights on the dash. Then around November I noticed one of the left taillight bulbs was on, while the car was off with no key in the ignition. I couldnt get it to turn off so i yanked the bulb and drove around for a few months with less taillights than i should have... while waiting for bmwusa to finally send me a "certified letter" in the mail. [still haven't seen the letter by the way]

yesterday i was driving to work and sitting at a red light, when all kinds of warning lights started to go on. brake, oil, whatever. totally crazy. as i was driving (in automatic mode) the readout showed D and a gear icon. then it stopped shifting correctly and without being able to technically describe it, it started driving as if it had not enough electricity. the window rolled up slow. things were totally haywire. when i got to where i was going and shut it off, i figured the battery was dead or something - and then the car wouldnt start again.

anyway sorry i type too much - I got towed to the dealer after they said my VIN matched the recall. i had them diagnose the totally dead car and they came back with "your alternator's dead but the battery is totally normal" and of course that's like $1200.

Any way this otherwise simple thing could lead to these bigger problems? I only have 80k miles and the car was running just fine until this point. I dont suppose I could ever prove it but I can't afford this kind of work right now...

thanks if you know anything! and for the rest of you call your dealer service and tell them your VIN to get in there now!
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