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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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  #1  
Old 09-28-2012, 05:17 PM
mwdonnell mwdonnell is offline
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Exclamation Warning light triangle with exclamation inside it

Is it necessary to repair something if the warning light is showing up with the exclamation point inside the triangle with an arrow around it? My husband says it is probably just a sensor and it isn't bothering anything - that I wouldn't use it even if I pushed the button to activate it. It drives fine - but it is disconcerting to see the warning light on.
What do you think? Do I need to be worried?

Last edited by mwdonnell; 09-28-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2012, 05:28 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwdonnell View Post
Is it necessary to repair something if the warning light is showing up the exclamation point inside the triangle with an arrow around it? My husband says it is just a sensor and it isn't bothering anything - that I wouldn't use it even if I pushed the button to activate it.
What do you think?
Well, he's sort of right. It is telling you something is wrong with your traction control system. It won't keep you from driving, but your dynamic stability control (DSC) isn't active right now.

Could be a wheel speed sensor or something more sinister.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2012, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwdonnell View Post
Is it necessary to repair something if the warning light is showing up with the exclamation point inside the triangle with an arrow around it? My husband says it is probably just a sensor and it isn't bothering anything - that I wouldn't use it even if I pushed the button to activate it. It drives fine - but it is disconcerting to see the warning light on.
What do you think? Do I need to be worried?
You suffer from a popular misconception....when that triangle is illuminated, the stability control is OFF, not ON. Pressing the DSC button is how you DISengage the system. The stability control/traction control`s default position is "always on", it does so automatically upon starting, and remains "on" unless you manually override it by pressing the DSC button.
You probably have a bad, corroded, or dirty wheel speed sensor, which is not particularly difficult or expensive to fix.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwdonnell View Post
Is it necessary to repair something if the warning light is showing up with the exclamation point inside the triangle with an arrow around it? My husband says it is probably just a sensor and it isn't bothering anything - that I wouldn't use it even if I pushed the button to activate it. It drives fine - but it is disconcerting to see the warning light on.
What do you think? Do I need to be worried?
Erm, well, warning lights are - a warning.

If you have a good independent mechanic, be best to get it checked out. If you don't, try Www.bimrs.org.
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2012, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwdonnell View Post
Is it necessary to repair something if the warning light is showing up with the exclamation point inside the triangle with an arrow around it? My husband says it is probably just a sensor and it isn't bothering anything - that I wouldn't use it even if I pushed the button to activate it. It drives fine - but it is disconcerting to see the warning light on.
What do you think? Do I need to be worried?
I think it means the extra safety feature is disabled otherwise a normal car IMO.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2012, 08:13 PM
Hutchman Hutchman is offline
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Press the dsc button. Maybe you accidentally turned it off.
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2012, 11:29 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwdonnell View Post
Is it necessary to repair something if the warning light is showing up with the exclamation point inside the triangle with an arrow around it? My husband says it is probably just a sensor and it isn't bothering anything - that I wouldn't use it even if I pushed the button to activate it. It drives fine - but it is disconcerting to see the warning light on.
What do you think? Do I need to be worried?
It should be repaired in the name of safety, but it's not very urgent if you drive carefully on dry roads.
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2012, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Hutchman View Post
Press the dsc button. Maybe you accidentally turned it off.
Not likely....that would only last for the duration of that one particular drive. Since the default position is "ON", next time the car was started, it would automatically go to the "DSC on" mode....


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Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
It should be repaired in the name of safety, but it's not very urgent if you drive carefully on dry roads.
Some tend to forget that people drove and got along just fine for a hundred years without DSC....
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:16 AM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Worn tires can also fool the wheel speed sensors into thinking something is wrong and cause warning lights. I'm talking really worn, like down to the wear bars, not that anyone on this forum would do that.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:19 AM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Some tend to forget that people drove and got along just fine for a hundred years without DSC....
Got along, yeah. Just fine, I'm not so sure.
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:24 AM
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Got along, yeah. Just fine, I'm not so sure.
I would agree with "got along just fine". I would also ad ABS to that. Every time my ABS kicks, even though I know I shouldn't, my natural instinct is to lift. I'd just rather it wasn't there at all.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:37 AM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Not likely....that would only last for the duration of that one particular drive. Since the default position is "ON", next time the car was started, it would automatically go to the "DSC on" mode....




Some tend to forget that people drove and got along just fine for a hundred years without DSC....
I don't have DSC in mine, just ASC,
but wouldn't recommend to just forget safety equipment which doesn't work.
Anyway in this case there's no need to panic unless there's heavy rain or ice and snow ahead.
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:51 AM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
I would agree with "got along just fine". I would also ad ABS to that. Every time my ABS kicks, even though I know I shouldn't, my natural instinct is to lift. I'd just rather it wasn't there at all.
This doesn't have anything much to do with BMWs maybe, but in the late 90s there was a rash of 15-passenger van crashes. Some of them fatal. Driving a 15 seat Ford van full of kids or whatever is a different experience from driving a car, but a lot of these vans are just driven by church group volunteers or whatever with no experience cornering in such a large vehicle. So yeah, I like electronic nannies even if I personally don't need em.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2012, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellpuppy View Post
This doesn't have anything much to do with BMWs maybe, but in the late 90s there was a rash of 15-passenger van crashes. Some of them fatal. Driving a 15 seat Ford van full of kids or whatever is a different experience from driving a car, but a lot of these vans are just driven by church group volunteers or whatever with no experience cornering in such a large vehicle. So yeah, I like electronic nannies even if I personally don't need em.
You can never take "STUPID" out of the equation, no matter how many electronic nannies are present....there`s that all-important ingredient called "Driver Skill", and without that, there IS no hope....
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2012, 10:03 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellpuppy View Post
This doesn't have anything much to do with BMWs maybe, but in the late 90s there was a rash of 15-passenger van crashes. Some of them fatal. Driving a 15 seat Ford van full of kids or whatever is a different experience from driving a car, but a lot of these vans are just driven by church group volunteers or whatever with no experience cornering in such a large vehicle. So yeah, I like electronic nannies even if I personally don't need em.
Couple of those happened in Finland also, except they were Toyota vans/busses here taking kids to school. Vehicle which was designed as van might not be very safe to transport many people.

Bob is right about something, electronics can't save idiots because then they just drive faster and crash harder.

Anyway in traffic, that idiot might do something right in front of you, and then any help is welcome when you try to save your beemer.

Last edited by lgr122; 10-02-2012 at 12:14 AM.
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