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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 12-07-2012, 05:42 PM
grrltraveler grrltraveler is offline
Registered User
Location: Temecula, CA
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Lights on, limp mode, need help

Let me start by saying I love my car... I want to keep it. 2003 330i with manual... fun, fun! I've had it for 3 years now. I have not driven it much for the last four months since I cannot rely on it.

About a year after owning was the first time this happened, driving down the street after leaving my house... limp mode ensued. Pulled over, turned off car, swore a bit, turned back on and it was fine. This similar scenario continued intermittently for the next year - maybe 1 time ever 6 months. recently it has become more prevalent so I am aware of what goes on - car may be driving fine, then bam! - service engine light, brake light (orange, not red) and the circle with exclamation light right above mileage counter, car loses power and sputters, I turn off and back on and it goes home or wherever just fine. Now, every time I start, lights are on, car idles funny and won't let you drive. I can put it in gear and it truly does "limp".. now it's just sitting in my driveway.

My husband is handy. He fixed the disappearing oil problem, he's tried to fix the airbag light problem (think the seat sensor may be the next fix on that one). He has an Autel CAN OBDII scan tool which throws up NO codes.

I have a list of things to look into after reading this site. Which particular thing do you think we should try first? I'm a bit overwhelmed but I really love driving this car and want to have faith in it again. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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