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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 01-09-2013, 09:01 AM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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Electrical Nightmare

Hi All, i have a BMW 323i 1999 auto with tiptronic recently the electronics started playing up first it was my wipers that worked only when they wanted to, then my passenger airbag light started appearing, then my radio went dead and i have a telltale light saying there is a problem with my transmission how can all these faults be possible or could their be another explanation, any help will be so much valued.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 AM
joegr joegr is offline
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How old is your battery and what shape is it in?
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:41 AM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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your Guess is as good as mine, i think it came with the car can n battery really cause those problems. i just had a look the battery seems to be and old one i do think it was the original it came with from the factory

Last edited by panther2510; 01-09-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:16 AM
scarede46er scarede46er is offline
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Yes batteries can make our E46s work in funny ways. Get a load test done at Autozone or something. I would just replace it as PM. It is time!
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2013, 12:01 PM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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x2! malfunctioning batteries make these cars schizo.
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2013, 12:34 PM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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Thanks! lol I will replace it ASAP and keep you up to date on what happend
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2013, 07:04 PM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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I have replaced the battery. And all went well for about 2 days. There where no lights, then exactly they same happened again can it be the alternator?
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2013, 09:13 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther2510 View Post
I have replaced the battery. And all went well for about 2 days. There where no lights, then exactly they same happened again can it be the alternator?
Yes, continuing to drive a car on a failing battery can damage the alternator as well. Get it tested ASAP.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2013, 02:07 AM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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I'm slowly loosing patients. I tested the alternator. And it charges perfectly. I don't know this car is driving me mad any ideas?
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2013, 05:44 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther2510 View Post
I'm slowly loosing patients. I tested the alternator. And it charges perfectly. I don't know this car is driving me mad any ideas?
I had a perfect alternator, and a bad battery - and my electronics went bonkers.

Full details (as always) here:
- One user's experience debugging a half-dead instrument cluster (1) which, after testing the fuses (1) battery & alternator (1) thankfully turned into an alternative battery search (1) and a simple battery replacement DIY (1)
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:18 AM
WhitexLightning WhitexLightning is offline
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Battery question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Yes, continuing to drive a car on a failing battery can damage the alternator as well. Get it tested ASAP.
Fast Bob do you think it is necessary to get the expensive BMW batterys over something else?
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:02 PM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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Hey guys thanks for your advice. But I replaced the battery had the altenater checked but still doing the same thing I did find how ever when I put all the electronics on and fiddle wit the lights it seems to reset itself for a while so everything goes dead but after a while the same happens again
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:20 PM
joegr joegr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther2510 View Post
Hey guys thanks for your advice. But I replaced the battery had the altenater checked but still doing the same thing I did find how ever when I put all the electronics on and fiddle wit the lights it seems to reset itself for a while so everything goes dead but after a while the same happens again
Maybe a bad/loose electrical connection (power or ground) somewhere?
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:26 PM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther2510 View Post
I'm slowly loosing patients. I tested the alternator. And it charges perfectly. I don't know this car is driving me mad any ideas?
If you search the forums (esp. E46 fanatics) you will find that there is a corroded ground wire in the tail light in the trunk. That can cause the headlights to go out. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll try to dig up a link.

Edit: Here's the link http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...469&highlight=
See post 5 in the link
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Last edited by The Other Tom; 01-18-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2013, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhitexLightning View Post
Fast Bob do you think it is necessary to get the expensive BMW batterys over something else?
You can buy a perfectly good replacement from Autozone (49-DL...they might try to tell you it won`t fit, but it will) or Walmart (Everstart Maxx 94R), both are right around $100.
No need to pay dealer prices !
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2013, 02:30 AM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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Does anyone know where I can get a wiring diagram for my car??
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2013, 01:24 PM
panther2510 panther2510 is offline
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Ok I have established I have a earth fault I think as when I put hi beam on the lights go dead but I'm lost with out a diagram. How do I trace all the earth points and how do I test them
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:24 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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What do you mean earth fault? Explain further and maybe I can tell you how to approach this.

There are diagrams in the Bentley manual.
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:55 AM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
What do you mean earth fault? Explain further and maybe I can tell you how to approach this.

There are diagrams in the Bentley manual.
Earth fault means ground. He thinks he has a bad ground.
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  #20  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:37 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Fault also refers to a short circuit. I'd want to know what he meant with more details.
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