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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 07-26-2006, 01:23 PM
pophead pophead is offline
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Help!!! No dashboard lights after changing battery at Autozone

After reading all the message here I went to autozone and bought DL49. The guy installed it for me. Car starts ok. Radi is on. BUT NOTHING COMES UP ON THE DASHBOARD. No reading of speed, gas tank, mileage...nothing!!!

Brought it to the dealership, the guys said that maybe a fuse or something got blown up. Will have to do a dianosis tomorrow to find out.

Anyone has any idea what's going on? First time trying to have something done outside the dealership and now I'm afraid that I probably should have just stayed with them.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2006, 02:02 PM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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You should probably stick to an independent BMW mechanic or the dealer. I would stay away from Autozone, Jiffy Lube etc.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2006, 02:12 PM
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Fuse is the first thing I'd check. You can check it yourself, you know . Takes all of 2 minutes...
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2006, 05:59 PM
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check the fuses
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2006, 07:22 AM
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I hope the guy at Autozone didn't do any damage, like connecting the negative first, and touching metal with the positive cable.
Installing a battery normally shouldn't blow a fuse.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:12 AM
kenjin_21 kenjin_21 is offline
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Check the fuse holder found inside the glove box compaartment and check for the fuse that carries the "instrument cluster"
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:24 AM
pophead pophead is offline
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Unfortunately no fuse blown, but the instrument cluster was fried up

according to the guy from the dealship service, somehow Autozone guy shorted the cluster unit that controls the dashboard. Now it costs over $900 to replace that!!!!

Questions is how this happened? Are the fuses supposed to protect the cluster? Or the dealship is not telling the truth? When I talked to the engineers at work, none of them seemed to believe the cause. Although they think the dealship sometimes take advantage on girls I normally do have pretty good experience with the service reps.

Anyone else had any more insight? Thanks!

Last edited by pophead; 07-27-2006 at 09:31 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:28 AM
pophead pophead is offline
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But the BMW service rep. said that you should ground it first

He said actually connect the negative first? He was pretty surprised to hear to connect the positive first. But then he checked with another Rep. who said positive before negative is the normal procedure.And the engineers(they're chemical engineers though) at my work said it doesn't matter which one first.

I'm a little confused.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
I hope the guy at Autozone didn't do any damage, like connecting the negative first, and touching metal with the positive cable.
Installing a battery normally shouldn't blow a fuse.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:34 AM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pophead
according to the guy from the dealship service, somehow Autozone guy shorted the cluster unit that controls the dashboard. Now it costs over $900 to replace that!!!!

Questions is how this happened? Are the fuses supposed to protect the cluster? Or the dealship is not telling the truth? When I talked to the engineers at work, none of them seemed to believe the cause. Although they think the dealship sometimes take advantage on girls but I normally do have pretty good experience with the service reps.

Anyone else had any more insight? Thanks!
The fuses should protect against a current surge. I am not sure how you short out the cluster changing the battery. You may want to get a second opinion.

If some part of the electronics does need to be replaced, $900 doesn't seem unreasonable. Almost anything major on a BMW seeems to cost at least $1000.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pophead
He said actually connect the negative first? He was pretty surprised to hear to connect the positive first. But then he checked with another Rep. who said positive before negative is the normal procedure.And the engineers(they're chemical engineers though) at my work said it doesn't matter which one first.

I'm a little confused.
Because if you have the negative hooked up and touch some metal (ground) with the positive I think bad things could happen. If you have the positive hooked up and touch metal with the negative nothing bad would happen. Just a guess.

Last edited by Artslinger; 07-27-2006 at 09:47 AM.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2006, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
Because if you have the negative hooked up and touch some metal (ground) with the positive I think bad things could happen. If you have the positive hooked up and touch metal with the negative nothing bad would happen. Just a guess.
If you have the negative cable hooked up to the battery and ground the positive cable, nothing happens because nothing is connected to the positive battery terminal. There is no current flow.
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2006, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA43
If you have the negative cable hooked up to the battery and ground the positive cable, nothing happens because nothing is connected to the positive battery terminal. There is no current flow.
The reason is this (from older cars):
First you attached the positive cable to the battery. As you tighten the connection, the tool you are using may contact bare metal. Since the negative terminal is not attached, nothing happens. After that is done, you attached the negative terminal. As you tighten the negative terminal, contact between the tool and chassis does not matter since the negative is attached anyways.

Now consider doing it backwards:
You attach the negative cable first, and whether you hit anything doesn't matter because a) its already attached to the chassis, and b) the postivie terminal isn't attached.
Then you go to attach the positive terminal. Your tool that is tightening the terminal makes contact with the car chassis and now you have 12V across a metal bar with the ability to push a lot of current. Boom!
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2006, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsqbm
The reason is this (from older cars):
First you attached the positive cable to the battery. As you tighten the connection, the tool you are using may contact bare metal. Since the negative terminal is not attached, nothing happens. After that is done, you attached the negative terminal. As you tighten the negative terminal, contact between the tool and chassis does not matter since the negative is attached anyways.

Now consider doing it backwards:
You attach the negative cable first, and whether you hit anything doesn't matter because a) its already attached to the chassis, and b) the postivie terminal isn't attached.
Then you go to attach the positive terminal. Your tool that is tightening the terminal makes contact with the car chassis and now you have 12V across a metal bar with the ability to push a lot of current. Boom!
I agree that the proper way is to connect positive first. I was responding to the statement "Because if you have the negative hooked up and touch some metal (ground) with the positive I think bad things could happen." I was pointing out that nothing bad happens until something is touching both posts on the battery so that you have a current path.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2006, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA43
If you have the negative cable hooked up to the battery and ground the positive cable, nothing happens because nothing is connected to the positive battery terminal. There is no current flow.

Right you would need to touch the metal with a wrench while tightening.
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2014, 12:46 AM
Mirawho Mirawho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pophead View Post
He said actually connect the negative first? He was pretty surprised to hear to connect the positive first. But then he checked with another Rep. who said positive before negative is the normal procedure.And the engineers(they're chemical engineers though) at my work said it doesn't matter which one first.

I'm a little confused.
You always connect the positive first. Electrons flow from negative to positive.
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2014, 01:02 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Actually the car can care less which you connect first. Smart bmw owners connect the positive first and negative last.

When removing the connections smart bmw owners remove the negative first and the positive last.

Why?

Wrenchs melt nicely when shorted messing around with the positive cable in the tight confines of a bmw's trunk. You will find a good bit of the tool kits in bmw's missing the wrench that fits the battery

Also just to lower the risk of firing off that EXPLOSIVE gas cylinder in the positive battery clamp is cool too. I can see murphy having a field day with that.
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  #17  
Old 10-19-2014, 07:36 PM
Gumbus62 Gumbus62 is offline
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I was intensely reading this thread hoping to get to the eventual resolution as this just happened on my 2009 135i. Then I noticed Pophead's original post was from 2006 and it was revived a couple months ago by some debating the fine art of which terminal to install first.

Anyone know the eventual outcome? Or have others run into this situation themselves? My nav, radio, climate control are all fine. Headlights and blinkers work, but there is no indication on the dash cluster. I can reset my clock, but it doesn't hold. Did the install myself, but can't honestly recall which terminal was connected first. I want to say negative. I have not checked fuses yet, but I'm skeptical that that is the issue. I have not registered the battery with the ECU yet. I've seen a post on an Audi forum where the situation eventually "self-corrected" itself. Looking for ideas...

Regards,
Gumbus62
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  #18  
Old 10-19-2014, 07:51 PM
jdevarie jdevarie is offline
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Hi Gumbus, not sure how this issue ended for the OP either but frankly I cannot see how just replacing the battery will affect the cluster. You mention that your clock does not hold the time which may mean that the "always on" feed to it is gone possibly due to a fuse. I can see how something like this can correct itself if for some reason the cluster went into some protected mode.
I am sorry I don't have any more meaningful suggestions. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

good luck

jim
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  #19  
Old 10-19-2014, 08:27 PM
Gumbus62 Gumbus62 is offline
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Thanx Jim. You may have hit upon something. When twisting around the cables getting the new battery in something may have come loose from the junction box on top of battery. Will check those in the am.
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  #20  
Old 11-07-2014, 02:30 PM
Gumbus62 Gumbus62 is offline
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Solution to my problem: Fuse 74 which is shared by the OBD connector. AutoZone gave me a little gizmo to plug into OBD so radio stations and such would not get lost.

Lesson Learned - don't put AutoZone gizmos into your OBD connector unless you are sure of what it is going to do. Easy fix if you can get to fuse 74 which was a PITA.
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2014, 03:00 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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The "memory" savers used on the OBDII ALWAYS blow the OBD port fuse on BMWs for some reason.

You don't need to maintain power in the car to retain settings. The only setting that is lost is time.

All other user settings are stored in the key fob.
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  #22  
Old 11-07-2014, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
The "memory" savers used on the OBDII ALWAYS blow the OBD port fuse on BMWs for some reason.

You don't need to maintain power in the car to retain settings. The only setting that is lost is time.

All other user settings are stored in the key fob.
No settings are stored in the e46 keys.

But again you dont loose anything other than the clock loosing the correct time.
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