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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 11-18-2012, 09:00 AM
M Ballantyne M Ballantyne is offline
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Location: UK
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: BMW 330D Sport Tourer
Electrics Problem

I have a 2003 Bmw 330d Sport Tourer. Best car I've ever had. I've had it from new and it's done 175,000 miles. It's still got the original clutch and exhaust! Only minor problem to date was a faulty fuel pump (middle one)....everything else has just been regular servicing and preventative maintainence.

Today I started it after a very cold night and a few days of non use. It started first time but I sensed it seemed to take all the power from the battery. I then discovered that most of the instrument panel wasn't working....no fuel gauge, speedo, rev counter, temp gauge, mileage , time etc, indicator arrows and sounds etc.

I thought it might just have been the battery being drained when I started the car so I took the car on a substantial drive to ensure battery was charged. During the journey the small pod with the mileage came on but wasn't functioning tme/mileage stayed the same, the fuel gauge appeared to be working ok, the temp gauge came on but read high thehandbrake on light and traction control light came on permenantly. When I got home and switched off then restarted it still wasn't right.

Any ideas what the problem is? Can I reset everything? How?

Any help gratefully received. Apart from the fuel pump problem a few years ago this is my first real problem with the car and my first question on the forum!

Martin
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2012, 10:40 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=657988

You need to evaluate the condition of your battery and alternator. A reset can be done by disconnecting the negative battery cable for 15-30 minutes, then reconnecting it. Kind of a reboot.

Your alternator cannot recharge a flat battery and if you try, it might die in the process. I recommend putting the battery on a charger to top it off before going much farther with anything. Battery Tender is what many of us use.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:45 AM
M Ballantyne M Ballantyne is offline
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Location: UK
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 330D Sport Tourer
Thanks for the advice. It is the original battery too (175,000 miles to date) so I suspect it may be on the way out. If problem is the battery and I replace it, are the electrics likely to reset to normal or will I have to do something else ?

Martin
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:58 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,975
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
It's not the miles, it's the age of 9 years that is the problem. Yes, you need a new battery. Everything should be back to normal after you replace it with a fully charged new battery.

You've been on borrowed time for about 2-3 years at this point.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2012, 12:10 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
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As mentioned, you need to get that old battery out of there *ASAP*, before you have a fried alternator as well as a dead battery. No sense incurring a much bigger repair bill.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2012, 03:04 AM
M Ballantyne M Ballantyne is offline
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Thanks for the advice......disconnected the battery for an hour and then went back and started the car.....problem (at least for moment) solved!

I'm now off to get a new battery!

Martin
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:49 PM
numindast numindast is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Ballantyne View Post
Thanks for the advice......disconnected the battery for an hour and then went back and started the car.....problem (at least for moment) solved!

I'm now off to get a new battery!

Martin
Be sure to look up the properly sized battery for a BMW diesel motor. They are bigger and beefier than the petrol engines require.
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