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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 12-31-2012, 02:17 PM
xpat xpat is offline
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW E46 316ti
Who Can Stop Our Car Stopping?

Hi guys, I'm a brand new member - a retired 25 year flight attendant - and I've joined with a problem. Help!
My wife and I have a 2003 E46 316ti with 118000 kms on the speedo.
Over the last 12 months it has decided to display its computer lights in a spectacular show before quickly petering out and stopping itself. If it was at night the headlights used to quickly fade out. We had to quickly head for a parking spot at the side of the road.
It used to start again after a few minutes rest and drive perfectly, like nothing had happened, but now it's taken to stopping and not starting again until it gets a battery jumpstart.
We have had the car examined from top to toe on BMW computer scanners (and reset), and also thoroughly examined on the most sophisticated engine analyser available - all by BMW specialists.
The analysis showed the car to be in perfect running order - one hundred percent fit.
Help much appreciated.

Last edited by xpat; 12-31-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:20 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Sounds like you need a new battery.

Or there is a fault in the earth wire in the boot.

How old is the battery?
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:28 PM
xpat xpat is offline
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW E46 316ti
Wow, thanks for your quick reply.
I asked the analyser if he was sure the battery was okay and he checked it again and said it was 100 percent - although he said it could be a result of it recharging after being jumped.
The battery looks absolutely pristine, but it is the original 2003 one.
I'm no mechanic, but isn't the battery only used to start the car?
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:35 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpat View Post
Wow, thanks for your quick reply.
I asked the analyser if he was sure the battery was okay and he checked it again and said it was 100 percent - although he said it could be a result of it recharging after being jumped.
The battery looks absolutely pristine, but it is the original 2003 one.
I'm no mechanic, but isn't the battery only used to start the car?
Woah...wait, the battery is from...2003? Seriously?

Ok, quite a few threads with E46s and odd electrical issues involve end of life on the battery. Typical expense in USA is about $70-$90 USD at e.g. Wal Mart.

I seriously suggest step one is to replace the battery asap.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:39 PM
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tmba2002 tmba2002 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 330CI ZHP
The computers in our cars are very sensitive to voltage and current fluctuations caused by aging batteries. When the batteries start to fail, strange combinations of warning lights turn on for no reason and the car acts up. The typical car battery lasts about 4 years, if yours is the original, it's 10 years old.

Go buy a new battery, that's the first thing I would do.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:45 PM
xpat xpat is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW E46 316ti
Many thanks for your help guys.
I will definitely replace the battery.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:48 PM
xpat xpat is offline
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW E46 316ti
Hey, I just noticed your address.
We used to stay at the Holiday Inn on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance on layovers on the west coast.
Opposite the Del Amo Mall and all that.
I've spent many a happy drunken night in Torrance.
Thanks again
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2012, 03:05 PM
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Donate your battery to whatever your version of the Smithsonian is....
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2012, 03:15 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Your battery is from 2003??? You are VERY lucky to have it last this long. Replace it, and you should be done, as mentioned by the previous posters. I have heard New Zealand is beautiful. Hope to make it there one day.
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2012, 03:18 PM
xpat xpat is offline
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Lol, I get the idea!
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2012, 03:21 PM
xpat xpat is offline
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW E46 316ti
Thanks again to all that posted suggestions.
I'll definitely get a new battery installed asap.
Happy New Year to you all!
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