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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 12-29-2012, 04:27 PM
brainmegaphone brainmegaphone is offline
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Location: Connecticut
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Mein Auto: 325xi 2003
Startup problems - battery replaced... dim lights... thoughts?


3 days ago, my engine would not start (radio would come on in the first key position but lights in car were dim wth door open). As my 2003 BMW has never had a new battery, I replaced the battery... car started up perfectly. A check using the test 19; test 9 function showed ~120 with new battery in the first key postion and then ~140 when started and running). [My alternator was replaced 2 years ago, so I did not suspect anything other than my really old battery was the problem].

I assumed all was well with my car again. This evening, leaving work my car would not start at all. In fact, turning to the first postion did not even turn the radio on. The dashboard had random lights come on at each attempt (all sorts of the different dashboard lights...)

In desperation and in reaction to a suggestion on a forum post, I opened my fusebox and pushed every fuse in. Suddenly while messing around in the box I noticed the glove compartment light got brighter. I quickly put the key in the ignition and the car started up! My clock was reset to --:-- again as if I had removed the battery again.

So; looking for suggestions from the experts on what I should look into next. Do I have a fuse problem? If so, what ones should I replace? Could it be battery cable? I have no idea where to start... hoping for some wisdom from the forum experts.


I re-tightened battery connection in trunk... connectors look clean to me too. looking for more suggestions? Fuses to replace since tinkering with those actually caused my lights to brighten and allowed startup? Just trying to get next most logical fix to try.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:28 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 330Ci 6-speed
Listen to your own explanation. Problem got better when you were looking around in the fuse box.
Go there and pull each fuse one at a time and clean up and examine. Test with Ohmmeter to make sure the resistance is not high.
Eyeball the fuse sockets to make sure they look like new.
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Last edited by GoForthFast; 12-30-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:50 AM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 325 Convertible
Try cleaning all of your grounding points as well.
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