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Hi, I have a 2004 BMW 330ci a few weeks ago, while driving the battery light flashed on and went off, I felt a quick loss of power and that was it. A couple days after that the battery light flashed on again so I took it to the shop I go to.

They checked the battery and said it was fine and explained the battery light isn't about the battery but the alternator, they checked that and it was bad. I had them change it and everything was fine until a couple of days later the battery light flashed on again a few times but went off.

I took it back to the shop, they checked it out and said the battery light came on due to the fact there is an aftermarket stereo installed in the car and an amp, though I purchased the car and it was installed already when I bought it two years ago, they told me sometimes the problem doesn't happen right away, they told me I may need to get the software updated (I never knew the car had software that needs to be updated)

So I take it to another shop which can do updates, they tell me my battery is bad, so I buy a new battery and everything was fine for 4 days, so today I am driving my car and I only get 3 blocks from my house and the battery light comes on again, I immediately felt a loss of power and thought my car was going to die, so I pull to the side of the road, but the car does not die, so I take off again and I notice a few of my dashboard symbol lights were lighted up, all were yellow the circle with the triangle in the middle with a exclamation mark was on and yellow, the e parking light (that is red when you have the e brake on) was yellow though I had no e brake on, and a yellow circle with an exclamation mark in the middle was on and yellow, I also noticed that I had a circle with an exclamation mark inside it was on next to the D (the D is always there when I am in drive or there is a P displayed when I am in park) but the circle with the exclamation mark next to it has never, ever showed up.

I told a friend about my problem and he said I may need a software update. Do I need my software updated? Or is there something wrong with my transmission as after searching I have read that a circle with an exclamation next to D means a failsafe mode? Sorry for not providing pictures of the symbols that were lighted up, but I am not sure as how to post pics. Long story short I immediately go back home as I don't want to ruin my car.

I wait about an hour or so and start my car and now none of the lights are on and there is no rigged circle with an exclamation next to D when I put it in drive, any help would be greatly appreciated, I am new to owning a BMW and the car has never given me a problem at all, I want to take it in but...I am hair curious as to if it could be something as simple as a software update or something more serious :/ any help would be immensely appreciated, sorry for the long post..
 

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Your problem sounds like the "new" alternator isn't working right. Was it a rebuilt Bosch alternator (they come in a black box) or some after market unit? Google @"BMW E46 hidden OBC functions." Test #9 will show you the voltage as seen by the computer. If the voltage drops while you're driving the alternator is suspect. Also, check the engine ground strap. It's located on the bottom front corner of the engine on the exhaust (passenger) side of the car.
 
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