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Anybody know what would cause the handbrake, ABS and traction control dashboard lights to flash on randomly on my 2003 318i? also the stereo will die at the same time! it only seems to happen when the engine is cold and warming up, i have had MAF sensor problems in the past and wonder if a faulty MAF sensor may be the reason?? any help would be great, thanks.
 

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sounds more like an electrical problem. a dying battery will do wacky stuff and since the stereo is totally unrelated to lights on the dash.... unless they share a fuse maybe. get the error codes read.
 

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Oh **** my lights wont go on. Better replace my fuel pump LOL.
yeah..... :rofl:

sorry choco, just can't see the rationale there....... time for a new mechanic?
 

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Can see your point now, but what do I know! The RAC bloke said the lights were flashing on because of the lack of fuel going through causing the light to start flashing then to go into limp mode and die on the side of the road. It has been on the diagnostics but again nothing! I am fed up with spending money out on things it could be, sure my mechanic is taking advantage of a blonde with no clue of cars
 

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Can see your point now, but what do I know! The RAC bloke said the lights were flashing on because of the lack of fuel going through causing the light to start flashing then to go into limp mode and die on the side of the road. It has been on the diagnostics but again nothing! I am fed up with spending money out on things it could be, sure my mechanic is taking advantage of a blonde with no clue of cars
And it only had a new battery 6 months ago
Well, sorry to hear that. Fuel pumps don't last forever and many people replace at around 10 years preventively, so you're not completely screwed there, but obviously didn't solve your issue.

Still sounds like an electrical issue which can be very difficult to diagnose sometimes. and we don't have a lot of 318s over here so there are probably some unique characteristics of the 4 cylinder engine that most of us can't speak to.
 

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Make sure your alternator is ok and the belt tensione is not weak. A weak tensioner will allow the belt to slip and not charge the battery properly. Have one of you guy friends check the underside of the belt to see if it is shiny. This would indicate slippage.
 

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Make sure your alternator is ok and the belt tensione is not weak. A weak tensioner will allow the belt to slip and not charge the battery properly. Have one of you guy friends check the underside of the belt to see if it is shiny. This would indicate slippage.
+1 for alternator issues. Even if your battery is totally flat your alternator should be able to keep your car running without any drama (until you switch the motor off...). If you're willing to take it to a shop, they can test whether the alternator is charging the battery or not.

Now, if it turns out not to be the alternator, it could be something like a bad ground or a short someplace in the electrical system. Lets hope it's an alternator issue- like just about everyone else said, electrical issues are very difficult to diagnose.
 

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Thanks for the reply's. had the battery and alternator tested and the battery was bad, so had it changed. The lights in the dashboard are still flashing on and losing the radio but have noticed a noise ( like a multi disk player changing?) coming from the glove box. Now been seggested it maybe a relay?? Any ideas?? Thanks
 

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Thanks for the reply's. had the battery and alternator tested and the battery was bad, so had it changed. The lights in the dashboard are still flashing on and losing the radio but have noticed a noise ( like a multi disk player changing?) coming from the glove box. Now been seggested it maybe a relay?? Any ideas?? Thanks
You do have relays behind the fuse panel in the glove box. And they will make a clicking noise when the turn on or off. Basically they are switches for power, like a lightswitch in a way, but they are controlled by an electronic circuit when it gets signal from a computer or a switch you might put your hand on (the horn for example) without having to bring the more serious current near you. I think you're getting somewhere with this after all..... and I bet someone will chime in with something more useful.
 

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http://bmwgm5.com/E46_Relays.htm Not sure if this helps. But a spazzing relay is a problem and just like a dying battery, might cause other weird behavior. It could be the relay or it could be some other fault in the system causing the relay to spazz.

And your battery was no good at 6 months? Or just nearly dead, needing a recharge?
 

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There are a number of FUSES related to the ABS and traction system. Perhaps they are loose or need to be replaced. DO NOT mix them up as each one has a specific amperage rating and messing that up can possibly fry very expensive electronics. They're there to blow out if too much power gets going through. You may have loose wires somewhere sending current where it shouldn't, hence the spazzing relay. The wires run all over the car so finding the fault can be like finding a needle in a haystack sometimes, but a good repair person should be able to do it in time.

There should be a card in the fuse panel to tell what they're all for and correct amperage. Pull them one at a time if you do so you don't mix up.
 

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Funny thing - there's another thread going now with a guy with the abs brake and traction lights on and his problem was not replacing a few of those fuses after pulling a fuse when replacing the fuel pump!
 
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