BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

My e46 went into "limp mode" any advice?

45608 Views 19 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  AlboBMW
Hello folks! Well like the title states, my car went into "limp mode" today coming back from work.

Basically I was driving and I see the red battery light come on in my dashboard. I figured that was ok and an easy fixed and wouldn't worry too much about it. I've been driving the car around for the past 17k miles and hadn't changed the battery and god knows when was the last time the previous owner changed it. Little did I know.. about 3 minutes after the red battery light was to come on, alarming trouble was soon to come...

all of a sudden the ABS light , brake light, and the indicator lamp for the automatic stability control light was flashing on and off (the little triangle between the speedometer and tachometer) . At this point I was freaking out as all these lights were flashing on and off besides the battery light. seconds later, the car kicked into the "limp mode." this symbol appeared besides the gear shifting indicators (!).


After all this I pulled over and raed the manual and performed the indicated reset for the fail safe mode. the first time it worked for about 3 minutes of driving time. After that I proced to pull over again and reset. This time it cleared the (!) and was able to drive it for about 30 miles with no issues. I was able to get home with out the lights coming back on.


I'am left VERY concerned as what this could mean? I've done a bit of research on the site and will try the following things.

A. Replace the battery.

and

B. Flush out and replace the Tranny fluid + the filter.

any other suggestions guys? The only thing I've done to the car lately is change out the break pads/rotors/ and break pad sensors. Perhaps I left something plugged up wrong?
I changed out the breaks about 2 months ago.


Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'am really worried it maybe a tranny issue. That's the last thing I want to worry about right now!


Thanks again
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Well the first thing to do is to get the codes read so you know whats its pissed off about. Throwing money at it isnt likely to end well. Get the codes read and then someone can help you with fixing it.
I shall do that first thing tomorrow morning and update with the codes. Thanks crowz.
hey guys, update. I got error codes P0700 and P1892.

Also I got my battery full charged today at a local autozone. It took charge well and the car is running fine now.. which leads me to think it's maybe the alternator at fault? Any thoughts?

On a side note, I also tried to do a battery voltage test with the BMW dash. The battery before it was charged was cloking at 6.9-7 amps. After the charge it was sitting at 12.5 or 12.6 with AC on and lights.
The 1892 once cleared may not come back, its tps related.

The 700 code may mean your low on transmission fluid. Do a fluid change with the correct fluid and a new filter. You meantioned flush which is done with a machine. Never flush your trans, just do a normal fluid and filter change.
ok awesome thanks again crowz. I will do that tomorrow morning. Unfortunately I'am stuck at work now =/. What about the power issue? Do you think the alternator is going south? The battery is only two years old and but still holds charge.
Have autozone test your alternator or put a volt meter to your terminals in the engine bay. You should be getting 13.4-13.8 volts at idle.

The codes are likely due to the dead battery. Most of your car is full of electronics (including your trans and throttle body) and we see all sorts of weird things happen when the voltage goes low. I think you will be fine. Just make sure to find out about the alternator.
okk Smolck! thanks for the response. After running the car today for a bout an hour or so, all the lights went off even the check engine light that had appeared after last dead battery fiasco. I've been running the car with the voltage test on and it looks like it is the alternator will be the problem. While running with lights, radio, and AC on, the voltage drops to 11.9 and tries to charge up to 12.1 or so but never quite gets there.

On that note, does anyone recommend any sites to pick up a well priced alternator? Also any DIY out there for it? It looks like it's pretty easy to reach!
If youve never changed the fluid in the trans Id change it even if the light doesnt come back on. Its asking for it not to service it.
^^ yep. I shall be doing that tomorrow morning. I've read some where that BMW markets that fluid as "lifetime" .. but that can't possibly be right..
Best place to buy any parts.......Max has two listed, you need to find out which connector you have. SUPER FAST FREE shipping too. :thumbup:

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/product_p/12317519620e46.htm
On that note, does anyone recommend any sites to pick up a well priced alternator?
hmm ok cool. Is there a easy way to find out what connector my car would have? It's a 2004 325ci btw.
Just put the last 7 of your vin into realoem.com and it will give you the part number. Just note that to max and you are good to go.
hmm ok cool. Is there a easy way to find out what connector my car would have? It's a 2004 325ci btw.
ahhh ok. Also, it just came to mind.. would it be a good idea just to change out the voltage regulator first? It's significantly cheaper .. ha! Thanks again for all the help Smolck.
Personally, I replace the whole unit. It isn't THAT expensive, and they are maintenance item IMO. But you can do as you see fit and your budget allows. :thumbup:
ahhh ok. Also, it just came to mind.. would it be a good idea just to change out the voltage regulator first? It's significantly cheaper .. ha! Thanks again for all the help Smolck.
If the car's got more than 100k miles, change the alternator. You'll only end up with a breakdown if your bet is wrong.
ahhh ok. Also, it just came to mind.. would it be a good idea just to change out the voltage regulator first? It's significantly cheaper .. ha! Thanks again for all the help Smolck.
yepp thanks, the car hit 100k a few months ago (currently sits at 106k) and it's been giving me tons of issues. So far i've changed out the rotors/break pads and sensors, upper and lower radiator hoses and done a crank case job on it. After this alternator.. I have to take another look at the cooling system, it looks like I have a slow leak too coming from the expansion tank..

I loveee the car but it's slowly breaking down on me! AHh!
Just wanted to add that I was having issues with my alternator some time ago. I had it rebuilt for $45, and haven't had any problems since.
When you say "rebuilt" what was done to it?
Just wanted to add that I was having issues with my alternator some time ago. I had it rebuilt for $45, and haven't had any problems since.
I went to pick it up during lunch time, so I couldn't stay a talk to the guy for a long time, but quickly he told me the brushes were worn out, and were not making contact.
When you say "rebuilt" what was done to it?
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top