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Please help me locate my electrical gremlins

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by eckmane, Jun 30, 2009.

    eckmane guest

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    Hello everyone, I have a 2004 330Ci which has started exhibiting some annoying electrical malfunctions today. I'm about to go start troubleshooting, but I wanted to post this before I start to see if anyone who understands the electrical system of the car better than me (wouldn't take much) can point me in the right direction.

    The first indication of this problem was in the radio- it was working normally and then all of a sudden, the display window lit up every LED on the display, flashed a few times, and then it switched to "Phone" mode and would not return to radio. I was just about to pull into a store, so I fiddled with it a bit when I got to my parking spot and couldn't get it to switch modes back to radio, so I just crossed my fingers that turning the car off and giving it a rest would help, so I left it and went in to do some shopping. After coming out 30 min later, the radio turned back on and everything was normal.

    The "back to normal" state unfortunately didn't last very long though- about 10 min later, the radio stopped working altogether, no clock display or anything, it's just black. Additionally, I noticed that my turn signals work outside, but I get no indication on the panel that they're working. On top of that, my AC compressor won't engage and my sunroof won't operate. The "fasten seatbelt" icon is also illuminated on my panel.

    I've checked all the fuses for the radio and instrument panel and they're all fine- I did that before going into the store, when I head out there after I post this, I'll check the sunroof fuse. These issues seem to me that they're in completely separate systems though and I'm not sure why they'd all fail together. Please help, thank you.

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    How old is your battery?

    I have read about lots of owners that experience a situation similar to yours - basically everything goes nuts all at once. The answer is always "replace your battery" and many times that fixes the problem!

    Seems BMW electronics don't like low voltage and when the battery starts the first phases of going south, the various modules in your car start to suffer a low voltage delirium. The battery may still be able to start the car and run the headlights etc. but the voltage from a failing battery does not meet the needs of your electronics. If your battery is over 4 years old you might want to consider a replacement. Google "BMW replacement battery" and you'll find several options other than the high priced battery at the dealer. I got mine at AutoZone for less than 1/2 of what the dealer wanted. That was 3 years ago.

    Hope this helps.

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