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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #21
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I think your alternator is not providing consistent and/or sufficient voltage once the car is running. I'd suggest you check your running voltage and make sure it reads 13.7 or above (the OBC won't read as high as it should) should actually be 14.3+ volts at the actual battery using a meter. but in any case, replace the voltage regulator. Maybe your new battery is being slowly killed
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:35 AM   #22
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Mango: I actually did that the entire time I drove the car yesterday to charge the new battery. It consistently read 14.0-14.1 with all lights off (it was daytime). And oscillated between 13.8 and 14.0 with lowbeams and fog lights on. And as I said, i am getting strong cranks, just not the dash lights and the pump does not prime, since it seems that position 2 of the key is not working.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarede46er View Post
Mango: I actually did that the entire time I drove the car yesterday to charge the new battery. It consistently read 14.0-14.1 with all lights off (it was daytime). And oscillated between 13.8 and 14.0 with lowbeams and fog lights on. And as I said, i am getting strong cranks, just not the dash lights and the pump does not prime, since it seems that position 2 of the key is not working.
In that case then it does sound like an ignition switch
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:43 AM   #24
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Should I get a used one to begin with, just to see if that fixes my issue? I can get a used one from BAV recyclers for 15 bucks or so. How easy is it to change the switch?
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:47 PM   #25
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OK I bought a second hand one of ebay. Should be here in 3 days or so. Can someone point me to the best DIY on this? Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:51 PM   #26
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=596758

First link in Google.

If you intend on working on your car yourself I suggest you improve your researching skills
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:58 PM   #27
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Ha ha.. I asked for the BEST DIY
I had searched and found the link you posted. And I have done some DIY on the car: Cam sensor, Throttle Body, ICV etc.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #28
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I think you are on the right track, I had those symptoms on a VW and it was caused by a faulty ignition switch. What I found was that when the dash
lights weren't on, power was also not supplied to engine management, in other words no spark. Have you tried to simple wiggle the key?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #29
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OK, so I went home and did just that. Gave the key a wiggle and the lights on the dash came on. The car still would not start for 2 tries but finally did on the third (in 1 crank). At that time, strangely, the battery light remained on. So naturally I checked the voltage using the OBD monitor. 13.8 V with all lights on! So I was like, screw it, I will go for a drive. When I reversed, the battery light went away, the voltage was still steady at 13.9 and stayed between that and 14.1 for a 20 mile drive. The car behaved perfectly.

I came back home and turned the car off. Then I turned her on again. She started immediately, but again the battery light was on.

What in the blazes is going on?? Can the ignition switch really lead to the battery light remaining on? Did coincidentally my voltage regulator take a hike at the same time? Have I been sold a bad "new" battery? Experts, please! I am ready to tear off my hair if I had any.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:45 PM   #30
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I would get the car working reliably again with another ignition switch before worrying about the other symptoms. They may just go away.
It could be that a feed from the ignition switch has to be live to get a correct battery light 'read'.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #31
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Yup. Ignition switch. New one pooped in and she is starting like new. Touch wood. I saw a lot of oxidation residue on the metal shroud below the steering column though. Is that normal?

PS: My battery light is gone as well.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:52 PM   #32
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I'm glad it worked out.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:00 PM   #33
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Yup. Ignition switch. New one pooped in and she is starting like new.
Great news. Put it in yourself?

How tough was that?
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #34
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Easy really. Followed the DIY from bimmerfest. Basically take out the floor panel, the steering wheel cover, unplug, unscrew and put everything back in. The only thing to be careful of is the orientation of the switch when you put it in and make sure it is the same as the one you take out
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