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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-08-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
bhoffman7
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Omaha
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My Ride: 2001 330i
2001 330i transmission light, brake light, limp mode help

Last week my battery gave out and in the faint lights on the instrument panel I could see the transmission light but didnt think much of it. I went and got it checked to be told it was a bad battery. I was still under warranty so they gave me a new one and I put it in. After I jumped my car to get it to oreillys the transmission light was no longer on. Now a couple of days later I go to start my car and the transmission and brake lights are on again. Only some electronic things in the car are working like aftermarket radio, a/c, brake lights, windows. Things that are not working: turn signals work outside but not in instrument panel, sub woofer, turning the wheel is looser, no revs, stuck in 3rd/4th gear, speedometer reads almost twice the speed the car was actually going. I scanned for codes with my basic scanner and it gave me P0600 (Serial Communication Link). I checked fuses and did not find any that were blown. Car has about 140k miles on it. Any ideas to what could be the problem and could i fix it myself or do i need a mechanic to do it? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:59 PM   #2
bhoffman7
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Location: Omaha
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My Ride: 2001 330i
Update: I took it to autozone and had them test the battery and alternator. He told me the battery and alternator were both bad. He suggested that the alternator is probably charging the battery too much and fried it. Could replacing the alternator and battery solve the issue? My battery is still under warranty so I could get that replaced for free again.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
SiVaE46
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Yes - if alternator is not charging the battery right - you will kill your battery - autozone should be able to test the battery out of the car to confirm (or at least with cables disconnected to alternator).

I got rebuilt alternates from autoparts store - with lifetime warranty - it is fairly simple DIY to replace - having the right fan clutch wrench helps - but not 100% required ... Lots of YouTube videos on how to do that
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:52 PM   #4
bhoffman7
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Omaha
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My Ride: 2001 330i
Update: My dad took out the alternator and battery today and took them to Oreillys only to be told that they are both working fine. I am now getting it in to the shop this week to see if they can figure out what is wrong with it. Anyone ever had a similar experience? Could my subwoofer and stereo be drawing too much power? I have had the car for about 3-4 years and havent had any electrical problems with the additions.
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:23 PM   #5
SiVaE46
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Corroded ground connection from alternator and/or battery to chassis can also cause issues. Check the ends of those cables and clean the connectors.

If alternator has bad diodes it might still test ok - but cause you drain problems. If you have multimeter take voltage readings from battery with engine off both in trunk and at the connection point in the engine bay - then same readings at idle - then same readings at idle with lights and heated rear window and radio on at idle and post them here.

Last edited by SiVaE46; 10-11-2016 at 12:14 AM.
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