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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 05-18-2006, 04:52 AM   #1
ChipPA
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Exclamation Computer reboot while driving??

I had a very weird thing happen to me on my drive home from work last night. Going down the highway, everything seemed fine, when all of a sudden, my car (2002 325i - 33k miles, 5spd) starts to beep, as if I just had started her up for the first time. I immediately look down at my gauges and my needles are dead, then back, then dead again, then back as if nothing happened. My display (where it shows MPG/trip odometer, etc.) is displaying 4100 miles until next oil change, similar to when you start the car. I also noticed that a few things were reset; trip odometer, average MPH, average MPG, and my clock. The radio and all presets were fine. During this whole event, which lasted maybe 3 seconds, the car never felt as if it lost power. Another wierd thing was even though my seatbelt was buckled, after the computer rebooted (for lack of knowing what really happened) the seatbelt indicator light stayed on. I unlatched my seatbelt, hooked it back in, and the light went off.

At this point, my car has zero modifications. It was in the shop about a month ago for a problem where if I was under 5 mph, and coming to a stop, the car would intermitently shut off. BMW told me that this was a known problem with the version of software I had and there was an update. They kindly updated the software for me and everything was golden up to this point.

I'd like to think this is an isolated incident, however the fact that I drive an hour to work each way, each day, leaves me a bit concerned.

Has anyone had this problem before? Should I wait for it to happen again, and schedule a service appt, or should I do that immediately?

Thanks for all your help, in advance. - Chip

Last edited by ChipPA; 05-18-2006 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:12 AM   #2
Dirty Black
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schedule an appointment dude, for safety sake
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:11 AM   #3
ca1242
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Do you have a lot of keys or a heavy keychain on your car key? The ignition switch could be bad.
I do not buy the software upgrade thing either. Were the symptoms similar when that happened? Maybe try another dealer?
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:52 AM   #4
ChipPA
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I have 3 keys in addition to the main key. I wouldn't consider that excessive, or heavy.

It's hard to say if the symptoms are similar. Before, the car would just shut off, but it wouldn't buck or anything like when you stall a car. This is the first time it did it while at speeds over 5-10mph. I was probably going 65 at the time.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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Did your engine die or just the Speedo, maybe the connections there are bad??
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:09 AM   #6
ca1242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipPA
I have 3 keys in addition to the main key. I wouldn't consider that excessive, or heavy.

It's hard to say if the symptoms are similar. Before, the car would just shut off, but it wouldn't buck or anything like when you stall a car. This is the first time it did it while at speeds over 5-10mph. I was probably going 65 at the time.
Try jiggling the key while the car is on (don't do it while driving), see if you can make it happen again. If so, then you need a new switch. Either way, take it to the dealer.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:23 AM   #7
ChipPA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devonjordan
Did your engine die or just the Speedo, maybe the connections there are bad??
It didn't feel like the engine died, just the display. To me, it's also weird that the trip odometer, clock, average MPH/MPG, all reset.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:42 AM   #8
ChipPA
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Originally Posted by ca1242
Try jiggling the key while the car is on (don't do it while driving), see if you can make it happen again. If so, then you need a new switch. Either way, take it to the dealer.
I did try this, and I couldn't duplicate the results. Plus what would reset the computer? Wouldn't the car just turn off then on?
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:22 AM   #9
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if you would have been on cruise control it would have turned off as well.......... yes, this happened to me last June in the wagon. Interestingly enough, over the next few weeks after it happened to me there were several other posts here relating to the same thing.

In my case, I had the car sceduled to go in the shop a couple of days after this happened anyway and they looked at the computer and found nothing. They rebooted the computer (because that fixes all computer devices, doesn't it?!) and that was it. No problems since.

I also had my MINI S do the same thing last fall right after I got it with only about 1000 miles on it - nothing since then.

The wonders of computers.............................
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoE46s
if you would have been on cruise control it would have turned off as well.......... yes, this happened to me last June in the wagon. Interestingly enough, over the next few weeks after it happened to me there were several other posts here relating to the same thing.

In my case, I had the car sceduled to go in the shop a couple of days after this happened anyway and they looked at the computer and found nothing. They rebooted the computer (because that fixes all computer devices, doesn't it?!) and that was it. No problems since.

I also had my MINI S do the same thing last fall right after I got it with only about 1000 miles on it - nothing since then.

The wonders of computers.............................
wouldnt they have to reboot when the did the update?
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipPA
wouldnt they have to reboot when the did the update?
They didn't do any update on my car............. just a reboot.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TwoE46s
They didn't do any update on my car............. just a reboot.
gotcha.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:05 PM   #13
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I had a similar problem. Try checking your battery terminal connections (both in the trunk and in the engine bay). Make sure those bolts are tight. If they are, I'm not sure what else is causing the glitch.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipPA
I did try this, and I couldn't duplicate the results. Plus what would reset the computer? Wouldn't the car just turn off then on?
If it is quick enough, it might not shut the car down. You also mentioned the clock and mpg resetting to zero. A bad ignition switch would probably not do that, so it might be something else, such as a bad instrument cluster or connection.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:09 PM   #15
ChipPA
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I wonder if it is the cluster. When i bought the car, the whole cluster was loose. They fixed it and told me that it just needed "reglued".
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:16 PM   #16
ca1242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipPA
I wonder if it is the cluster. When i bought the car, the whole cluster was loose. They fixed it and told me that it just needed "reglued".
The cluster is not glued (except for the front "window"). sounds fishy. Have them replace it.
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:18 PM   #17
ChipPA
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it might have been the front window. I know when I pushed on the trip reset button, the whole cluster moved...but not the window.
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:23 PM   #18
ca1242
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Originally Posted by ChipPA
it might have been the front window. I know when I pushed on the trip reset button, the whole cluster moved...but not the window.
The front (frame) of the cluster and back/circuits are held together by plastic snaps and 4 screws. If that happened, probably something is broken. Maybe they fixed it with glue, but is not done that way at the factory.

If I were you, I would pull the cluster out, take a look at what they did and then go to the dealer and have them replace it.
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:04 PM   #19
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Same thing happened to my '04 coupe. I took it in to get it checked out and they couldn't find anything wrong. I haven't had the problem since... Mine happened at night though after a nice night out clubbing and i was falling asleep. Lucky for me it woke me up before i dozed off~! Blessing in disguise!

I've just blown it off for now. But just fyi, my dash lights went out, i think the radio still played and no power was lost to the car. The trip meters reset, mpg, everything. Even the clock. Weird.
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:44 AM   #20
ca1242
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This just happened to me yesterday (first time it has ever). Same scenario, as if the cluster would have been disconnected and reconnected (lost clock, mpg, etc). Only strange thing is that the seatbelt light stayed on (I did have my seatbelt on), so after unbuckling/re-buckling my seatbelt, it went out.
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