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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 09-26-2009, 04:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southern Cali
Posts: 36
My Ride: 2002 325i
EML Light, Yellow Brake Light, Car wont accelerate

Today on my way home and I was stopped at a stop light and when I took my foot off the pedal to accelerate, the EML light started flashing, the brake light came on (yellow instead of red), and my car would not accelerate. When I pushed the gas my car would buck and would roll but not accelerate. I had to put the car back in park, shut off the engine and start it again inorder to get it to accelerate. This happened twice on the way home and it makes me nervouse because im a student and I dont have much money just lying around.

I searched around and there seems to be alot of similar experiences, however I have not seen a follow up as to what was actually wrong and how the problem is solved. Any help I would appreciate it, Hopefully its DIY-able. If not, i gotta start saving. Thanks - Tank
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:39 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: kingsland
Posts: 2
My Ride: E46 325i
I am gettin all the lights: Yellow EML, Brake, Service engine soon and Its crazy and I gotta take it to the shop today. I hope it ain't nuthin serious but I will update the post none the less.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Birmingham, AL, USA
Posts: 2,188
My Ride: E46 ZHP TS2+ Coupe
For the EMIL, sounds to me like bad ignition coils. It happened in my Acura and my VW when I had them. Brake light? Not sure.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: kingsland
Posts: 2
My Ride: E46 325i
The car still drives, it just when i shift into gear there is a thump as well as the lights being on. It don't pick up as quickly but it still picks up. I just don't know wha's goin on with my ride. I have no mods just an intake.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,177
My Ride: 2003 330Ci
The EML light normally indicates a problem with the electronic throttle control, electronic accelerator pedal or the Idle speed actuator.
The Brake and DSC lights may also come on because the DSC system uses the electronic throttle to increase/decrease engine torque for stability control.
Have the codes read from both the emissions and DSC systems as a start to diagnosing the issue.

Emergency Operation of Idle Speed Actuator:
If a fault is detected with the idle speed actuator, the ECM will initiate failsafe measures
depending on the effect of the fault (increased air flow or decreased air flow).
If there is a fault in the idle speed actuator/circuit, the EDK will compensate to maintain idle
speed. The EML lamp will be illuminated to inform the driver of a fault.
If the fault causes increased air flow (actuator failed open), VANOS and Knock Control are
deactivated which noticeably reduces engine performance.

The earlier MS42 ECM E46s had a throttle cable but still used an electronic throttle. They had two failure modes for the EML:


If a fault is detected in the system, the following modes of operation are:
Emergency operation 1 - Faults which do not impair safety, but which adversely affect
the functioning of the MDK.
Emergency operation 2 - Applies when faults are encountered which might impair safe
driving operation.
Emergency operation of idle speed actuator.
Discounts on new and CPO cars.
Most Dealers offer a parts discount, BMP Design 10% off
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1
My Ride: 04 e46
EML and yellow brake light possible fix

Ok I understand ur pain here bc today it happened to me. During my oil change , btw, DIY only costs $80, I removed the sensor above the oil filter and forgot to reattach it. After a bit of driving I remembered and car immediately went into idling and those lights came on. What I immediately did was pull over and reattach the sensor and reset the battery. Y detaching it and waiting about a minute and attaching it again. Reset it all and ran normally after that. Hope this helps someone
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