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General E46 Forum
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
cardinal0128
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 X5 3.0
Lights flicker / radio / battery issue

Hi everyone,

I'm having an ongoing issue with my radio cutting out at idle for a few seconds. Also, when the car is idling I notice a faint flicker in the headlights (xenons), interior lights and even the truck light. Finally, I have owned the car for six months with no problems, but I know that the previous owner has replaced the battery twice in two years.

I'm trying to put these puzzle pieces together... seems like a low voltage issue, which should mean a bad alternator but I've never had trouble starting. Also it is not throwing any lights on the dash. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:20 AM   #2
cardinal0128
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 X5 3.0
Follow up: Can't believe it, it appears I fell for the oldest trick in the book on this one. I opened up the battery compartment to check the voltage again, and on a hunch, wiggle the ground strap and sure enough it had play in it where it bolts to the body. So I tightened it up and no issues since (keeping fingers crossed).

First rule of electrical issues- always check the ground connections.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:50 AM   #3
jorg323
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NOVA/Washington D.C.
Posts: 881
My Ride: 1999 323i
HEH! That's exactly what I thought before I even read the post. Same thing happened to me when it got cold last winter. I guess the battery post shrunk or warped slightly with the cold, and loosened the connection just slightly. My car flickered a few times upon start-up and then just went dead with no explanation when I stopped after a 20 min. drive. I was relieved to find it was such a minor problem.
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