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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Aug-02-2007, 06:22:02 AM   #1
Icecreamfoo
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Unhappy Help: Interior lights come on by themselves?

Hi guys, looking for a lil feedback about this weird phenom: my interior lights would come on by themselves at random times, and stay lit up to like a minute, then go off again. The cycle repeats itself throughout the day!

Has anyone, whether your car is modded or not, experienced something like this?

Bought the car off a private party and noticed the car doing this since the first week of ownership. I've been wanting to get this checked out as it's essentially draining the battery, but just have not had the time. And finally it happend, my battery died and I had to jump start the car last night and tonight.

The car came with chromium , stealthbox sub and an aftermarket amp from the previous owner, is it possible that one of the installation jobs wasn't clean and some crossed wires is driving the interior lights to come up?

So after jump starting the car last night, I removed the interior lights fuse in an attempt to prevent further draining of the battery. With that one fuse gone, now I cant remotely open the trunk and my rear back up sensors don't work anymore... Arrrgh. Can anyone share some thoughts on this?

And can some of you Los Angeles owners suggest a reputable audio shop with BMW experience to check out the amp and sub install? Any info would be appreciated... Thanks
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Old Thu, Aug-02-2007, 04:03:55 PM   #2
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To be honest, it sounds like the lights are coming on because they think a door has been opened... If they come on, and then stay on for a "minute" or so, it's as if a door has been opened and then shut. I would first try to find the "push-in", if there is one, by the doors. check to make sure they are not stuck and may have to dig further to check for a loose or frayed wire.

My guess could be way off but I'm just going by a similar experience I had in a previous vehicle. I'd be driving and my interior lights would suddenly turn on, and basically stay on, then sometimes go off... Then my battery died one night when they stayed on all night.... I did some further searchin and a stubbie gets pushed in when the passenger door is closed was worn and practically not making contact with the door. I fixed the problem soon thereafter.. Hope this helps save a trip to the stealer

JP
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Old Thu, Aug-02-2007, 04:37:29 PM   #3
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My guess could be way off but I'm just going by a similar experience I had in a previous vehicle. I'd be driving and my interior lights would suddenly turn on, and basically stay on, then sometimes go off... Then my battery died one night when they stayed on all night.... I did some further searchin and a stubbie gets pushed in when the passenger door is closed was worn and practically not making contact with the door. I fixed the problem soon thereafter.. Hope this helps save a trip to the stealer
I really hope this guy is right or you are going to have a LONG and perhaps expensive job ahead checking EVERY aftermarket wire and connection. Worst case you have to remove every non stock electrical item then have the dealer trouble shoot...

Electrical gremlins are bad news...
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Old Thu, Aug-02-2007, 05:08:07 PM   #4
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when the lights come on, is it only the main center dome light by the front windshield or does it also include the the pillar lights. i would check the main light switch by the front windshield... perhaps there is intermittant short in that switch.

also, you can temp deactivate all your interior lights by holding the main light switch down for 5 sec
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Old Fri, Aug-03-2007, 04:21:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GhostM3JP View Post
To be honest, it sounds like the lights are coming on because they think a door has been opened... If they come on, and then stay on for a "minute" or so, it's as if a door has been opened and then shut. I would first try to find the "push-in", if there is one, by the doors. check to make sure they are not stuck and may have to dig further to check for a loose or frayed wire.

My guess could be way off but I'm just going by a similar experience I had in a previous vehicle. I'd be driving and my interior lights would suddenly turn on, and basically stay on, then sometimes go off... Then my battery died one night when they stayed on all night.... I did some further searchin and a stubbie gets pushed in when the passenger door is closed was worn and practically not making contact with the door. I fixed the problem soon thereafter.. Hope this helps save a trip to the stealer

JP
Actually this possibility never occured to me; cuz this only happens when the car's parked (regardless of wether the doors are locked or not). But I'll definitely try inspecting the door sensors, thanks for the tip GhostM
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Old Fri, Aug-03-2007, 04:27:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs525 View Post
I really hope this guy is right or you are going to have a LONG and perhaps expensive job ahead checking EVERY aftermarket wire and connection. Worst case you have to remove every non stock electrical item then have the dealer trouble shoot...

Electrical gremlins are bad news...
God I hope so too, even though I think the chance is pretty slim. such a headache

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Originally Posted by daytonaviolet View Post
when the lights come on, is it only the main center dome light by the front windshield or does it also include the the pillar lights. i would check the main light switch by the front windshield... perhaps there is intermittant short in that switch.

also, you can temp deactivate all your interior lights by holding the main light switch down for 5 sec
Hey Fern, all of the interior lights (including the C-pillar reading lights, and my angel lights, which are hooked up to the dome lights) would come on when this happens. my brain isn't working now, what's the main switch by the windshield?
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Old Sat, Dec-06-2008, 04:48:30 AM   #7
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so..... has anybody ever fixed this problem? ive looked all over and revived old threads looking for an answer to this interior dimming lights issue and can find Nothing...
anybody else have any luck with issue
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Old Sat, Dec-06-2008, 06:11:03 AM   #8
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IceLink? Known for doing this sort of thing..
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Old Sat, Dec-06-2008, 12:46:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ISPEEDM3 View Post
so..... has anybody ever fixed this problem? ive looked all over and revived old threads looking for an answer to this interior dimming lights issue and can find Nothing...
anybody else have any luck with issue
dont remember exactly what happened, a short or bad ground coming from the wiring harness around the sunroof motor area. interior lights turn on by themselves; sunroof also opens byitself during 90+ degree weather. We first disabled the sunroof motor or unplugged it, all of the problems went away immediately. Then i think the troubleshoot pointed to some sort of short in that area...
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Old Sat, Dec-06-2008, 03:41:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icecreamfoo View Post
Hey Fern, all of the interior lights (including the C-pillar reading lights, and my angel lights, which are hooked up to the dome lights) would come on when this happens. my brain isn't working now, what's the main switch by the windshield?

The main switch to turn off the interior lights is overhead by the sunroof switch. There are two buttons for map lights, and a center button for the interior lights. Press and hold the center button for >5 seconds and it will turn your interior lights off, keeping them from coming on when you unlock the car/open the doors until you press the center button again.
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Discussing Help: Interior lights come on by themselves? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)