Electrical

Tiny
MAILIBU1955
  • MEMBER
  • 2011 BMW 328XI
  • 4.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • TURBO
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 55,000 MILES
Several caution lights go on and off on dash. Does not affect car performance. Lights are on most of the time. If you think it is a ground, where would I begin checking? Thank you.
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Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 AT 5:22 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Exactly which lights turn on? If they are all related to safety systems like ABS and air bags, those are run by computers. Computers do weird things when system voltage is low or unstable. When multiple computers are involved, the charging system and battery are the most common suspects. I would start with a charging system test, with particular attention paid to full-load output current", "ripple voltage", and charging voltage. Most professional testers only list ripple voltage as "low" or "high" on a relative bar chart, which is fine.

If the original battery is still in the car, that is also a good suspect, even if it starts the engine just fine. Due to the way little electronic voltage regulators work, they cause the generators to develop huge voltage spikes that can damage the internal diodes, and voltage regulator, and interfere with computer sensor signals. The battery is the key component in damping and absorbing those spikes, but as they age and the lead flakes off the plates, they lose their ability to do that. Those spikes can cause computers to become confused.
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Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 AT 8:03 PM
Tiny
MAILIBU1955
  • MEMBER
THIS SOUNDS LIKE WE ARE IN THE RIGHT AREA. THE ALTERNATOR WINES A LOT AND THE BATTERY COULD VERY WELL BE THE PROBLEM. THANK YOU. I WILL LET YOU KNOW.
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Thursday, April 27th, 2017 AT 5:18 PM

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