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Alarm woes.... reset?

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N-Dog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote N-Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alarm woes.... reset?
    Posted: 25 Oct 2020 at 12:35pm
I'm pretty sure you clever boys and girls on here will be able to advise me with my particular issue, so I'm turning to you to see if you have the answer.

I never take Bessie - my 2005 E46 325 Convertible - out when the roads are wet. But we've had so much wet, grotty weather here (East Anglia) that she hasn't moved from the garage since mid-September.

So I thought I'd pop her on the trickle-charger, just to be on the safe side. No matter how long I leave her unused, she always fires up first time, but this is the longest period she has gone unused (in my ownership) and I gave her a trickle charge as a precaution.

So on day One, I had the red flashing light (on the charger) which meant "Yes, it needs charging, I'm preparing for it". The next evening I had the flat red, which means "I'm charging" and the same the following evening. On day 4, I had a green flashing light, which means "Your battery is at 80% so you could un-charge it if you want" but I left it to continue (a flat green light means 100% charged).

On day 5, in the evening, I went out to the garage expecting to see a flat green, 100%, but it was flashing red. Hmmm. Not sure what happened there. I disconnected everything and thought no more about it, until the following evening someone's bloody car alarm going off woke me up after I'd been in bed less than an hour. It eventually went off, and I went back to sleep, to be woken again half an hour later by an alarm again. I got dressed and went outside in the dark to see which idiot had their alarm going off...... and saw the tell-tale orange indicators flashing through the sides of my garage door! It was Bessie!

So I went into the garage and unlocked her, and re-locked her, but it went off again. And again, same result. So at the moment, I'm having to leave her unlocked (she's in a secure garage) as she won't now lock without the alarm going off. (It's a high pitched beep of an alarm, rather than the horn - is this normal?)

What's going on? I must point out that, rightly or wrongly, I did lock the car while she was charging - with the bonnet up - have I buggered the alarm? Perhaps I should have kept her unlocked while charging. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 

Any ideas, folks? Do I simply need to re-set the alarm? And if so, how?
This is the first and only issue I've had with Bessie in the 13 months of ownership, and it's clearly something I've done wrong, rather than a fault with the car, so I can't begrudge her.

Your advice would be very much appreciated, so I can lock the car! Otherwise, I can't take her out and leave her anywhere parked.
Many thanks folks.
2005 (55) E46 325 CI-Sport Convertible auto
2019 (69) Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI EVO 150 R-Line auto
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NickDE View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickDE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2020 at 2:09pm
I'm not sure. On E46's the bonnet sensor/switch thingie likes to break. Apparently unplugging it disables it until you can replace it.
Check the handbook - there is a way to lock the car without setting the alarm.
On my coupe I got fed up with false alarms so coded out the alarm permanently using Carly.
Darkness gone, Tronic gone, go Darknes2, go Frozen, go Solo, go The Vibrator
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bryonthomas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2020 at 4:37pm
A while back i faced the same issue and was looking for a fix through out the internet as almost no local garage was able to help me and one lucky search for car engine parts uk worked for me.

Edited by cre8 - 30 Oct 2020 at 5:08pm
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N-Dog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote N-Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2020 at 12:48pm
Took her out for a 45-minute run today, and on returning her to the garage and locking her, the alarm has not gone off (yet).
Let's hope the run out has reset things and she is settled.
As always, the car behaved perfectly today, even though she hadn't turned a wheel for 6 or 7 weeks. She didn't get abnormally hot, the brakes didn't squeal, all electrics worked OK, all was good.
The car never fails me, and never fails to impress me.
2005 (55) E46 325 CI-Sport Convertible auto
2019 (69) Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI EVO 150 R-Line auto
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote N-Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2021 at 12:52pm
By Jove, Watson, I think I've finally cracked this case.
Following on from my post on 31st October, the alarm continued to go off, leading me to leave the car unlocked in the garage. Though secure behind a new garage door, with two locked cars in front of it (at night), this still troubled me. This was going to cause problems going forward, as it meant I could not show the car, or park it anywhere, unlocked.
I just KNEW it was something I had done wrong, as the car has been - and still is - very well behaved; indeed, faultless. I felt sure it wasn't Bessies fault.
After passing her MOT on 19th December I went to the tyre/exhaust/battery centre (where, embarrasingly, the alarm went off in the car park) and had the battery checked out.
Battery was fine under no load, and fine under load. 
So, I resigned myself to booking her in with an auto-electrician, who would pop her on a diagnostic machine and hopefully find the cause. I was intending to make a booking this month.
But, as I was bored one evening, I started looking through the multitude of photos of Bessie that I have on my PC (as you do) and suddenly - an epiphany. I spotted something, in a photo, and thought: I wonder if that's the problem?
I had bought a pair of plastic covers, to slip over the door lock latches. Just for aesthetics, to cover the unsightly screw heads. I had 4 of them on my Mazda, and I had no trouble with that. I wonder if perhaps they are causing a problem? Maybe the car thinks it isn't locked properly? Are these causing something to not connect fully?
So - long story short - I removed these on Saturday morning, locked the car, and as I type this on Sunday afternoon, so far: not a single peep from her.
have I cracked it? I do hope so.
I am so delighted that I have now treated Bessie to the £120 under-bonnet insulation pad she needs (the existing one appears to have shrunk, meaning the lugs at the edges do not meet the slots, it is only held on by the plastic screws and flops onto the engine). Not cheap, but it's the last niggling little thing that was bothering me. This will be fitted next time I valet her, which will be the next weekend of mild weather. She will also get an engine and engine bay clean, and the new roundel/emblem fitted to the boot. The original 15-year old item has a slight crack and is starting to de-laminate.
So, the moral of this story is, if your alarm is going off for no apparent reason, and you've got these blasted door latch covers fitted, do what I have done - take them off and throw them in the bin.





Edited by N-Dog - 10 Jan 2021 at 12:53pm
2005 (55) E46 325 CI-Sport Convertible auto
2019 (69) Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI EVO 150 R-Line auto
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