A sleuth known only as Got S54 solved this complicated electronics case.
So the other day, I head out to work and was listening to my iPod which is connected to a Dension Icelink that I’ve had for close to 4 yrs. The prior day, I had installed HID foglights. Anyway, I noticed from the reflection of my car from the car in front of me that one HID foglight wasn’t lit, so I toggled the foglight switch a couple of times and then it came on.
Within minutes, the IceLink cut off and switched to radio mode on it’s own. This happened a few times in the past (more so before the last firmware update for the IceLink) so I wasn’t tripping. Normally, I’d just press the Mode button on my system to get back to Ipod mode and be done with it.
This time, that didn’t work. So I turned off the radio and tried to turn it back on, but it wouldn’t turn on. The display was dead. Now I’m starting to wonder what’s going on. Mind you I’m still driving. So I decide to head back home and do a little bit of trouble shooting. I use my blinkers and noticed the turn signal indicators on my cluster aren’t working. Then I try my hazards and they’re not working either. Now I’m really starting to worry.
I get back home and am thinking the HID foglights was the last thing I installed so it’s got to be that. I pull into the garage, try and roll down my windows but they won’t roll down - none of them. Now I’m tripping bad. So I disconnect the HID fog lights, turn the key on and still no good. And now I’ve discovered too that whenever I turn my key to the ON position, the rear defroster automatically comes on. This was killing me.
To sum up all the gremlins I discovered in the 15 minutes since the trouble started:
1. turn signal indicators on the dash stopped working (although the lights actually do blink)
2. front windows wouldn’t roll down / rear windows wouldn’t open
3. radio wouldn’t turn on / no display on NAV screen
4. rear defroster light comes on automatically every time the car is turned on
5. a relay-clicking type sound whenever I’d depress the clutch
So with the HID fog-lights disconnected and the problem persisting, I check every fuse. All are good. Then I disconnect the battery and leave it off for 30 min. Plug it back in and still, all the problems are there. I’m starting to think I blew a relay or ECU or something that’s gonna cost me an arm and a leg and some change.
So WWW to the rescue. Searches on M3Forum and E46Fanatics turn up empty. A Google search for “e46 turn signal indicator radio window” comes up with this result. I’m starting to feel good.
I disconnect the battery, disconnect the IceLink, reconnect the battery and cross my fingers. Lo and behold EVERYTHING is back to normal. So I think perhaps that maybe the IceLink didn’t like the HID foglights. So I disconnect the battery again, reconnect the IceLink without the HID foglights (HID fogs are totally disconnected) and bam….all the problems are back. Tried this a total of 3 times and the problem was reproducable every time. But with the IceLink off, everything returns to normal.
I’m bummed that the IceLink is dead, but what I’m really shocked about is the kinds of problems it can introduce to the various on-board electonics - from the instrument cluster, to the windows, to the HVAC controls. Thank goodness that the iBus system wasn’t permanently affected.
Hopefully this thread helps other out there solve similar electronic gremlins. It took me 3 days to solve this problem and I’m glad it’s over.
On a side note, does anyone know if EAS offers any kind of warranty on the IceLink? I was one of the first batch of Dension IceLink customers from 2005 thanks to Tom. It served me well since I bought it and would like to replace it.