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BMW E46 Alarm & Red Indicator Light (Clown Nose) Inoperative

May 4, 2010

Q
car year: 2000
car model: 323i
I have a red light on the bottom of my rear view mirror which I understand is for the factory alarm. I cannot seem to activate my alarm & the red light is never illuminated. I checked the fuses but they’re all fine.

A
The red indicator lamp (on the bottom of the rear-view mirror …. lovingly known as the “clown nose”) should flash continuously when the system is armed (whenever the doors are locked). If this is not happening, there is some kind of a fault in the system. A BMW dealer will have to plug into the system’s self-diagnostics in order to determine where the fault lies. You may have a fault in the control unit or you may simply have a faulty status light.

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Categories → 3 Series 99-05 - E46

4 Comments
  1. sammy46 permalink

    I have the same problem. When we plug in the diagnostic system notin shows faulty about the alarm system. Is there any other option for me to check. Is it possible the bulb in the clown nose could be faulty?

    • Well, yes, that it’s a faulty bulb is certainly a possibility. If the system is properly functioning and there are no detectable faults, this may be a consideration. With this noted, the bulb is an LED and these typically last a very long time. If the the system is functioning properly and the bulb is “faulty”, the complete mirror would need to be replaced.

      We can order the mirror units (800-535-2002) if this is determined to be the fault.

  2. Tony permalink

    The red light will only flash if there is an alarm fitted

    • Yes, this is obviously true as well. If you’re questioning the functionality, make sure you actually have the alarm system installed!

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