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Electrical issue?

I have a 2001 BMW 325x1 sport wagon with 211,000 miles. In the past four or five months random things have started happening.

  1. Locking the car with the key won’t work (the key was replaced two years ago). When I come back out to the car a few hours later it will work just fine. This happens every few weeks.
  2. The head lights, brake lights, and left/right signal lights have burned out so I replaced EVERY light.
  3. When I get in the car, the driver’s side headlight and indicator is out. Five minutes into my drive the light goes on and the indicator light turns off.
  4. Either on it’s own, or at the same time as the headlight, the passenger side indicator light goes on. If I turn the passenger side signal on it clicks quickly a few times (indiating that the bulb is out), and then immediately switches to the normal clicking. This happens more than any of the other problems.
  5. The windshield wiper reservoir has a leak and is empty. Sometimes the indicator turns on to show it is empty, but then randomly turns off. Most of the time the indicator is not lit even though the reservoir is empty.

What is causing this to happen? Is there a short? What do I tell my mechanic?


There is probably a ground point near the windshield wiper reservoir. When the reservoir started leaking, it could have caused corrosion around this ground point. You mechanic should have access to a diagram showing the location of the ground points.

Thank you! I will take the car in on Monday.