My car did the same thing. Suddenly lights were blinking, the door and seat belt chimes were dinging, and the radio was going on and off. It took the dealer about and week and tearing the car apart but they found the problem: a wire was rubbing on a plastic clip and the circuit was being interrupted. At that time, the wires were strung together like Christmas lights, that is why so many things were affected. In the model the next year, the wires were arranged like an octopus.
If you have a 2007 MINI Cooper - then this is a really common problem (mine has it too) - there is a recall on the circuit board inside the steering wheel. But because so many cars have the problem, the supply of the replacement part is short.
The most common symptoms are:
- ABS and DSL warning lights complain (because the steering angle sensor is broken) - the ABS does still work - but the DSL doesn’t.
- Windshield wipers come on at random when you turn the engine on or off with the START button.
- Indicators refuse to cancel (also because the steering angle sensor is broken).
…but other things relating to the steering wheel stalk switches and steering wheel ‘stuff’ can also be caused by this. Tell your dealership to check the tech notices on the car.
But, I stress, this only applies to the redesigned “Mark II MINI” 2007 cars - it doesn’t apply to older cars or to the convertible MINI.
I had a similar problem with my 2004 Taurus. The problem turned out to be
the ignition coil. It took the dealer 5 days to diagnose it. Car runs fine now.
I don’t have a comment about your issue, but I love your Christmas lights / octopus metaphor. I envision people taking their cars to the dealer, “The electrical system… needs more octopus.”