1997 E36 318is coupe: binnacle back lights not working

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  1. 1997 E36 318is coupe: binnacle back lights not working 
    #1
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    Hi all,

    I have searched and trawled through lot's of threads in search of an answer to this one i can't find anything helpfull, so give up and decided to ask...

    Non of the lights in the cluster work, neither does the backlights in the clock or heater controls.All the gauges/speedo etc work fine.

    Checked the wiring harness along the bootlid and it's fine and removed the cluster and all 3 wiring plugs are in good.The only other electrical thing not working is the horn. (abs light is on aswell but doubt it's related? )

    So can anyone suggest anything else i can try?

    Also; According to the fusebox lid the fuse for the binnacle is number 23 (aswell as a couple of others that i can't remember) yet all the fuses are only numbered 1-10 ? Is there another fusebox somewhere that i'm missing ?
    I've removed the glove box and panel under steering wheel and couldn't find one anywhere ?

    Many thanks
    Dave
     
     

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    There should be spaces for about 30+ fuses in the fuse box.

    It might be the dash dimmer, do any of the window switches light up?
     
     

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    Got to be the live feed (good point about dimmer) or the fuse unless they have all gone one by one without being noticed which is really unlikely.

    There is a diagram in the fuse box lid showing where 23 is. However, a picture follows in a min or two.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheEnd View Post
    There should be spaces for about 30+ fuses in the fuse box.

    It might be the dash dimmer, do any of the window switches light up?
    There is space for roughly 40+ but each line is about 10 long numbered 1-10 if that makes sense

    Dash dimmer makes no difference at all and nope no switches light up.
    Just been out to the shop in it to test it out and the only thing in the car lit up when driving is the abs light and the radio ! although when i open the doors all the interior lights work.

    Any ideas where the earth point is for the above lights ?
    Only thing that /could/ be related is that at some point a subwoofer has been fitted and the main +ve wire feeding it has been routed through the fusebox (not actually wired into it but passed through it for cosmetic reasons) so maybe that could have pulled something out. I did have a look in there but couldn't see anything obvious.
    Might be worth removing the fusebox completely to make sure...
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truxx View Post
    There is space for roughly 40+ but each line is about 10 long numbered 1-10 if that makes sense
    Looking at my fuse box it doesn't make sense





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    If all the lights in the cluster are U/S I would suspect the earth. Have you tried swapping bulbs from one side to the other to eliminate faulty bulbs? If that doesn't work then take a piece of wire from the -ve side of the bulbholder and earth it to the chassis and see what happens.
    Can you borrow a multimeter?
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingco View Post
    If all the lights in the cluster are U/S I would suspect the earth. Have you tried swapping bulbs from one side to the other to eliminate faulty bulbs? If that doesn't work then take a piece of wire from the -ve side of the bulbholder and earth it to the chassis and see what happens.
    Can you borrow a multimeter?
    If he has ignition lights that won't fly as generally manufacturers use the same earth track for almost everything. Additionally instrument cluster earth is unlikely to affect switch lights


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    Cheers for the reply's

    Fuses are definately all ok (strange the way there numbered though. Curious; How did you find out that fuse is number 23 ? )

    So i have a missing live to the cluster i'm assuming ? Can anyone tell me which wires i should be checking ? or a decent wiring diagram would help

    Cheers
    Dave
     
     

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    Have you physically pulled out the bulbs and had a look?
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truxx View Post
    Fuses are definately all ok
    Change it for one of the same colour / rating anyway.
    I would also be very tempted to use a voltmeter to make sure you have a live here. Obviously if ignition or lights live that will have to be on to test.

    If there is no power here, expect one terminal to be dead and one live with fuse removed and switched on, then no point checking anything dash wise. It would be like testing your lawn mower with the extension lead not plugged in. No matter how many times you lok at the mower nothing will happen.

    Problems like this you start at the basics / beginning and follow from power source to end (or earth back to power but doubt it this time)


    Quote Originally Posted by Truxx View Post
    (strange the way there numbered though. Curious; How did you find out that fuse is number 23 ? )
    Look in the fuse box lid. In the first pic the square on the top left is a blow up of the bit on the lid that the arrow points two. For the section numbered 21 to 30 you could along. Remember first fuse is 21 NOT 20 so careful counting.

    FYI I havent checked what you said about it being fuse 23. Hope you got the right number.

    Quote Originally Posted by Truxx View Post
    So i have a missing live to the cluster i'm assuming ? Can anyone tell me which wires i should be checking ? or a decent wiring diagram would help
    Almost all car circuits are astraight line from positive to fuse to switch (or relay or resistancein the case of dimmer) to a "resistance" such as a bulb. motor, whatever and finally to earth.

    You need a complete circuit for it to work. Break could be anywhere. I know indicators and earths have the same earth so if you have other lights, doubt ful it's the cluster.

    Unless you methodically work through from start to finish you may fix it by luck but more likely will get in a mess.

    Check for a live at the fuse but NOT by assuming one or other runs to earth via loads.

    Read the other stuff off the fuse box lid that fuse services. If they all don't work either then fuse or feed to it / common junction after it the most likely culprit. IF they all work fuse and feed to it are known good and your problem is further along the chain

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