1998 520i Tourer - A mind of its own

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  1. 1998 520i Tourer - A mind of its own 
    #1
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    520tourer's Car Details
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    Hi - I'm not a mechanic and need a little help please.

    I have a 1998 R reg 520i Tourer that I love (and have spent thousands on).

    Problems started about 3 months ago when the CD player suddenly stopped. A week or so later the heater fan blower stopped, then a few days later the rear wiper was dead, now the radio goes on and off at will (the courtesy light too).

    Now the main beam stays on even when the lights are switched off and the is key removed.

    It drives fine - although the brake light and airbag light go on and off at will, and the computer (MPG etc) works now and again.

    I have been told it may be an ECU (whatever that is ?).

    Can somebody help please? Is there a single control unit that handles all of the electrical listed above?

    Many thanks in advance.

    keith
     
     

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    #2
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    755munich's Car Details
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    Sounds like a faulty ignition switch.
     
     

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    520tourer's Car Details
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    Thanks Munich - but how would a faulty ignition switch be responsible for all the wierd stuff going on? I know nothing about cars I'm afraid.

    the CD player just stopped working on a French motorway when i was cruising at 80mph.

    Oh... yes - the cruise control doesn't work either. I forgot about that...
     
     

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    Check the wiring that goes from the body to the tailgate. Here is an example of what can happen...

    http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...k-what-t52071/

    When these wires are broken, or worse still short together, it causes all sorts of weird electrical issues.
     
     

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    Thanks Billy. This is so weird it can only be something freaky like that ;-)
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by 520tourer View Post
    Thanks Munich - but how would a faulty ignition switch be responsible for all the wierd stuff going on? I know nothing about cars I'm afraid.

    the CD player just stopped working on a French motorway when i was cruising at 80mph.

    Oh... yes - the cruise control doesn't work either. I forgot about that...
    I'm not 100% sure what happens inside the switch but the gist of it is that power distribution to some aspects of the car becomes random-probably because the contacts inside start breaking up & shorting.

    Non-working cruise control is a common symptom as is audio problems.
     
     

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    #7
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    Thanks Munich. Ill start by looking at the wiring loom tomorrow as that is the easiest to get to, and if that fails I'll try to look at the ignition switch (although that sounds like a job outside of my competence).
    If the barrel needs changing doesn't that need to be done by a BMW distributor to match up the "chips" ?
     
     

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    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 520tourer View Post
    Thanks Munich. Ill start by looking at the wiring loom tomorrow as that is the easiest to get to, and if that fails I'll try to look at the ignition switch (although that sounds like a job outside of my competence).
    If the barrel needs changing doesn't that need to be done by a BMW distributor to match up the "chips" ?
    No there's no need to change the barrel or have a new key or anything like that!

    The switch is clipped onto the back of the key barrel but is removed separately & isn't too bad a job to replace.

    Her's another example of failure although no 2 cars seem to suffer the same symptoms!

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=645410
     
     

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    #9
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    Thanks Munich. I've just read all the connected posts to that (including the switch removal process). Seems like this could be it.
    What happened to Morris Minor electrics? That's where my skills lie LOL :-)

    Many thanks for your help. I'll report back tomorrow.
     
     

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