1998 E36 316i Compact - no dash lights - Page 2

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  1.  
    #11
    Dr of BMW gildersol's Avatar
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    It's difficult to diagnose when something stops working just after you've been doing some work in that area. If you can't see anything disturbed, then check for voltage. If you reckon there's +12v at the red/blue wire, you could unplug the switch and carefully short between the red/blue wire and the grey/red wire and see if the illumination lights come on.
    When you're checking for voltage make sure one probe is on a good earth as the reading you had on the red/white wire earlier should have been 12v not 10
     
     

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    jstevens110 (14-09-2009)

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  4.  
    #12
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    jstevens110's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    316i E36 Compact
    Year of Manufacture:
    1998
    Transmission Type:
    Manual
    Car Body Type:
    Coupe
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    Right had a proper look over the weekend and took the dash to bits including taking the clocks out which was fun

    I checked the fuses again and then got a mate to check them to ensure i wasnt missing anything and they are all ok. I found no broken or unplugged wires (that are obvious).

    I did a test over the two wires i was advised to check above and they both have +12V. I also tried shorting between the two wires but still nothing. I took apart one of the small bulb holders and checked for feed and there was nothing . I have both tail lights and sidelights and also have numberplate lights. My CD player and main interior lights still work.

    To recap all dash background lights including the ones behind the electric window buttons, hazard lights button, rear window demister button and clock are not working at all. I have also lost the buzzer that alerts you have left the headlights on.

    Any advice would be greatly appeciated
    Current:
    1998 BMW 316i Compact
    2000 Suzuki Bandit 600
     
     

  5.  
    #13
    Dr of BMW gildersol's Avatar
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    So no wiring looks to have been disturbed behind the heater unit where you were working?
    It's difficult to say what to try depending on your use of a multimeter.

    Only try this if you're comfortable enough with it.

    The illumination lamps are all connected together on the live side so, with the lights switched off, you could try connecting a wire (best with an inline fuse, but ok if you're careful and just touch it on briefly) from a known 12v (battery positive) to the grey/red wire on the back of one of the components that isn't lighting up. If this causes the unit to light, then check if any other units are now lighting and which aren't. If it doesn't light then also connect a wire from a good earth to the earth (brown wire) on the back of the unit. This should light the unit you're connecting to and see what other ones light up.
    If this works it will tell us if there is a possible break in the wiring by which units don't light up.
    Take care with the temporary wires so you don't blow a fuse etc.
     
     

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    jstevens110 (16-09-2009)

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  8.  
    #14
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    Thanks mate, big help.

    I hope to have time to try this on the weekend so ill let you know how it goes and if i get any results.

    Cheers

    J
    Current:
    1998 BMW 316i Compact
    2000 Suzuki Bandit 600
     
     

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    #15
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    gaffycool's Car Details
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    hi could you let me know how you took the whole console bit apart because my backlights on the heater controls have gone and i need to take the console bit off so i can replace the bulbs, ive been looking everywhere for a tutorial but cant find one for an e36 compact so if you can give me any advice on where the screws are etc that would be alot of help,
    thanks
     
     

  10.  
    #16
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    Hi gaffycool,

    I have actually just replaced the bulbs on my heater controls so luckily the removal of the console is fresh in my memory

    I would start by removing the lower trim on the drivers side footwell and sliding out the tray above the pedals. The courtesy light and small speaker wires can be gently pulled out of the sockets. Next look up and to the left of the footwell and you will see the cable for the hot to cold control. Unclip the holder for the hot to cold cable. This is the grey cable with the yellow plastic ends. The ends of these cables can snap with the smallest amount of stress so its advisable to unclip this end before removing the centre console.

    Next you will need to remove the stereo including cage and the clock from the dash to gain access to two screws located just inside the top of the holes. There is one on the right where the stereo is held and one on the left where the clock is held. A torch may help you locate the screws.

    Next pull the heater control knobs off to reveal two more screws which hold the heater control unit in place. The whole console should now be loose and can be slid upwards and out. To give yourself more room to work, the white heater control unit can be unclipped by gently prying back the two clips on top.

    The bulb for the heater controls should be located on top of the white control unit. This just pulls out and will just clip back in.

    Refitting is simple to do and is the opposite of the steps above. Just ask if you need anymore help

    Note: I accept no responsibility for any damage caused by following the advice above. All work is carried out at your own risk.
    Current:
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    2000 Suzuki Bandit 600
     
     

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    #17
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    eddiee36's Car Details
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    Did you ever solve the light problem?
    Rich
     
     

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    #18
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    Sort of. I ended up taking most of the dash apart looking for broken or disconnected wires but couldn't find anything so gave up in the end.

    As a temporary fix (which is still in place over a year later) i shorted two of the connections with a bit of wire on the headlight control unit which is located behind the dash to the right of the clocks. All of the internal lights now work but don't dim with the control. It just means they are stuck on full brightness now which suits me anyway

    I believe that there is a fault with the light control unit, but have never got around to replacing it. Maybe one day
    Current:
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    2000 Suzuki Bandit 600
     
     

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    #19
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    pantidropper's Car Details
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    If you have an aftermarket radio, make sure the orange wire is still connected. That's what I would check first, this orange wire is the "illumination" wire and if it's not wired up it will cause your dash lights not to work.
     
     

  14. 316i Compact Dash Lights 
    #20
    JJ!
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    Hi there only just joined this forum and this is a bit of a long shot as I know this is an old thread but, I have just bought this car and, did exactly the same as you did and replaced the bulb behind the heater controls and exactly the same thing happened to me all the dash lights went out. Could you please tell me if you got this fixed and how, or how exactly you botched it so that the lights were simply always on full blast on the dash?

    many thanks

    JJ
     
     

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