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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)

E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 03-23-2011, 05:28 PM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 BMW Z3 Roadster
Z3 Key out of ignition, car still running, help!!

Guys-

So my Z3 is used and I've had it for a while now, a year actually. Every now and again when I would turn the car off with the key and pull the key it, it would stay running for 2-3 secs, no big deal. Today as I approach my car I notice the odometer, gas gauge light, battery light, and oil light were all on. I got in and it started up, I turned it off and pulled the key out, it kept running. Since I was 1.5 hours from home, I put the key in and drove home. When I got here I turned the key off and pulled it out, still running, so I killed it by letting the clutch out with the brake on. The same lights stayed lit and I noticed a solenoid on the throttle body was still "humming." I disconnected the negative cable and obviously the lights went off and the solenoid stopped hummming, couldn't get a pic of the solenoid as it started to pour rain, get a pic tomorrow. Can anyone tell me what they think is wrong? Is the ignition toast? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

LCDR Dan
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:40 PM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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Check your ignition switch..It maybe bad..G/L with your fix..
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2011, 01:53 AM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 BMW Z3 Roadster
The switch, got it. Now where might I find that? I've read a couple threads about the ignition barrel, but mine is not rotating around fully. I can put the key and start it no problem and when I turn it back, like to shut it off, it stops where it normally should. So, if you can point me in the direction of the switch, I'd appreciate it. Aside from just replacing it to see if it's bad, is there a check I can do?

LCDR Dan
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2011, 04:38 AM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
The switch is attached to the barrel.
This should help:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...32&fg=30&hl=96
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Last edited by amancuso; 03-24-2011 at 04:41 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2011, 06:07 AM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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Crap, so it appears no matter what, I have to pull the steering wheel in order to get into the column. I'm leary about pulling the wheel myself and digging into the column. Is there a simpler way to access it all? Any help in getting to it is appreciated.

LCDR Dan
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:13 AM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Mein Auto: 128i, 330i, Z3 2.3, R56
Couldn't really find a good DIY on this, but this might help... looks like you just have to pull the lower cover and replace the switch.

"You can do what I did to get the car home

- pull the plastic cover off the bottom of the column
- use a small screwdriver, loosen the set screws holding the ignition switch, and pull the switch off
- you can now turn the ignition switch with a screwdriver
- put the key in and make sure the wheel turns, then drive home

Worked for me. YMMV and all that.
Sounds like he knows!!!! Cant get better advice then that"

Just alter it by disconnecting the switch and replacing it with the new one.
FYI I would disconnect the battery before doing this!
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:26 AM
Domino_dude Domino_dude is offline
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Danz96Z3,

I had the exact same problem, right down to the "a solenoid on the throttle body was still "humming.". One question, Has it been raining? I know ... sounds dumb. BUT, these symptoms happened to my 98 Z3 after a heavy rain storm. I discovered that I had a leak in the rear window and water had been running into the bottom of the carpet. I shop vac-ed the car several times to get the water out and I no longer have the problem. I hope this might helps.

So, If it's been raining.... try drying the carpet first...
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:03 AM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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Well, now that is really interesting indeed. It rained like all heck last week and soaked my drivers side carpet. I used a vac and got most of it out, I thought. I had the car washed after that as well. Now, yesterday it rained, but not too bad, didn't check the carpet though. I'll pull out the wet/ dry vac this time, used regular vac at carwash last time, and see if I can more out. Strange, why would that matter I wonder, bad ground issue for the column?

LCDR Dan
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2011, 02:07 PM
Domino_dude Domino_dude is offline
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Wink

Dan,

In trying to remember my electronics training from the Navy in the late '60's.... the symptoms are very indicitive of a stray ground allowing the lights and guages to flicker.... also, just enough to keep a relay energized.... (water does conduct electricity).

Todays LED's, relays and guages require less current...and a high restistance short to ground may be just enough to keep things going.. anyway, Once I got the carpet dry everything is working normally.

To parraphse a current beer ad....."Stay dry my friend..."

Ken
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2011, 03:16 PM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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Ken-

I'll take the word of a Navy guy any day. I did the shop vac when I got home, but the carpet is still damp, the cooler weather isn't helping. I hooked the battery back up and still having the same issue. The ignition tumbler is functioning fine and the steering wheel lock is working, so that leads me to believe you are right on for sure. I put a shammy and some towels on the floor to see if I can "wick" the water out too. I'll hit it with the vacuum again, trying to think of any other ways to get the water out or the carpet dried. I'm not an electrician, but I agree with your assessment that the constant wet condition is indeed causing a stray ground. i'll keep trying to get the water out and see what happens. Wish me luck and I greatly appreciate the advice...

LCDR Dan
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2011, 10:26 PM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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Does anyone have any other ideas for drying this carpet? I've vacuumed twice, even put a towel in to try and wick the water out. I hooked the battery back up and it's all still going haywire. Today I put a bungie hook in one of the hole sin the carpet and looped it around the steering column to lift the carpet from the floorboard. I'm hoping that will help get the water out, other than that, not sure what else to do. I'm open to suggestions, this is my commuter and I need to get her back on the road.

LCDR Dan
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2011, 12:40 AM
alijonny alijonny is offline
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perhaps go to your local bass pro shop or boat supply shop and buy some reusable dryer bags. I don't know how well it would work in a convertible, but they are basically large desiccant bags that pull the moisture out of the air.
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2011, 12:42 AM
toasteroven toasteroven is offline
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You could put some of that chemical drying compound in the car overnight. My old XJR had a roof leak once, and chemical dryers were the only way I finally got it all dry.

You can buy them at most hardware stores, they are usually used in damp closets. Basically it's a lot of moisture absorbing stuff in a basket over a cup...

Chris.
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2011, 06:31 AM
BlackjackM BlackjackM is offline
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I've seen other people having this problem in the past, and the issue was in the instrument cluster. People recommended pulling the cluster and unplugging it to see if that helps.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2011, 07:15 AM
Domino_dude Domino_dude is offline
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To took me several days...

Dan,

I used an industral vac.... I sort of 'squigged' the water to the small hole in the carpet that is used to hold the floor mat in place.... As the water came through the hole, I vaccumed it up.... It took many repeated tries.... Also, I turned the heater on and directed it to the floor. Another thing to try is a hair dryer on low heat setting.... good luck and I hope this works for you.... It resolved my problem.
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  #16  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:36 AM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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O.K. under your seat has a couple of sensors..they maybe wet..so that may have cause you the intermittent problem with your car...The best way I can think of to dry your car is open the top, if it was a nice and sunny day out, and let the sun dries it out...it is the quick and easy way. The when the carpet are dry take a look under your seat for the senors that was wet, juts dry them out ..then see if your problem comes back. If I remember right the seat sensor can cause a lots of problems with your air bag light so that may have something to do with your problems. G/L..
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  #17  
Old 03-27-2011, 11:28 AM
RufusKing RufusKing is offline
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use can also use a space heater set to around 90+ degrees. place that in the floor board and leave it on. Of course crack your windows but have the top up so that it holds in most of the heat. This will dry the water from from car by evaporating it. It is the fastest way other than disassembling your cars interior to dry it. i would make sure that the heater has adequate room for circulation though as it is a heat source and could cause a fire if things like paper or other chemicals get interduced into the mix. Be careful using this method. if is is water that is causing the issue then after 24 hours of drying this should fix it. You should make sure you always dy your interior though as water can cause corrosion on aluminum and other parts in your car thus causing you these types of issues. THe NAVY guy is right though.
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  #18  
Old 03-27-2011, 05:39 PM
Danz96Z3 Danz96Z3 is offline
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UPDATE, alright, here's where I'm at!!

I connected the battery back up and started the car today. I set the heat on full blast on the floor, let it run for a while and alternated the different settings. I did the floor, the dash, defroster, cycled through all of them and let it run for a bit. I believe the majority of the driver's side carpet is dry. What I did notice was that the carpet under the seat was a bit damp still. I was able to get the car to shut off using the key/ ignition, great. However, now when I shut the car off the dash lights will flicker a bit and there's a "clicking" from underneath the hood. When I opened the hood, there's a large black box in the upper left corner of the engine compartment. I opened it up and there are 3 green relays in the front left corner of the box. 2 of them are where the "clicking" is coming from. I suspect that I still need to dry under the seat and will give the chemical drying compound a try. I also determined that like Domino Dude, I think my leak came from the trunk, discovered some water in there too. Well, that's where I'm at for now, any more thoughts,please send them my way. Driving me nuts not to have my baby running right...

LCDR Dan
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2011, 07:14 AM
RoadsterFan RoadsterFan is offline
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Lightbulb

Everything here sounds familiar. Let's start with the car continuing to run after turning the key off and removing it. I used the same old tricks of popping the clutch to kill the engine and removing the battery connection to keep the battery from draining dead. The problem ended up being a short in some wires under the carpet. The short allowed power to bypass the ignition switch and keep the engine running and power to the dash. So the ignition switch is probably fine, although that's what I suspected first because I've had that replaced in the past too.

Now to the wet carpet. It probably isn't the cause of your problem (it's another problem) but is probably providing a pathway for the short circuit. Drying the carpet may temporarily resolve your short but will most likely not fix your problem. Unfortunately I can't point you to exactly where the wires are that are shorted. I had a dealer investigate and repair this problem. I was told that they are under the carpet. So I would suggest that you try lifting up the carpet on the driver's side and you should be able to find the offending (melted) wires easy enough to splice in a repair.

Finding the source of the water that is getting your carpet wet is an issue I am currently searching for an answer on. If I find a post on this issue, I'll let you know.
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