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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2013, 02:40 PM
Tfafncombe Tfafncombe is offline
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Mein Auto: 318i
91 318i tail and marker lights go out with headlights on

I'm new here and apologize if this has been addressed here before but i'm at a complete loss. If I turn on my headlight the tail lights and marker lights all Go out. Everything else works or at least I think they do. All other positions of the 3 position switch work and the tail lights and markers do work in the 2nd position. It is only when I pull the switch all the way on that I have issues. This is the 3rd switch so I'm some what confident it's not the problem. Help please. This is a project car for my son and I and I can't get it on the road for him until I can get this figured out.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:28 PM
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Tkaczuk Tkaczuk is offline
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Location: Amish Country
 
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Mein Auto: E30, Rabbit GTI
Mostlikly a bad ground. Aftermarket Radio? Something is not hooked up right. My first suggestion is if you have a aftermarket radio in it is to simply unplug it and see if it then works. Its going to be hard to determine what the problem is do you have wire diagrams? They could help you diagnose the problem. Green/purple is power and brown is the ground behind the radio check to see if you have a good ground off of that.
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2013, 06:29 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Test the switch output with a DVM and trace. Did they sell your the correct switch? I don't see earths as problem in this case.
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2013, 08:12 PM
Tfafncombe Tfafncombe is offline
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Pulled the radio and no change though it was a mess behind there.

Switch was matched to the VIN by the local shop so it should be the right one. The car is Canadian so it has running lights too.

I will trace all the grounds this week and perhaps add a few to ensure proper connection. Really at a loss here. Are all these cars this loosely wired? Seem to be stray and loose wires everywhere.
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2013, 11:55 PM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW E30 318i 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfafncombe View Post
Pulled the radio and no change though it was a mess behind there.

Switch was matched to the VIN by the local shop so it should be the right one. The car is Canadian so it has running lights too.

I will trace all the grounds this week and perhaps add a few to ensure proper connection. Really at a loss here. Are all these cars this loosely wired? Seem to be stray and loose wires everywhere.

These symptoms definitely indicate a grounding problem.

Try adding a seperate ground wire from a clean chassis point directly onto the ground point of the faulty lights.....you can never have too many grounding points
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:41 AM
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Nick323 Nick323 is offline
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Mein Auto: 323i E30 2-door
Lightbulb Electrics rearing their ugly 9 heads AGAIN & again & ....

To answer your first question
Quote:
Are all these cars this loosely wired? Seem to be stray and loose wires everywhere
Yes, yes and again yes
I have seen English cars wired better than a BMW and as we all should know Lucas is the Prince of Darkness.
Then again BMW is an acronym for British Motor Works
I mainly work on Toyota's and for Toyota, so I am spoilt by good, sensible wiring
But once you have learned how to swear in German you will realise that the Germans have a system in place for anything they do. That's why they forced DIN onto the world.
In the end it is relatively easy to troubleshoot your wiring issues.
There is even a electrical troubleshooting manual out there > sadly there is need for that

Code:
you can never have too many grounding points
Yes & no
You can measure different power differentials between different earth points. For a taillamp it makes little difference, but for your electronics it causes havoc
Your Bulb needs a current flowing between earth & Positive, but your electronics reference a signal against a common earth.
In the past most electronic problems we did fault-finding on referenced into a faulty earth
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2013, 02:43 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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If the park/marker lights work in position 1 why do the lights need additional grounds (earths)? It seems to be the switch (or something near to) to me.
LUCAS - Left-Us-Cold-And-Stranded. Get the bad dash wiring fixed. How did the tracing go?
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2013, 08:49 PM
Tfafncombe Tfafncombe is offline
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Still struggling. Been away for a bit but back at it. 3rd switch and still the same thing. Everything us fine in position 0&1 but tails and sides go out in 2. Now the turn signals are temperamental. Work ok in 0&1 but only flash once in position 2 if at all. Flashers don't work at all. Everything else appears fine. Kind of stuck still. Plan on attacking it again tomorrow. Any new help would be great.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2013, 02:43 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW E30 318i 1991
The main difference between the marker, licence plate lights etc. and the main beams is that the former group gets its power direct from the light switch.

The main beams get their power from the low beam relay K4 and the high beam relay K3 which are in turn turned on by the high/low stalk on the left of the steering...the relays are also controlled by the third position of the light switch....and fuses 1, 2, 9, 10, 13 and 14.

The low beam relay also gets its coil ground point from the light switch pins 2 (ground) and 11...so check you have ground on these two pins when switched.
The high beam relay coil gets its ground from the light switch pin 11 as well and then through the stalk switch known as the High Beam Combination switch.

So the first thing I would do is swap out those two relays and have a look at the stalk switch which switches high beams ON/OFF .

The indicators also work on this stalk switch....so this could be the main culprit!

Last edited by Billwill; 03-16-2013 at 03:20 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2013, 11:12 AM
Tfafncombe Tfafncombe is offline
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So back at it. Looks like its a big old mess of issues. Replaced relays and some bulbs and here's where I'm at. Everything now works as it should except the low beam head lights. Daytime runners on in position 0. Running and side lights work in position 1. High beam flashers work in both. In position 2 everything is as it should except no headlights or fogs. Daytime lights work so I don't think it's the relay. The only issue I can see is the lack of continuity on the 2 resistors on the switch itself. What are these for and could they be part of the problem. I jumpers them to no avail.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:24 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW E30 318i 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfafncombe View Post
So back at it. Looks like its a big old mess of issues. Replaced relays and some bulbs and here's where I'm at. Everything now works as it should except the low beam head lights. Daytime runners on in position 0. Running and side lights work in position 1. High beam flashers work in both. In position 2 everything is as it should except no headlights or fogs. Daytime lights work so I don't think it's the relay. The only issue I can see is the lack of continuity on the 2 resistors on the switch itself. What are these for and could they be part of the problem. I jumpers them to no avail.

The only so called 'resistors" that I can see in the circuit diagrams (USA) are actually two "diodes" connected in series going to pin 4 on the switch. These are shown as "not used" and goes to an accessory connection...if they are diodes they will have a stripe on one end.

I see you state that the light switch was matched to the VIN ....my documents show the USA part number for the switch as 61311377281 while Canada has PN: 61311386631...does your switch have a part number on it?

You say you have no Low beam headlights but High beam headlights are OK?
Have you swapped out the Low Beam Relay?...this relay supplies the Low Beams and also supplies the Fog Light Relay with power so I would suspect this relay

The High Beam Relay when it is not active supplies voltage to the coil of the Fog Light Relay so likewise it may be suspect as far as the Fog lights not working.

I do not have Canada circuit diagrams so I am doing some guessing here....you say the Daylight Running relay is OK....I cannot see how it is operated hence why I am concerned about you having the correct light switch part number.

Last edited by Billwill; 03-18-2013 at 12:36 AM.
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