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E28 (1982 - 1988)

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  #1  
Old 10-14-2011, 08:54 PM
ciantucke ciantucke is offline
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Location: Calgary, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: e28 1988
I think my car had a stroke... help?

So, obviously this thread is about the electrical issues in my car. It's not about engine stroke. The following items are not working, and I would love some assistance in making sense of them. I apologize if this thread is in the wrong spot.

I've a BMW 528e 1988. I aquired it ... maybe 5 years ago, and have been working at great legnths to make this car something special again. It's needed a lot of work.

Up until recently, everything was working. Now the windshield wipers, pump, and turn signal relay are NOT working. I have also observed the right high beam fail to turn on. All the parts are new and working. The electrical lines were recently tested and work. So... I'm at a deep confusing loss.

The wipers dont motor. The light doesn't light. The pump does not pump. The relay now sticks and does not tick (you can hear the electromagnet try though). I just replaced the relay last month, so I am dead certain something electrical is going on. The problem is, I'm useless at reading elec. diagrams.

The only other thing on the car not working is the cruise control, and I only mention this because I think the problem may lie in the steering column.

All fuses under the hood are new and replaced. All working. The relays under my drivers-side panel are so convoluted, I have no idea what does what down there. I assume they are all working. This could be another probable issue as to why things are not working (some may need replacement).

Car is in full mechanical order, just had a muffler replacement, and the last big step would be minor cracks in the dash and some apholstery replacements.

Please help me sort out these electrical issues though!!! - I need my car to be drivable again

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2011, 08:59 AM
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catso catso is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
You should start by examining the electrical connectors to the objects in question. Corrosion at these points is very common. Use a test light to find out if you have power going to the connector. If not, trace down the wire (by color) to the fuse box and see if there's power there. It's essentially a process of elimination. I would also take apart the battery connections and carefully clean and examine all the wires for corrosion. Sometimes the wires disintergrate under the insulation where it's very difficult to detect. Test lights and volt-ohmmeters are not complicated and can very useful tools in solving electrical problems.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:05 PM
ciantucke ciantucke is offline
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Location: Calgary, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: e28 1988
So, after some work - I have cleared up all but two issues.
The washer pump and the right high beam. The funny thing is, when I try to troubleshoot the high beam, the low beam goes off. I can also hear a low level buzz in the engine area - assumably, a short in the line. Any thoughts, repair suggestions, etc?

BUMP.

Thanks
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2011, 05:09 PM
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catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciantucke View Post
So, after some work - I have cleared up all but two issues.
The washer pump and the right high beam. The funny thing is, when I try to troubleshoot the high beam, the low beam goes off. I can also hear a low level buzz in the engine area - assumably, a short in the line. Any thoughts, repair suggestions, etc?

BUMP.

Thanks
The low beam and high beam share some circuitry. Maybe one or both bulbs are defective. Try switching the bulbs from the other side to see if you get the same results.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2011, 05:17 PM
ciantucke ciantucke is offline
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Mein Auto: e28 1988
Yeah, I've run out of daylight and lack a garage, so I'll try that in the morning sun.
Have to go buy a new bulb, and I'm hoping that is it. Memory serves its a new bulb, but I may easily be mistaken. Rule out human error first, eh?

Otherwise, best guess is to try replacing the relay (but if one high beam works... is this necessary?) -

The fuses have been replaced, just to make sure. No Change.

BTW - Thanks for your help. You've been extremely valuable to me. (saving me hundreds of dollars)
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2011, 05:38 PM
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catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciantucke View Post
Yeah, I've run out of daylight and lack a garage, so I'll try that in the morning sun.
Have to go buy a new bulb, and I'm hoping that is it. Memory serves its a new bulb, but I may easily be mistaken. Rule out human error first, eh?

Otherwise, best guess is to try replacing the relay (but if one high beam works... is this necessary?) -

The fuses have been replaced, just to make sure. No Change.

BTW - Thanks for your help. You've been extremely valuable to me. (saving me hundreds of dollars)
I looked at a diagram for the headlight wiring and it appears that a bad relay can affect just one side, but switch the bulbs to confirm that. I'm not sure, but the relay itself may also be the same as one of the others. You may want to try switching it with a similar one. It's listed as the number 4 relay according to the Bentley repair manual. As for your washer pump, they're known to wear out and fail and are not very expensive. Before replacing it, make sure there's voltage going to it and that the hoses aren't clogged.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2011, 10:14 AM
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ross1 ross1 is offline
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Mein Auto: Pretty much had 'em all
The fuse box is the first place to look, corroded fuse holders and fuses are all too common with this design.
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