Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-18-2012, 02:26 PM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Z3 Dash lights conundrum

Greetings,

I bought a gorgeous black Z3 a few months ago - just turned 200,000 miles and looks and runs like the day it was new, really! Last week, I turned on the headlights and the cluster lights didn't come on. Everything else works. I checked the fuses (5 of them!) three times, but they all look good.
I have since noticed two other things. When the cluster lights were working, the odometer and trip lights would dim automatically when the headlights were switched on. These lights are still bright and do not dim when the headlights are switched on. Also, before, if I were to open the door with the headlights still on, there would be a warning sound to remind me to switch them off. This sound no longer comes on.

Is it my switch, or do I have a more serious issue?

Cheers

Cap'n Jon
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 02-18-2012, 04:12 PM
wifesauto wifesauto is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: nj
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 275
Mein Auto: sloporsche
how did you check the fuses ?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-18-2012, 04:32 PM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Visually. I should replace the fuses. I'm going to do that right now...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-18-2012, 04:46 PM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Unhappy Still not working...

Fuses replaced. Did not fix the issues - however, the headlights on ringer is working. Still no cluster lights...any suggestions appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:03 PM
wifesauto wifesauto is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: nj
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 275
Mein Auto: sloporsche
use a DVOM or test light to check fuses . get a repair manual and look up which is the dash fuse. is ANYTHING else electrical not working ?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:12 PM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Right...not sure what you mean by "dash fuse". The lid of the fuse box has all the fuses labeled. Everything works perfectly except the instrument cluster lighting. And thank you for taking the time...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-18-2012, 07:19 PM
FredR FredR is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Colmesneil, Texas
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 407
Mein Auto: 96 BMW Z3, 97 BMW M3
The headlight switch is the issue. There is a rheostat the pops. Fairly common problem.
__________________

96 Z3 1.9 Black/tan/black
97 M3/4 Estoril/dove gray
08 3400HST Kubota Orange/gray
08 GMC Sierra CrewCab

Last edited by FredR; 02-18-2012 at 07:50 PM. Reason: correct spelling
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-18-2012, 07:21 PM
Giznaz Giznaz is offline
Need a tow?
Location: PacNW
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 243
Mein Auto: '99 Z3 2.8/'04 X5
The //M roadsters have a problem with the lighted shift knobs shorting out the dimmer rheostat on the headlight switch.

Not saying this is the issue, but you might want to search got that, and check that out.

To me, the rheostat is the "dash fuse". There isn't any other protection to the dash lights.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:59 AM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Thanks Fred and Giznaz. I thought that might be the problem, after I confirmed that the fuses are all good. I suppose I need to replace the whole pull-out light switch?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:14 AM
FredR FredR is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Colmesneil, Texas
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 407
Mein Auto: 96 BMW Z3, 97 BMW M3
You might not need to replce the switch. Randy Forbes posted a proceedure on how to bypass the rheostat. This make the lights stay on the brightest setting but saves buying a new switch. Now I wish I could find randy's post for you.
__________________

96 Z3 1.9 Black/tan/black
97 M3/4 Estoril/dove gray
08 3400HST Kubota Orange/gray
08 GMC Sierra CrewCab
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:42 AM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Thanks, Fred. It appears a new switch is around $40, which is not bad. I'm assuming that the rheostat is in the switch assembly? So, if I replace the switch, hopefully problem resolved...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-24-2012, 07:48 AM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
I have not replaced the headlight switch yet. However, something bizarre happened yesterday - the fuel gauge all of a sudden went to zero (I had 1/2 tank of fuel). When I re-started the engine, it went to 3/4 and didn't move. I filled up the tank, it showed full, then 10 minutes later, went to empty and has stayed there. Also the read out showing miles left in the tank is not making sense! Could I have a computer problem? Everything else (besides instrument cluster lights and fuel gauge work perfectly)...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:40 AM
Monolith Monolith is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NJ
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 741
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 1.9L DASC Auto
Another thing to check -

The wiring from the car to the trunk lid is in a black sheath. Cut open the sheath and check if the wires are broken. Opening and closing the trunk for 200,000 miles can bend these wires to the breaking point and cause a whole lot of weird electrical behavior in the Z3.

See TSB 61-02-99

Link to DIY Trunk Wiring Fix


I'd also remove the shifter surround and check for a broken wire on the lighted shifter.

.

Last edited by Monolith; 02-24-2012 at 09:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-24-2012, 10:02 AM
capnjon capnjon is offline
Registered User
Location: Montara, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3
Sounds like I've got my Sunday afternoon planned! Thanks for the suggestions...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms