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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 06-17-2012, 03:49 PM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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Exclamation intermittent electrical problem

so i kept blowing fuse #10 . i replaced probably 5 times . tried chasing wires but i didnt know where to begin. yesterday i left my glovebox open and drained the battery , . got a jump but it kept dying on me . removed battery and had it recharged , battery is fine . put battery back in now i dont have a speedometer, tach , fuel gauge, or fuel consumption , my fan isnt working either , and engine is running pretty rough. sounds like its misfiring .

Im thinking that i may have fouled my plugs a little / alot , trying to start , and running on very low power .

as for the electrical stuff .... no clue
any suggestions ??
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2012, 04:54 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Take the battery out. Charge fully. Make sure all switches are off (as if you were parking it). Remove the fuse for the dome/courtesy lights. Put battery in car, connect ground cable, put voltmeter between positive terminal and positive cable. You will have a reading showing the parasitic drain. Start pulling fuses and checking the meter after each one. When the reading drops to zero you've found the drain. Check any switches/relays/sensors that are on that circuit. Check the wiring on that circuit. Repair/replace as needed.
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2012, 05:23 PM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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thats a great way of troubleshooting !! i was scrabling around through random wires ... lol thanks
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2012, 03:41 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Just to clear up on hornhospitals advice....the multi-meter must be set to read AMPS not volts when you put it in series with the battery and you normally have to move the Red meter lead to a seperate position marked something like "10 Amp max"

When the battery is removed for a while your SI batteries in the cluster are supposed to hold some voltage for a while. The fact that now some of your gauges are now not working means you probably need to replace your SI batteries. Hopefully new batteries and a bit of engine running time will rest the ECU and the car will run smooth again.

Which fan is not working...the internal blower or the external fan for the air-conditioning and extra cooling?
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2012, 09:27 AM
Pennyw1se Pennyw1se is offline
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A blown fuse 10 will not allow your blower fan (and AC), some of your gauges (fuel, for sure, and temp?) and your reverse lights (I believe) to work . It also will not allow you to start your car if its blown but it wont shut off your car, if its already started, when it blows. I had (have) a short on my reverse light switch from my tranny to my center console (5 spd swap) that would cause my fuse 10 to blow whenever I put it in reverse. I disconnected my reverse wire and everything works fine now, except my reverse lights. Its too damn hot in Phoenix to work on my car in my garage right now.

I was completely confused because when my fuse 10 blew my high beams would turn on and everything listed above would die on me. I haven't looked too much into it but I can't understand why my high beams would turn on. Weird.
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:33 AM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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Billwill, its the fan in the cabin for cooling and AC. where do i locate the batteries for the ECU ?
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:37 AM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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Rather "SI" batteries.
Also , is the cause for concern running the car without those gauges ? Im concerned im further damaging the electrical system by running it with a short in the system ...
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:41 AM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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it is also 95 degrees in denver today , makes it difficult to work on the car in my parking lot .
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2012, 01:52 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Styles1987 View Post
Rather "SI" batteries.
Also , is the cause for concern running the car without those gauges ? Im concerned im further damaging the electrical system by running it with a short in the system ...
I doubt you will cause any further problem running without working gauges provided that you do not get any overheating issues.

The SI batteries are located inside the console. There are two types...the early models used two re-chargeable Nicads while the newer models use non-chargeable Lithium batteries.
If you cannot find information regarding these SI batteries here then have a look at this other site: www.e30tech.com
They have a FAQ/DIY section and there is a good write-up there on cluster problems.

Maybe you should first try to find why your fuse 10 is blowing because as stated by Pennyw1se above this fuse may be relevant to all your problems.

I only have circuit diagrams for the 1989 325i/s and I will have a look there regarding your problem and get back to you.

Update:

OK according to my circuit diagram Fuse 10 is the main culprit for all of your problems including the gauges not working and the blower fan and air con.

You need to try find out what is causing the fuse to blow...from the backup light line to everything else......you will need a circuit diagram to do this!

Last edited by Billwill; 06-19-2012 at 04:50 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2012, 04:03 PM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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I changed the plugs ... little to no change . car starts , and drives . but now no power windows , still all gauges don't work . tomorrow i will attempt lloking at fuse 10 and the components attached . starting with the reverse lights . Two months ago , i changed the main drive shaft center bearing and guibo , and i am thinking that i may have left a wire hanging or somehow it was rubbing against the drive shaft . some threads on here have described that as a common problem .

Thanks .

any other feedback is always appreciated.
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:48 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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aaaaahh another E30 wiring gremlins thread.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwill View Post
Just to clear up on hornhospitals advice....the multi-meter must be set to read AMPS not volts when you put it in series with the battery and you normally have to move the Red meter lead to a seperate position marked something like "10 Amp max"

When the battery is removed for a while your SI batteries in the cluster are supposed to hold some voltage for a while. The fact that now some of your gauges are now not working means you probably need to replace your SI batteries. Hopefully new batteries and a bit of engine running time will rest the ECU and the car will run smooth again.

Which fan is not working...the internal blower or the external fan for the air-conditioning and extra cooling?
good spotting on the voltmeter/ammeter thing. i saw that too! Service Interval batteries can cause the gauges to go haywire, but i havent heard of it to this extent before? not to say thats not the cause though, but i strongly doubt they are the cause of all these issues. The ECU controls ONLY the engine on the E30, so thats the ECU ruled out. The Service interval batteries and the ECU are in no way connected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennyw1se View Post
I was completely confused because when my fuse 10 blew my high beams would turn on and everything listed above would die on me. I haven't looked too much into it but I can't understand why my high beams would turn on. Weird.
that is very strange!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennyw1se View Post
Its too damn hot in Phoenix to work on my car in my garage right now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Styles1987 View Post
it is also 95 degrees in denver today , makes it difficult to work on the car in my parking lot .
gosh first its too cold for you all, then its too hot! how about we go halvesies in the heat? its about 8C here in New Zealand, which is about 40F in your silly system :P 70F each sound fair?
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2012, 03:30 PM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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Exclamation

I cannot find the wire that connects the reverse lights . does it extend under the body of the car ?
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2012, 09:01 AM
Pennyw1se Pennyw1se is offline
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The reverse light wire issue is only relevant if you have a 5sp and not an auto. If you have a 5sp then you need to get under your car and follow the wire(s) that starts from the rubber boot that surrounds your shift lever and runs to the right (passenger) side of the transmission towards the middle/front end. Its kind of a pain in the ass to remove them from the reverse light switch and then re-attach them because of the angle of the ends on the switch but that is the only way you are going to know if the wire has been cut or stripped.

Last edited by Pennyw1se; 06-21-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2012, 09:56 AM
Styles1987 Styles1987 is offline
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It is a five speed. . . i probably have to drop the heat shield and possibly exhaust to get to theat boot .
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