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

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2012, 11:13 AM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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Dash lights inop

My dash lights stopped working. I checked the ground behind the glove box - checked good.
I checked the fuse - checked good. Before I take out the switch....anybody had this problem and have a fix?
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:55 PM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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I haven't had this problem but it's common. I see it more often than not when someone has pinched the wires for the lighted shift knob and shorted them to ground.

The rheostat portion of the light switch generally goes open circuit. You can either replace the light switch or you can solder a jumper across the rheostat pins and run with the dash lights at full intensity.

Soldering in a jumper is the cheap fix and if I were faced with that problem thats what I would do. I always run with my dash lights turned up full anyway.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:37 PM
smayo964 smayo964 is offline
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dkindig. Question. Is the light switch for the headlights and dash lights supposed to be adjustable, where you can turn it?? Mine is a 99 Z3 and my light switch is a fixed position, or, it feels that way and you can't turn it. I've head several people talk adjusting the light switch, but I can't get there from here. Just curious to if mine is broke or came from the factory that way. Any info will greatly be appreciated. Thanx.
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2012, 06:53 PM
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EOD Guy EOD Guy is offline
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I have never seen a non-adjustable light switch, it's either jambed or someone has done the fix as memtioned above
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:43 PM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smayo964 View Post
dkindig. Question. Is the light switch for the headlights and dash lights supposed to be adjustable, where you can turn it?? Mine is a 99 Z3 and my light switch is a fixed position, or, it feels that way and you can't turn it. I've head several people talk adjusting the light switch, but I can't get there from here. Just curious to if mine is broke or came from the factory that way. Any info will greatly be appreciated. Thanx.
Just checked the schematics for a 99 and it definitely should be adjustable. The adjuster doesn't lock in the full on position like some cars, it is continuously adjustable from no light to full intensity.

Sounds like you may have a mechanical problem with your light switch or perhaps it might not be original equipment? If someone jumpered the switch, it would still be variable mechanically, but the intensity of the dash lights wouldn't change.

Electrical Troubleshooting Guides (schematics/wiring diagrams) are here:
http://wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm

Last edited by dkindig; 07-28-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2012, 06:51 AM
smayo964 smayo964 is offline
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Thanx for the info. The dash lights are not overly intense, but the switch is definitely not variable. I'll have to get'r apart and investigate. Thanx again.
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  #7  
Old 07-29-2012, 05:23 PM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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Thanks for light tip

Thanks - I will pull the switch and try to repair it. What I have lost is instrument lights and warning tone when I turn car off and open the door whit the lights still on. I will keep you posted with what I find - after I get back from Texas in two weeks.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2012, 02:46 PM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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Headlight switch - BMW Z3 2002

I tried the suggestion today instead of waiting until my return from Texas. After removing the switch I found that by jumping pin #1 and #6 - both grey wires (Grey Red and Grey Purple) the dash lights came on and the audio warning when leaving the lights on all worked (non adjustable format) as dkindig suggested. Unfortunately I found the trunk dome light and the interior dome light remain on at all times. Did I cross the wrong pins?

In any event I ordered a new headlight switch. Right now I have disconnected the trunk light and turned the cab dome light off.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2012, 05:28 AM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dboat49 View Post
I tried the suggestion today instead of waiting until my return from Texas. After removing the switch I found that by jumping pin #1 and #6 - both grey wires (Grey Red and Grey Purple) the dash lights came on and the audio warning when leaving the lights on all worked (non adjustable format) as dkindig suggested. Unfortunately I found the trunk dome light and the interior dome light remain on at all times. Did I cross the wrong pins?

In any event I ordered a new headlight switch. Right now I have disconnected the trunk light and turned the cab dome light off.
The correct wires to jumper are grey/red (pin #6) and grey/black (pin #8). Grey/black is normally connected internally to the hot side of the rheostat and obviously grey/red is your feed to the dash lights.

It's too early for me to be crawling through a schematic (not enough coffee yet), but there are some diodes in the trunk lighting/tag lamp circuits that prevent back-feeding other components and you may have jumpered around those by choosing the grey/violet wire as your feed.

If jumpering those two doesn't work properly, then I would have to say that your light switch may REALLY be hosed.

Last edited by dkindig; 07-31-2012 at 05:30 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2012, 02:35 PM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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Headlight Switch

I think I was wrong on the trunk light. I thought if I pushed in the trunk sensing pins that the trunk light should go out, like a GM product. It doesn't work that way. My dome light does go out and I am sure the trunk light goes out.

I found I could get to my light switch by removing the AC vent the light switch is attached to without removing all the lower panels.
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2012, 07:12 PM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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You should be good-to-go, then.

I rechecked the schematics and the legs off of the parking/tail lamps circuits are all fused identically. One leg goes to the right-hand parking/tail lights, the trunk/tag lamps, dash lights, body control module and washer fluid pump, and the other leg goes to the left-hand parking/tail lights.

That's not all the details, but it's the basic layout. It's a really convoluted division of functions and I think it's intended to spread out the current draw evenly through each of the 10A fuses.

Basically all you did was move the dash lights from the feed for the RH lights/trunk/tag circuit to the feed for the LH lights.

BTW, if you know your way around a diagram you can get the Electrical Troubleshooting Guide here:
http://wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:59 AM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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Z3 Headlight Switch

Thanks for the help.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2012, 07:20 AM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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Headlight switch issue (2002 Z3 Roadster) Ö..

1. Review of the electrical diagram identified pin #8 and #6 as the two pins to jump to bypass the dimmer portion on the headlight switch. (The dimmer for all the instrument cluster lights is a rheostat, but the BMW wire diagram labels it a dimmer control.) (I want to thank Dkindig for the help in this area)
2. I took the defective switch completely apart and traced the circuit board with the BMW wire diagram and identified all the power "in" pins and the power "out" pins. Pin #8 is a power out pin that receives its input power through pin #5 when the headlight switch is pulled out. The dimmer transfers power to pin #6 as it is rotated to illuminate the instrument lights.
3. When I jumped pin #8 to #6 I blew the fuse #37 10amp. (I put a 20 amp fuse in instead of the 10 amp and had lights on and was able to find the area where the lights didnít work to locate the short) I found I had a pinched wire in the light system for the blower speed knob in the heating and AC area. Unfortunately the rheostat (dimmer switch) in the headlight switch was acting as a fuse and burning up before the 10 amp fuse failed. I took the switch apart (it just unsnaps) by carefully prying out the parts from the back side.
4. I found the wire at the start of the rheostat was burned. I soldered an 18 gauge copper wire to the start of the rheostat and the wire coil that was burned and the dimmer function worked as advertised. I am now operational again.

I will post pictures to my photo album soon
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2012, 05:38 PM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Wow... I was just sitting down to go through the schematics to see if I could help you pin it down when I saw this. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but given the nature of the problem, I don't think I would have been able to help much anyway.

Great job on isolating the branch that was causing the fuse to blow! That was a difficult find. What I suspected, and what ended up happening, was that you were going to have to start combing through the harness to figure it out...

Yeah, that's what always happens to the dash light control. It burns up so easily that IT becomes the fuse for that circuit.
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2012, 06:51 PM
dboat49 dboat49 is offline
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I never found a bare spot on the pinch in the wire. My bulb was burned out and the socket was missing a wire. I need to find a new socket. I am running the car as is....if it doesn't fail I will know I got the wire problem. Time will tell. I wouldn't think a bulb and socket would be the problem. The repair I made to the rheostat will take some heat before it fails.
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