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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2012, 10:47 PM
philgp philgp is offline
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Location: new zealand
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: bmw 94 325i
No dash illumination or headlight buzzer

Hi just wondering if someone can help.Dash illumination, gear shift lights are out,warning buzzer also not working.All fuses are good.I put a new light switch in, pulled out the dash and checked bulbs ,which are all good, dimmer switch wires seem to be all connected ,any other suggestions would be welcome. Miss the cool red glow at night ,easy for the speed to creep up .94 325i cheers.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2012, 01:45 AM
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johnf johnf is offline
John Firestone
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,640
Mein Auto: 1996 318is
A short to ground in the switch/instrumentation illumination wiring (58g, 0.5 GR/RT) would cause what you describe. Finding the short can be a fair amount of trouble as that wiring goes all over the place. On a positive note, your PWM dimmer control should be short circuit protected. Once you find and remove the short, everything should recover since. If you had a Z3 or Compact, you might very well have to replace or repair its light switch / rheostat.

Do you have or can you borrow a clamp on, hall effect, DC ammeter probe? I pinched a wire to the chassis after I added electric rear vent windows, and found it in under 15 minutes with such a probe. (I can only take a third of the credit for the short.)

Last edited by johnf; 11-19-2012 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:29 PM
philgp philgp is offline
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Location: new zealand
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: bmw 94 325i
Thanks John for your help. After having another look at the wiring , there is a black wire that has come off from somewhere,it doesn't look like its out of the light switch or dimmer, it may have nothing to do with the problem, thought I would mention it. Your diagnosis sounds correct ,I will try to find where it is shorting out , it sounds like it may mean a trip to an auto electrician.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:38 PM
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johnf johnf is offline
John Firestone
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,640
Mein Auto: 1996 318is
If you haven't already, I would unplug the dimmer control and confirm you have got a good 12V at its input.

If it looks like you have a short, have there been any (theoretically) illuminated electronics that have been pulled and reinstalled, for example, a radio or an illuminated shift knob? I might want to pull those and look for any pinched grey/red wiring.

Sometimes, people wire up aftermarket electronics and wire the wrong thing(s) to ground.

Last edited by johnf; 11-20-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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