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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 01-14-2007, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dash Lights or Lites

My heat controll lights don't work, is that a simple fuse issue or something else?
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Heat control lights? You mean the backlights or the slider buttons?
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yes, backlights of the slider controlls.
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you have the 13 button obc?
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Been a bimmer driver for a month now, could you dumb it down a little more.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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To the right of your radio there will be either a 13 button on board computer (obc) or a clock with a few functions.

At any rate, the bulb you want is behind the defrost example fig below the A/C and recirculation buttons, you can reach underneath and feel it, the fiber optic cables run to the left and the light pushes in from the right, with a mirror you can see it. And depending on how adept you are, some can even change it this way. If not then taking out the radio, obc, buttons and the face plate is the other way. If you have the 13 button obc, it's a bit more of a pain.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Similar Problem

I have a similar problem...since last night my dash (speedometer, tachometer, etc.) and the lighting behind the heater controls and even the headlight pull-switch are out.
Additionately, the license plate light and my passenger-side tail light (not the brake light, just the light that should come on when the headlight is on) aren't working either.
I've checked the bulbs in the tail lights even though they are new (replaced them less than a year ago). I also replaced the fuses (7.5 amp) for 21 and 23. Should I try replacing fuse 22, 6, 19 and 27 too or does this problem sound like something more underlying?

Thanks Starmavin!
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Check the contacts on the tail light mounting board where they plug into on the body for corrosion. Also check the ground contacts there.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The contacts (metal connections on the inside of the taillight bulb carrier) look good. I also replaced fuses 22, 6, 19 and 27 though they all looked good too.

I'm not sure, but neither the license plate lights nor the dash lights would be affected by the taillights right? Is there a reason that could affect all these things?

Considering I don't have an ohmmeter or a multimeter, I may have to take this in to a service station. What should I have them check?
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You said that the license plate light and your passenger side tail light won't come on. Does the side marker lights and drivers side lights come on?
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The driver's side lights do work but the lights on the passenger side are all off (except for the headlight). I tried the turn signal on the passenger side and it did the quick flash that indicates a light is out usually. The front passenger side (yellow) turn signal did flash but it wasn't on when I had the turn signal in the neutral (resting) position.
I have a Bentley manual but I can't make sense of the wiring diagram.
And yes, the license plate light isn't coming on either. The dash lights are out too.
I DO have some exposed wiring now that I think of it. It's behind (under the passenger side door) the front passenger-side wheel well where the floorboard flaked off...it's near where one would put the jack. The wires are in their plastic covering though, besides, that probably wouldn't account for the dash lights.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Today as I was driving to work I noticed that after driving for about 20 minutes, my passenger-side turn signal started flashing normally. I got out of the car and it was actually flashing in the rear (wasn't happening last night) although the red (marker?) light was still not on nor are the license plate lights or the dash lights.

Anyhow, I have to take it in to the mechanic, I can't start getting tickets and I can't see how fast I'm going at night...any advice on what should I have them check?
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The Lights for the Headlight pull switch doesnt work either, also the back-up lights are out, bulbs look fine. So, we have some of the same issues.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As soon as I get it fixed I'll post on here to give you others an idea and to be a reference to future readers.
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Similar Problem with Passenger Side Lights

Hi Neil (or anyone else that can help),

I was wondering if you got your problem fixed. I have an 1983 BMW 320iS with, what sounds to be, the same problem. The following lights are NOT working: passenger sidemarkers, passenger rear, license plate, and the dash lights. When the problem first started, the dash lights would flash off and on with my passenger side blinker was on.

Everything else seems fine: the dash instruments, headlights, fog lights, blinkers, brake lights, reverse lights, rear defroster.

I've checked every fuse and changed pretty much every bulb on the passenger side, thinking it was an open circuit caused by bad bulb.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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