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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 05-15-2004, 10:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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i have this problem: my backlighting for the dashboard doesnt work (the instrument cluster AND the backlight for the air controls) and the licence plate light and rear sidemarkers. all the fuses are all right and when i look into the fuse diagram i see tha one is for the left side and the other one is for the right side of the car and when i try to take them out the rear lights stop but rear sidemarkers on either side never work at all! so it probably means that the circuitry for the sidemarkers is probably on the same fuse but on a different circuit - along with the backlighting of the dashboard. can onyone confirm this or does anyone have am exact wiring diagram for this circuit???
once before i tried to play with the headlight 2-position switch and after some time all the lights started to work, they did for like 2 months and now they stopped working completely. i tried to check the switch and it seems to be working fine. it turns on the headlights and front sidemarkers but the none of the other ones i mentioned dont work. is there maybe some other fuse under the dashboard or anything else i can check? i know the electrical problems with e30 are very common but has anyone had this problem before???

thanks for any help!!!
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Old 05-19-2004, 02:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The dash lights on my dad's Range Rover don't work either. The bulb is burned out. Unless Bimmers use some weird system for dash lights, you probably have a burned out bulb behind the cluster. Some cars have a bunch of bulbs behind the cluster, and some cars (our Rover) have fiber optics behind the cluster feeding off of one bulb. I don't know how Bimmers are. As for the sidemarkers, are the bulbs fresh or burned out? If they're fresh, take the whole sidemarker assembly out and follow its wiring. Make sure there are any:

*breaks in the wire
*the wire housing isn't worn away at any points (the wire will be grounding out on something)
*other shorts in the wire.

I had a wire that was inside a heat-case that looked fine. I cut the heat case in half to find that the wire was broken in half. I had to reconnect the wire to itself and reinsert into the heat-case. This might be similar to what's happening to you.
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