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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 02-14-2006, 08:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fuse 23 (Instrument and Right Side lights) Keeps Blowing

E30 - 1984 318i

Fuse 23, the one that is used for instrument panel lights, right side parking and marker lights and other lights, keeps blowing whenever you turn on the headlights. My mechanic, the official mechanic of the Central Florida BMW Club, spend a lot of time trying to find the problem, to no avail. Does anyone have any information that could help.

Thank you.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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one would say that the headlights are probably grounded somewhere then, or the front marker light, the one on the bumper is probably forced in the wrong way, grounding it
ive seen that more then once on e30's
check all the marker/parking bulbs and pull them and check their current draw.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good advice, but I and my mechanic checked all the obvious sources of the problem. I have heard of issues with grounding aftermarket stereos, bad instrument clusters, etc. causing a problem, so I am sort of looking for a creative solution. Checking if bulbs are insterted incorrectly is not going to solve this problem.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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it might. shooting down ideas like that will get problems NOT solved. seen it countless times in e30s. even mine was like it when i bought it, was causing a 700mah draw on my battery.

and well, bust out a multi meter. its an old car. wires get fucked up, people modifying, whatever they modify, tapping the wrong wires, screwing into power wires and grounding them.. all sorts of shit. bust out a multi meter.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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To truly trouble shoot this problem and to make sure it isn't else where, yank all the bulbs. Check the contacts on the bulb board for the rear lights. The bulb contacts get hot and melt the plastic alowing them to move and short out on the lead bulb contacts. Don't over look the license plate lights either. If the rear seat has been pulled out more than once or gets used often, check the wire bundle that runs along the drivers side of the rear seat for wear spots.

And never rule out the obvious, we all know what we get when we spell assume:
It'll make an A S S out of U M E

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Old 02-15-2006, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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P.S. Does it blow when you turn on the parking lamps and not the headlights?
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Only when the headlights are turned on. We pulled out every bulb that on that circuit and still blows a fuse, so it's something in the wiring somewhere. I'm beginning to think it has to do with the aftermarket stereo or the third party alarm system that was installed 22 years ago.
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it doesn't blow on the first click (parking lamps) but it does blow on the headlight porton of the switch (the last click) There may be a chance the switch is bad, use a manual and multimeter and test the plug going into the switch. If all is good, borrow a friends headlamp switch and change it out to test, and let me know what you find.

It is possable the alarm system could cause this as well. 99% of them use the parking lamps for the arm and dissarm indicator.

Last edited by Starmavin; 02-25-2006 at 02:23 PM.
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