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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-16-2008, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Attention: ALL E36 owners beware - WIRING PROBLEM

From Bimmerforums's BiMmEr JoN :
Hey guys. Just letting you guys know to be carefull because I just caught something really bad in my 325is. I was driving one day and then all of a sudden things started to go really wrong. I lost my headlights, I had no interior lights, no dash lights, and no turn signals. MY OBC was going crazy saying all these electircal failures were going on. It was night and all that worked were my foglights to light up the road. I stopped by the dealership I work at and opened up the fuse box and saw about 10 fuses blown. I replaced them all and then they instantly blew out. Then we noticed something interesting, all my lights didn't work, except my tailights. They were still lit up. The mechanics traced all these problems to the wiring harness that goes from the car to the trunk. If you look on the left side, when your trunk lid is up, you see a thing of wires wrapped up in a black covering. We took off the covering and you won't beleive what we found.

ALL THE WIRES OVER TIME RUBBED AGAINST EACHOTHER AND THE WIRE COATING RUBBED OFF EVENTUALLY AND ALL THE WIRES WERE TOUCHING EACHOTHER. FROM YEARS OF OPENNING AND CLOSING THE TRUNK, THE WIRES GET WEAK AND SO DOES THE WIRE COATING. Mine was really bad, it went all the way into the car, luckily it stopped before it went deep into the car where I would most definetely not be able to reach it.

I RECOMMEND EVERYBODY CHECKING THIS OUT ASAP. SAVE YOURSELF ALOT OF MONEY AND PREPARE AHEAD. I INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED EACH WIRE IN ELECTIRCAL TAPE.

IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU, POST. I can't be the only one.

UPDATE : YOU HAVE TO TAKE OFF THE BLACK PLASTIC COVERING AND THE RUBBER LIKE TUBE TO EXPOSE ALL THE WIRES BEHIND TO BE SURE IF THE WIRES ARE FRAYING. YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO TELL ANYTHING WITHOUT CUTTING THROUGH AND SEEING.

It makes sense that when you open and close your trunk that those wires are going to rub against eachother everytime you open and close.

(i moved this from deep in the thread to up front.) i posted this a few months ago, but i want to stress the importance of checking this)

full thread here... Attention: ALL E36 owners beware - WIRING PROBLEM - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum



Edit: thanks to shake it like a Saltshaker for the heads up....
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this thread makes me laugh at the over reactive nature of the replies...

ZOMGZ MY CAR IS GOING TO BURN TO THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!

why is everyone surprised at this? this is common sense...you always have to keep an eye on wiring in the door jamb, trunk lid, etc...
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The last owner must have been a dope runner or something... You would think that if anything the drivers door would be the one to have the problem... they must have used the trunk alot!
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've seen this on E38's and E39's too.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIRTE30
The last owner must have been a dope runner or something... You would think that if anything the drivers door would be the one to have the problem... they must have used the trunk alot!
its actually really common in all cars...

i really don't understand the surprise from people
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ouch, no credit... i see...


but yea, checked mine today and found 6 of my 10 wires were either frayed or totally broken... so i jimmy rigged it up temporarily.

You dont have to cut the harness open to check it, you can simply pull it off at one end and slide it down to show the wires, then you slide it down the other end to check the rest of it. Theres been cases of people finding bad wires all the way down into their trunk under their carpet so when i find time, i plan on fixing mine all together.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I checked this in June and miraculously my rear deck speakers started working along with my C pillar interior lights. I only found it because some jackoff put gum on trunk and when I was removing the gum I saw the wires arcing. I dont think my car was going to burn to the ground but untreated electrical sparking could pose some problems.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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mines good.

Checked mine. All look fine to me. ven pulled up rear seat. wires good there too. I found alot of moisture underneath it though. I would advise people to check this.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just so you all know, BMW has a Technical service bulletin on this, they revised and changed the cinstruction of the wiring harness to the trunk to the later models. BMW will sell you a replacement harness for the trunk of you want.
I just took my shielding apart and used good amounts of heat srink and sotter to fix two broken wires, now its all good.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks!for the heads up Speed! going to check my harness today!
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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+1 more.


The central locking stopped working on the Boot, I thought it was the solenoid as I have already had to replace both the drivers door and passengers door ones, but when I replaced it it still didn't work.

Then the boot interior light stopped working.

Enough was enough when one of the number plate lights stopped working.

Upon investigating I had 3 broken wires and 3 more with the plastic broken, out cam the soldering iron and some heat shrink tubing.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot for telling
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i have BMW Model 318i E36 car. My problem is transmissiom not ship and start from no 3 gear and habe warning light at meter. I also changer ECU transmissiom, Still have problem. Hope any body can Help.. Me

Thank u
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey i have a 92 318i and just the other day my dash lights went out becuase of a blown fuse. but everytime i replace the fuse and turn on the running lights it blows. so i took off the right rear tail light (because that wasnt working too) and put the fuse in this time it didnt blow. then it happened again and i thought it could be a wire behind the cd deck but it all was good. and now no matter what i try the fuse keeps blowing. can anyone help?
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hey i have a 92 318i and just the other day my dash lights went out becuase of a blown fuse. but everytime i replace the fuse and turn on the running lights it blows. so i took off the right rear tail light (because that wasnt working too) and put the fuse in this time it didnt blow. then it happened again and i thought it could be a wire behind the cd deck but it all was good. and now no matter what i try the fuse keeps blowing. can anyone help?

read the first post on this thread and see if that helps any.
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