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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 01-05-2005, 01:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Okay...I've seen lots of questions in posts about the mystery of the E36 orange dash lights....basically everyone wants to know what is supposed to be lit and what is not?

In a previous discussion here a few months back a few of us came to the conclusion that the otherside of the steering wheel where the headlight and fog light switch is located does not light up...because no one had E36 cars with the orange dash lights on that side from SoCal to London!

Well today I got back from David's Auto in NYC after I got my Fog lights and wiring installed and David himself replaced the bulbs behind the switch after he did the installation and voila my car came back to me with...well just look at the picture and see for yourself....





I'm not sure what bulbs go in there or even how to replace them....
Most of us that bought used e36 cars most likely bought our cars with this side of the dash dark because David said those bulbs tend to die the quickest because they don't dim with the rest of the dash...so they stay ON and stay BRIGHT all the time your car is on.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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wow, cool...i'm definately gonna see about fixing that bulb then.
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi,

Recently changed this so here's a brief outline of how to get to the bulb.

On the underside of the Dash, directly below the Light Switch is a single Phillips Screw, Remove and put somewhere safe.

Next, Above the Light switch is a Vent. Pull this down and out. Mind out because this is real pain. Take you time.

When you have the vent out, you'll be able to see into the space behind the light switch. The Fog and Main Lights can be removed separately. Compress the flange for the switch you wish to remove (mains has the bulb) and slip out through the whole in the dash.

Take your time not to scratch the front of the light switch because these will show-up later when you've replaced the bulb.

The Light switch has the normal rotate-to-disconnect/connect plug that BMW use. Separate the switch from the wires (careful they're a little short).

The bulb you're after is on the side of the main light switch under a small cover. Remove, get replacement, and change.

Follow the above in reverse for refitting.

Tipů When replacing the Vent, which is a bigger pain going in, set the vent to fully open so that you can see clearly the rubber connector you're trying to align with.



Once done this make a big different and look great.

Hope this helped.

Cheers
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nineholes@Jan 5 2005, 07:43 AM
Hi,

Recently changed this so here's a brief outline of how to get to the bulb.

On the underside of the Dash, directly below the Light Switch is a single Phillips Screw, Remove and put somewhere safe.

Next, Above the Light switch is a Vent. Pull this down and out. Mind out because this is real pain. Take you time.

When you have the vent out, you'll be able to see into the space behind the light switch. The Fog and Main Lights can be removed separately. Compress the flange for the switch you wish to remove (mains has the bulb) and slip out through the whole in the dash.

Take your time not to scratch the front of the light switch because these will show-up later when you've replaced the bulb.

The Light switch has the normal rotate-to-disconnect/connect plug that BMW use. Separate the switch from the wires (careful they're a little short).

The bulb you're after is on the side of the main light switch under a small cover. Remove, get replacement, and change.

Follow the above in reverse for refitting.

Tipů When replacing the Vent, which is a bigger pain going in, set the vent to fully open so that you can see clearly the rubber connector you're trying to align with.



Once done this make a big different and look great.

Hope this helped.

Cheers
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine have always been lit...except for a brief period when one of the bulbs blew out. Easy to remove. Dealer charges an outrageous $4 or so for the bulb...but what the hay!
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nineholes View Post
Hi,

Recently changed this so here's a brief outline of how to get to the bulb.

On the underside of the Dash, directly below the Light Switch is a single Phillips Screw, Remove and put somewhere safe.

Next, Above the Light switch is a Vent. Pull this down and out. Mind out because this is real pain. Take you time.

When you have the vent out, you'll be able to see into the space behind the light switch. The Fog and Main Lights can be removed separately. Compress the flange for the switch you wish to remove (mains has the bulb) and slip out through the whole in the dash.

Take your time not to scratch the front of the light switch because these will show-up later when you've replaced the bulb.

The Light switch has the normal rotate-to-disconnect/connect plug that BMW use. Separate the switch from the wires (careful they're a little short).

The bulb you're after is on the side of the main light switch under a small cover. Remove, get replacement, and change.

Follow the above in reverse for refitting.

Tipů When replacing the Vent, which is a bigger pain going in, set the vent to fully open so that you can see clearly the rubber connector you're trying to align with.



Once done this make a big different and look great.

Hope this helped.

Cheers
Hi

I'm trying to replace the light bulb behind my head lights switch and the fog light button to the left of my steering wheel and as per your post a long time ago you have done and i was wondering whether you could help me. I have an 1997 bmw E36 318is and have already removed the vent. What i can't figure out is where to put the bulb .... do i just rip that thin black plastic cover off and get a replacement from the dealer? The plastic cover is fastened by lock type washers that don't come off. If you could provide any assistance it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 12-15-2009, 06:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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When you get the switch/vent out, look on the underside. There is a little white plastic tube. Pull that out; the bulb is inside it.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks

I replaced the bulb and the light still doesn't come on? Could this be a fuse problem? Any other ideas?

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Old 12-15-2009, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nineholes View Post
Hi,

Recently changed this so here's a brief outline of how to get to the bulb.

On the underside of the Dash, directly below the Light Switch is a single Phillips Screw, Remove and put somewhere safe.

Next, Above the Light switch is a Vent. Pull this down and out. Mind out because this is real pain. Take you time.

When you have the vent out, you'll be able to see into the space behind the light switch. The Fog and Main Lights can be removed separately. Compress the flange for the switch you wish to remove (mains has the bulb) and slip out through the whole in the dash.

Take your time not to scratch the front of the light switch because these will show-up later when you've replaced the bulb.

The Light switch has the normal rotate-to-disconnect/connect plug that BMW use. Separate the switch from the wires (careful they're a little short).

The bulb you're after is on the side of the main light switch under a small cover. Remove, get replacement, and change.

Follow the above in reverse for refitting.

Tipů When replacing the Vent, which is a bigger pain going in, set the vent to fully open so that you can see clearly the rubber connector you're trying to align with.



Once done this make a big different and look great.

Hope this helped.

Cheers
Nine holes , thank you for a very interesting article I am positive that i will be using that information sooner or latter , I hope it is latter .. My problem is trying to get to the other side of the steering wheel down low to the lights illuminating the ac heater, air direction ,and fan speed knobs ( 316i 1995 compact ). Unfortunately for me no one seems to have that knowledge on this forum . Regards Alan
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