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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 05-08-2006, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Headlight and OBC Fading in and out

When i have the headlights on the LED from the miles readout and the OBC seem to get dim and come back to normal brightness at a consistant rate - and the headlights do the same thing (they get brighter and dimmer constaintly) what type of problem is this?

(sorry for the dual threads- but i have two questions used:
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Old 05-08-2006, 05:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Electrical. CHeck your altenator and battery 1st. Could even be a loose ground or wire from the alternator.

Do your lights dim when your foot is off the gas pedal? Does the check engine light come on when you shift (foot off the gas pedal?) and then go away when you finish your shift? If so you may have a failing alternator or if not the alt. you may have a short that is drawing power. Do your dash lights fade as well? If your alt is pumping the proper volts then perhaps your battery is beginning to die.

I had the same problem on my 94 318is. Changed the alt and everything was fine.

At worst you can get your fault codes read at the stealership.
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Old 05-08-2006, 05:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is it flickering quickly, or slowly dimming? Flicker is most likely voltage regulator.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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is your car feeling a little weak when you try and start it? check the battery for corrosion and then maybe get a volt meter and chek your battery... it sounds like its got a weak charge...
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the car performance wise feels fine, but it is a little slow to start- i think im going to have the battery read..
how much would a new alt cost (installed, i cant do it myself)
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Dude, you can so do it yourself, especially on a 318. I've never even changed the oil in any car, and I was able to replace my own alternator. Once you know a couple important things, it's super easy, and took me about 2 hours (1 hour of which was just lining up two holes so that the bolt would fit through).
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Old 05-09-2006, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah chaos id take a look at it before you even think baout bringing your car in... get a tutorial and im sure you can swap it out by yourself if that indeed is the problem...
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it is your battery then as far as battery pricing in Canada goes => $100.00

If it is your alternator then with your old alternator as a core trade in you can get a rebuilt one for about $200 from a prts store. AGAIN let me state that these prices are CAD$ and what they charge up here. You'll probably find cheaper where you are.

Using the Bentley you can change the ALT on your 318 yourself. About a 2 beer job... let us know what happens.

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Old 05-09-2006, 08:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I didn't even have a Bentley when I did mine, it's pretty self-explanatory as long as you're smart enough to unplug the battery first. I just got a used Bosch alternator for $85 CAD, and it's been running just fine.
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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the problem seems to be solved-
see, i drive maybe 15 min at a time and my father took the car for a day and drove it consistantly for 40 min+ and it seems the battery got a better charge and it now does not do the fading in and out..

would that be a logical explinaion?
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes it would
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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do you have a sub in the car? cause that can cause the lights to dim when there is a haevy bass beat.
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderboy
do you have a sub in the car? cause that can cause the lights to dim when there is a haevy bass beat.
No I don't.
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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just checking
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