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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 03-12-2005, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok, I have a few questions...

1) My car is an automatic with an option for...stick? My friends call it a stickamatic...anyways when I'm driving in automatic I would be following the speed limit, and going at a constant speed of about 40 mph hour, but sometimes when I'm doing this, I notice the rpm's keep increasing almost all the way to redline (which is where I panic and slow down the car)...I'm not pressing hard on the gas, I'm not trying to speed, but its like the engine and the car are not caught up with each other...why would the engine keep going faster..?

2) Second question isn't a problem, but its merely cosmetic. All of the lights in the console and such are orange...Anyway to change the color? Is it the bulb that's orange or is it there a white bulb and theres just an orange film for the light to show through, anyone try to do this or something similar?

3) The CHECK light comes on in my dash panel...what am I supposed to check? (The previous owner threw away the manual to the car... ghead ) *sigh...
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not sure about the transmission problem, but i have seen a similar thread started a while back.

The orange/"amber" color is the way all BMWs are and is almost a BMW trademark type thing. I wouldn't change it. I am also not real sure if it is a bulb or the actual gauges.

The check engine light will come on and the computer in the center console should tell you why. You can also get a manual from any BMW dealership or find one online.
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think your automatic transmission is starting to slip (check your fluid level...it may just be low). If it's not low fluid, I'd take it to a reputable automatic transmission place or a trusted mechanic. Sounds like your transmission is starting to go...may only get worse.
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You sure it's all the way in drive? And when u use the sport mode u change the gears right?
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can tell you the lights in the radio and computer in my '97 are red LED. a few of them are enhanced or mad brighter (i.e., the odometer) by a clear bulb but the base color is red. I'd leave them alone.
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i'd check the transmission fluid, maybe its just low like frank said. does it do this all the time? or sometimes when the engine is cold?
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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sounds like the tranny is going!! should get that checked out asap!
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...
S-st-starting to go?!? @_@
I hope not... =\

Thanks for the help everyone!

So the CHECK light comes on whenever the center console has a messege pretty much? That means its telling me my brake light is out again...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm guessing its because the connection is dirty or rusted or whatever?
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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yeah the "check brake light" on the computer if usually because of a connection problem. Quick and easy way to find out is have a friend go outside the car when the code is on, and check the lights. Mine does teh same thing, but my lights work fine so I have chosen to ignore it for the most part. I have taken it in to be serviced for other stuff and they checked that out too and supposedly took care of it, but it came back after a couple of days.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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on the '97 its "BREAK LIGHT CIRCUIT". Easy fix if its the brake light switch. TO diagnois do the following:

Start the car. Tune the radio to any AM station and put the volume so you can hear the station.

SLOWLY depress the brake pedal. You will hear (in the radio) a static noise as you depress the brake pedal. If you hear this then you brake light switch is most likely the cause of the code.

The switch is not really "BAD", the brake lights still come on but what is happening is the contacts inside the switch are burnt. In other words, when the pedal is pushed, the metal blades in the switch make contact. This contact causes a small arch which results in carbon building up on the contacts. This arch is what you hear in the radio. The computer is simply picking up on this arch and throwing a "Brake Light Circuit" code to the display.

The switch was only availble from dealer or web OEM parts guy. $25-$35 bucks. There are 2 parts numbers for my '97. The install is easy, access is the hardest part. I have replaced mine twice and ended up destroying the old one getting it out. There is a compression/ratchet type holding mechanism that is easy to install but hard to remove (laying on my back blindly reaching under the panel.

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Old 03-13-2005, 08:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Larry Horne@Mar 13 2005, 07:26 AM
on the '97 its "BREAK LIGHT CIRCUIT". Easy fix if its the brake light switch. TO diagnois do the following:

Start the car. Tune the radio to any AM station and put the volume so you can hear the station.

SLOWLY depress the brake pedal. You will hear (in the radio) a static noise as you depress the brake pedal. If you hear this then you brake light switch is most likely the cause of the code.

The switch is not really "BAD", the brake lights still come on but what is happening is the contacts inside the switch are burnt. In other words, when the pedal is pushed, the metal blades in the switch make contact. This contact causes a small arch which results in carbon building up on the contacts. This arch is what you hear in the radio. The computer is simply picking up on this arch and throwing a "Brake Light Circuit" code to the display.

The switch was only availble from dealer or web OEM parts guy. $25-$35 bucks. There are 2 parts numbers for my '97. The install is easy, access is the hardest part. I have replaced mine twice and ended up destroying the old one getting it out. There is a compression/ratchet type holding mechanism that is easy to install but hard to remove (laying on my back blindly reaching under the panel.

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