I have a 1997 E36 318i Touring SE UK spec that has developed a very strange electrical fault.
About 6 months ago, I noticed that the Outside Temp display and digital clock were not working when I was driving along. When I reached my destination, I checked the fuses and everything was OK. However, the car refused to start. The ignition lights were lit and I could hear the fuel pump, but it would not turn over. I called the RAC (Auto rescue) and they could not start it - we even tried a tow start. While waiting for a tow home, I tried to start the car and the outside temp display and clock were now working and the car started OK. I drove to my BMW garage and they could not find a fault with it. It does however, have a sticker on the rear windows for a Sigma Car Alarm, even though I don't have a Radio Key for it and the LED light that I assume is the Alarm Active LED never lights. I have always assumed that the Alarm is off or perhaps removed. The garage thought that there may be an alarm and sugested having it removed in case there was a fault in the alarm. I decided not to have it removed (not sure if there is an alarm anyway). It has run perfectly since until today when I had the same fault.
I just couldn't start the car. I noticed that when the ignition is on that the outside temp, digital clock, electric windows and sunroof do not operate. Central locking works fine. I called the RAC again and after about 1 hour the guy said there was no 12V on fuse 45 which is the imobiliser fuse. He temporarily connected 12V to the fuse 45 and I could start the car. With 12V on fuse 45 the outside temp and clock functioned. The 12V was removed from fuse 45 and the engine continued to run so I drove home without any problem except that the windows, sunroof, instrument panel temp gauge, outside temp and clock did not work. I have tried my second key but that still does not work.
This seems to be an imobiliser problem or if there is an alarm then perhaps the alarm is faulty and is imobilising the car, However, I can't find an alarm box anywhere!
So. Does anyone know if this is a know fault?
Could this be a relay problem?
Any suggestions on how to cure this?
Any help on this would be so much appreciated.