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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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#1 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 09:45 PM
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Hey all-
I'm new here as I just picked up my first e36 and, aside from all the wierd problems, I'd definately buy another one.
However, some one maliciously beat the hell out of this car, including, but not limitted to: running into something that misplaced the frame and driver's side a-arm, tore up the interior, repainted it poorly with cheap paint, and blew up the engine.
I'm sure the accident can account for a lot (especially since the fuse panel is on that side), but I'm also wondering if anyone has experienced some of these problems and how they are fixed.

1. Probably the most annoying and dangerous is that all of my light will randomly shut off. If I switch the lights back to park or off at least the corner markers will come back on. Some times the lights will work again after I turn the switch on and off a few times, other times shutting the car off and turning it back on, or just plain walking away from it and coming back the next day works. The switch doesn't seem to have any play in it, nor does wiggling the switch around help.

2. When it's below about 40* (which is a lot in WI), the trans decides to throw itself into limp mode and the gear light comes on (obviously an AT). Seems to be a cold thing, because if I warm up the car, then shut it off and turn it back on, it's fine. I've heard that this is a typical problem, but how do you fix it?

3. The turn signal and outter brake/running light on the rear passenger side housing recently stopped working. There's no corrosion on the contact strips or plugs and the bulbs are fine.

4. The temp readout on the info center is constantly -35* F. I didn't really notice that until recently when it really wasn't that cold.

5. Is there any way to recover, reset, or figure out the car's info center security code? I have no manual or anything, and I don't see it written any where on the car (or I missed it).

6. Cruise control is just plain not working; any way to test the unit?

Once all that is taken care of all I need to do is repaint it, and fix the upholstery, carpet, headliner and AC and it'll be a decent car again. Still, after all the beating it's taken, with new ball joints, tie rods, rack, and bushings the car is really solid.

Later-
Dave

Bits 'n Pieces of a 93 E36
94 Plymouth Acclaim/89 Dodge Spirit ES Turbo
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 09:59 PM
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wow, sounds like your car has issues. but welcome to the forums!!!

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 10:15 PM
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well let me tell you as far as i know

there is a common problem w/the e36 brake lights, its called the brake light switch or something like that, its located under your break pedal. and, since it may be faulty, the cruise control wont work b/c it thinks your brakes are being applied. dont worry tho, this switch is like 8 bux, and teh dealership will literally charge u 10 bux for the whole thing
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 12:14 AM
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Thanks for the info- I'll check that out. Not sure if that's the cause, as I only have a 2 lights that are not working, but it's worth looking into.

Another note: Come to think of it, about the time I started experiencing lighting problems the info center popped up messages that all of the lights failed, listing them off one at a time. Since then the headlights have been doing this intermittenly and the far right tail lights stopped working. Is there some sort of lighting control unit, or does the ECU manage the light monitoring to tell you when something burnt out?
Also, this seems like kind of a dumb question, but if you shake a cruise control unit or tap on the side of it, is there anything that's supposed to be rattling around in there? I don't have any good ones around here to check.

Later-
Dave

Bits 'n Pieces of a 93 E36
94 Plymouth Acclaim/89 Dodge Spirit ES Turbo
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 09:10 AM
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Wow, even with all the problems this guy has, he still says he would buy another one!

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#6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 12:25 PM
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try checking ur relays for the headlights also it could be the knob. my friends got the same problem but it happens to only one headlight. he makes me go out and hit it to make it come back on hehe

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#7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2005, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by xsperf@Apr 19 2005, 07:15 PM
well let me tell you as far as i know

there is a common problem w/the e36 brake lights, its called the brake light switch or something like that, its located under your break pedal. and, since it may be faulty, the cruise control wont work b/c it thinks your brakes are being applied. dont worry tho, this switch is like 8 bux, and teh dealership will literally charge u 10 bux for the whole thing
[snapback]335165[/snapback]

They're charging me 37 dollars, plus tax =(...
Couldn't afford it, walked out the door.

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#8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2005, 11:25 AM
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1. Not sure about this, but I would definitely look at the switch and check the relays.

2. There are two possibilities for this: First, you may need a standard transmission service. Second, the transmission computer may need a software update. There was a problem in 93-94 autos that cause a false fault on cold starts.

3. Though I haven't experienced it, I have heard there are problems with the bundle of cables that run through the trunk lid. They can cause al sorts of electrical problems in the tail end of your car. There are some good posts on this topic around this forum.

4. Check to see if the temperature probe is intact and check the wiring leading to it. The probe is in one the ducts leading from the front grill to the wheel well. I don't remember if it is on the right or left side, though.

5. If I remember correctly, you choose the code each time you activate the security feature.

6. Hey, I can't know everything.

-bj



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