Terrible Electrical Problem - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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 12-11-2004, 07:20 PM
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My cousin was messing with my car a few weeks ago trying to find a way to install my aftermarket alarm. We took out the glove box and for some reason, he unplugged all the wiring harnesses (about 6 of them). When he plugged them back in, my windows, power door locks, and sunroof stopped working. I did some research and replaced my comfort relay -- that didnt work. It's not the electrical connections in the trunk lid, either. Does anybody have any idea what's wrong? Thanks a lot.

It really sucks driving up to drive-thrus then realizing your windows won't go down.

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#2 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 07:47 PM
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that suckssssss

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 01:41 AM
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why u trying that anyway?? i would never touch anykind of harness other than stereo... dealership will prolly rape u on charges.. should have gotten that done professionally!!

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#4 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 02:27 AM
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Yeah, unfortunately your best bet at this point would be to just bring it to a good indie mechanic to get it wired correctly, or maybe an alarm installer might try and tackle it for a bit less than what a mechanic would charge.
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 09:15 AM
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This may sound obvious, but check that he plugged ALL of the harnesses back in and that there isn't one hidden in the back that he overlooked. Then check that they all have unique plug configurations to eliminate the possibility that he plugged them in incorrectly. Also, make sure that all the plugs are fully seated, the check fuses.
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 03:00 PM
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ya, it sounds like you just forgot to plug something back in. I would take another look around before I brought it into a shop.
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 03:31 PM
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First make sure all harnesses are connected CORRECTLY. Check your fuses(if you havent already) Then make sure that he didnt bend any of the pins on the connecters, or pull any wires loose from the harness.
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 05:14 PM
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u check the fuse box, any fuses blown maybe?

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#9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 06:36 PM
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The first thing i did was check the fuses. They're all fine. I've double checked all the connections and they're all in correctly, too. There is no other way for them to go. I took apart the comfort relay and found out that if i touch 2 contacts in it, the sunroof would work (why only the sunroof?). So, im thinking it could be the relay, but how? I replaced it with another one (i found in the car) and it did the same thing. I also checked the wiring diagrams in the Bentley manual and there's nothing else running on that circuit besides the window switches. Any other suggestions?

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#10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 07:26 PM
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I just got my BMW so i'm not sure, but with other cars that my family owns when u disconnect the harnesses, etc. There is a reset button of some kind u have to hold down for around 10 seconds.



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#11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 11:42 PM
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So, any more ideas?

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#12 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 03:53 AM
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Hehehe , had the same problem but when I pulled the plugs my windows were down and I could not get them up What sucks more with only 2-3 degrees outside.

I suggest re checking the plugs , maybe you got something switched.
Then push them one by one to be 100% sure they are plugged deep enough.

Then take the battery off for a few minutes and put it back on.
Try your windows , should work.
If not , I will guide you a bit more deep in the problem

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#13 (permalink) Old 12-16-2004, 02:25 AM
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Originally posted by JAX@Dec 15 2004, 02:53 AM
Hehehe , had the same problem but when I pulled the plugs my windows were down and I could not get them up What sucks more with only 2-3 degrees outside.
Yea, my windows were down, too... I had to get some speaker wire and connect the window motors directly to the battery to make them go back up. It sucked pretty bad, but now i can leave my car outside. I'll check out what you said tomorrow and let you know. Thanks.

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#14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2004, 01:02 PM
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There a little black box that controls all the power windows, sunroofs, etc which is located under the glove box. You don't need to unplug that to install the alarm. Make sure you pluged that back in, otherwise that would definitely be the cause of your problem. I found this out when I was poking around for things to remove in my car and yanked that out. My power windows stopped working. I plugged it back in and it worked again.

That's all I can think of.

Also, if you aren't a professional, why would you install the alarm yourself? The whole point of an alarm is to prevent other people from breaking into the car. If you wire things yourself, how easy do you think it would be for a car theif to disable the alarm? Seriously, you have to make sure all the soldering is done properly, and all wires hidden and tucked away. Otherwise just yank on some wires and your alarm is disabled.

Don't mess with the BMW electrical system, if you screw things up, you'll have a huge headache figuring out what you've done wrong. Also, you might blow out a lot of expensive parts. Pay the $50-$100 to have it installed properly.

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#15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 03:36 PM
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E36 BMWs are real easy to wire an alarm in. Most of the connections come off of the pre wired harness under the glove box. Then ignition and accessory come from under the stearing column. Finally you run the horn under the hood right by the + terminal (wires are easy to run through there). Then wallah a working alarm. I used directeds web site to find out which wires are which and where they are located.

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