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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 08-07-2010, 07:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wtf?!?!

So, for the first time in my life I am at odd ends with my E39. I don't know what the hell is going on with my car but I think I have one hell of an electrical issue right now.

A few weeks ago I lost my interior ambience lighting. At first I thought maybe I just blew a fuse but when I opened my glovebox the light in there was still working and I know for a fact the light in the glovebox is connected to the same fuse. Regardless, I still checked the fuse for the interior lighting and not to my surprise it was still in tact. No other issues with my lighting were noticeable at this time.

Yesterday, I needed to disassemble my center console because my iphone charger got stuck in my cigarette lighter and I needed to remove the panel to get it out. This involved me removing the HVAC controls, heated seat controls, and the panel it all mounts to. After reinstalling everything I started to notice some unusual things...

I was on the road, had my turn signal on, but the indicator on my cluster did not light up and the clicking sound was not audible either. However, the turn signal itself was on. This same problem is also present with my caution lights as well. The lights still work but the interior display does not. I tested my brights next to see if it would come up on my cluster that it was on and not to my surprise at this point the indicator did not come on. However, my brights still came on. At this point I'm getting sort of pissed off and the only thing I can think of at this point is I have an issue with my LCM.

I forgot to mention that my key was not locking my car at first either but I fixed that problem by disconnecting the negative terminal on my battery and letting it sit for a minute or two before plugging it back in. Now my car locks with my key but the amber lights do not light up when I lock or unlock my car.

All I can say right now is WTF...
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I feel your pain......I have been down that road before........

As for the HVAC, etc. issue......did this start after you removed your console, maybe you pinched a wire or maybe a connection point is not fully making? I would check in that area....first.

Question on the interior lighting.....didn't you upgrade to led lighting a while back......maybe that has something to do with it.......maybe? just throwing that out there!

jb
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I feel your pain......I have been down that road before........

As for the HVAC, etc. issue......did this start after you removed your console, maybe you pinched a wire or maybe a connection point is not fully making? I would check in that area....first.

Question on the interior lighting.....didn't you upgrade to led lighting a while back......maybe that has something to do with it.......maybe? just throwing that out there!

jb
The major crap started after I put everything back together. The one thing I'm thinking is there was one connection that I found that didn't go to anything. It's part of the same wiring loom that goes to my HVAC controls but it's slightly shorter than the rest. I don't remember unplugging it and I couldn't find what the hell it goes to. Maybe that's the problem but I was getting frustrated putting everything back together and just said to myself, "I'll deal with this later."

Yes, I upgraded the interior lights to the LED's but the day it stopped working I remember sitting in my car and hitting the main switch to turn off the lights. I drove to where I was going, got out, turned around and noticed that the lights were not on (they usually stay on for awhile after leaving the car).

I don't think what I did yesterday had anything to do with the lighting issue. I looked up LCM failure symptoms and other people have described the same problems I am having with the indicators not lighting on the gauge cluster and they all turned out to be related to a faulty LCM. What sucks about this is the LCM needs to be coded by the dealer. The good news is it takes like 15 minutes for them to do it. For now I'm just going to leave it alone as long as the signals still work.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I hope that is what it is. I was thinking earlier that it might be a bad ground when it first started a little while ago...that could potentially be impossible to find without stripping the car out. I remember how pissed I was with my electrical problems might be a bad ground, and how happy I was when it was the neutral control switch. Best of luck sorting it!
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Problem fixed this afternoon in 30 seconds. Boy do I feel like a dummy after what I did. All is well with the E39 again except for the worn ball joints on my tie rods.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Problem fixed this afternoon in 30 seconds. Boy do I feel like a dummy after what I did. All is well with the E39 again except for the worn ball joints on my tie rods.
Well done, but you need to let us all in on what the problem was for future reference.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well done, but you need to let us all in on what the problem was for future reference.
You're right brettski. However, the chances of it happening to someone else are slim to none as long as they have a factory headunit/cd player. What I did was the dumbest mistake of all. I accidentally plugged in the 10PIN connector for the CD changer into my HVAC control instead of the 10PIN connector for my HVAC controls. Both look the same, both plug in without any noticeable difference except for the fact it messes up a lot of electrical things simultaneously.

What this comes down to is a case of taking photos of what you're working on and paying attention to what you're doing. Labeling would also help too.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What a classic. It sounds like something that I am sooooo likely to have done myself.

Do you have an electrical diagram for the E39 that you managed to solve this, or did you just pull everything apart and have one of thos aaahhaaa moments??
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What a classic. It sounds like something that I am sooooo likely to have done myself.

Do you have an electrical diagram for the E39 that you managed to solve this, or did you just pull everything apart and have one of thos aaahhaaa moments??
I was out for a run yesterday and somewhere near the 15 minute mark it hit me. Can't explain it because I wasn't thinking about it either.
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