From digest.v7.n1031 Wed Jan 28 13:20:49 1998
From: "Sanders, Ron" <rls5_at_cdc.gov>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 10:33:00 -0500
Subject: FW: <E34 electrical> Pulsing Lights
And now, the rest of the story.........
A few days ago, I related the following problem and asked for help from
For the past 4 days, my '92 525i (60,000 mi.) has been exibiting some
perplexing symptoms. When I'm driving, the headlamps, odometer, and
clock lights have begun pulsing slightly. They don't go out altogether
and no other lights/electrical appear to be effected. Most puzzling is
the fact that this only happens when the engine is above idle.
Otherwise, driveability is fine.
Being a dedicated, and stubborn, DIYer, I don't want to throw in the
towel and just start replacing parts willy nilly or bigin writing checks
to my mechanic without considering the wisdom of the net. So far I've
checked the battery (new PepBoys Group 48 purchased 2 weeks ago to
replace aging 6-year old original) which shows 12.6 v at rest and 14.5 v
under load, the drive belt, the tensioners (tightened slightly to no
avail) and visually inspected the alternator for signs of loose
connections. None of these things seems to be the cause.
Well, the gauntlet has been cast. Are the members of the digest ready
to call a temporary cease fire to the mine's bigger than yours
"discussions" to consider a technical problem?
As a result of my request, bimwads from London to Texas responded with
sound advice that may keep others from getting stranded. The concensus
was that it was either one of several loose ground straps or that the
voltage regulator was signaling it's eminent demise. After checking the
grounds, I decided to pull the alternator and have it bench tested at a
local auto electrical shop. It turned out that when the regulator
warmed up, it began giving off readings below spec. The replacement
cost $83 plus a couple of my free time hours; much better than the
$250-300 that a mechanic would have charged, and I got the warm fuzzies
that come from having mastered the machine. Lessons learned: (1) don't
ignore pulsing dash lights, and (2) do ask for help.
Is that a pulsing light in the sky?
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