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From digest.v7.n1031 Wed Jan 28 13:20:49 1998
From: "Sanders, Ron" <>
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 the net:

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?
Ron Sanders
92 525i
93 325is

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