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Strange electrical issue

 
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craig325es



Joined: 17 Jul 2001
Posts: 284
Location: Holland, MI / USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:08 pm    Post subject: Strange electrical issue Reply with quote

Hey guys!

Here's something new... I noticed an usual electrical problem after getting my 1986 325es out of storage last weekend.


When I turn the key to "start" I can feel air blowing out of the vents, but it stops as soon as the key is released to the 'run" position. It's a little chilly up here in Michigan to drive without the heat blowing right now.

On a possibly related note, I also noticed the gas gauge doesn't seem to work. The fuses all look good.

Has anyone else encountered this issue?
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Craig
'86 BMW 325es
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MisterFixit



Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 38
Location: Golden, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Strange electrical issue Reply with quote

craig325es wrote:
Hey guys!

Here's something new... I noticed an usual electrical problem after getting my 1986 325es out of storage last weekend.

When I turn the key to "start" I can feel air blowing out of the vents, but it stops as soon as the key is released to the 'run" position. It's a little chilly up here in Michigan to drive without the heat blowing right now.

On a possibly related note, I also noticed the gas gauge doesn't seem to work. The fuses all look good.

Has anyone else encountered this issue?


OK, air. It seems you may have a relay problem. BMWs have an unloader relay that sheds high current accessories when starting the car. You might have an incorrect one in there, but if everything was fine before storage, it may be a relay failed. I believe they have five pins on them, the usual 30, 85, 86, and the business pins, 87 and 87a. One is hot all the time, the other is hot when the coil gets voltage. NO and NC in relay terms.

Gas gauge- try removing and replacing the connector at the tank several times, maybe rapping on the access plate a few times, and maybe removing and replacing the related fuses. And don't forget to check the bolt that fastens all the rear ground connectors under the back seat.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

Good luck
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craig325es



Joined: 17 Jul 2001
Posts: 284
Location: Holland, MI / USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I appreciate the tips. Just swapped out the unloader relay and it seems to make no difference. Other thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again!
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey bud! I have been looking for you on the road every day! Haven't seen you, so I hope both you and the e30 are doing well.

I know you can't test this now, but does it make any difference if the air temp is below 36F or so? If so, it's likely some trace issues on the SI board. When heat causes the board to expand, the traces will "break", and when cold, they magically reconnect. Good luck!
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craig325es



Joined: 17 Jul 2001
Posts: 284
Location: Holland, MI / USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue turned out to be a short in the wire that runs under the car to the back-up lights. I assume it was damaged with I had the guibo, then the drive shaft replaced last year.

The simple "solution" was to lift up the shift boot and unplug the little back-up light connector that's right there.

I don't have back up lights right now, but I don't have fuses blowing every day either. Once I can get it up on a hoist, I can try to locate the short.
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Craig
'86 BMW 325es
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4710
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry this is so late... It's been a strange couple of years and the last few months have been bedlam.

In April, I started having trouble with my 325e. Sometimes it wouldn't start until I pushed the car a foot or so, then it would turn over. Once running, it ran like crap with regards to acceleration. One day, it just died and I couldn't get it started again but it was parked at home. I started a painting project and left the Bimmer sitting there for two months

I finally got a place to work on the car, I spoke with Dale, and he gave me some good ideas to follow.

Once I got it to the garage, I followed a hunch cause it was the easiest to do and the new fuel pump hadn't arrived yet. I started cleaning all of the grounds on the car... ALL of them in the engine bay. Dale suggested I also get something called DeOxit http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002BBVN2/ref=sr_ph?ie=UTF8&qid=1441917261&sr=1&keywords=deoxit. I didn't use it cause I didn't have it yet, but I cleaned and sanded all of the ground contacts, washers and bolts.

I was really surprised when I turned the key. Starting problems were gone and it fired right up. So, I lowered it from the stands and took a short drive, and sure enough, the hesitation was completely gone too!

Eventually, I loosened and coated them all again with the DeOxit once it arrived, but fixing all of those issues for me came down to ONE thing... the grounds making bad contact...
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Cosmo - 1985 BMW 325e, Single Owner, 235,000+ ORIGINAL miles and still going strong!

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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4710
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, the windshield washer fluid indicator was also starting to show on the info panel at the top, and at weird times. I put some DeOxit on the contacts and the issue immediately went away.
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Cosmo - 1985 BMW 325e, Single Owner, 235,000+ ORIGINAL miles and still going strong!

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