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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 02-16-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Question '96 328is: 2 gauges go down + Brake Light Circuit Error = Now car won't start!!

This morning, the temp and fuel gauges on my daughter's '96 328is stopped working and the brake light circuit error came up on the central computer. I've dealt on and off with the brake light circuit and usually just have to re-seat the bulb. I did a bit of research and it turns out that there may be a fuse involved affecting the brake lights and the gauges. Car is not home yet and was running fine til she got to work. When she comes out of work to start it up this evening - nothing! Lights and radio come on but no engine turn over, nothing. Recently changed the voltage regulator on the alternator along with the Vanos oil line and camshaft position sensor (CPS) and cleared the CPS code using a Peake tool. Check engine light went off and has stayed off for almost two weeks. No electrical symptoms of any kind until today. Any ideas? Will get a chance to look at the car in about two hours. Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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Many views but no replies...

Anyways, got the car home. Looks like the gauges/brake circuit light problem was fuse related. Car not starting looks like bad starter but could be a starter relay? Any one dealt with this one before? How can I check for a bad starter or relay so I know which one to order? Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:23 AM   #3
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Check the DME relay ---> dud relay = No power to fuel pump or DME so no CEL and engine will not start.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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This car will not crank - no turning over or clicking or anything. Would a bad DME relay cause that or would the car at least crank and just not start running. Would it act as if it was out of fuel?
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:07 AM   #5
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In 6 cylinder cars the DME relay powers up the whole engine management system - fuel pump, injectors, EWS, Crank sensor - the lot, no EWS=no starter. The relay is easy to check and they do die.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Checked car today and found fuse #46 blown. Replaced fuse and attempted to start car and it started. Has started and fun fine all day. Fuse 46 apparently is for the side view mirrors so what the connection might be is unknown.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:38 PM   #7
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Fuse #46 also powers the electronic transmission control in autos, ABS, ASC, Instrument Cluster, Clock, On Board Computer, Brake lights and Cruise Control.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:08 AM   #8
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Thanks! Just read something similar on another forum also. Too bad the list that is on the fuse box leaves out most of the things that run through fuse 46.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:25 AM   #9
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Go to this site http://www.wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm and you will be able to download the BMW Electrical Troubleshooting Manual for your car - no more guesswork.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foaxaca View Post
Checked car today and found fuse #46 blown. Replaced fuse and attempted to start car and it started. Has started and fun fine all day. Fuse 46 apparently is for the side view mirrors so what the connection might be is unknown.
foaxaca......thank you very much for this post. I had the exact same problem today and I replaced fuse #46 and my car started!! You saved me a great deal of time and headaches going to a mechanic
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