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Old 11-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
ITLKSEZ
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Post Falls, ID
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2001 325i Touring
Signal indicators, remote lock, steering wheel volume control, etc... NOT WORKING

Hello everybody! I am new to the forum and new to BMWs after a lifelong obsession to Volvo wagons. I thought I would try the "other" high milage king since my mid-life crisis has been knocking.

After a long search, I found a 2001 325i Touring with high milage (190,000), but otherwise in great condition. We have put around 5000 miles on it with no issues, but recently the electrics have started going haywire. Here are the symptoms I am aware of:

-Turn signals and hazards work, but indicators and "blinker" noise do not.
-Seat belt indicator light stays on.
-The key's lock and unlock buttons don't work.
-Rear window opens randomly but button has no effect.
-Sometimes acts as if the key is still in the ignition when it isn't (dings).
-Radio controls on the wheel don't work, but cruise control light does come on with the wheel buttons (don't know if it actually still works).

Here is everything I have tried/checked/replaced:

All the fuses are fine.
No warning lights on dash.
New battery.
Disassembled the ignition switch and cleaned the contacts, checked continuity and voltage, all is fine.
There are no aftermarket stereo parts/docks that I am aware of (I saw a post somewhere that their "ICE"(?) dock was causing similar issues.)
Left new battery unplugged (to reset computers) and on the charger for over a day.

This all started when I was having random problems with what I thought was being caused by an old battery. It would sit for 2 days and start without issue to pull it in the garage, then I'd try to start it the next morning and it was dead (click, click). Now I am wondering if the battery ever was bad; if there was just a short somewhere? Like a sticking relay or something? I am really starting to lose my patience with this thing, and worse yet, I am starting to wish I would have stuck with boring old Volvos! Someone please help me restore my faith in this over-engineered paperweight! Anyone have any ideas? A new direction to look?

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Old 11-03-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
ITLKSEZ
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Location: Post Falls, ID
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My Ride: 2001 325i Touring
Just unhooked the radio to see if that would help. No change.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
boatshoe
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Look for JBeurotech's k-bus thread. Almost guaranteed that that's your problem. One module on the k-bus that is defective/has a bad connection will bring the whole k-bus down. I had the same problem. Simply unplugging each module and plugging it back in solved it (at least temporarily).
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
scottjoh
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Location: Torrance, CA
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My Ride: '99 323i & '02 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ITLKSEZ View Post
-Turn signals and hazards work, but indicators and "blinker" noise do not.
-Seat belt indicator light stays on.
-The key's lock and unlock buttons don't work.
-Rear window opens randomly but button has no effect.
-Sometimes acts as if the key is still in the ignition when it isn't (dings).
-Radio controls on the wheel don't work, but cruise control light does come on with the wheel buttons (don't know if it actually still works).
Turn signals and hazards not indicating on the cluster - K-Bus problem
Seat belt light stays on - I can't remember, but, I think the seat belt signal goes straight to the cluster.
Key's lock and unlock buttons don't work - this usually continues to work when the K-bus has problems, but, it may be because of the last K-bus message regarding the key in the ignition status was "Key in"
Rear window opens randomly, but, button doesn't work - not a K-bus problem. Pinched wires from switch to GM5 module? Bad GM5 module?
Sometimes acts if the key is in the ignition - possible K-bus issue. EWS detects the key and sends the status over the K-bus to the other modules in the car.
Steering wheel radio buttons don't work - standard K-bus problem.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
ITLKSEZ
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Location: Post Falls, ID
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My Ride: 2001 325i Touring
OK, so I just removed and tested all the red/white/yellow wires that all the forum threads are suggesting are leading to the problem. Mine has 13 ports with 12 wires.

When tested as a whole, I am only getting 6 volts.
Individually,
#1 has 12v
#2 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#3 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#4 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#5 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#6 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#7 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#8 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#9 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#10 is empty
#11 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#12 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#13 has 1v, partial continuity to ground

I re-connected all but the last of the wires and everything is back to normal!
Does anyone know what the last wire in the bundle goes to? The schematic isn't making much sense to me.
Just as extra information, this is the wagon, and the rear wiper motor and washer pump hasn't worked since I got the car. Possible culprit?
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:19 AM   #6
Charl_323
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if battery still drains overnight look into changing the fsr. solved my battery drainage issue. remove fuse for blower to test it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:26 AM   #7
scottjoh
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Location: Torrance, CA
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My Ride: '99 323i & '02 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ITLKSEZ View Post
OK, so I just removed and tested all the red/white/yellow wires that all the forum threads are suggesting are leading to the problem. Mine has 13 ports with 12 wires.

When tested as a whole, I am only getting 6 volts.
Individually,
#1 has 12v
#2 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#3 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#4 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#5 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#6 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#7 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#8 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#9 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#10 is empty
#11 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#12 has 0v, 0 continuity to ground
#13 has 1v, partial continuity to ground

I re-connected all but the last of the wires and everything is back to normal!
Does anyone know what the last wire in the bundle goes to? The schematic isn't making much sense to me.
Just as extra information, this is the wagon, and the rear wiper motor and washer pump hasn't worked since I got the car. Possible culprit?
There is no standard for which wire on the shorting bar is for which module. Wiring diagram won't say. You need to figure it out by testing what function(s) no longer work correctly or better yet have the car scanned with a GT1 or similar tool and see which module failed to appear.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
ITLKSEZ
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Location: Post Falls, ID
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2001 325i Touring
I think I found the culprit. That POS business radio is saying "Disabled" now with that one wire detached. Connect it and the radio works, but everything else doesn't. To me this points to a wiring short, not necessarily a bad radio. After a few tests, I am going pull the console apart to trace that wire; I read on here somewhere that someone had a corroded connector under the ash tray (somewhere?) that heads back to the CD changer that was causing all the problems. I'll start tracing and testing wires and see what I come up with.

Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions!!!!
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
ITLKSEZ
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Post Falls, ID
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My Ride: 2001 325i Touring
FIXED!!!
There was a cluster of 6 wires (connected inside a clear rubber boot) behind the ash tray: one went to the K-bus terminal above the fuse box (the wire I found had partial ground), one went to a terminal on the radio, one went to a terminal on the CD changer in the back, and three I have no clue what they are for (does anyone here know?!!), one of which had a direct short. I re-connected the remaining five wires and everything works, including the radio. I'll post pictures tomorrow when I get time for anyone else who might have this problem.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:43 PM   #10
ITLKSEZ
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Post Falls, ID
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2001 325i Touring




This is the connector for the CD changer in the rear of the car, and where the K-bus wire is for reference:






I don't know what that faulty wire goes to, but leaving it unhooked made my stereo sound A LOT better! I soldered the remaining 5 wires together, put the rubber cap back on, and taped the faulty wire to the outside of the cap in case I need it in the future.

I am learning as I go, so if any of my info is wrong or misguiding, please let me know!

I am so glad I didn't have to spend a penny on this fix (just three days of wire chasing)! Thanks again to everyone for your input, suggestions, and a huge thanks to this site's archive of posts.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:59 PM   #11
omar510
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: bay area
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My Ride: 325
Thanks for this thread! I fixed the same issues I was having in 30 minutes with this info!

I believe my cluster lights being out were masking issues with my brake lights. My cluster shows right and left rear lights out. Looking back there, the drivers brake light is out along with the third brake light on the hatch. The drivers light is fixed by banging on it, (aftermarket bulb?).

Is it possible that the whole issue was caused by a short in the brake light circuits? Do your lights work?
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:00 AM   #12
ITLKSEZ
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Post Falls, ID
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2001 325i Touring
Quote:
Originally Posted by omar510 View Post
Is it possible that the whole issue was caused by a short in the brake light circuits?
Everything on mine has been working just fine since this fix. I am finding that I have some water leakage around the back hatch, and it would not surprise me if this was the culprit to all of my initial problems. I am by no means an expert in wiring; I'm just a guy with lots of patience and no money. Otherwise, I would have gladly taken mine in for some other sorry bastard to do the work on it. I'm glad to hear my OP helped even one person. These things are such a wiring nightmare, I wouldn't be surprised if your brake light problems were being caused by solar flares or a power outage in Malaysia. I wish you the best of luck!
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