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General E46 Forum
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
smojones07
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Lightbulb cluster and dash lighting problem

I have 2001 325i. Car runs great but having a lighting problem. When i drive at night mu cluster lights do not come on. Everything works fine and all warning lights and blinkers still light up but the rpm gauge or speedometer does not light up which bothers me a lot at night since i cannot see how fast I'm going. Also on the cd player the buttons do not lights up or the switches for the window do not light up either. I checked the fuses and thats not the problem. I am stumped

If anyone has any ideas or have had this problem please let me know what i can do to fix this. Any help is appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
av's 330ci
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I have the same issue with my 04 330ci. All the indicators and needles work except the red background lighting of the cluster. I posted this a while back but i didn't have a lot of feedback. I did do some research on the topic and i think it's a bulb that goes wrong and needs to be replaced. Either way Im sure he cluster has to come off. If that's not the problem the i think we have to replaced the cluster. There are used ones but they have the prior mileage programmed from the last vehicle and need to get synchronized with the new vehicle if Im not mistaken. And i wouldn't know about your radio mine works and lights properly.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
smojones07
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Yea i thought the bulbs could be bad but thought maybe it could be something else since other lights are not working. Not really sure if the is a module or anything all of it runs to to turn the lights on or not. If i find anything out i will post it on here
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
dirty vert
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I'd look at the dimmer switch. I had a problem like this with a pathfinder. I jumped the dimmer out so I had cluster lighting.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
smojones07
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I read a different forum and seen something about a dimmer switch but should have mentioned before that the buttons on steering wheel do light up and when i use the dimmer it works on those buttons but the rest of them they don't work. Could is still be the switch?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:27 AM   #6
dirty vert
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I noticed last night my wheel and console lights also dimmed... so, in that case, I would look for either a bad wire or an open circuit on the cluster board. You would have to have voltage coming from the dimmer into the cluster. .. maybe someone can pull up the schematic and find out what wire or pin carries that voltage. Then again, just remove the cluster and take a peek.... I know Chrysler had many issues with their clusters having cold solder probelms on the circuit boards... resolder seven spots and you were good to go again.

Last edited by dirty vert; 11-07-2012 at 12:29 AM. Reason: smart phone is too smart and misspell s words...
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:23 AM   #7
smojones07
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Yea i think i will just have to pull it out. I read online its not hard to do. Has to be a bad connection somewhere. Not sure if the cluster is also wire to dash lights or not. Starting to this it is so will just have to look around at the wires. I will post on here if i find anything. Thanks for the help
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
smojones07
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I checked the bulbs on the cluster and they do work so that is not the problem. I have been searching other forums for days and can't find anything with a problem like mine. I took out the dimmer switch but everything on the board seemed fine so I'm not sure if the could still be problem.

I'm think it could be a bad ground connection but not sure on that. Have no idea where I would look for that. I did read that the lights on steering wheel button are not wired to the rest of dash lighting so that why I am thinking a bad connection somewhere.

Does anyone know how I could wire around this to test this or maybe where I should start looking for the problem. It really starting to frustrate me. Not sure which wire from the dimmer switch powers the cluster and dash lighting but that maybe I could try to splice it to something with power to maybe test it that way but not sure if that will help anything.

If anyone has any ideas that would be great. Maybe a wire diagram or anything or even where I could find the grounds. If I don't hear anything soon I will probably take apart the dash till I find the problem
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:37 PM   #9
FastCHAZ
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i have a simular problem also.
my cluster lights work fine
EXCEPT i cannot see if my fog lights are on
my bright lights. the little part where you ee mileage/trip
works except just dash lines where you can see
temp/mph/mpg ect. nyone have a remedy?
also im about 140k miles in nowif tht means anything.
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