BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Wiring Problem

11th March 2008

BMW E36 Wiring Problem


If you open your trunk, you will notice that there are some wires that are running from you car into your trunk and these wires are covered with with a black coat. The problem with these wires is that they move whenever you open or close your trunk and if you add the time factor to this, you will end up with a wiring disaster that may affect the entire car. I’ve checked my wires and found that some of them are cut and the cover of the wires is removed. Luckily these wires didn’t make a contact to each other. Otherwise, I’m sure a disaster will occur. I’ve heard about a guy who faced this same situation and the entire car went crazy. The dash lights, the headlights, the OBC and a bunch of fuses burned trying to keep the car alive. So I thought you all need to know about this. Besides, the job is very simple, all you need to do is to open your trunk, remove the black coat that’s covering the wires (take a look at the photo below) and make sure they’re in a good shape. If they’re not, which I think it will be the common case, I suggest your replace them right away to avoid some serious problems in your car’s wiring.


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29th February 2008

Fixing BMW E36 Light Switch Illumination . . . DIY!


As I promised in my previous post, Top Gear BMW M5 Review, I prepared a DIY (Do It Yourself) to show you how to fix your BMW E36 light switch illumination. This is a very very common problem in BMW E36 cars and it always goes unnoticed. Having illumination in the BMW E36 light switch looks great and if you can’t see that illumination in your dashboard, this means that this DIY is for YOU. I hope you enjoy it and find the information provided below useful.

Disclaimer: Use this info at your own risk!! I’m not responsible if this didn’t work for you :-).

The illumination of your light switch can be fixed easily and it costs nothing. Well, only a dollar to buy the correct light bulb to use for replacement. To start, take a look at this:

Now, at the bottom of this is a screw that you will need to remove. After that, you can remove the light switch and the air vent easily. Take a look at the screw here:

After you remove that screw, you will need to use a flat screw driver to push the whole light switch + air vent out. Be careful with this to avoid breaking anything. The whole part should be removed by pulling a little bit. You can pull it by hand by grabbing the light switch and the air vent opening. Just apply a little effort and it should come lose. After you remove the switch and the air vent, you will not be able to remove it totally out of its place. That’s because it’s connected by two wires that will need to be disconnected first. Take a look at the connectors that need to be removed:

To remove the light connecter you should turn it anti-clockwise (from your point of view). Be careful with this, the wires are very short and you will need to use your fingers to turn the connector. It’s a little bit tight place to work with. After you finish it, you will have the whole part (light switch + air vent) out like this:

This is where you will find the pin that is holding the light bulb that needs to be replaced. Take a look:

You will need to use a flat screw driver to remove the pin out of its place. Pay attention not to break anything ok? After you remove the pin, it should look something like this:

This is the light bulb that needs to be replaced. I brought another type of bulb by mistake thinking that these small bulbs are all of standard size. It turned out that I was wrong, so I had to go and get a different one. Take a look:

After you replace the bulb, put everything back the way your removed them. It’s going to be a little bit hard to reconnect the wires to the light switch, but don’t worry, you will be able to do it with a little patience and concentration.

After you connect the wires, you should try to place the air vent + the light switch back and you will notice that it’s not fitting exactly. That’s because you will need to make sure the opening of the air vent will slide in its place correctly. Just keep moving it a little bit up and down while pushing it gently. It will slide in and everything should look good now. Now turn your lights on and see if it’s working. If you’ve successfully accomplished the task, your light switch should look like this at night 😆

So, what do you think? Isn’t that a cool fix or what?


Are you looking for more do it yourself procedures (DIY) ? I recommend the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual for you. I got it and I think it’s a gold mine for us -BMW E36 Owners-. If you didn’t grab your copy yet, get it right now! I’m sure you’ll find this book worth every penny you’ve paid for. Get the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual

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posted in Do It Yourself, Electrical, Interior, Uncategorized | 20 Comments