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Interior lighting

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Jan 2, 2009.

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    az3579

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    Yes, another thread. Since I've decided I'm restoring my car instead of buying another one, I'm fixing all the little things that annoy me.


    This problem is that most of my interior lighting doesn't work. My headlight switch panel (above the headlight switch) used to light up but doesn't anymore, my HVAC lighting doesn't work, so I have to feel around in the dark for it. My OBC lighting doesn't work, but my OBC is FUBAR anyway and will try to replace it soon for a 13-button one (I have 6-button). My window switch lighting works OK and so does my hazard light button lighting.


    What would cause my interior lighting to not work? All fuses check out and are working.



    (Note: I have "misplaced" my Bentley, which is why I'm asking... :eek:)

    ecvchamp guest

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    Not to be a smart @$$ but, did you look at the bulbs?
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    Elkoholic

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    Elkoholic

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    HA! Didn't even realize you already posted in that thread! So you must have some idea for at least that part...
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    az3579

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    Like all the bulbs will fail at the same time? The lighting worked about a year and a half ago, but just all of a sudden stopped working. I assume there's more than one bulb, and before I go disassembling a dash that I'm not familiar with, I want to know what else could be involved, perhaps something that's easier to get to, as it's my understanding that removing the dash is a PITA.



    And I don't have my Bentley with me and couldn't find anything on a quick-search of Google.
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    mooseheadm5

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    If all of the interior lighting failed, including cluster, I'd say headlight switch. Otherwise, yeah, replace the bulbs.
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    az3579

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    Cluster works fine though; is there something that would cause all of the bulbs to fail at the same time? If replacing the bulbs is the only thing, then where are these bulbs located?
    If it requires removing of the dash, I will be ultimately annoyed.


    I'm dying here without my Bentley! :(
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    MGarrison

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    You don't need to pull the dash to replace any of the bulbs, afaik - bulbs are in various places - the switches themselves, the instrument cluster, I think the hvac sliders have little fiber-optic lines running to them from where a bulb plugs in - etc, etc.

    If you think them being out is related, you need to access the bulb plugs and check the plug itself for voltage. One of the easiest to access is probably the bulb plug for the ashtray, you just have to pull the ashtray surround.
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    mooseheadm5

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    HVAC panel bulb replacement requires pulling the face off the HVAC panel. It is easy on an E30 if you have a right angle screydriver (racheting is best.) Since it requires all the same work as installing an OBC, just do it all at once. The hazard and window switch lights are in the switches themselves. The headlight illumination bulb is on the switch assembly, IIRC.
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    az3579

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    It turns out that I bought a perfectly crack-free dash and will be swapping it in with someone in a few weeks, so I'll get down to this bulb business then.

    Off the top of your head, do you know what bulbs it takes? I found my Bentley tonight so I could just look it up, but it's 23:11 at night and I'll probably forget to check tomorrow. :)
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    mooseheadm5

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    Nope. I usually match them up when I have them in my hand. Try looking at realoem.
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    az3579

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    Okay, I got bored and decided to have a look-see at the bulb situation.
    I found one site that actually gives a hint about where the bulbs are located. My understanding is that one is located right where the little diagram showing the slider positions for window defrosting is, and the other somewhere to the left and under the radio. So far, I pulled out the connector for the AC and Recirc switch and have found it nearly impossible to get to that bulb! And they say that's the easy one...

    I saw a group of about 3 wires going to where I think the bulb would be. Would these wires actually be going to the bulb? If so, I could just tug on the wires till they separate and maybe feel around for the bulb, but I don't want to tug at something I don't know what it is.

    I haven't found my other radio puller thing, but it's around here somewhere, so I'll pull the radio and try to find the other one maybe tomorrow. It's good practice if I get the bulbs replaced for when I do my dash swap.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Wait till you pull the radio.
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    az3579

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    Well pulling the radio will help for the left bulb, but I'm currently suffering with the right bulb. :p
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    az3579

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    Alright, tonight I was adventurous and took apart pretty much almost my entire center dash.
    (Just for a pair of bulbs. Sheesh.)


    I found the two bulbs, for for the life of me can't find the "number" that I should look for in the auto store. Unfortunately for me, I disassembled this whole thing after the stores closed, so it looks like I'm going to work tomorrow with almost no interior (meaning really loud drivetrain noises - shift boot is gone!)


    Does anyone know the "number" that the bulbs are supposed to be?
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    mooseheadm5

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    az3579

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    I forgot to mention that realoem doesn't give a "number" for it, just a wattage.

    So any 12v 1.2W bulb will fit? Guaranteed? Will they look at me like I'm an idiot if I walk into the store and say "this one!"?

    I'll give it a shot tomorrow, though I don't feel confident I'll find one without a "model number". I say this because I tried the bulb from what I guess is from the cigarette lighter (only bulb that isn't blown - dunno where it's from as my center console is taken apart) and that didn't work when I turned on the interior lighting. But, both of the lighting bulbs were blown, as evidenced by its black appearance. So, the similar sized bulb from what I think is the cig lighter doesn't work there but works when plugged into where it came from.
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    mooseheadm5

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    It is a "generic" bulb. I'm sure there is a number, but we just call them grain of wheat bulbs (with or without base.) There should be a shelf of bulbs for you to look at.
    Odd, it should be the same as the ciggy lighter bulb. There may be a problem with that circuit if new bulbs don't work, though. If that is the case, let me know and I'll trace it for you.
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    az3579

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    I found a pair of unopened bulbs last night (what luck) and found that they're the same bulbs that go into the instrument cluster. I had extras for when I was replacing cluster bulbs, so I popped them in and everything works beautifully!

    Reading off the packaging, the "model" of these bulbs is 2721 (for instrument clusters).

    ecvchamp guest

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    Soo - I guess I'm not a smart @$$ after all. LOL;)

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