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  #1  
Old 01-17-2023, 12:08 AM
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3.0d, Electrical Gremlins: Instrument cluster illumination and amber lights always on

*** PROBLEM HAS BEEN SOLVED ***
See more in post #29, and generally by reading the thread, but in short: there was a short at the central dome light - my guess, intentionally made by someone before me. Now, all the night lights are controlled again by the LCM.

* * *

I mentioned this on my GM3 thread, but maybe it makes more sense to make a new one since this is another topic. I googled it, but I couldn't find an answer.

The previous owner of mine E53 3.0d, 2006, built in some type of switch that cuts Terminal 30 wire (red-gray) on the pin 1 of the white GM3 connector (X332). He told me that his GM3 was defective, so his electrician had to do something to prevent battery drain. And this job was done very poorly.
I got a new GM3, ejected his switch, and re-wired the red-gray wire back to as it was. And I coded a new GM3 with NCS Expert.

But now I have the following problem: when I take my key off the ignition (and also later, when I lock the car) the dash orange backing light and amber lights on the center console (ac unit, buttons underneath the ac unit [seat heaters, DSC, etc.], lighter, transmission lights and windows regulators also) stay on all the time.
Almost like the ignition is on, but here dashboard lights are off, and only those that are illuminating it are on. Other interior lights (that had been updated to LED) do turn off. --> see photo (this E53 is from the internet, I forgot to take a photo of mine, but I marked it orange).
When I turn the light switch, also nothing happens.

But after 15-16 minutes all these lights went off, and the car, I believe, went to sleep mode, and the current draw was, if I measured correctly, 20mA (0,02A). But for these 15 Minutes, current dropped from around 1.2A to 0.75A and stayed like that until car went to sleep. Which is weird... Can these lights cause such a large drain?

Why I did this test, well I got a few times dead battery, and I thought it was because of the bad GM3, so I did a drain test. But I found out that Fuse 75, together with CD Changer and DVD Navigation was problem. I disconnected the latter two since I don't need them. Fuse 75 I didn't return yet.

But now, if I'm not mistaken, only tiny light besides P on the transmission should be on for these 16 minutes. Not the whole dashboard, center console, and windows regulators, right? And current drain should not be all the time 750mA for these 15-16 Minutes.

On my E46, the LCM switch turns on and off all of these lights.
So, could it be a bad LCM? Or maybe Ignition Switch? But if it's Ignition Switch, then the car wouldn't go to sleep, right?
Or maybe even the instrument cluster itself? But why then other amber lights are on?
Maybe some wires shorted out somewhere? Any ideas where?

I would appreciate very any kind of help. I would really like to avoid that stupid switch on Terminal 30 of GM3.
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Last edited by alexxxa; 01-21-2023 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Problem Solved
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2023, 12:20 AM
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You might check into the wire for lift up lid on the centre consol being shorted at the hinge point. It will do wierd things like what you are describing if I remember correctly.
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Old 01-17-2023, 08:19 AM
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Check the "consumer cut off relay". The electrician probably wired something through it. The relay cuts power at 16 min for sleep. It's slightly above/left of the GMIII.
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:50 AM
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Hey guys, so here is a quick update, so maybe someone could help further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
You might check into the wire for lift up lid on the centre consol being shorted at the hinge point. It will do wierd things like what you are describing if I remember correctly.
Since I wanted anyway to replace the armrest, this was a good opportunity. And indeed, two wires were cut and probably shorted. Since I don't use the telephone, I disconnected that entire harness and installed the new armrest, but the lights are still on. All other wires there seem fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X5chemist View Post
Check the "consumer cut off relay". The electrician probably wired something through it. The relay cuts power at 16 min for sleep. It's slightly above/left of the GMIII.
Nope, he wired this "Frankenstein" of his to the ground and to Fuse 64. He didn't touch the consumer cut off relay. The relay should be fine because the car goes to sleep after 16-17 minutes, all lights go off, and the multimeter shows after that constant 0.02A or 20mA. I checked it yesterday two times.

What I did further:

I disconnected Instrument Cluster to change some bulbs, and hooked the battery again, all other lights are still on. So it should not be IK. Since the car goes to sleep after 16-17 minutes and has a nice, beautiful 20mA, the ignition switch should be also okay. But before it goes to sleep, the current draw is 700-750mA. Is that a lot? How much these lights could draw?

Then I disconnected LCM, these orange lights are still on, so LCM should be fine also. Lights switch left of the steering wheel turns the lightning around itself and the hazard lights button. The dimmer controls only these two too.

So it has to be that some wires somewhere are shorted. I'm thinking maybe that somehow Transmission Indicator LED and all these other lights are shorted. As far as I know, these lights that stay on, should go out after a while.
Does anybody know if that should be immediately after the light switch is off, or automatic, after 20-30 sec?

I will now check the wiring beside Transmission Shifter, to see, maybe someone spilled some liquid there. Or I don't know, I have a problem with the right mirror motor for Reverse. Could that cause these crazy symptoms?

Or maybe, can something like that be coded into ZKE or somewhere else?

I would appreciate any kind of help!

P.S. here is my photo of the lights that are turned on. Also, ambient lights and lights around sunroof buttons are on, and both cigarette lightes.
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Old 01-18-2023, 02:23 PM
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Are you totally sure you disconnected the wires that were shorted for the armrest? I think you are going to need to look at a wiring diagram to see what those lights have in commmon.
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
Are you totally sure you disconnected the wires that were shorted for the armrest? I think you are going to need to look at a wiring diagram to see what those lights have in commmon.
Yes, I'm pretty sure. I put a new armrest with no harness, so there are no more wires there. There are only empty connectors, close to the P-brake, under the central console, and I taped those with insulating tape... Just in case.

That is exactly what am I doing in the past few days. Only scrolling through wiring diagrams, trying to figure this out. Now I'm trying to follow where does the Transmission Indicator LED go.

Can anyone of you check in your Xs, how these lights behave, i.e. are they controlled by the light switch, so when the switch is off - they are off, or do they turn off automatically and when?
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:52 PM
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Maybe have a look at the armrest wires that were shorted in the wiring diagram and see how they affect the lights when they are shorted. If I remember correctly your problem is exactly what happened to me when the armrest wires shorted. Maybe the same wires are shorted or grounded further back in the harness?? The other thing those lights might have in common is the dimmer for the dash.
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:59 PM
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I will check that again. But is it possible that some other short caused this?

Well, if the dimmer is the problem, should not the lights go off when I disconnect LCM or the light switch?
The thing is, it looks to me like those lights are somehow "disconnected" from the hazard lights button and light switch with the dimmer and "connected" to the Transmission LED. And I have no idea how that happened.
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Old 01-18-2023, 04:09 PM
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The wiring diagram should have your answers. Lots of things are switched with ground or even both ground and power so you need to look at the diagram carefully and with that in mind. I think the transmission LED behaves differently in different model years, some say it goes off when the car goes to sleep and some say theirs is always on.

It seems a bit strange that the door switch lights are on as well, I thought those were on a different circuit and not dimmed, but maybe there is a short there doing the same as the armrest wires ?? Might be something to check.

Also just came to me, what about the door handle LEDs?
I forgot that you have the previously rewired issue.
Another scenario might be that these lights staying on were the problem previously and he didn't find the problem in the armrest so he re-wired a workaround and now that you have the rest fixed the workaround is causing the exact problem that it was previuosly eliminating.
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Last edited by 80stech; 01-18-2023 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:06 PM
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All those components (beside gear indicator) have the instrumentation lighting voltage supply (Terminal 58g) from LCM and is turned on/off as soon as the light switch is used. Gear selector light gets supply voltage via GM (load cut out relay) and goes out when the vehicle goes to sleep mode. It seems like the Terminal 58g circuit is shorted to direct voltage if the lights stay on even without LCM.

Probably the easiest way to rule out things is to source connector X806 behind glove box and start taking wires off the terminal connector and see when the lights go out and then put other wires back on and see which component doesn't have lighting when you turn lights on.

https://bmwteka.com/wds/en/e53/f01d00cd

https://bmwteka.com/wds/en/e53/d3a4a54a#
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