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  #1  
Old 03-09-2024, 08:43 PM
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Gremlins! Affecting Radio, Seat belt, Cruise, Rear Wiper, visor lights

Help! :-)

Out of nowhere, the car is giving me electrical problems. It does not happen all the time, but it happens at least 3 out of 5 times I start it. The car drives fine, but I am concerned that this will just snow ball from here.

The problems are:

1. The clock on the radio does not display unless the radio is on.
2. The radio does not turn off when the car is turned off and key is removed from ignition.
3. The radio controls on the steering wheel do not work (e.g. volume +/- and nxt/prev track)
4. The cruise control won't turn on (i.e the green light does not come up on the instrument cluster)
5. The seat belt light won't go off even if you are wearing the seatbelt
6. The light above the driver and passenger visor won't come on when the mirror is revealed on the visor. Instead, the center overhead light near the sunroof controls comes on.
7. The rear wiper moves extremely slowly and in very discrete small steps, pretty much emulating the movement of the seconds hand of an analog clock.

I hooked up the BMW Scanner 1.4 and got a ton of errors in DME, IKE, LCM, ZKE and ABS. I was able to clear most of them, but the problems listed above persisted during that time the car was running.

I also checked the battery and it seems to be fine.

I have no clue where to start. Help please!
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Old 03-09-2024, 09:19 PM
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possibly ignition switch.
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Old 03-09-2024, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
possibly ignition switch.
+1

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Old 03-10-2024, 12:10 AM
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Do the visor test.

While the car is running (stopped), open passenger visor, and open and close the mirror window… if the symptoms you describe turn on or off, it’s your ignition switch.

Buy your new ignition switch at FCP Euro so that when you need another one in 3 years, you’ll get a free replacement.
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Last edited by Effduration; 03-12-2024 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 03-10-2024, 08:03 AM
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Replace with new fully charged proper battery. I read where you said the battery was o.k.
Have you jumped or has anyone jumped you lately?

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Old 03-11-2024, 01:51 AM
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@80stech: Ignition switch? what in the world?!? Wow... I will do the test that Effduration suggested in the morning. Thank you both!

@getty150: no I have not had a jump nor jumped anyone in a long time. The battery is only 1.5 years old and the voltage reading seems fine.
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Old 03-12-2024, 12:43 AM
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So opening the visor mirror sliding door did make a difference to the rear wiper: the wiper stopped moving altogether. Closing the sliding door made the wiper start moving again thoug not as one would expect (it moved super slow).

So I think you guys nailed it... I am going to order the ignition switch. Gonna go for the URO brand as it is less than half the price on the BMW original part.

Thank you!
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Old 03-12-2024, 01:15 AM
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This thread is an effective visual demonstration of how critical this forum is to keeping our E53s running!
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Old 03-12-2024, 06:42 AM
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Interesting diagnosis. Glad I replaced the electrical switch on mine. I was chasing a parasitic draw for almost a year. More problems to avoid as E53s get older.
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Old 04-10-2024, 03:51 PM
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FYI: The switch replacement fixed all the issues. Thank you!!! There is NO way I would have ever figured this one out on my own.
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