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kstrause

Headlight Switch

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Here's a picture of my headlight switch which I believe has failed as far as sending current to the instrument cluster lights. The switch works in turning on and off the headlights. I have continuity from the wire that plugs into the switch back to the cluster, and I have continuity between the cluster bulbs and the pin to which the round plug fits on the back of the cluster. So, I think its the switch. Do these things fail in such a specific manner? This switch feels pretty beefy and seems like it would be the last thing to fail on the car.

I cleaned the switch well with contact cleaner, but there doesn't look like there's any way to take it apart and check it further.

I've probably answered my own question, but if anyone has any ideas before I go over to WTB I'd appreciate it.

Kurt Strause

post-2298-1366766509444_thumb.jpg

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rheostat coil that controls the instrument lights' brightness as you rotate the knob. They do fail, either totally (no cluster lights except full brightness) or partially (points where the lights go out, then come back on when the knob is turned a little further).

If you can work the nozzle of a tuner cleaner spray can back into the back edge of the switch, that might help a rheostat that is partially functioning. If it's totally dead, you probably need a replacement switch. Make sure your replacement switch has the same number of terminals and that they're in the same location as your current switch. BMW used several different switches over the years of 2002 production.

Good luck

mike

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you can carefully open them with a small screw driver, but either the casing will crack or the backing will crack, so it wont hold together anymore. when you put it back together youll have to find an alternate method of keeping it together (zip ties in my case). a little ghetto, but it allows you to go in and clean all the contacts.

you can always jumper the harness to the switch to see if the lights light up to verify its the switch.

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Kurt - i 2x with Mike - and just incase you don't know it already you rotate the pull knob/shaft to brighten/dim the cluster lights

so before you do anything else - plug it back in, and sit for 5-minutes

just rotating back and forth the dimmer untill it begins to work - really

it's oxidation that killed it internally

just keep rotating it left/right

if it just wont work - order a new switch from member BLUNT here or at any USABMWDEALER

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Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it. I soldered a little jumper wire on the switch from the spade bit that turns on the headlights to the spade bit that turns on the dash lights. I don't have the dimmer function but the dash lights now work.

c.d.-thanks for the dimmer advice. I took out the switch and sprayed about 1/4 can of tuner contact cleaner in there rotating the knob. It still didn't seem to help. I can live without the dash lights dimming. They're not that bright anyway.

Kurt Strause

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