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Bwanadyk

Intermittent turn signal and charge warning lamps.

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I have two intermittent problems which may or may not be connected. I'm hoping someone here can help.

 

Occasionally, after a few hours cruising, the alternator charge warning lamp starts to glow dimly. Sometimes a quick squirt of revs cures it, other times it just goes out and stays out on its own. I did the V/R test, which was inconclusive, so fitted a new one anyway. All was fine for a thousand miles or so, then the same symptoms re-appeared. I've checked the wiring to the alternator plug and it's all fine.

 

The second problem is that the indicator warning light on the dash is also intermittent. I've seen Mike Self's article on refreshing the flasher unit, but have yet to try this.

 

My question really is could there be another common fault which might be causing both problems ?

 

All suggestions gratefully received.

 

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you didn't say if your alternator is internally regulated or if you have a stock voltage regulator...that could be your charging light problem...there's a recent thread about replacing you flasher with an electronic flasher commonly available that should eliminate most flasher problems...it did for me


http://www.bmw2002faq.com/topic/164015-flasher-relay-76-died-today-where-now/

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Re alternator lamp glowing dimly...

 

First of all, if you still have a stock 35 or 45 amp alternator and are running lotsa things at once (headlights, heater blower full blast, rear window defogger) you're drawing close to the alt's capacity...that being said...

 

1.  make sure the 3 wire plug in the back of the alternator is firmly seated.  There's supposed to be a wire bail that clips it in place, but the bail is often missing, broken or unclipped

2.  how about the heavy brown ground wire that runs from the alt frame to the block?  If it's missing, there's no reliable ground path from alt to the body.  Even if it's there, it may be corroded or damaged--I've seen many that look OK, but down to a few strands of wire under the end terminals.  

3.  Did you test the alternator for output?  An intermittent problem may be dying diodes, but usually that problem gets progressively worse, not intermittent.

 

Turn signal--if your outside signals are blinking reliably and the inside one either doesn't blink at all or only blinks a few times, chances are VERY good it's the smaller of the two relays inside the flasher unit.  It's a ten minute fix--takes you longer to remove the underdash panels than it does to fix the flasher.

 

cheers and happy troubleshooting.

 

mike

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Thanks for your input guys, I'll get stuck in this weekend and try to sort things out.

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Could I trouble you for how you solved your intermittent dash light problem?  I am getting the same symptom

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(edited)

Welcome Kristo.  

 

Mike partially answered it above.  Remove your flasher unit and open it up.  You can re-connect the unit without it's cover and watch how it works when you turn on your signal switch or your hazard lights.  You'll see where you can clean the points with fine sand paper.

 

OR... you can search the General Discussion page for "electronic flasher" or some similar search phrase to replace the flasher unit with a modern version.

 

 

 

Edited by PaulTWinterton

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Thanks, Paul T.

My problem is not with the directionals, but with the charging or "L" light on the dash lightly glowing intermittently.

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There is a ground wire that connects the alternator to the engine, using one of the bolts that attaches the timing chain cover.  I'd start by looking at that wire.

 

Do you have a volt meter?  It'd be interesting to see what the alternator is putting out.

 

Sorry.  Not a lot to offer here.

Tom

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Thanks Tom!  

The alternator-ground wire was the problem.  I had checked it, but not thoroughly enough.  

-Kris

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