Jump to content
  • When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Ground problem?


Recommended Posts

I have a recurring problem with the turn signal indicator light in the dash glowing at start up and then gradually dimming until it completely goes out after running for ten minutes or so.  Doesn't seem to have any affect on turn signal operation.  This problem has survived engine rebuild and replacement of most of the wiring in the engine compartment, checking all grounds in engine compartment, etc.

Is there a ground behind the dash I should be checking which could be causing this?  I will be pulling the gauge cluster soon to work on the odometer which is slipping.  Just wondering about grounds inside the car I might check to fix problem with the turn signal indicator light.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just recently this topic came up again.


I would check the screws and holes that mount each front signal light fixture.  These screws are the ground connections for the light fixtures. The holes get rusty and the screws get loose.  Driving vibration and heat make the contact less effective.  Remove fixtures, sand the holes to bare metal, clean the sheet-metal screws and re-tighten.  See what happens.


I only mention the fronts and not the rear.  It has been my experience that the fronts are a problem.  The rears, not so much.  Remember that all bulbs should fit firmly and cleanly inside their sockets.


It may also be the flasher unit needs help. Search for the topic about re-bending the contact arm within the flasher unit.  I have no experience with this as my original flasher unit has not been a problem (yet).

73 Inka Tii #2762958

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My project car sometimes does something similar to that. Tap the flasher relay next time that happens, and see if it has any effect. I bent a leg inside the relay to revive my indicator light. Perhaps slightly too much.




Stop reading this! Don't you have anything better to do?? :P
'73 320i /M2 2.5; '85 ///M635CSi ; '73 320i ugly car; '99 AMG C43


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of possible causes:

Flasher - as previously mentioned. This one is my guess for your dimming indicator light.

Front blinkers - as previously mentioned.

Poor instrument grounding - search for lots of discussions about "jumping fuel gauge". Adding a ground from the "two brass screw-nuts" behind the fuel gauge is a favorite modification. There's a harness-to-chassis ground connection behind the dash, too.

Alternator to engine block ground wire - frequently disconnected or left off after engine work

Poor regulator grounding - I've had good luck with electrical issues by improving the mounting screw connectivity, it's in front near the standard battery mount. Frequently rusted out.

Trunk ground wire - next to the gas tank under the right side trunk board, frequently rusted out

BMW liked to use sheet metal screws for ground connections, back in the day. They may not be the most reliable over the long run.



no bimmer, for now

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Alternator to engine block ground wire 


Reef on this sucker...  it needs to be at least as big as BMW made it, if not bigger.  Then check the 3- wire plug on the back of the alt.

The wires there can start to fatigue, losing strands slowly, causing all sorts of odd orange, red and green indicator problems...




"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • BMW Neue Klasse - a birth of a Sports Sedan

    BMW Neue Klasse - a birth of a Sports Sedan

    Unveiling of the Neue Klasse Unveiled in 1961, BMW 1500 sedan was a revolutionary concept at the outset of the '60s. No tail fins or chrome fountains. Instead, what you got was understated and elegant, in a modern sense, exciting to drive as nearly any sports car, and yet still comfortable for four.   The elegant little sedan was an instant sensation. In the 1500, BMW not only found the long-term solution to its dire business straits but, more importantly, created an entirely new
    History of the BMW 2002 and the 02 Series

    History of the BMW 2002 and the 02 Series

    In 1966, BMW was practically unknown in the US unless you were a touring motorcycle enthusiast or had seen an Isetta given away on a quiz show.  BMW’s sales in the US that year were just 1253 cars.  Then BMW 1600-2 came to America’s shores, tripling US sales to 4564 the following year, boosted by favorable articles in the Buff Books. Car and Driver called it “the best $2500 sedan anywhere.”  Road & Track’s road test was equally enthusiastic.  Then, BMW took a cue from American manufacturers,
    The BMW 2002 Production Run

    The BMW 2002 Production Run

    BMW 02 series are like the original Volkswagen Beetles in one way (besides both being German classic cars)—throughout their long production, they all essentially look alike—at least to the uninitiated:  small, boxy, rear-wheel drive, two-door sedan.  Aficionados know better.   Not only were there three other body styles—none, unfortunately, exported to the US—but there were some significant visual and mechanical changes over their eleven-year production run.   I’ve extracted t
  • Upcoming Events

  • Supporting Vendors

  • Create New...