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Thread: 1989 635 CSI Electrical Problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    BMW 635 CSI

    1989 635 CSI Electrical Problems

    Hi everyone just joined the forum and this is my first post.
    I am currently in the process of purchasing a 1989 635 CSI that has been lying up for some time. The electric windows on one side and central locking are not working, the windscreen wipers move extremely slow and the headlights only seem to work when the stalk is pulled back not when they are turned on. We can't see any blown fuses, and ideas or is this a job for an auto electrician?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9,894
    My Cars
    '86 M635/'10 Clubman
    Welcome!

    I'd guess there's more than one thing going on - I'd take it to a mechanic unless you've got some expertise in this area. I can do nuts and bolts kind of stuff, but I leave electrical, etc. to folks who know what they're doing.

    You might have a look at the DIY links in the sticky'd post at the top of the page

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    West Central Ga
    Posts
    1,189
    My Cars
    88m5,2015 Silverado 03 T
    Quote Originally Posted by rod635 View Post
    Hi everyone just joined the forum and this is my first post.
    I am currently in the process of purchasing a 1989 635 CSI that has been lying up for some time. The electric windows on one side and central locking are not working, the windscreen wipers move extremely slow and the headlights only seem to work when the stalk is pulled back not when they are turned on. We can't see any blown fuses, and ideas or is this a job for an auto electrician?
    Probably needs the window motors cleaned up internally , but try swapping switches around first
    Definitely disassemble and clean old grease inside the wiper Gear box
    Possibly the switch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Nyack, New York
    Posts
    904
    My Cars
    1986 635csi & 1998 740i
    +1 on re lubing the ww motor.

    Here is the ETM for'89.

    Page 0670-0, fuse # 2 for headlights along with #'s 13 & 14.
    # 27 for central locking.

    Wiring schematic for headlights on page 6312-0.
    Wiring schematic for central locking on page 5126-0.


    http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/19...g%20Manual.pdf
    Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,183
    My Cars
    '86 635CSi, '91 318i
    +1 on those ETKs...they are a lifesaver. BMW often uses multiple fusees to control stuff, those electrical diagrams can save you a world of frustration. It took me a little while to understand the logic behind those diagrams, but once I did, BMWs got to be a LOT easier to deal with.

    +1 on the power window switches too. Problems are almost always the switches. As mentioned, swap them around to verify which are bad. These older cars run full power through the switches instead of a signal, the contacts tend to slowly get eaten away. They can actually be dismantled if you're careful & detail oriented. I can repair most of them with a little cleaning & sanding. Do yourself a favor, don't buy the cheap Chinese switches on eBay until they develop a higher quality copy. They're really cheap, just don't work well. Keep your eyes open for decent used ones.

    The E24 is a little weird with those little rear window motors. I have greased the rails and overhauled those actuators as well. They aren't complicated but they are really hard to get out of the rear bodywork. Don't drop the spacers into the rear bodywork if you remove the actuators!

    I frequently overhaul the wiper motor and gearbox in new project cars. The linkage pivot points and the gearbox will usually work like new with fresh lube. I prefer to use silicone or lithium grease, along with Deoxit contact cleaner and pencil erasers or other very fine non-magnetic sandpaper (>1500 grit) to clean up the electrical contacts inside the motor housing.

    The high beams will only stay on when the stalk is pushed forward, away from you. Pulling the stalk will flash high beams, but they won't stay on. It's a Euro thing, they call it 'flash-to-pass'. If I recall correctly, your car has the ellipsoid low-beams, those bulbs & plugs are a good bit more weather-tight and more robust than the earlier US sealed beams or Euro H4 halogen capsule headlights.

    I've also had problems with loose fuses, corrosion inside the headlight plug, bulbs with flaky connectors, or fuses that looked good but had hairline cracks inside the fuse body. The headlight switch can also be bad. I've never had a bad headlight relay, but that's possible too.
    Save the manuals!
    1986 635CSi
    1991 318i

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