Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Clear lamps, stealth bulbs and brake light failure

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Electronics' started by night.ryder, Jul 27, 2013.

    • Member

    night.ryder Formula 1 fan

    Post Count: 8
    Likes Received:0
    Hello, friends. I have owned an e36 '98 M3 sedan for a very long time and never made any changes. I purchased some clear brake kits, side indicators and front turn signal lamps and finished putting them all in tonight. I was pleased with the look against the estoril blue and was happy everything worked with no check signals on the computer screen. I had been checking the bulbs by hitting the hazard button. Once I was ready to return the car to its normal parking space, it was dark so I turned the lights on and was disappointed to find that both the turn signal indicators on the dash screen were continuously lit. When looking at the car with lights on, all the lights are on instead of just the low beams and the rear red lights. I am guessing that there is something else I need to do to the circuitry in the rear brake light housing kit. I was afraid to mess with it, and was happy when I thought it would work as it was. I know that this is what I get for messing with aftermarket parts and trying to do this myself. I'm hoping this is a common issue with an easy fix. Thanks in advance for any help.
    • Member

    night.ryder Formula 1 fan

    Post Count: 8
    Likes Received:0
    So when I turn on the light switch, all the lights come on at once. This includes the low beams, front park light turn signals, side markers on the fenders, the brake assembly lights that are on include the normal red tail light and the yellow turn signal lights. The brake lights are off unless I push the brake and the reverse white light is not on until I back up. I have in amber stealth silver-coated bulbs from www.bavauto.com. On the dash, the turn signal light indicators stay on and the blinkers cannot be operated. If I turn off the light switch, everything works normally for daytime driving. So I was assuming the problem was a relay in the new brake light kit, but from answering your question, I'm wondering if it could also be that the new bulbs are causing some sort of problem.

    I then tried putting the original tail lamp kit and regular bulbs back in and now the problem is still there. Now it looks that I cannot drive the car at night until this is figured out.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,889
    Likes Received:150
    Not sure what's best to do - perhaps one component at a time put the originals back, testing the lights each time, to see if you can narrow down if just one thing is causing a problem, or multiples. If everything was replaced w/ equivalents, didn't it all just plug into the original wiring? If you had to do any wiring, I'd start by looking at any wiring you changed. If the housings you installed use the same bulbs as normal, try swapping back in the original bulbs, one at a time, testing your lights each time. Obviously something is crossed up. Wiring diagrams can be helpful but sometimes not so easily deciphered.
    • Member

    night.ryder Formula 1 fan

    Post Count: 8
    Likes Received:0
    So, here's what I'm thinking may have happened: I put in the rear brake light housing and it should be plug and play. There is some mention about taking out a tab on the one driver side kit and a larger bridge on the passenger side kit. The note says this can be done if there is a check control function. However, it does not say that this must be done on both sides or else. I am guessing that because I did not do that step, something got damaged. I was hoping to put it in and if a light came on, then I would take the tab(s) out. Since putting the original kit back in did not correct the issue, I'm guessing that I ruined or burned something on the car when I first put the brake kits in. In the daytime with the original tail kit in, everything works fine except the reverse lamps aren't coming on. At night, all the lights come on and stay on including both turn arrows on the dash. The turn signals/hazards don't operate at night. I posted this on a different forum on this CCA site, and a gentleman from Omaha thought I might have a problem with a relay unit inside the fuse box. If I take those tabs off (or keep using the OEM lamp kit), then replace the relay box (i.e. get a new one from BMW), will this solve all my problems?
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,889
    Likes Received:150
    I've been following your other thread, I have to defer to Charlson's suggestions, he's going to know about the specifics for your car than I do. Try the easiest stuff first - here's a page that you can get the electrical troubleshooting manual for your car so you can look at the wiring diagrams if that might be helpful -

    http://wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm

Share This Page