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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-27-2009, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Brake light failure

I have researched this, and this what it seams everyone says- Change the switch under the dash. The closest BMW dealer is a 2 hour drive. Should i put a "jobber" switch in from napa? Here is a recap- My computer has been saying brake light circuit- all were fine- then it said it again now, and I have NO brake lights at all! I checked the harnass that is faulty in the back, and it is perfect. The terminals look good, the bulbs are good, and the same. All 3 ( 2 plus my centre) are dead! It is a 98 328 I Convertible. So the question is - does this seam like a switch issue, and should i get a jobber? Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you removed the harness tape where it hinges at the trunk hinge? you may find a broken wire, common problem.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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everything looks fine on the wiring end. i guess i'll take my chances on a switch...
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 328ic98 View Post
everything looks fine on the wiring end. i guess i'll take my chances on a switch...
I changed mine after checking the trunk harness, & that fixed it.......
Here is a link to help you along......


brakeswitch.page

note: also check each brake light socket for burnt contacts.....

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Old 05-28-2009, 07:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I did check the terminals and they look really clean, and my taillights work fine. At first only my drivers side brake light stopped, and now ihave NOTHING! I could not even get a jobber switch here in town, no one had one- or could not order one from suppliers...That is what you get for being in the country where everyone drives pick-ups!I ordered the switch from a BMW dealership in Toronto, should be here tomorrow delivered and all for about $40 Canadian. Hope this fixes the problem! Should i disconect the battery for this install to reset the computer?
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes I would disconnect the battery, just the + will be fine, but make sure you have the radio code just in case.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's the brake switch under the dash, I had the same problem. it's really easy to change, 10 minutes max, here's the link, go check it out: Pelican Technical Article: BMW Brake Switch Replacement
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks folks, it was indeed the switch. The teminals are actually looking a little used, I am getting light failure on one side from time to time...Something to look into! Thanks my brothers!
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