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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 01-06-2005, 09:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a friend who has a 1997 318Ti. The brake lights are staying on all the time. I checked the fuses and they all seem ok. Any ideas on what it might be? Thanks.

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Old 01-06-2005, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know 318's, but my guess would be to look at replacing the brake light switch, which is a common problem on the e36's. I hear there is a recall on these, so the dealer will do it for free .
The switch is located under the brake pedal. See the Pelican Parts website for a DIY to educate, then take it to the stealer for replacement. I didn;t know htere was a recall, so did it myself--pretty easy but a pain in the ass none-the-less. If you DIY get the BMW OE part--the aftermarket ones are supposed to be crap.

Hope that's the reason! :P
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Or maybe they just need to change their brake pads. There is a sensor that will trigger a light on the dash when they need replacing.
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yea, that could be the brake lining sensor, meaning, it's time to change the brake pads..To make the light go away you will have to buy a new sensor as well..
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckLS2@Jan 6 2005, 10:24 PM
I have a friend who has a 1997 318Ti. The brake lights are staying on all the time. I checked the fuses and they all seem ok. Any ideas on what it might be? Thanks.

Chuck
[snapback]265991[/snapback]
Are the actual brake lights on? OR the warning light on dashboard is on?

If the actual brake lights are continually on, my the brake switch is bad.
If the warning light on the dashboard is on, be specific and tell us which
indicator light is on (there are several... one for brake pad wear indicator,
brake fluid, abs, etc.)

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Old 01-07-2005, 07:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The actual brake lights are staying on.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I discovered something last night while checking the car. The brake lights only stay on when the headlights/parking lights are on. They work fine otherwise. I guess it may not be the brake light switch then. Any ideas?
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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sounds like a wiring problem then

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Old 01-10-2005, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, sounds like a short. Have you checked the harness in the rear of the car?
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Do the brake lights go on as soon as you turn the lights on, or do they go on, and then stay on once you push the brake pedal?
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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They go on as soon as you turn the lights on.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That is very strange. The brake lights are on a totally diff. power curcuit from the tail lights. The only connection between them is that they share a common grounding connection, which may be a problem?

The other thing is there a 4 control modules after the brake light switch - ABS / Slip control / cruise / transmission control - not sure if one of those could be fault - although I doubt it.

Oh - so the brake lights turn on with the tail lights.

When you don't turn the lights on, do the brake lights work normally?
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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BMW, unlike all other cars have computerized brake sensors, if your friend has had his brakes changed and did not replace the sensors, the light will stay on until he changes the sensors, the sensors are usually only ~ $10 and (not sure about 318's) but you only need 2 sensors, one for the front, and one for the back.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally posted by jkh2828@Jan 11 2005, 12:33 PM

When you don't turn the lights on, do the brake lights work normally?
[snapback]268894[/snapback]

Yes they work normally. As far as the sensors, not sure. She just bought the car a couple of months ago and has not done any brake work on it.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckLS2+Jan 11 2005, 11:36 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ChuckLS2 @ Jan 11 2005, 11:36 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-jkh2828@Jan 11 2005, 12:33 PM

When you don't turn the lights on, do the brake lights work normally?
[snapback]268894[/snapback]

Yes they work normally. As far as the sensors, not sure. She just bought the car a couple of months ago and has not done any brake work on it.
[snapback]269546[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]


Are you sure the taillights are Origional BMW Taillights? I baught a pair of aftermarket ones and they did the same thing.
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