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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 03-03-2007, 04:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Brakelight problem....really sucks

Ok so the problem im having is that when I apply the brakes my none of my brake lights work exept for the one on the tail. When my brakes are not applied though the regular running night lights work fine.

It was a gradual process, almost like a cancer how it all started. First the screen started saying "brake light failure", however the brake lights were fine, no problem at all. But that darn annoying message kept showing up randomly.

Then it started stayin on permanently and every once in a while my right brake light truly would not work.

Over time the problem just kept getting worse, to the point where I was driving and RANDOMLY my hazards turned on and wouldnt turn off regarless of what I did. I ended up just pulling out the battery for 15 mins, put it back in and it was fine but the problem is that about 2 weeks after that, my brake lights completely stopped working.

I replaced all the bulbs with new ones and I am assured they work fine. The only thing I noticed is one of the bulb sockets looks melted.....weird...but thats just ONE light. I pulled out the wires and looked at each one very carefully by eye but didnt notice anything wrong.

What do I do ? Where do I start, this problem is so irratating and I cant stand this anymore!
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you might want to check the bundle of wires wrapped in rubber around the trunk lid, when you open the trunk look to the left, that's where they are, i heard of a guy who's car shut off on him while he was driving, he opened up the rubber and looked at the wires, and from the wear and tear of opening and closing the trunk the wires had frayed and were touching each other and shorted out the whole car, maybe something along those lines is occuring with your car, or you might just need a new brake light switch
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i already check those wires, i also do not beleive its the switch because the lights on the spoiler light up. thanx for the response though, i need as many ideas as possible as to why this is happening.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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did you check all the bulbs in the tail lights, my buddy had that message on his obc for a long time, we always thought it was the switch because they still worked but the obc was saying they were out, we replaced the switch, and the message still didn't go away, then we thought it migiht be due to his aftermarket clear teailights, one day we decided to take out the lights and realized one bulb on each side was out, it wasn't enough for us to notice while they were on, but once we took everything apart we saw they were burnt out, we replaced the two bulbs, one on each side and they were good to go, no more message
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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none of the bulbs are burnt.....its some kind of wiring problem or ecu problem....i dont know where to start...... lol....ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Same prob

Same prob. bud and I have the aftermarket euro tails as well
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gator is an unknown quantity at this point
All indications are that you have a short in the wiring. The melted socket is as result of the short and the circuit therefore drawing more current leading to more heat and a melted socket. If the the short is not a dead short (ie the resistance to ground is not 0) this can happen and not blow the fuse. Also, the hazard lights not turning off is a result of a hot wire shorting to the hazard wiring circuit.
The only solution is to start tracing the wires back to the fuse box lookng for broken insulation and burnt wires. If the fuse is blown, don't replace the fuse until you have found and fixed the problem as this type of partial short can cause a fire. Although you said you have checked the wiring bundle where the trunk opens, check this again as it is the usual place for wiring deterioration and shorts.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MrInFiNiT3
Same prob. bud and I have the aftermarket euro tails as well
aftermarket euro tails very commonly generate a brake light message, nothing you can do about that, except buy oem clears, but i've heard of those doing the same
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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my aftermarket red/clear ones kept blowing a fuse on my car, and made the instrument cluster, and all of the lights on the passenger side not work. I had to break a few connections on the tail lights to fix it. The seller sent me a diagram.

Are any fuses blowing at all?
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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None of my fuses are blowing...
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