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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 06-30-2004, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My problem is that, once in a while (like right now) the check console thing will light up on my dash and then it'll say "TAIL LIGHT FAILURE" on the little computer. I have 97 328i and this TAIL LIGHT FAILURE thing pops up every once in a while?? I know for a fact that there is nothing wrong with my tail lights and I even had my car taken to BMW and they switched ALL the bulbs and did everything, and the "tail light failure" msg went away. Well that was about a week and a half ago and about 2 days later, it popped up again. Then it went away for a few days, then it came back, went away, and now its back. Why doesn't it make up its mind if its not working or not? And why does it say it when I know everything works fine.

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Old 06-30-2004, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a '98 328i and it does the same thing from time to time. Even though everything is working. I usually can just shut the car off and turn it back on the light goes away. I don't know how to fix it, but just letting you know that your not alone. ghead
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Old 06-30-2004, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It might be just like the "brake circuit failure" message that I get all the time which is a known problem with E36's. With the circuit failure, you can replace some little switch under the dash to correct the problem...yours might have a similar resolution.
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Old 06-30-2004, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I read on a different post about the wires in the trunk rubbing together so often that the wire insulation was dissipated. you'll have to open your trunk and cut the primary casing off the wires to look at them. *Short*
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Old 06-30-2004, 08:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hmm..Its usually a bulb that may have moved..I have one bulb that does it all the time..just wiggle it and it goes off...It just somthen loose...happens to everybody..you can always secure yr bulbs....
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Old 07-30-2004, 12:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i have the same problem and I found out that most of the time its a brake light switch, that is located under the steering colum. the part is about 20.00 or so. i'll let you know if it works or not.
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Old 07-30-2004, 12:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I get the tailight failure message all the time. However, a little while after I installed my clear corners my reverse lights stopped working so that could be the cause =P
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Old 07-30-2004, 07:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's one of those little "nuisance" messages you get from time to time. With me, it's the windshield washer fluid message.

But I think the system is a reliable one and can be trusted most of the time!
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Old 07-30-2004, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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my display says brake light failure, but thats becuase I have a tail light out. But when I brake hard, it says brake circut failure. So I guesse Im saying I need help too.
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Old 07-30-2004, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Obviously, the message is for brake circuitry only. Nothing to do with actual brake problems.

Check all bulbs and connections. Take the time to reove the connector, inspect it, maybe for corrosion or wear and reconnect it. Do this for all brake lights.
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Old 07-30-2004, 02:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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my display says brake light failure, but thats becuase I have a tail light out. But when I brake hard, it says brake circut failure. So I guesse Im saying I need help too.
The brake circuit failure is a common problem in E36's. You have to change the brake switch...I just bought one at BMW for like $35...the DIY is here:

http://www.geocities.com/e36rulz/DIY.html
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