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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 03-30-2010, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Intermitent Brake Light Failure Code

'99 323is - Factory rear tail light housing replaced by form owner with BMW M3 factory tail light housing. Since I bought the car I am continuely getting intermittent brake light failure codes on the center dash display computer. I have replaced all the brake light bulds and tail light bulbs aand replace the fuse in the block.

Also, Factory Alarm problem: Lock/set the alarm with the remote. Wait about 30 minutes tops alarm goes off on it own. Or if you unlock/deactivate the alarm it chirps twice the number of times and the red indicator light mounted on the center console in front of the gear shifter continuely flashes until the ignition is turned on.


Any idea or suggestion on how to cure these problems?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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BMW Brake Light Circuit Switch Error




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Old 03-30-2010, 10:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you. That was next diagnoses I was doing to search. But even when I got the failure code, I still had brake lights. Normally when the brake light switch fails you do not have cruise control or brake light operations. So it was just throwing me a curve, because my brake light worked and cruise control worked while the failure code was being displayed.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DKinser View Post
Thank you. That was next diagnoses I was doing to search. But even when I got the failure code, I still had brake lights. Normally when the brake light switch fails you do not have cruise control or brake light operations. So it was just throwing me a curve, because my brake light worked and cruise control worked while the failure code was being displayed.
You are welcome......& not really, what happens is the slightest break in continuity in the brake switch trips the warning & actually supplies enough amps to power the brake lights.......I know I had the same issue & this is a very common e36 issue!
This why it is intermittent.


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Old 03-31-2010, 07:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ah, I can see how that happens then. So it basically trips the fault code when the brake peddle is depressed, at which the same time it shuts the cruise off. But it is not completely failed the switch, so everything still conducts it's normally operation. Makes sense.

Thank you again.
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