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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 02-06-2010, 07:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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No brake lights, but have 12 volts at terminal?

Here's my problem- both brake lights aren't working on my German spec '91 E36, but I am getting 12 volts to the brake light terminals (checked with digital volt meter).

I pulled out both bulb sockets and soldered seperate wires to them in order to test them out.

When I connect both bulb assemblies to the car battery, they light up. Also, when I splice both bulb assemblies to the rear parking light wires, they light up.

What's odd is that when I attempt to splice directly into the brake light wires the bulbs won't light up, but I am getting just under 12 volts when the brake pedal is pressed in (with engine off) and over 12 volts with engine on. The ground is good as the bulb lights up when a different power source (i.e. parking light wire) is used.

What could be the problem? Am I not getting enough amps? Is there a relay in line with the circuit?

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Maybe the sockets are bad, corroded contacts.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think I found my problem- I jumped out the brake switch and the lights work. I guess the switch has just enough resistance in it to not allow the needed voltage/amperage to arrive at the terminals.

New switch ordered- will update with results.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hopefully this fixes it
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