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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 08-15-2004, 08:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok, this problem has plagued me for a couple months every day now. Before, it was about once every 2 weeks and was on both sides, and it usually fixed itself after I restarted the car or I jiggled the lights, fixed, no big deal.

Now, it's coming on all of the time, only on the right side. Sometimes it's immediately after I start the car, other times it's after 5 minutes of driving. Usually turning off the car and re-starting it fixes it.... until it decides to go out again, which is usually within the next few minutes at the most psycologically damaging time.

The bulbs are perfectly fine. I've even bought new ones, swapped bulbs from left to right swapped holders, I've removed the bulb holders and polished the contacts. That seemed to help for the next couple days, but it started happening again. I've unhooked the connector, re-hooked it, and jiggled all the connectors and re-seated them. I have even taken out the taillight assembly and polished the contacts on that thing with the dremmel and made sure nothing was shorted out or fractured.

I'm totally flabbergasted. This shouldn't be the brake switch should it? If that went out, wouldn't the rest of the lights go out? I've got a red piece on my switch, so, according to bavauto's pictures, I've got the two pin switch.

Help! This is REALLY GETTING TO ME!!! It's gonna suck to be pulled over by the police and explain to them that it's not the bulbs and my car's malfunctioning... then I'd get a ticket or something.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not the brake circuit error?

Try bending the contacts out. Or putting a drop of solder on them so it fills the gap, but bending them is easier just don't break anything.

*Disclaimer* I accept no responcibility for any bulb socket you F up by bending the contact to far.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Could be the "trunk wiring problem".
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Old 08-16-2004, 06:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've bent the contacts out when I polished them. They still COULD be loose, I dunno.


Whats this trunk wiring problem you speak of?
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Old 08-16-2004, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bit,

I did just what you did. Cleaned and bent contacts. Replaced bulbs. Turned the ignition off then back on. But still the error message came back. Everyone said change the (four-contact) switch. So, I changed it. No more error messages.

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Old 08-16-2004, 05:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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But I have the two contact switch, this makes no sense.

Let me go double check, if it's the 4 contact switch, then it'd make a litle more sense...

EDIT: Yep, I have the 4 contact switch, Doh, my bad. Alright then, I'll order one.
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Old 08-21-2004, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bump.

Ok, I ordered one from bavauto, I got the part in yesterday, I sqeeze the trigger a couple times and it makes this AWFUL CLICKING NOISE.. It's horrendously loud.

I take it apart to see what the deal is, stiff springs, I try to loosen their tension a bit and wind up breaking it. No big deal, I wasn't going to use the part if it's that damn loud anyways.


So, I go to the dealership today since I was out that direction anyways (nearest dealership is 15 miles away) and I got a new switch. Perfect, not loud at all.

I rip the old one out, pop the new one in, and re-connect the harness. Brake Light Failure is still occuring.

I'm running out of conclusions...
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Old 08-21-2004, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i got the same problem but my tail lights work but i still got brake light circuit poppin up
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