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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 07-28-2009, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Weird thing happened this morning...

So...I'm driving around town minding my own business. I stop at a hardware store to get some butt connectors as I had the wrong size in my house. I get back in my car and turn on my right hand signal and the strangest/most disturbing thing happened...

The signal indicator on my dash started blinking erratically, like it was racing. I'd say it was blinking twice as fast as the left hand turn signal was.

I pull over into a parking lot to investigate. I step out of the car, turn on the right hand signal indicator and go to look at my lights on the outside. I checked the rear and side signal only. They are also blinking extremely fast. The next thing I tried was my caution lights which worked fine...

Now I'm worried (because it's what I do) that I have an electrical problem and it's going to be a really PITA to fix. Slightly annoyed I get back in the car and drive home.

When I get home I once again test the signal to see if it's still functioning erratically and it is. Then a thought occurred to me, I realized I hadn't checked my front right signal in my headlights when I pulled over before. When I went to look I saw that it was not working.

Immediately I knew there was something stupid going on here and then I remembered I had removed my front right headlight last night to fix something. I popped the hood to check to make sure all electrical connectors had been hooked up properly and guess what...the connector for the front right signal was not connected to the bulb itself. Feeling kind of stupid I go back to test my right turn signal again...

And guess what...

Now my right hand signal was working correctly. I'm not quite how sure leaving this one connector unplugged managed to screw up both my side signal and rear signal...but I'm glad I thought this through and figured out the problem.

I'm curious if anyone has an answer as to why leaving a connector unplugged would have caused this erratic behavior of my right hand turn signal and if anyone else has had the same problem.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Change out the fuse for the blinkers and it could be the flasher relay.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I looked at fuses as well...but they are all good. It seems to me by leaving this one connector unplugged is what caused the malfunction. After I plugged it back in everything worked fine.

It was just really bizarre because I've never had a problem like that before.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I looked at fuses as well...but they are all good. It seems to me by leaving this one connector unplugged is what caused the malfunction. After I plugged it back in everything worked fine.

It was just really bizarre because I've never had a problem like that before.
Well my blinkers would do sort of the same thing and YES the fuse LOOKED fine but it was no longer AS conductive so that is the reason my flashers were acting up and once I replaced it with a proper functioning fuse it worked fine.

Might as well try, fuses are cheap.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah...you're right. It was still messed up though.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's normal for the working signals to flash fast when one is not working. It happened on my mom's Jetta.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It happened to me three days back on both sides, after removing the headlights for cleaning. Taken it to the electrician & he fixed within few minutes.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Did not know that witeshark. It sort of scared the shit out of me at first because I didn't know what was going on.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think what happens, is that the signal flasher is preset (copper THERMAL strip) to a certain amount of draw of amps from 2 bulbs, so when 1 bulb is only drawing amps, more amperage flows through to the flasher faster, hence....a speeding blinker......if that makes sense......


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Old 07-28-2009, 11:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Makes sense...I just didn't expect it and initially it sort of freaked me out. I knew something stupid was going on, but the last thing I would have expected was leaving the front indicator unplugged.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This is normal. It is also the legacy method for notifying teh driver that something is wrong with one of the blinkers form the days before OBCs. All cars do this. As soon as I read "The signal indicator on my dash started blinking erratically," I knew what was going on -- either dead or missing bulb. Modern cars could definitely do without this with a simple redesign, but people are used to it, so I doubt it is not high on BMW's list of things to change.

I guess you learned something new today.
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