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Thread: Brake light problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    48

    Default Brake light problem

    I am sure this took me way too long, but I figured out how to find the bulb that is causing the message. At first I assumed it was the switch since all the bulbs were lighting and were Osram silver base bulbs. I should have known better than to assume. At any rate I ended up putting jumpers in the brake switch connector to always have the brake lights activated bypassing the switch. Still got the brake light error so it wasn't the switch. Oh well, if was fun to pull the switch...NOT. Well in the end I learned something.

    Here it is. With the brake lights on, disconnect one of the brake light bulbs. If the chime sounds that bulb is good. If the chime is silent that bulb is bad. Once the chime sounds you need to turn the key off then back on in order to test another bulb. A little bit of a pain but it helped me figure out that the 3rd brake light bulb was the cause of my brake light error message.

    Now to put the brake switch back together and put the underdash panels back together. Then it will be time for a beer.
    Craig in Davis
    89 535i auto to manual conversion
    Delphin-Metallic/Black leather 296k
    83 533i 5 speed Alpinweiss/Cardinal Red leather 236k

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,827

    Default

    what was wrong with the bulb? didnt light? wrong ohms?
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig in Davis
    I am sure this took me way too long, but I figured out how to find the bulb that is causing the message. At first I assumed it was the switch since all the bulbs were lighting and were Osram silver base bulbs. I should have known better than to assume. At any rate I ended up putting jumpers in the brake switch connector to always have the brake lights activated bypassing the switch. Still got the brake light error so it wasn't the switch. Oh well, if was fun to pull the switch...NOT. Well in the end I learned something.

    Here it is. With the brake lights on, disconnect one of the brake light bulbs. If the chime sounds that bulb is good. If the chime is silent that bulb is bad. Once the chime sounds you need to turn the key off then back on in order to test another bulb. A little bit of a pain but it helped me figure out that the 3rd brake light bulb was the cause of my brake light error message.

    Now to put the brake switch back together and put the underdash panels back together. Then it will be time for a beer.
    Why not just have someone stand back there and look while you press the brake pedal?

    I mean, I know that corrosion at the bulb bases can cause higher resistance, therefore the error message, but...


    best, whit

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,827

    Default

    ever try this by yourself? It is challanging.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowell
    Why not just have someone stand back there and look while you press the brake pedal?

    I mean, I know that corrosion at the bulb bases can cause higher resistance, therefore the error message, but...


    best, whit
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 632 Regal
    ever try this by yourself? It is challanging.

    Jeff, actually - yes, I've done it plenty of times. I usually use a screwdriver or a hood prop to hold the brake pedal down.


    best, whit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hockinson, Washington
    Posts
    2,499

    Default

    or you could park in the garage and be able to see the lights clearly on the garage door if the lights are off in the garage.
    Lowered with blue h&r(?) springs, Bilsteins, tint, 19# design 3 injectors, Dual Magnaflow
    southwest WA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Damn if I know. It was the right type, Osram silver base, it was working but it was triggering an error. I tried cleaning the contacts but that didn't help.
    Craig in Davis
    89 535i auto to manual conversion
    Delphin-Metallic/Black leather 296k
    83 533i 5 speed Alpinweiss/Cardinal Red leather 236k

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lowell
    Why not just have someone stand back there and look while you press the brake pedal?

    I mean, I know that corrosion at the bulb bases can cause higher resistance, therefore the error message, but...


    best, whit
    I had already verified the lights were working but I was still getting an error message.
    Craig in Davis
    89 535i auto to manual conversion
    Delphin-Metallic/Black leather 296k
    83 533i 5 speed Alpinweiss/Cardinal Red leather 236k

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Now that it is dark it is easy to test by yourself. My garage is full with other cars. As I said the lights were lighting up but the error was caused by the center brake light bulb which as best I can tell is perfectly ok but the car electronics thought otherwise.
    Craig in Davis
    89 535i auto to manual conversion
    Delphin-Metallic/Black leather 296k
    83 533i 5 speed Alpinweiss/Cardinal Red leather 236k

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    2,563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lowell
    Jeff, actually - yes, I've done it plenty of times. I usually use a screwdriver or a hood prop to hold the brake pedal down.


    best, whit
    I've used a golf club braced between the seat and the brake pedal.

    Ralph Mendoza Jr. - Long Beach, CA

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