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  1. #1
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    Member No: 108840 AussieBob is on a distinguished road AussieBob's Avatar
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    Rear left side lights telltail on - problem?

    Replaced the left fuel sender and gauge is now fine, but now I have a rear left side tail light problem.

    The telltail light in the cluster comes on sometimes. The globes all work but when they don't, wiggle them and they come on. The globes may need replacing as the metal ends are looking pretty flat so I'm thinking the globes may be starting to make intermittent contact.

    But I've noticed when the cluster indicates the problem sometimes only one or the other one of the small tail light globes work, other times I've noticed they both do not turn on but the brake light is on very dimly instead ?????

    Is it possible the globe carrier has short circuits/corrosion under the crimp joined area?

    The intermittent boot latch not working also came back at the same time - which makes me think it's not as simple as the rear light carrier.

    Anyone got any ideas of what can cause these symptoms?


  2. #2
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    Member No: 119706 Bmw540san is on a distinguished road Bmw540san's Avatar
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    I'm having that problem sometimes and I believe

    that Mike Miller (BMW guru) states that it can be caused by using cooper contacts bulbs instead the steel contacts. I tend to believe that because when I clean the contact on bulb in question, the problem goes away and than it comes back later on when cooper oxidies again.
    I'm using the electrical contact grease after cleaning and it seems it helps.




    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
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    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
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    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

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  3. #3
    jimcash
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    Re: Rear left side lights telltail on - problem?

    Clean the contacts (bulb and socket) and if those are old bulbs you should probably replace them anyway - with silver base bulbs of good quality.

    The LCM monitors "each" individual bulb (each is switched and wired separately) and if there is any change in resistance in the circuit it will give you the message - the bulb may actually still light but is starting to fail.

    Also - when some of the external lights fail then the LCM uses a substitute bulb until the fault is fixed - that is why you are seeing the brake light lit - but dimmed to the brightness of the tail light. It will still function as the brake light.

    Cheers
    Jim Cash

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys - another hidden BMW feature

    Cleaned the sockets and globes, got quite a bit of dark grey dirt off.

    I swapped tail light globes putting the best non flat end globes in the left side and the right tell-light has now started to indicate the fault. Also notice when both the right tail lights were off the brake light was on very dim - another hidden BMW feature (thanks Jim).


    Ever since I stopped going to Stealers a few years ago the globes have remained untouch so I guess I'll pick up a set of 4 tail light globes and replace. I know incandescent globes are now old technology but I still like their light colour and smooth glow off the reflectors (globes are also still cheap)

  5. #5
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    LCM?

    Good morning Jim,
    I've used search RE: this problem but never came up with a definitive answer (lots of similar problems). Frequently when I start the car the flashers and inside lights and door locks will all come on/activate by themselves. I can manually turn the flashers and int lights off but can't do anything with the door locks until I stop and reset the car. Sometimes I have to lock,unlock,unlock with the remote before the car will lock with the remote. Door locks are set to self lock when car moves.
    Any ideas?

    Thanks.....John

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  6. #6
    jimcash
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    Re: LCM? - NOT !

    All the functions you mention are controlled by the GM (General module) which is basically the prime computer module for the cabin functions (there are also various sub modules).

    The GM is a large module located in the bottom of the electronics carrier behind the glove box.

    Sounds more like a program glitch in it, or possibly a hardware fault with the chip or memory..

    I would first try a cold reboot - disconnect the battery negative cable at the body end, turn on the ignition switch (nothing will happen except current will drain from modules) and leave it like this for about 15 minutes.

    Reconnect the battery cable and see if the problem has cleared or not (may take a few days to know).
    If the fault returns then you will probably require a new GM - it is also possible that there is a fault with the alarm unit, or the communications buss - so it would be best to have the fault codes checked (need a BMW diagnostic unit for this) - almost every function of the car has internal monitoring and fault codes.

    Cheers
    Jim Cash

  7. #7
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    Thank you Sir...always appreciate your input......


    2003 525i w/66's Daily Driver
    Valentine 1
    Sterling Gray Metallic over Black
    Last of the great e39's
    2006 X5 4.4 Ti Silver over Black
    1980 KZ1300 A2

  8. #8
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    Re LEDs >>

    Most folks love the look. If anyone keeps the car for a lotta years, they may find one or more LEDs dead. The cost to replace the assembly will no doubt by very high.

    I see a lot of cars from the '80s with LED CHMSLs, and several LEDs are dead.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

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