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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-02-2005, 09:12 PM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 325i Conv.
Question Idiot Light (for brake lights) comes on often, but no actual lite out???

I'm test driving a 1999 M3 Conv tomorrow evening and the seller tells me it is in pretty good shape except for a few minor things. The biggest concern I have is that an idiot light for the "brake light" comes on about every other time the seller drives it, but he says its probably some kind of minor electrical glitch b/c his brake lights work fine. My question is whether this a symptom of a serious computor/electrical problem and approx. how much $$ to fix this?
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2005, 06:57 AM
eliza eliza is offline
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Location: joplin mo (soon to be KCMO)
 
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everytime i turn on the lights on my 92 325 the comp tells me theres a tail light out. the tail lights are fine. the prev owner told me he tried to fix this but it is a comp glitch with no repair. maybe same w/ you...
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:32 AM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 325i Conv.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza
everytime i turn on the lights on my 92 325 the comp tells me theres a tail light out. the tail lights are fine. the prev owner told me he tried to fix this but it is a comp glitch with no repair. maybe same w/ you...
Eliza,
Thanx very much for the info!

Do you happen to know of any website that shows a pic of the various warning lights (aka idiot lights) and what they mean?
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:37 AM
paullfisher paullfisher is offline
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Mein Auto: VW Golf, E36/7, E30
You might want to check to make sure your brake fluid is full. There is a sensor in there that will display a light on the dash.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:45 AM
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machmeter machmeter is offline
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Could it be the Brake Pads Worn indicator?
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2005, 06:12 AM
eliza eliza is offline
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Location: joplin mo (soon to be KCMO)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
Eliza,
Thanx very much for the info!

Do you happen to know of any website that shows a pic of the various warning lights (aka idiot lights) and what they mean?

have you checked the manual? i don't know about the comp in that model, but mine will usually explain itself when it lights up.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2005, 08:38 AM
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Jon Shafer Jon Shafer is offline
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Location: Santa Barbara
 
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Mein Auto: E92 M3 Cp
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
I'm test driving a 1999 M3 Conv tomorrow evening and the seller tells me it is in pretty good shape except for a few minor things. The biggest concern I have is that an idiot light for the "brake light" comes on about every other time the seller drives it, but he says its probably some kind of minor electrical glitch b/c his brake lights work fine. My question is whether this a symptom of a serious computor/electrical problem and approx. how much $$ to fix this?
This is an uber-common problem on E36 models that has been addressed many
times here. 'Brake light warning failure' is related to a couple of components in
the system - the bulbs, the bulb sockets, and the switch at the pedal. When
I purchased my E36 M3 3 months ago I had the same problem. I troubleshot
and ended up replacing all of the aforementioned components for good measure.
I have not experienced a recurrence.

Hope this helps,
--Jon

Total cost for repair was under $100, btw.
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