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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 11-01-2009, 09:18 AM
d00ley d00ley is offline
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Question Brake lights on 95 325 don't work - new owner in need of help

I am a new owner of an old car... just replaced the engine with a slightly used one, then had to clean out the top end and replace the O2 sensor to pass emissions. Now the brake lights don't work. I replaced all of the light bulbs (got them from Auto Zone - saw that might be an issue) and also replaced the brake light switch. Still nothing. It started as an intermittent problem, but now they just don't work at all.... This car has killer suspension and runs great, but I can't even take it to the mountains to look at leaves!!!! sniff sniff Help please.
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2009, 10:08 AM
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cmybimmer cmybimmer is offline
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Have you checked the fuses? Maybe they blew for some odd reason . And, you should be completely fine with autozone bulbs .

Check those fuses then get back to us. Hope its as simple as that.
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2009, 11:39 AM
d00ley d00ley is offline
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To: cmy_bimmer

Thanks, man. Did that too... sorry, forgot to mention that. We also looked at the wires in the harness at the trunk. Some were pretty worn out, and we fixed those. Before they went out completely, you could hear the solenoid click when you hit the brakes. It is a mystery.

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Originally Posted by cmy_bimmer View Post
Have you checked the fuses? Maybe they blew for some odd reason . And, you should be completely fine with autozone bulbs .

Check those fuses then get back to us. Hope its as simple as that.
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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Make sure your contacts on the light housing are good.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:21 PM
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so you replaced your engine and did some cool stuff yet cant diagnose a simple electrical problem?
I would start by checking that your getting 12v at the connector.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:28 PM
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cmybimmer cmybimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d00ley View Post
Thanks, man. Did that too... sorry, forgot to mention that. We also looked at the wires in the harness at the trunk. Some were pretty worn out, and we fixed those. Before they went out completely, you could hear the solenoid click when you hit the brakes. It is a mystery.
If you can hear the relay clicking then it should be getting signal, BUT im going to say its most probably a lost connection somewhere along the way.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:30 PM
d00ley d00ley is offline
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LOL bboyvek

I didn't personally replace the engine - we paid someone to do it. The car had been a gift to my fiance's son. He wrecked it, blew the engine and generally ragged out what was a really nice car. Anyway, he was in Valdosta and took the car to a mechanic who found an engine with 63K on it. We decided to have it put in and keep the car for ourselves. What we are finding is that the mechanic that put the engine in really didn't know much about BMWs. We have done some fixes ourselves to get the emissions, and thought the brake lights would be simple. But not so.

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Originally Posted by bboyvek View Post
so you replaced your engine and did some cool stuff yet cant diagnose a simple electrical problem?
I would start by checking that your getting 12v at the connector.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:31 PM
d00ley d00ley is offline
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Can't hear relay clicking anymore....

Before they stopped working altogether, we could hear the relay. Now, even with a new one in place, we don't hear it.

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Originally Posted by cmy_bimmer View Post
If you can hear the relay clicking then it should be getting signal, BUT im going to say its most probably a lost connection somewhere along the way.
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:31 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmy_bimmer View Post
If you can hear the relay clicking then it should be getting signal, BUT im going to say its most probably a lost connection somewhere along the way.
+1


test the connections with a volt meter.... make sure the connections are getting juice.


then just back track till you find it...
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:46 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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auto trans?? the 'click' you could be hearing may be the shift interlock solenoid. try jumping the brake switch under the dash. if that turns the lights on then you will need a new switch.

df
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:52 PM
d00ley d00ley is offline
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Manual trans

We replaced that already. Thanks, tho. and it's a manual trans. That's why it's killing me not to be able to take this thing to the mountains!!

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Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
auto trans?? the 'click' you could be hearing may be the shift interlock solenoid. try jumping the brake switch under the dash. if that turns the lights on then you will need a new switch.

df
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2009, 05:16 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/19...g%20Manual.pdf

i think this will help. it has a brake diagram, '6325.0' is the listing. it's about 2/3 of the way down. i don't believe there were many changes in the circuits from model year to model year with the same options, at least that has not been my experience. most manufacturers will stick with the same colors for wiring, even with various models.

i would suggest confirming there is power to the switch with the key on. if no power, then check the fusebox connections underneath. they may have been wiggled loose during the engine replacement.

if there is power to the switch, then confirm there is ground in the circuit with a test light. if there is no ground, then check the ground connection x13006. the last sections, 7000, 7100, 8000, and 8500 show what the connections look like and where they are in the vehicle as the diagram is only a guide as to the order of things. the actual components may vary slightly (such as the high mounted brake light is not to the side of the right hand side brakelight, nor is the cruise control moduleto the right of the high mounted brake light)

i hope this will help.

df
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2009, 08:23 AM
d00ley d00ley is offline
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Thanks - drivinfaster!

This is a great resource! I will work on it this weekend.... I really appreciate your response and the detail. Awesome stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/19...g%20Manual.pdf

i think this will help. it has a brake diagram, '6325.0' is the listing. it's about 2/3 of the way down. i don't believe there were many changes in the circuits from model year to model year with the same options, at least that has not been my experience. most manufacturers will stick with the same colors for wiring, even with various models.

i would suggest confirming there is power to the switch with the key on. if no power, then check the fusebox connections underneath. they may have been wiggled loose during the engine replacement.

if there is power to the switch, then confirm there is ground in the circuit with a test light. if there is no ground, then check the ground connection x13006. the last sections, 7000, 7100, 8000, and 8500 show what the connections look like and where they are in the vehicle as the diagram is only a guide as to the order of things. the actual components may vary slightly (such as the high mounted brake light is not to the side of the right hand side brakelight, nor is the cruise control moduleto the right of the high mounted brake light)

i hope this will help.

df
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