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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 06-14-2011, 09:17 AM
JLORE JLORE is offline
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Location: St. Louis, MO,USA
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW Z4 3.0
Z4 roadster '06, intermittent headlight failure

Having a strange intermittent headlight failure on my Z4, '06 model. The passenger xenon headlight is slow to come on and at times goes out altogether. I've checked the fuses for tightness behind the glove box all are fine.

I will add that I just got back from a roadtrip, about 1500 miles over very rough pavement at times. Could something have vibrated loose?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2011, 04:45 PM
bcworkz bcworkz is offline
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Mein Auto: E85
Possibly, wouldn't hurt to reconnect all you can find. But these connectors are designed to resist vibrations. Most typically have some sort of locking scheme, but dirt and moisture can get almost anywhere.

I had a similar problem in same model. Eventually happened on both sides. Fortunately, I found a way to reliably cause the problem on cue so it would be easier to diagnose. It involved flash to pass and patting my head, sorry can't really remember the actual sequence. I thought for sure it had to be a light controller issue based on this sequence, but they in fact replaced both xenon tubes (under warranty at the time) and there has not been any more problems since. Sounds like there was something dodgy about some 2006 OEM tubes. YMMV. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2011, 05:55 PM
JLORE JLORE is offline
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Thanks for the info. It's almost like the old fashioned flourescent tubes that took a long time to come on. Strange it's only one side though.
Interestingly at the auto parts store they told me the bulbs cost $100 each, the ballasts are dealer only items. He also said that when the bulbs go they turn a "pink color", is that true?
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2011, 06:03 AM
chickdr chickdr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLORE View Post
Thanks for the info. It's almost like the old fashioned flourescent tubes that took a long time to come on. Strange it's only one side though.
Interestingly at the auto parts store they told me the bulbs cost $100 each, the ballasts are dealer only items. He also said that when the bulbs go they turn a "pink color", is that true?

I doubt it is the bulb. There have been several with ballast issues(headlight controller).
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2011, 02:30 PM
jeffchapz jeffchapz is offline
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J... My left bulb stopped working after I washed my car one weekend, so I removed the tire and tried the igniter from the other side and still didn't work, then I tried the bulb and nothing. my last and only option was to try the ballast, but in order to get to it, you have to remove the from bumper..... which took me about 10 mins to do..... after that I was able to remove the ballast from underneath the lamp. I could hear the water inside, so I ended up opening the ballast and sure it enough it was flooded with dirty nasty water....

I can't share the pics right now because I'm at work, but I ended up washing the inside very gently with an old tooth brush.

After that I used the wife's hair dryer to dry it for about one hour.... then closed it, attached it back to the head lamp and tadaaaaa..... problem solved ever since. If you like to challenge yourself, do what I did or be ready to loose over $500 if you bring it to the dealer.

PS, if you decide to do it your self, bring the ballast to autozone and get the right tool to remove the screws DON'T strip 'em... it only like $6.oo


Let me know how it goes.....Laterz!
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2011, 04:27 PM
JLORE JLORE is offline
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Thanks for sharing LaterZ, I'll give it a try. Makes you wonder how water got into the ballast in the first place???
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2011, 04:58 PM
jeffchapz jeffchapz is offline
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Location: Austin, TX
 
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Well, I messed around with it like two days before I washed the car and since it hasn't rained over 6 months here in central TX and moister showed up.... I knew it had something to do me :-). SO, after I removed the head lamp I put silicone all around where the clear plastic and black part of the head lamp meet - thinking that there was a small gap allowing water in.... but about a month later moister showed up again after another car wash :-( so I replaced the rubber sealing in the back of head lamp and that took care of the problem.

The ballast is directly attached right underneath the lap, so if water is moister gets inside the head lamp it will find its was to the ballast since that connect is pretty much straight though.... you'll see what I'm taking about if you take it apart. take a look at the pics below.... enjoy :-) Laterz!



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