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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:13 AM
CZVictorious CZVictorious is offline
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Location: Dallas, TX
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2001 325Ci Sport
Angry Brake lights coming on when car is OFF, key OUT

My brake lights are coming on and staying on at random when the car is OFF, with the key out. When I turn the key and start the car, they turn off and go back to working normally, i.e. turning on only when the pedals touched, etc. But the minute I turn it off, there is a good chance they come back on, usually immediately. So I'm thinking, they are getting shorted and getting power from some other source, maybe an exposed cable. But I go to the fuse box and pull each fuse out one at a time to see if they go off, and nothing. They stay on through the whole process. So, evidently they are getting power from somewhere before the fuse box. We located the power cable running from the trunk to the fuse box, and all the wires that run along with it. Jiggling the whole length of the wire, the lights never flicker, never go off. So now I am totally lost. No idea where they would be getting power from. Maybe something to do with my light switch control center? Which I have no idea of the location of, I just saw it in my Chilton book as something with a boatload of light wires that might be the center of the problem.

I have already replaced the brake light switch, it was the first thing I did, again no luck

Any help at all?

EDIT: I have a 2001 325 Ci, Sport
Also have sub amp in the back around the battery, but have taken it completely out the equation, no luck

Last edited by CZVictorious; 06-18-2012 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:18 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is offline
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,954
Mein Auto: 2002 330i ZSP
I would start by checking the brake light switch attached to the brake pedal. If that doesn't work I'd be looking at the ground wire pins as they were an issue and BMW issued a recent recall for it on some models, not the 01's though (I don't think).

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....

Last edited by smolck; 06-18-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:25 AM
CZVictorious CZVictorious is offline
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Location: Dallas, TX
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2001 325Ci Sport
I already did replace it, did nothing. It was such a failure I forgot to include it in my question. Thanks a lot anyways (not sarcasm) I will edit the original thread.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:30 AM
tankas tankas is offline
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Location: london
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: bmw
brake light problem

HI,there .I have same problem with brake lights.How you fix it?Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:16 PM
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Freakusaurus Freakusaurus is offline
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Location: New Orleans, La
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 175
Mein Auto: 2005 325Ci Convertible
On a rare occassion I have walked away from my car only to notice that ONE light was lit up... Car off... Key in my pocket.... Looks like a brake light, but only on one side. The problem was, when I get out my car I may hit the blinker. If it is in one of the turning positions, the light will stay on. Not blink, but stay on... Even if you leave your car for hours.. Not saying that is the problem, but it could be a good place to start looking. When it looks like your brake lights are on, check the front turn signal to see if it may be on too..
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