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6 Series
The BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 11-19-2012, 02:24 PM
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roseng roseng is offline
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Exclamation CAUTION! AE LED replacements

A few weeks ago, I had upgraded my AE's to 5w LED and all was well with no errors. Great color but not very bright. I saw new 25W AE's and decided to give them a try. They looked better but not 5x brighter for sure.

It rained Thursday and Friday but I did not drive the car till Saturday. Sunday after some driving I looked and saw this:

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I was not too happy to see moisture in the housing. I removed the AE's and after looking them over I found the issue. These are made differently than the others with a hollow center, most likely to assist in cooling.

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I removed the AE's and using some clear tubing, a hair dryer, and about 2 hours, I got the moisture out. I then I used Silicone to seal the openings on the rear of the AE's to keep the moisture out.

The position of the AE's are outside of any protection and therefore exposed to the elements via the normal air flow. This is not a problem with the factory fittings as they are sealed. I'm sure the heat from the LED's caused whatever water that came in contact with it, to vaporize into the headlight housing.

It's all OK now but be cautious on choosing these replacements. The first set of LEDs were sealed but these were not.
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Last edited by roseng; 11-19-2012 at 02:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:09 PM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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That blows! Nice recovery though.

Definitely beneficial to alert everyone to be careful with aftermarket AE's.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:58 AM
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Mulchman Mulchman is offline
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Bummer

Now I see what you were saying in your PM. Ouch!

So you're going to stick with them and see if you can keep the moisture out?

Hope it works. If not, at least we have a holiday tomorrow
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:37 AM
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I'd be a bit worried using 25W angel eyes... That's a lot of heat to dissipate.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2014, 12:36 PM
Brandovibe Brandovibe is offline
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And do you think that is what blew out your adaptive headlight control module? Moisture getting in there?
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:24 PM
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roseng roseng is offline
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Originally Posted by Brandovibe View Post
And do you think that is what blew out your adaptive headlight control module? Moisture getting in there?
No question about it.
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2014, 06:06 PM
Brandovibe Brandovibe is offline
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Let me ask you this.....I have an adaptive headlight failure code, but in addition, that headlight is out also. Today I swapped bulbs and ballasts and everything is working fine on the other side, but not the right. I know it will prevent it from moving, but will the failure of this module prevent the headlight from even lighting up?
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2014, 07:49 PM
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roseng roseng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandovibe View Post
Let me ask you this.....I have an adaptive headlight failure code, but in addition, that headlight is out also. Today I swapped bulbs and ballasts and everything is working fine on the other side, but not the right. I know it will prevent it from moving, but will the failure of this module prevent the headlight from even lighting up?
Brandovibe,
There are 2 modules on each headlight housing. You can only get to them by removing the entire headlight assembly. That requires removing the front bumper which is actually a relatively simple task.

On the top to the side is the headlight controller. On the bottom is the adaptive controller. That is the most comon failure since any water that collects in the housing finds it's way to the bottom and into the module that controls the adaptive circuit.

When I had my issue I had lights but no movement and an error code. I poured out the water from the adaptive module and repaced it. I did still have a working headlight.

From what I know, It is very possible that the moisture in the lamp housing could also take out the lamp controller on the housing too. That one may be able to be saved if it's just moisture and not actually water. I would try drying it out.

Also it's easy to forget to check for basic things like fuses.

Sounds like the swapping you did let you confirm that the bulb and ignitor were good.

Did you have a moisture/water issue, and if so how bad was it?
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2014, 05:21 AM
Brandovibe Brandovibe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseng View Post
Brandovibe,
There are 2 modules on each headlight housing. You can only get to them by removing the entire headlight assembly. That requires removing the front bumper which is actually a relatively simple task.

On the top to the side is the headlight controller. On the bottom is the adaptive controller. That is the most comon failure since any water that collects in the housing finds it's way to the bottom and into the module that controls the adaptive circuit.

When I had my issue I had lights but no movement and an error code. I poured out the water from the adaptive module and repaced it. I did still have a working headlight.

From what I know, It is very possible that the moisture in the lamp housing could also take out the lamp controller on the housing too. That one may be able to be saved if it's just moisture and not actually water. I would try drying it out.

Also it's easy to forget to check for basic things like fuses.

Sounds like the swapping you did let you confirm that the bulb and ignitor were good.

Did you have a moisture/water issue, and if so how bad was it?
Wow, thanks for that great answer. Yes after I switched at AE bulbs, I had some condensation on the inside of the headlights. I wouldn't say it was terrible, but definitely coated the inside of the lens to where it was noticeable. I pulled the high beam bulbs from their sockets and drove around like that for about a week so any moisture would have a place to vent out to. It seemed to clear it up.

So what about the ballasts? I know you said there is a an adaptive controller on the bottom, and a headlight controller on the top. Is the one on top the ballast?

I love this car, but it sure is complicated to work on and figure out....
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2014, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandovibe View Post
Wow, thanks for that great answer. Yes after I switched at AE bulbs, I had some condensation on the inside of the headlights. I wouldn't say it was terrible, but definitely coated the inside of the lens to where it was noticeable. I pulled the high beam bulbs from their sockets and drove around like that for about a week so any moisture would have a place to vent out to. It seemed to clear it up.

So what about the ballasts? I know you said there is a an adaptive controller on the bottom, and a headlight controller on the top. Is the one on top the ballast?

I love this car, but it sure is complicated to work on and figure out....
The top module is the headlight controller, but I don't know if you'd call it a ballast.

Airing out the fixture will make it look better but it will not remove the moisture from the lower module. If it fails you will be in for at least $250-$350 for the part alone. You need to get that out and dry it out ASAP.

More importantly, it's critical to make sure you find the source if the water. If you cannot stop it and waterproof the housing again, you will deal with this over and over.

Yes, these cars are not easy to work on and while they are a marvel to drive, the technology behind that makes keeping them running smoothly and all the features running a challenge.

This forum has given me the confidence to repair many things myself and learn a lot about these cars. It's not that hard to do much of the maintenance yourself, just a bit scary at first. Hopefully it will do the same for you.

There are several experienced owners in FL, maybe you can connect with someone local to help. Also make sure you have a good indie BMW specialist shop that you trust.

Good luck.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2014, 06:28 AM
Brandovibe Brandovibe is offline
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Thank you for all of that info. I'm pretty sure this started when I put in the aftermarket angel eye bulbs that don't have a gasket around them like the factory ones to keep water out....
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2014, 06:44 AM
StikiGreenZ StikiGreenZ is offline
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Wow, thanks for this info! I just installed new AE's that look exactly like roseng's. I'll get some sealant on them asap!

Love this forum.
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2014, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandovibe View Post
Thank you for all of that info. I'm pretty sure this started when I put in the aftermarket angel eye bulbs that don't have a gasket around them like the factory ones to keep water out....
Bingo!!!!!

That's what killed me.
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2014, 02:44 AM
Vlad Dracul Vlad Dracul is offline
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CAUTION! AE LED replacements

Oh man

Last edited by Vlad Dracul; 06-27-2014 at 05:44 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2014, 06:00 AM
Brandovibe Brandovibe is offline
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Get the condensation out of there AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I learned the hard way and just fried both headlight control modules and adaptive stepper motors. I had to buy all 4 pieces and they are not cheap! I lucked out and got used ones that an independent shop was able to program, saved me over $1000 on the new pieces. I lost both headlights and they wouldn't even light up.

BTW, if anyone is looking for a good shop in the west palm beach area, go to Motorhaus and see Martin (pronounced Mar-teen) The guy is great, helpful, super friendly and accommodating.
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2014, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandovibe View Post
Get the condensation out of there AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Excellent advice. Remove the door that is accessible from the top in the engine compartment and fins a small fan and get the air circulating ASAP to clear it out.

It is possible that you might only get one side wet from bad AEs, but the moisture may be coming from a different source too.

Check the doors on the light assembly (there is one behind the flap in the wheel well too) and do a careful inspection for any cracks or damage.
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Last edited by roseng; 06-11-2014 at 07:07 AM.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2014, 09:59 AM
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Put that one in the toolbox...
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2014, 02:30 PM
Vlad Dracul Vlad Dracul is offline
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CAUTION! AE LED replacements

Quote:
Originally Posted by roseng View Post
Excellent advice. Remove the door that is accessible from the top in the engine compartment and fins a small fan and get the air circulating ASAP to clear it out.

It is possible that you might only get one side wet from bad AEs, but the moisture may be coming from a different source too.

Check the doors on the light assembly (there is one behind the flap in the wheel well too) and do a careful inspection for any cracks or damage.
Any other pics from your issue?
This sounds like a stupid problem to have ;/

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Last edited by Vlad Dracul; 06-27-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-12-2014, 05:15 PM
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roseng roseng is offline
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Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
Any other pics from your issue?
Also, the blow drying method - when did you know you were actually done? I'm going to try to take a look tomorrow at auto shop. Going to switch the igniters first to confirm they work. I switched my hid lights out over winter with oem, so I'm guessing it is infact condensation.
This sounds like a stupid problem to have ;/

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I sealed the light back up and checked again. I saw some additional moisture after running the car with the lights on, and had to repeat it till it was all gone. Even after you see all the moisture gone from the glass, there may be some more that vaporizes after you finish. Rinse and repeat!

It maybe a stupid issue but it's not rare and can get VERY expensive if you don't get it early.

FYI, I used a fan from a computer microprocessor that fit and worked well. Blow air into it, not the other way around.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:09 PM
Vlad Dracul Vlad Dracul is offline
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CAUTION! AE LED replacements

Man what a pain

Last edited by Vlad Dracul; 06-27-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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  #21  
Old 06-12-2014, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
Yeah, I got rid a bunch of condensation only to have more after driving. I'm going to try removing the bumper later thhis weekend to get to the housing. I couldn't see any water from the engine compartment nor in the tire well compartment.
My low beam is not working. Going to get my codes checked.
Is it a good bet that the module is toast?

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hard to say, but dont wait to pull the light to dry it oit. The longer you wait, the more chance of damage.
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  #22  
Old 06-14-2014, 04:31 PM
Vlad Dracul Vlad Dracul is offline
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So weird that it fogs right up after I dry it. I'm just drying it over top where ae are located. The ae is in there pretty good.


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  #23  
Old 06-14-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
So weird that it fogs right up after I dry it. I'm just drying it over top where ae are located. The ae is in there pretty good.


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If moisture got onto the module it could be trapped there and need repeated sessions unless you pull the light and modules and fry them separately.
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