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E63 / E64 6 Series (2004 - 2010)
The E63/E64 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 05-01-2012, 05:39 PM
osbornes26 osbornes26 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 650i vert comf&cold
left low beam malfunction

I checked and it doesn't seem as though there is a solution specifically for the sixer.

I have changed the xenon bulb and still it didn't work. I have heard I might need to change the ignitor or the ballast. Any other ideas? Also if I go to an independent which I will have to tomorrow if I can't figure it, any idea on price range I should pay for a fix.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2012, 01:15 PM
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E92-Lighting E92-Lighting is offline
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if your already changed your xenon bulbs, then its your OEM ballast that went bad
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2012, 02:27 PM
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bigscore bigscore is offline
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Make sure you dont have any moisture in your headlight. If so seal the cap covering the buld with a little silcone so the bulbs/ballast doesnt "fry" and remember ebay is your friend...


http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-04-07-BM.../200739583309?
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2012, 03:17 PM
DASHZNIT DASHZNIT is offline
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Unhappy

I have the same problem. turns out I had an aftermarket HID kit which according to the dealer was the problem. I have to buy a new HID kit including ballasts. Hopefully that fixes it...of course after I bought replacement bulbs already. Ugh.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2014, 07:48 AM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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I am having this same problem. My low beam went out on the driver's side and when I replaced the bulb it still didn't work. When I tried the bulb and ballast on the passengers side it worked fine, so I know it's not the bulb or the ballast that's the problem. Checked the fuses also and they were fine. Not sure what the problem could be at this point. When I turn the car on the light (although not lit up) still moves and adjusts, but the light never comes on. Does anyone know what this could be and how expensive of a fix it is?
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2014, 11:45 AM
ttuite ttuite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shan904 View Post
I am having this same problem. My low beam went out on the driver's side and when I replaced the bulb it still didn't work. When I tried the bulb and ballast on the passengers side it worked fine, so I know it's not the bulb or the ballast that's the problem. Checked the fuses also and they were fine. Not sure what the problem could be at this point. When I turn the car on the light (although not lit up) still moves and adjusts, but the light never comes on. Does anyone know what this could be and how expensive of a fix it is?
I have had the same situation: Take the headlight out. On the bottom of the headlight there is a circuit board. Remove the board and inspect it. Smell it for burning. If the headlight has a leak, water has a tendency to seek the low spot where this board is located and short it out. You can swap the board with the one in the other light to see if that is the problem. If this ends up being your problem you will face another dilemma. When you change the board you will find that the light works but that the adaptive headlight function does not. The new board needs to be coded. Buying a used board can be problematic in that the dealership will not be able to code it for you. If you have access to NCS then you should be able to code it as long as the board is good. If you do not have access to NCS then you should buy a new board, install it and have the dealership code it for you. The dealership cannot overwrite the coding on a used board and can only program a new board. Even if you are not mechanically inclined this is an easy job. It just takes some time. There are excellent tutorials on here regarding bumper and headlight removal.
Hope this helps. Don't forget to reseal the headlight along the seam and inspect the internal headlight wiring and redo any insulation that has broken off of the wires to prevent another occurrence.

Last edited by ttuite; 04-03-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:45 PM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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Thank you ttuite! I will definitely look into that! I was getting condensation in that light now that I think of it...
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2014, 08:28 AM
rechsanwald rechsanwald is offline
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Water in the Headlight(s) - It's only part of the problem.

I have had similar problems with my headlights, and I apologize for the length of this in advance. However, the cause of this problem is not necessarily just water so bare with me.

Please don't take this as a criticism of the advice you have received. Replacing the board is good advice, but it may only be the effect. The water may or may not be coming in around the areas that have been suggested. You may replace the board only to have it fail again shortly thereafter or not even be the part that has failed. To answer one of your questions, ballasts run between $200 to $400. Thus, I try not to just throw new parts at the problem without knowing if it was an external or internal problem with the failed part.

If you do not have it, buy the OBD and diagnostic software. The car only tells you that you have a "low beam malfunction." However, the car knows more than its telling you. Sneaky Germans. When I had a similar problem, I ran diagnostics and the low beam malfunction was due to an open circuit. One would think that the fuse would blow, but the computer shuts down the circuit to avoid damage to the ballast, controller, bulb . . . so the fuse won't necessarily blow even though you have a short circuit, which is what happened to mine.

However, that does not mean that it was not water related. It was. Sorta. The parts manager at my local BMW dealership informed me that a certain tree hugging (I changed the name to protect the guilty) party managed to get a law passed in the early 2000's that required the German auto manufacturers to use biodegradable parts. This included wiring that does not need to be waterproof. Yup. You guessed it. The wiring inside your headlights was classified as wiring not requiring waterproofing.

As the plethora of threads regarding the issue demonstrate, these headlights are anything but waterproof.

With that background, here is what I suggest to anyone having malfunction(s) in their headlight electronics.

1. Run the diagnostic so you can possibly narrow down the exact problem. Mine told me that the "low beam malfunction" was an open circuit.

2. When you remove the bulb, inspect the wire. Look for failure in the rubber surrounds. It will be easy. It ranges from small cracks to chunks missing. If you see this, you have a decision to make.

3. Pay $1,000 to $1,600 for a new headlight as you won't find replacement wiring harnesses. You really can't buy a used one because, well, they will more than likely have the same wiring and will do the same thing over time. Moreover, sealing the headlight won't help because the damage is done. The temperature changes inside the headlight alone will continue the deterioration process.

3. Completely disassemble the headlight and rewire the harness with thermoplastic wire, which is what I did. Thermoplastic wire is chemical, water and heat resistant up to 105 degrees celsius or more. You won't find it at your local auto parts store. I got mine from Wire Barn - www.wirebarn.com. Anyway, there is TLX, GLX and SLX. The difference is in the thickness of the thermoplastic. I used TLX, which is the thinnest.

4. Do a smoke test on the headlight AFTER you reassemble it but BEFORE you reinstall it. I am a smoker so I simply turned the headlight so that the service port for the lights faced the floor with one of the panels open. I inserted the cigarette an inch or two inside the housing and waited until smoke began to come out of of the weep holes, removed the cigarette and closed the panel. I then made note of locations other than the weep holes where smoke was coming out.

5. Seal all the areas with the exception of the weep holes. You will know them because they have a rubber tube coming out. DO NOT seal these. If you do, you will bring about the problem you are trying to prevent.

By the way, the outer sheathing of the fiber optic cable that carries the light for the angel eyes will be deteriorated as well. You can buy the universal, one size fits all, fiber optic repair kit for an idiotic amount of money. Good luck removing and replacing the cables. Or, I simply removed as much of the deteriorated plastic as I could from around the fibers and then used black hot glue to seal them. With the fiber optic, its more about protecting the fibers and preventing light from escaping.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the tree hugger party in Germany for ramrodding this legislation up the German auto manufactures', and their worldwide customers', tailpipes. From what I understand, this legislation is apparently directly or indirectly responsible for premature failure of seals around the trunk, windows and doors as well.

Last edited by rechsanwald; 04-06-2014 at 08:43 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2014, 11:22 AM
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Nitrogen Nitrogen is offline
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This may sound dumb but when I replaced my bulbs I put the connector in and I never knew I bent one of the pins. So I thought it was more than just a bulb. I removed the bulb and ballast and saw the bent pin straightened it out and all worked well.

If one side works try moving the ballast over and see if it works or not.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2014, 03:22 PM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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So I determined today by removing the control unit from the side that is working and hooking it the side that isn't, that the control unit is definitely the problem. I go to an indy mech. here in town and not the dealership. If I buy a used control unit on ebay do you think it can be programmed to my adaptive headlights?
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  #11  
Old 06-21-2014, 05:34 PM
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roseng roseng is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shan904 View Post
So I determined today by removing the control unit from the side that is working and hooking it the side that isn't, that the control unit is definitely the problem. I go to an indy mech. here in town and not the dealership. If I buy a used control unit on ebay do you think it can be programmed to my adaptive headlights?
Yes it can be programmed. Also there is a left an right, but either one can be programmed. The procedure from what I remember takes a fear minutes. The programing is for the movement. You should still get lights without programing.
Did you test the bottom adaptive module too?
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2014, 08:49 PM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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Originally Posted by roseng View Post
Yes it can be programmed. Also there is a left an right, but either one can be programmed. The procedure from what I remember takes a fear minutes. The programing is for the movement. You should still get lights without programing.
Did you test the bottom adaptive module too?
So is the working ballast programmed to the side that it was originally on? If so, I guess I should move it back to that side. Do I need to buy a "driver's side" control module? Is there really any difference between the "left" and "right" control module? So it is ok to buy used, and it can be programmed? Sorry for all of the questions...
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2014, 11:43 PM
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roseng roseng is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shan904 View Post
So is the working ballast programmed to the side that it was originally on? If so, I guess I should move it back to that side. Do I need to buy a "driver's side" control module? Is there really any difference between the "left" and "right" control module? So it is ok to buy used, and it can be programmed? Sorry for all of the questions...
There is no ballast. The lights use ignitors, the red square devices that the bulbs go into.
They do not get programed.

There are 2 modules mounted on each light fixture. They get programmed. Specifically the motor control for the adaptive headlight needs to be programed. The actual light module can be programed for functions. If you can, get the same side, but they can be reprogramed.

They should all work and get the light working without any programing.
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Last edited by roseng; 06-22-2014 at 11:45 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-23-2014, 05:02 PM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseng View Post
There is no ballast. The lights use ignitors, the red square devices that the bulbs go into.
They do not get programed.

There are 2 modules mounted on each light fixture. They get programmed. Specifically the motor control for the adaptive headlight needs to be programed. The actual light module can be programed for functions. If you can, get the same side, but they can be reprogramed.

They should all work and get the light working without any programing.
My ignitors are ok. It's the control module that mounts underneath the headlight that went bad on my driver's side.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2014, 05:11 PM
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roseng roseng is online now
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Originally Posted by shan904 View Post
My ignitors are ok. It's the control module that mounts underneath the headlight that went bad on my driver's side.
If it's the bottom one it controls the stepper motor too. A new one should get it to light, but it will most likely need to be coded.
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2014, 08:51 PM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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My headlight is fixed. Thanks roseng for the responses! I was able to get the control module on eBay for $100. I got the adaptive headlight malfunction when I first put it in, but it went right out and didn't come back on.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2014, 09:32 PM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Very cool, good deal that it worked out. This forum is awesome for saving us from having to go to a shop. Roseng gets his online beer
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2014, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by shan904 View Post
My headlight is fixed. Thanks roseng for the responses! I was able to get the control module on eBay for $100. I got the adaptive headlight malfunction when I first put it in, but it went right out and didn't come back on.
Excellent work!
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2014, 09:33 PM
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Very cool, good deal that it worked out. This forum is awesome for saving us from having to go to a shop. Roseng gets his online beer
Back at ya!
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  #20  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:24 PM
j_luisito j_luisito is offline
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Hi Guys,

I have a similar problem with both of my xenon adaptive headlights. Both are 100% out though. The computer says "left/right low beam malfunction".
Everything else works on the light assembly (angel eyes, high beams, etc.). I already replaced the bulbs and the ballast (light control unit mounted right below the headlight harness/assembly), on both sides to no avail.

Any insights as to what else I may look for? I though about replacing the ignitor as well (but both sides broken?). I think the issue might be something else and common to both sides.
Any help is appreciated.

Thank you.
-JLS
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  #21  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:25 PM
j_luisito j_luisito is offline
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and by the way, mine is a 2007 650i convertible....
Another note, the problem first started with flickering on one side (passenger). Then moved to right side and both. Now xenon lights 100% out, both sides.

-JLS
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