Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-17-2007, 12:06 PM
JAMES BEMMELS JAMES BEMMELS is offline
Registered User
Location: NEW JERSEY
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 325 IS
Brake Light Curcuit

Hi I Get The Brake Light Curcuit Message On The Computer. I Changed The Brake Light Switch Under The Dash But The Same Message Comes On The Computer Again? Help 325is 93
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 09-17-2007, 12:12 PM
PhilipWOT's Avatar
PhilipWOT PhilipWOT is offline
Turn Burglar
Location: Atl: Come for the pollution, stay for the traffic
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 12,282
Mein Auto: Red Assless Chaps
1. Check brake light bulbs
2. Check corresponding fuses
3. Welcome to the fest!

-philip
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-17-2007, 01:35 PM
Bimrpwr's Avatar
Bimrpwr Bimrpwr is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Midwest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,505
Mein Auto: 85 VW Quantum
bet you need to double check the bulbs. the fuse would most likely not be the issue as that would keep the OBC from knowing anything about the brake lights since it would stop the flow of the current going to and from the OBC..if that makes sense..long day.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-17-2007, 05:09 PM
johnnybayonne johnnybayonne is offline
Go Speed Racer, Go!
Location: Bayonne, NJ
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 71
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 328I
Thumbs up

Hey! I had the same problem on my 1997 328i, but it was the brake light switch!
Note: before I changed my tail lights over to the smoked lens I noticed 1 of the contacts on the brake light bulb socket started to burn! So ck them all!!!!! some DIY webs!!!
http://www.bavauto.com/shop.asp#brake
http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e36
http://www.101projects.com/BMW/Proje...s/DSC05825.JPG
__________________
______
97 E36|Conforti|M50 Manifold|AFE|Supersprint|H&R| Bilstein |Eibach
______________ http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3129109
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-17-2007, 05:11 PM
johnnybayonne johnnybayonne is offline
Go Speed Racer, Go!
Location: Bayonne, NJ
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 71
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 328I
Brake Warning Light Problems
Brake warning light problems are fairly common. Sometimes the check control system will erroneously display information that a brake light bulb is out. The warning circuit checks the resistance in the tail light circuit and illuminates the warning light if it senses anything out of spec. We recommend starting off by checking the bulbs. Make sure they are the correct voltage and size. Then check the bulb sockets for any corrosion or buildup. If these things check out but you're still having problems then you may want to try Original BMW bulbs. The resistance of some aftermarket bulbs may not meet the tight tolerances that your check control system requires. The BMW bulbs seem to work better. If that doesn't work check all the wiring connections. Also be aware that some cars (5 series 89-95, 7 series 88-94) use a bulb control module that when it fails can cause the warning lights to come on erroneously and/or turn off the lights randomly.
__________________
______
97 E36|Conforti|M50 Manifold|AFE|Supersprint|H&R| Bilstein |Eibach
______________ http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3129109
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-27-2007, 09:05 AM
jtsailjt jtsailjt is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bangor, Maine
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: '95 325i auto
I seem to randomly get the "brake light circuit" message and once it's on, it stays on until I turn the car off and restart it and then I might not see it again for a week. With the message illuminated, I have gotten out of the car and stood behind it where I could watch the brake lights as a friend pumped the brake pedal and the lights themselves seem to be working just fine. So for my car it's not a safety issue (brake lights not illuminated when they should be) and is instead just an aggravation. Given my cars symptoms, can anyone who is familiar with this problem hazard a guess whether the problem is with my brake light bulbs or is it most likely with the switch under the dashboard or is it impossible to tell? If the switch under the dash is the failed part, would the brake lights still be working correctly as mine are? Thanks to anyone who can sort this for me!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-27-2007, 09:10 AM
PhilipWOT's Avatar
PhilipWOT PhilipWOT is offline
Turn Burglar
Location: Atl: Come for the pollution, stay for the traffic
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 12,282
Mein Auto: Red Assless Chaps
I have the same exact thing going on. I changed the brake light switch last night and it only solved the problem for a few hours.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-27-2007, 09:59 AM
bboyvek's Avatar
bboyvek bboyvek is offline
vek-mw
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,154
Send a message via AIM to bboyvek Send a message via MSN to bboyvek
Mein Auto: 1995 bmw 325i
i had the same problem too i had some one stepping on the brake and lights were ok but then a couple days later i friend of mine told me that one of my bulbs was out but not the brake light but rather one of the white lights that are on when u r backing off. That seemed to had solved the problem no more brake light circuit failure for me i hope...
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerbarbie View Post
(I wasn't going to write anything in this just due to the title, but that was too funny Bboy.)
Criminal Law Attorney Carrboro
Costum Web Applications Web Design
Clasificados Empleos Ventas
Landscaping
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-27-2007, 10:17 AM
ColumbusBMW ColumbusBMW is offline
Always protect your nuts!
Location: Columbus, Ohio
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 157
Mein Auto: '94 325is
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
I seem to randomly get the "brake light circuit" message and once it's on, it stays on until I turn the car off and restart it and then I might not see it again for a week. With the message illuminated, I have gotten out of the car and stood behind it where I could watch the brake lights as a friend pumped the brake pedal and the lights themselves seem to be working just fine. So for my car it's not a safety issue (brake lights not illuminated when they should be) and is instead just an aggravation. Given my cars symptoms, can anyone who is familiar with this problem hazard a guess whether the problem is with my brake light bulbs or is it most likely with the switch under the dashboard or is it impossible to tell? If the switch under the dash is the failed part, would the brake lights still be working correctly as mine are? Thanks to anyone who can sort this for me!
Mine did the exact same thing and changing the switch fixed it.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-29-2007, 07:01 PM
jtsailjt jtsailjt is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bangor, Maine
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: '95 325i auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColumbusBMW View Post
Mine did the exact same thing and changing the switch fixed it.
What did you pay for your switch? I called my local stealer today and asked what they charged for one and he said $26 plus shipping (it's a 2 hour drive), but on another site I saw where they said it should only cost around $10 or so. Yeah, it would be worth the $26 plus shipping to never see that message again, but I just hate to get ripped off. What is the "normal" price, closer to $8 or $26? Does anyone happen to know where I can order one for a cheaper price than $26?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-30-2007, 03:36 AM
bboyvek's Avatar
bboyvek bboyvek is offline
vek-mw
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,154
Send a message via AIM to bboyvek Send a message via MSN to bboyvek
Mein Auto: 1995 bmw 325i
pelicanparts have one at 22 and another at 15. My brake light circuit lit again, i may buy one too.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerbarbie View Post
(I wasn't going to write anything in this just due to the title, but that was too funny Bboy.)
Criminal Law Attorney Carrboro
Costum Web Applications Web Design
Clasificados Empleos Ventas
Landscaping
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-30-2007, 04:52 AM
jtsailjt jtsailjt is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bangor, Maine
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: '95 325i auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by bboyvek View Post
pelicanparts have one at 22 and another at 15. My brake light circuit lit again, i may buy one too.
Thanx!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-30-2007, 05:47 AM
LmtdSlip's Avatar
LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
Do the interns get Glocks
Location: The Sunshine City
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 9,309
Send a message via AIM to LmtdSlip
Mein Auto: 325iC
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybayonne View Post
Hey! I had the same problem on my 1997 328i, but it was the brake light switch!
Note: before I changed my tail lights over to the smoked lens I noticed 1 of the contacts on the brake light bulb socket started to burn! So ck them all!!!!! some DIY webs!!!:thumb up:
http://www.bavauto.com/shop.asp#brake
http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e36
http://www.101projects.com/BMW/Proje...s/DSC05825.JPG
I had a similar problem on my car. The socket became loose and allowed the bulb contacts to move just enough to lose contact and then regain contact. This created an arcing that started to burn a hole in the metal socket. I discovered this after having my OBC tell me that the brake lights were out several times. Each time I checked the bulbs were fine but I kept getting the code so I took a closer look and saw the hole burned in the metal.

I simply bent the sockets inward so they would grip the bulb properly and haven't had a problem since.
__________________


Photobucket
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-30-2007, 06:24 AM
CJH CJH is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Philadelphia, PA
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 239
Mein Auto: 96 328is, 04 Audi Allroad
- Remove all bulbs & clean contacts in the housing, pencil eraser for the contacts, scotchbrite for the socket.
- Bend contacts in housing slightly to ensure good contact with the bulb
- Replace all bulbs with silver base Sylvania bulbs (brass base bulbs are notorious for causing this problem going way back to the early 1980s when BMW started with the bulb check circuit)
- Put a light coating of dilectric grease on the bulb to prevent oxidation
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-30-2007, 07:19 AM
chaz58's Avatar
chaz58 chaz58 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Motortown
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,639
Mein Auto: ---
Best advice I have seen yet.

I changed the switch under the dash, but that didn't help me. I noticed one of the rear bulbs had arched and burnt a little hole through the contact. Put a little solder there to get a good contact (I hope). I rebent the bulb contacts to make sure there is pressure on it. I still get the friggen message after driving 5-10 minutes (not sure which bulb is causing it though, as they both seem to work). My next step is to do the dilectric grease on both sides - I think that is an important part that most people miss. I think the best fix would be to disable that sensor if I can figure that out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJH View Post
- Remove all bulbs & clean contacts in the housing, pencil eraser for the contacts, scotchbrite for the socket.
- Bend contacts in housing slightly to ensure good contact with the bulb
- Replace all bulbs with silver base Sylvania bulbs (brass base bulbs are notorious for causing this problem going way back to the early 1980s when BMW started with the bulb check circuit)
- Put a light coating of dilectric grease on the bulb to prevent oxidation
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-01-2007, 05:39 PM
jtsailjt jtsailjt is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bangor, Maine
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: '95 325i auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaz58 View Post
Best advice I have seen yet.

I changed the switch under the dash, but that didn't help me. I noticed one of the rear bulbs had arched and burnt a little hole through the contact. Put a little solder there to get a good contact (I hope). I rebent the bulb contacts to make sure there is pressure on it. I still get the friggen message after driving 5-10 minutes (not sure which bulb is causing it though, as they both seem to work). My next step is to do the dilectric grease on both sides - I think that is an important part that most people miss. I think the best fix would be to disable that sensor if I can figure that out!
I did the Sylvania silver tip lightbulb replacement and rebending the contact points yesterday and as I drove out of the parking lot of the store where I bought them, the brake circuit light came on again.

So I went and got the switch and replaced that this morning and at least SO far, the light hasn't been back on.

Did you remember to replace the bulb and bend the contacts for the brake light above the trunk lid as well as the 2 down low?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-01-2007, 06:12 PM
PJBIMMER's Avatar
PJBIMMER PJBIMMER is offline
<<<Buddy
Location: Las Vegas, NV.
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 872
Mein Auto: 97' 328I
FYI: if the switch isn't tight in the bracket it will trigger the dreaded brake light curcuit warning. I had to take my bracket out and straighten it cause it was bent, not very fun putting it back in.
__________________
PJ
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-02-2007, 06:59 PM
Chad Haines Chad Haines is offline
still pushin' big wheels
Location: Denver, CO
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: '95 325i
Wow - I've had a random brake light problem pretty much since I've had my car and I just periodically take out the brake light and put it back in - this usually made it work again for a while.

But you guys are awesome with your advice to bend the contacts.

Seriously, how did I never think of that?!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-02-2007, 07:00 PM
bboyvek's Avatar
bboyvek bboyvek is offline
vek-mw
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,154
Send a message via AIM to bboyvek Send a message via MSN to bboyvek
Mein Auto: 1995 bmw 325i
is it normal to get the *check* light on the dash board every time i get the brake circuit failure??
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerbarbie View Post
(I wasn't going to write anything in this just due to the title, but that was too funny Bboy.)
Criminal Law Attorney Carrboro
Costum Web Applications Web Design
Clasificados Empleos Ventas
Landscaping
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-02-2007, 08:59 PM
E36 Phantom's Avatar
E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is online now
I Am The Machine
Location: Somewhere Between The Valley & The Bay
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 20,421
Mein Auto: Dreier, Fünfer & Siebener
Quote:
Originally Posted by bboyvek View Post
is it normal to get the *check* light on the dash board every time i get the brake circuit failure??
Yes. Annoying, isn't it?
__________________
// Chad //
// 2001 BMW 740i M-Sport // 2002 Lexus LX470 //
// 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 // 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 //
// 1999 Chevy Tahoe //



Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
You're a derbanana
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-02-2007, 10:37 PM
bboyvek's Avatar
bboyvek bboyvek is offline
vek-mw
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,154
Send a message via AIM to bboyvek Send a message via MSN to bboyvek
Mein Auto: 1995 bmw 325i
very very annoying!!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerbarbie View Post
(I wasn't going to write anything in this just due to the title, but that was too funny Bboy.)
Criminal Law Attorney Carrboro
Costum Web Applications Web Design
Clasificados Empleos Ventas
Landscaping
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms