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E28 (1982 - 1988)

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2008, 08:46 AM
Gold86Bimmer Gold86Bimmer is offline
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
 
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Mein Auto: 86 528e
warning light???

86' 528e, auto trans.....question:
What does this light mean? It is on most of the time and sometimes goes away. It seems to trigger the flashing 'check' light in the dash ( not 'check engine light'). And what is this unit of warning lights called (above the mirror)? Thanks in advance!

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  #2  
Old 01-18-2008, 10:25 AM
jimoreno jimoreno is offline
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This is the Active Check system. It checks every vital light and fluid on the car constantly. If the "Check" light comes on, you push the "Check" button as a way of acknowledging that you looked at it and saw what the problem is. Every morning when you start the car it will flash until you step on the brakes (if there is nothing else wrong!) since that is the only way of testing them and making sure that they work. If the light is on it means that you have a burnt bulb.
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Last edited by jimoreno; 01-18-2008 at 10:28 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2008, 09:01 PM
Gold86Bimmer Gold86Bimmer is offline
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
 
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Mein Auto: 86 528e
Thanks for the info.........I must have a 'short' in the rear tail light assembly. Sometimes the warning light turns off (by itself) but most of the time it stays on. I replaced all bulbs and replaced both taillight assemblies this past summer.

The previous owner put in an after-market stereo system that seemed not to operate properly (amp & added speakers) and must have crossed wires somewhere??? I think this is causing the 'short'???

It also seems that previous owner(s) added higher wattage bulbs and this melted the plastic housing to the past taillight assemblies and may have caused some damage along the wiring system????

Any ideas of how or where to start looking?????
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2008, 06:24 AM
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Gryphon Gryphon is online now
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Check your tail ground wire and connection.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2008, 08:35 AM
jimoreno jimoreno is offline
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Make sure that you clean all contacts and that you have "silver" base bulbs not brass base since this tends to make the system go a little bit crazy (probably because of different resistance). The previous owner probably installed the incorrect bulb type with higher wattage bulbs thus causing the melting. Worst case scenario you can replace the bulb sockets if they are beyond repair.

Good Luck!
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2009, 12:34 AM
86BlueDoor 86BlueDoor is offline
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Location: New Mexico
 
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Mein Auto: 1986 528e automatic
Had this same problem and tried all of the above suggestions without any luck. Then I found this cleaning step and it helped:

1) cleaned all grounding contacts of the High Center Brake Light unit and ......

2) if it comes back again, I will just 'splice' an extra grounding wire to the unit and ground it to the G301 (left back seat area) point.

I hope this helps others.



BTW- My 'rusty' contacts in/near the trunk was caused by a bad, leaky trunk seal that the previous owner never bother to replace. So this electrical contact area is probably the last area I needed to 'clean'.

Also I meant to add that it was important to clean the G302 grounding point and support bracket as well (rear right in trunk, for the power antenna). This helped with running the radio without interference.

Last edited by 86BlueDoor; 02-11-2009 at 12:52 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2009, 12:56 AM
86BlueDoor 86BlueDoor is offline
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Mein Auto: 1986 528e automatic
Update:
The warning light came back 'On'???

The first procedure worked for about three days and I parked the car for a couple of days. (I don't always drive the car every day.) When I started it up it was working fine then after a couple of stops, the light came back on.

I parked the car and worked on it the next day and added the extra 'spliced' ground wire. This worked for a few days and then I parked it for a few days. When I drove it again it worked 'ok' for that day but the next day it came back on.

I thought that the ground wire I added just got loose. But when I finally got time tonight (last night) to check it, everything was still intact but still the light is 'On'.

I don't have time to do further investigating for a couple of weeks, at least, due to another project. But I will be looking to try adding some more ground wire to see if that makes any difference??

I hope some else has had better luck with this issue? Sorry if I raised any hopes in resolving this type of problem. Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2009, 09:42 AM
Sixdown Sixdown is offline
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If the terminals have been cleaned with electrical contact cleaner and scrubbed, then that's obviously not the problem. The problem probably lies with moisture getting into something, or a separate short.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2009, 12:06 AM
86BlueDoor 86BlueDoor is offline
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Location: New Mexico
 
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Mein Auto: 1986 528e automatic
Yeah, everything has been 'scrubbed' and no more moisture problems....fixed and re-sealed the trunk. Rechecked all grounds.

I believe (since I had limited success with the High Level Stop unit) that the problem is with the small circuit board of the Stop unit, which it seems where the Active Check Control Unit gets its signal from. Some part of that circuit is 'shorting' or defective that still allows the light to come on but sends signal of a 'short' (burnt bulb)??

I plan to go to the local "u-pull-it" yard and find another High Level Stop Unit and replace it. I just can't get away to do this right now...maybe next week??

Thanks for input. When I do replace the unit, I will give another update.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2009, 12:17 AM
86BlueDoor 86BlueDoor is offline
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Location: New Mexico
 
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Mein Auto: 1986 528e automatic
Update!!
Finally got to the local ‘U-Pull-it’ and found a high center stop light fixture ($4.99) but when I replaced it with my original one it did not ‘fix’ the problem.

However, I did have some time to explore some options and came up with the following:

Option 1- Replace the old circuit board unit inside the stop light assembly. Dealership special order: BMW #63251377734 @ $50.49

Note: This more than likely will ‘fix’ the problem but can not be 100% sure?


Option 2- Remove the old circuit board from ‘Check’ system. By-pass the grounding wires to the negative connection of light socket. Upside: no more annoying light on after re-set; downside: takes away purpose of ‘burn out’ brake light bulb warning. (I can live with this option.)

How:
#1) Disconnect grounding to negative post of light socket;

#2) Cut the Brown and the two Green/Black ground wires from the circuit board (note: cut as close as possible to board in order for wires to reach....not like the picture of the removed circuit board shows);

#3) Splice all three ends together and crimp to extra connector (Radio shack) and re-connect back to negative post of socket light.




Option 3- Add small wire to circuit board main grounding wires (brown color). This will keep ‘Check’ warning system intact and possibly ‘fix’ the annoying warning light from staying on even after re-set is done?? (So far, so good….but if this isn’t a permanent ‘fix’ I will go with Option 2)

Note: If you're better at soldering than I am, then you can probably solder the extra wire to the back connection of board. I just removed some insulation from the wires and wrapped the extra wire to make this contact and will use silicone glue to keep it in place.




I’m done with this problem and I’m on to the next one on my list. I hope this helps someone else? Good luck!!
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