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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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  #1  
Old 03-26-2008, 06:32 PM
acurrier acurrier is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i
Fast turn signal and headlight lamp stays on

I have a 2001 E46 325i. For the past two weeks, the dash indicator for my front headlight has come on intermittently, never for more than a few minutes. I changed the bulb last year and have checked to make sure it is still working when the indicator is on - it is. This morning, the indicator came on and did not turn off. When I turned on the right turn signal, the signal blinked fast. The left signal is normal. I thought this was maybe a fuse issue, but when I looked at the fuse diagram, I didn't see any fuse listings for the turn signal. Any ideas?

Thanks, Andrew
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2008, 01:37 AM
shadowline shadowline is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 328i
Have someone check out the LCM "Light Control Module".
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2008, 06:07 AM
acurrier acurrier is offline
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Lcm?

Thanks... is this something I can do myself? If so, any idea how?
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2008, 10:50 AM
shadowline shadowline is offline
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There may be a way but I am not sure. It will probably require some kind of tool like what is used to check the ECM.
It would probably be better to go to the dealer or a competent garage.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2008, 10:55 AM
silver1011 silver1011 is offline
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Usually when your orange turn signal flashes faster than normal it means there is a front or rear turn signal bulb out. This, together with the in-dash warning light is your cars way of telling you there is a faulty bulb that needs attention.

In Europe, when one of the - what we call the side light bulb, (first position on the headlight switch - small 5W bulb in the main headlight cluster) blows the orange indicator/turn signal bulb on the same side of the car glows less brightly to compensate for the blown bulb. When you turn on the turn signal it flashes as usual but returns to normal brightness.

In addition, if one of your dipped headlight bulbs blows (second position on the headlight switch) then the car automatically turns on the main/high beam bulb - but runs less power through it so that it doesn't dazzle oncoming cars.

This is a BMW unique fail safe system that ensures you have some form of light to replace that of the blown bulb - until you can get home and replace the faulty bulb.

This is all thanks to the clever LCM module shadowline refers to. This intelligent switch runs a low level of power through all the circuits constantly testing for faults.

Here in the UK we don't have 'day running lights' or the small marker lights you guy's have, also I think I have seen cars where the turn signals light up dimmer when you have your headlights on?

I'm not sure if you have rear fog lights in the US, but another example of the clever LCM is that instead of having a seperate bulb or a double filament bulb for the fogs, when you turn them on the LCM runs a higher wattage through the innermost tail light bulb which acts as the fog light - thus eliminating the need for additional rear lights.

Remember that when you get the in-dash warning for a light out, it can be referring to any one of the numerous bulbs on that particular corner of the car. As your turn signals are flashing fast my first try would be check them.

Also E46's are well known for their bad earth connections which can often cause the intermittent problems you describe.

My advice would be check and replace all faulty bulbs, if that doesn't help then its time to get it into the dealers...
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2008, 11:17 AM
acurrier acurrier is offline
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Lights

All of my lights appear to be in working shape, just that my turn signal blinks faster. I take this to mean some sort of electrical problem, not a bulb issue....

It sounds like it needs to go in unless anyone else has an idea? Thanks for all the replies so far.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2008, 12:08 PM
david @ eas david @ eas is offline
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Usually the car blinks fast when there is a light either dead, fallen out (which has happened to me ) or there is a short in the system. Make sure the light is SECURELY in it's place and if that isn't the problem, then take it to a dealer to check it out.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2008, 12:22 PM
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cjwheeling cjwheeling is offline
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I had a similar situation. It turned out that some of the contact on my left front turn signal bulb had melted, causing intermitent issues with fast blinking. another possible culprit is the housing for the turn signal bulb barely making contact due to corrosion inside the connector. The bulb cost me $2.50 at Kragen and I bough the connector for $11 at my local BMW Independent shop.

Replaced both because I figured that the connector caused the initial issue with the bulb and it seems to be working fine now.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2008, 01:02 PM
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tbiggs27 tbiggs27 is offline
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Just check the headlight fluid
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2008, 01:06 PM
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cjwheeling cjwheeling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbiggs27 View Post
Just check the headlight fluid
Noooo! That's only done at the 90,000 mile service when the muffler bearings are replaced as well as deflating and reinflating tires with fresh air.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2008, 06:12 AM
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tbiggs27 tbiggs27 is offline
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Okay but seriously...my bulb went out on the front turn signal and it wasn't the bulb...so I guess it is the connector? Is this easy to fix DIY? Cost to have done at indy? How can I tell what the problem is? I assume it is not a fuse since that is the only thing that is burned out....sorry to hijack but we are talking about similar thigns, right?
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2008, 06:16 AM
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tbiggs27 tbiggs27 is offline
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I think the headlight fluid is on the same shelf as the elbow grease...aisle 13
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2008, 09:16 AM
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cjwheeling cjwheeling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbiggs27 View Post
Okay but seriously...my bulb went out on the front turn signal and it wasn't the bulb...so I guess it is the connector? Is this easy to fix DIY? Cost to have done at indy? How can I tell what the problem is? I assume it is not a fuse since that is the only thing that is burned out....sorry to hijack but we are talking about similar thigns, right?
Replacing the housing is a -1 on the 1-10 scale. It takes about 5 minutes including the time to take out the one screw that holds the headlight assembly in place. It's a click-in connector.
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2008, 09:36 AM
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tbiggs27 tbiggs27 is offline
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Right but it's not the headlight...it's the blinker...still the same thing? I'll just go check it myself....
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2008, 12:43 PM
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cjwheeling cjwheeling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbiggs27 View Post
Right but it's not the headlight...it's the blinker...still the same thing? I'll just go check it myself....
Sorry, I meant to say blinker housing. Yes, it's one screw from the top. The screw is captured inside a gray plastic piece.
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2008, 04:54 AM
acurrier acurrier is offline
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Fixed

Thanks for all the help everyone. I determined what the problem was - my cerebellum levels were extremely low. I thought since the headlight indicator was on, it was telling me the headlights were out, and I never bothered to check the blinker. Duh! Got a new bulb, took out the housing, replaced bulb, and voila! Grand total $3.98 and 7 minutes worth of work.

I'll work on increasing my gray matter for solving future issues.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2008, 09:24 AM
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cjwheeling cjwheeling is offline
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Lemme guess, the next issue is that pesky low fuel light keeps coming on every 350 miles or so? Just kidding, sometimes the obvious solutions don't always appear obvious.

Happy blinking
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