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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 05-28-2015, 02:45 AM
chuckeb71 chuckeb71 is offline
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Location: NY
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 528I
Turn signal stays on when car is off

I am new to the forum. I have a 2000 528I that I use for commuting. After replacing the V Belt and the Water pump I noticed that when the car is off, the right front and rear directional will turn on and drains the battery. This is an intermittenet problem.

When I drive the car- the right turn signal flashes when the turn signal is in the neutral position. move the turn signal switch it to make a left turn and all the signals turn off. Turn it to make a right turn and the left signals go on.

I removed the turn signal bulb from the taillight assembly to check for corrosion- the was none. With that bulb out, the brake light bulb goes on.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:33 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,863
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Do a search on replacing turn indicator. If the right indicator is blinking when the stalk is in the neutral position...you have a stalk probkem...not a bulb issue. I just did a quick Google search using this phrase "bmw e39 broken turn indicator" & found a thread right at the top with same issue as yours with some suggestions. Also check out Bluebee' reply (I think her post was #8)...there's usually links to other similar issues.

Look at the icons on your turn indicator stalk. If you have an extra light icon that is obviously not related to the signal direction icons...then you have the park light feature. This option allows you to press the turn stalk to turn on the front/rear indicator for the side of the car that would be vulnerable to uncommon traffic if parked on a narrow unlit street. This is utilized more in Europe were they can have very narrow roads...or older US cities that go back to the 1700s/1800s.

Since it sounds like your stalk has issues...and you say the front & rear lights on the right side of the car remain iluminated...and the turn indicator operates erratically with it operating the right side when it should be neutral...this sounds like a turn stalk issue.

This is not a new issue...not one of the common ones...but it's been discussed enough that a simple Google search with a few key words should bring up past threads as well as turn indicator DIYs.

Good luck

Below is the info from the owners manual that explains the right/left parking light feature...note that under normal conditions...the option is initiated when the ignition is in the OFF position...and the red arrow points to the location of the icon that indicates this feature is installed:

Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)


Last edited by QSilver7; 05-28-2015 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:50 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Location: Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,442
Mein Auto: '99 5-spd
From the OP's description of dysfunction, and particularly the comment that flipping the stalk when making a right turn causes the left signals to flash, I have the feeling this is going to be a bad LCM because I can't picture how the slider with the copper contacts inside the switch can reverse its functions.

Trying a used stalk is easy enough, just need to know how to properly remove and re-install the steering wheel/airbag assembly. (Disconnect battery first.) In the meantime, probably a good idea to shop for an LCM III module for your car. Used ones are inexpensive but you need to code the VIN and mileage into them, and you'll want one from a car with lower mileage (if going "used"). The LCM III is located behind a black plastic kickpanel beside the front passenger's right foot. That cover is held on with a rivet or two, I think, and pops off fairly easily. The LCM is bolted in. The only hard thing about the LCM is the three plug connectors can be fairly stiff after 15 years ....

If the LCM is the culprit, you may also want to determine if it was damaged by water ingress, as it's right in the path of a couple of common sources of water leaks into the cabin.

Last edited by pleiades; 05-28-2015 at 10:20 AM.
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