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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 04-27-2011, 03:11 PM
RHndz RHndz is offline
BMW_330ci
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 330Ci
Xenon headlight problem

I purchased a 300ci very low miles ~45K for a really good price around 6 months ago. The car performs really well, but a few weeks ago the passenger side headlight stopped working. I read some posts about how to trouble shoot the issue and to date have eliminated the bulb, the ignitor, and ballast. So now I'm stuck on what to do next. I am trying to avoid having to go to the dealer, so I am trying to seek some guidance from the BMW community to see if anyone can give me some direction on what I can try next. I tried looking for a fuse, but I couldn't find one. I even went through the effort of testing each fuse with a test probe and they all checked out as good. Any input would be greatly appreciated. My one-eyed Bimmer looks sick right now, so I'm trying to get it back to looking good!

Please advise and thank you in advance...


Recap on things done:

Swapped bulb
Ignitor
Ballast
even the small looking ballast mounted next to the ballast

The parts that came off the back side (passenger side) work on the driver side.
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2011, 03:14 PM
RHndz RHndz is offline
BMW_330ci
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 330Ci
I forgot to mention... this is a 2004 BMW 330ci... sorry
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2011, 06:52 PM
CRJ900 CRJ900 is offline
70 428 SCJ, 04 325xi
Location: New Market, MN
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 83
Mein Auto: 2004 325xi
There is a service bulletin that describes the problem you are having, it is BMW service bulletin SI B 63 01 05. which states:

SI B 63 01 05
Lights

June 2005
Technical Service

This Service Information bulletin supersedes S.M B63 201 04 dated March 18, 2005.
SUBJECT
Xenon Headlamp Failure

MODEL
E46 (3 Series) Sedan/Sport wagon with option 522 (Xenon lights), E46 (M3).

Vehicles produced March 1, 2004 to February 28, 2005.

SITUATION

Xenon light is intermittently inoperative - either one or both headlamps.

CAUSE

Faulty Xenon headlamps and control unit supplied by AL (Automotive Lighting).

CORRECTION
Notes:
a. This Service Information only refers to headlamps supplied by AL (Automotive Lighting). For headlamps supplied by ZKW, carry out regular troubleshooting for the xenon system.

b. Individual parts from different manufacturers are not compatible with each other. Do not mix parts from AL and ZKW.

c. This Service Information depends on the production date of the headlamp and whether there is a green dot on the yellow parts label on the AL headlamp. The production date is shown in the format yy.mm.dd above the bar code.

Case A:

Green dot on the parts sticker on the failed headlamp, continue regular troubleshooting on the xenon light.

Case B:

No green dot on the parts sticker on the failed headlamp:

If both headlamps have failed:

The xenon control unit and xenon bulb from the failed headlamps must be replaced.

If only one headlamp has failed:

Replace the xenon control unit and xenon bulb from the failed headlamp. Also replace the xenon control unit from the other lamp as a precautionary measure. It is not necessary to replace the xenon bulb in the other lamp.

NOTES about installing AL components (indicated by the AL suffix in the EPC):

Control unit P/N 63 12 6 907 496 - Only install a control unit with a production date later than 3rd February 2005. The production date is shown in the format dd.mm.yy below the bar code on the white label.

Control unit P/N 63 12 7 176 068 (or its successor) - no additional checks necessary.

In cases where a complete headlamp replacement is necessary, only install headlamps with a production date later than 14th February 2005 or headlamps that have a green dot next to the BMW part number on the yellow parts label. The production date is shown in the format yy.mm.dd above the bar code on the yellow label. The green dot identifies headlamps that have been repaired by the supplier and are now equipped with a defect-free control unit even though they were manufactured before 14th February 2005.

PARTS INFORMATION

Refer to EPC




WARRANTY INFORMATION

Covered under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty.



Disclaimer




2011 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use

Not saying it's the problem, just a SB that addresses a condition similar to what you have going on.

Mike
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  #4  
Old 04-27-2011, 06:58 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Location: State College, PA
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,878
Mein Auto: 2005 M3 Coupe
I remember reading about a weird issue with facelift coupes where disconnecting the battery or otherwise resetting the electronics disables the passenger side headlamp... I can't remember what the fix was though
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2011, 06:59 PM
RHndz RHndz is offline
BMW_330ci
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 330Ci
Thanks Mike! Someone mentioned checking the following:

Fuses, I can't find where there are fuses specifically for the headlights
Unplugging the battery <=== not sure what this would do for the problem
Replacing the Light Control Module <=== Not sure where this is located

Any thoughts about these suggestions?
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2011, 07:37 PM
CRJ900 CRJ900 is offline
70 428 SCJ, 04 325xi
Location: New Market, MN
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 83
Mein Auto: 2004 325xi
If the lamp control module is the culprit here is where it is located: http://alldatapro.com/alldata/PRO~V2...5052/113500239

Don't know if that link will work or not, if not, it looks like it is located behind the light switch in the picture.

I think if you buy a new one it has to be coded, i.e, the lamp control module has to recognize xenon or halogen lamps so you don't get any error messages on the instrument cluster. The dealer or independent shop will do this.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2011, 07:53 PM
RHndz RHndz is offline
BMW_330ci
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 330Ci
Thanks again Mike! So there is no way for me to do this myself then. I'll have to either get the dealer to do it or an autohaus that works on imports. Before I make that expense, is there a fuse that I can test to ensure it's not that?

Also, would a bad LCM just cause the one bulb not to light? All of the other lights work fine... This is really confusing...
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2011, 08:16 PM
CRJ900 CRJ900 is offline
70 428 SCJ, 04 325xi
Location: New Market, MN
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 83
Mein Auto: 2004 325xi
I wish I could be more help. I just purchased my first BMW, a 2004 325xi last week. My wife and I carpool together to work in it each day.
I am not an expert by any means. So far I have gotten most of my knowledge of these cars from this forum, Bing.com, or Alldata.
I am lucky to have access to Alldata, lots of information there.

You still might be able to figure this out yourself, perhaps someone else will chime in on this thread. But so far you have done pretty much what I would have done (swap known good parts side to side)

I would call independent shops before the dealer, they are more likely to give you advice.
Here is one more service bulletin that may help you out.

SI B 63 07 05
Lights

April 2006
Technical Service

This Service Information bulletin supersedes S.I. B63 07 05 dated November 2005.

[NEW] designates changes to this revision
SUBJECT
Headlight(s) are Inoperative After Parts Replacement or Coding

MODEL
E46 (3 Series) with SA 522 (Xenon lights)

E53 (X5) with SA 522 (Xenon lights)

[NEW] E83 (X3) with SA522 (Xenon lights)

[NEW] E85 (Z4) with SA522 (Xenon lights)
SITUATION
After replacing a headlight(s) assembly, Lamp Module (LCM), Lamp Switch Center (LSZ), Stepper Motor Controller (SMC), Active Headlight Control (AHL) or coding the LCM/LSZ the headlight is inoperative.

CAUSE
The System has not been initialized.

PROCEDURE
The headlight has to have a calibration sweep in order for the LCM/LSZ to recognize it.

Use the following procedure to calibrate the headlights:
^ Select - Control Module Function Screen

^ Select - Active Headlight Control (AHL)

^ Select - Activate Components

^ Select - Reference run with sensor

^ Select - Control module reset

WARRANTY INFORMATION
Covered under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Defect Code Refer to KSD

Labor Operation: Refer to KSD



Disclaimer




2011 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2011, 05:07 PM
RHndz RHndz is offline
BMW_330ci
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 330Ci
Out of curiosity... Are there fuses for the headlights, and if so where are they located?
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2011, 02:18 PM
Tech Savvy Tech Savvy is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Tennesee
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 103
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330CI
i had the same problem with my 2004 330CIc. what i did to fix it was. I removed the top cove of the headlight housing. inside the housing you have three wires on top. Brown, Red, and Green.. check the wires because they become very brittle and tend to fall apart. you may have to pull out the heat shrink wrap and soldering gun.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:51 PM
RHndz RHndz is offline
BMW_330ci
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 330Ci
Bingo.... That was the problem

I can't believe that I didn't catch that. Found that bad wire and I have lights again.

Thank you all! This site rocks....
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2013, 11:33 AM
flyingmynerd flyingmynerd is offline
Registered User
Location: Southaven MS
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330ci
I had this same problem with those three wires in the headlight housing, I repaired them and they failed again. Do you know what the wires are called so I can try and order them new so I wont have this problem again? Thanks
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2014, 12:08 PM
SandEngXp SandEngXp is offline
SandEngXp
Location: Arlington, Texas USA
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2004 325Ci & 2000 Z3 2.8
Wire replacement for Xenon Lights

Does anyone know the part number for this internal wire harness? I can find the modules on both ends but not the harness....

one wire was fixed as some point but all four are badly deteriorated.

'04 325Ci premium with OEM Xenon Lights 101k

Thanks
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2014, 03:09 PM
flyingmynerd flyingmynerd is offline
Registered User
Location: Southaven MS
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330ci
I finally took the entire headlight assembly out and had our aircraft mechanic cut the wires and solder new ones in. On mine there was enough good wire at the end of the harness to solder new wire in, then he heat wrapped the connections. I never could find a part number. My only other suggestion is buy aftermarket headlights but that cost some high $$$. The strange part is only the passenger side headlight had the crumbling wire, the drivers side is fine.
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