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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:50 AM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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1990 e34 brake light troubles

I just purchased my second e34. The first one i drove into the ground being young and dumb. Now that I am a little bit older i like to take care of my vehicles. The first one was a 92 this one is a 90 and both of them have the same passenger brake light problem. I hooked the driver side brake light up to the passenger side and still no brake light. So I start to follow the wiring. As I am tearing off the paneling inside the trunk I find a "actuator" looking thing right by the passenger brake light. It is poorly assembled!!

What is this thing?? Is this what is causing the brake light not to work??

Any advice is greatly appreaciated! I will post pictures of the part here shortly if you do not know what I am talking about.
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:35 AM
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E34ZombieHunter E34ZombieHunter is offline
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Pic?, there is an actuator over there, but it locks the gas door.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2013, 11:29 AM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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Thanks. After further investigating the situation I beleive that it is the fuel door lock. Heres a picture of the actuator. and the second picture is of some abandon wires i found. Could these possibly be to the old 6 disc? Cause it has a 10 disc currently in the trunk on the drivers side. Thanks
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Last edited by Jay.; 05-02-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: picture
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2013, 01:07 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
So...
Is the issue the brake lights or the gas door actuator?

Check your fuses.
Check your bulb sockets
There's a plunger switch on the brake pedal plate. That could be it as well.

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  #5  
Old 05-02-2013, 01:14 PM
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E34ZombieHunter E34ZombieHunter is offline
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Yup that is fuel door, and i think those are from cd changer, but no sure. Check you sockets, they may be corroded/bad connection somewhere near them.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2013, 01:40 PM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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Cool now that I know what that is I know why my fuel door does not lock. My passenger brake light is my main concern at the moment. I took the driver side brake light assembly and attatched to the passenger side and all the functions work besides the brake light. Could be the "plunger switch on the brake pedal plate". Im going to check that next. I checked all the fuses under the hood. they all look good. anyone have reference to a wiring diagram of a e34 that is in "ENGLISH"!! thanks
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:16 PM
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E34ZombieHunter E34ZombieHunter is offline
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This will come in handy. Check the light it-self, if you wired it to the driverside, that you know works, then it has to be between that wiring, and the light. Just my 2cents
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2013, 04:29 PM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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when i hook the driver side assembly to the passenger side wire the brake light did not work. So im guessing a relay of some sort or bad wiring some where. I still have not checked the switch under the pedal. Im actually going to go do that right now. i will let you know what happens...
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2013, 04:44 PM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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not what i was expecting. its going to take some disassembly. will keep u guys posted
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:40 PM
txrealtor txrealtor is offline
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1990 e34 brake light troubles

If only one build doesn't work, then it's not the brake light switch.


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  #11  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:41 PM
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It cant be the switch if the driver side works, and the passenger side is wired to that. It HAS to be the wiring or light it-self for the passenger side.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2013, 07:11 AM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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Ok Ive been hiding but I have finally built up the courage to say I have some what solved the problem. WRONG BULBS!!! I went to my local "auto parts store" Wal-Mart and got the biggest break light bulbs they had and plugged it in and bam I had light!!! So I think to myself cool lets take it for a spin. So I am cruising my classic 1990 525 BMW with the sun roof open on a nice southern California day abiding all traffic laws as all ways when it happend. An old lady stepped out into the street to cross and I stepped on the brakes and bam!! It popped up on the cpu brake light failure. My guess is th Wal-Mart brand bulb is due to failure.. Thanks for the responses.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:09 AM
PlasmaE34 PlasmaE34 is offline
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Could you switch the good bulb from the drivers side to the passenger side and retest the theory that it was a bad product that caused the blow ? It does not seem.likely to begin with.
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:22 AM
Jay. Jay. is offline
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I had an e30 that I would have to replace the brake light bulb on the passenger side every 3-6 months. But it would only fail when i would step on the brake kind of hard. Kind of like what this one is doing. It only popped when I pressed the brake hard.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:47 AM
PlasmaE34 PlasmaE34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay. View Post
I had an e30 that I would have to replace the brake light bulb on the passenger side every 3-6 months. But it would only fail when i would step on the brake kind of hard. Kind of like what this one is doing. It only popped when I pressed the brake hard.
And this is related to bad wal mart bulbs...how ? What's your logic ?

Last edited by PlasmaE34; 05-13-2013 at 10:51 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:56 AM
PlasmaE34 PlasmaE34 is offline
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I'm going to assume the bulb goes poof when you hit the brakes hard while you're moving, and not while you're stationery.

When you hit the brakes hard while moving, everything in the car that is loose moves with the momentum. Probably, one of the wires leading to the rear passenger tailight moves as well. It has probably done so thousands of times over the years, and its insulation has been chafed off somewhere. Now, when you hit the brakes hard, the chaffed off bit moves forward enough to come contact with metal or the car's body, shorting the circuit to ground and blowing the bulb.

Maybe its not shorting to ground and blowing the bulb, maybe when that happens, only the fuse goes and the bulb remains intact, idk for sure, but what I described above in terms of causation is probably correct. We've seen that before. It is pretty damn rare, thankfully.

Your only solution is to trace all the wires from start to finish, inspect them, as well as their adjacent wires, find the possible problems and tape them off, or simply cut and splice in a new wire to replace the old circuit. This is frequently done as it usually difficult to trace wiring and easier to run out new ones (not that it is no sweat easy I mean.)
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