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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to replace the bulbs in my '03 540i

I've been through MANY replacement lists, posts, even asked the dealer and all come back with 3157 (or 3457). Now one would normally go OK, guess that's it.

Question is this.

Both these (3157/3457) bulbs are 2 filament bulbs which would require 3 wires, A GND (-) and a (+) for each of the filaments.

Car has 2 wire connector.

I replaced the bulbs with 3457's. blinkers work on both sides as they should but on left side bulb will light very dimly when parking lights are turned on. Right side is dark.

Why would it require a 2 filament bulb and only have wiring for a single filament bulb? Don't get it.

Any enlightenment?
 

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2 filament bulbs can't go in 1 filament holder because the tabs that hold the bulb are different.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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Agreed. Replace with the same as you removed. Check your owner's manual.

IIRC, your MY has a small marker light as a running light.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's the point, Manual does not give a bulb number. BMW Dealer told me 3157.

Why would the dealer tell me 3157 if that wasn't the one? I called a second dealer and got the same bulb number.

Yes I agree, bulb base different but 3457 fits and is what came out.

I pulled a 3457 and inserted a 3457.

It makes no sense.

edjack by "small marker light" are you referring to the one on fender behind the wheel?

I have attcheded photos. car is bone stock other than the DINAN upgrades
 

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It is confusing isn't it. I went through the same confusion as you are now. But all the application tables I've seen from Osram, Philips, GE, etc. from 2010 when I bought my 530 do list the 3457NA, which is a yellow two filament bulb for the front turn signal. Looking back in my accumulated notes I apparently once found that a 3156NA, single filament, was spec'd in earlier versions.

3156, 3157, 3456 and 3457 bulbs all share the same base/socket. The 3156 & 3456 are single filament, 3157 and 3457 are dual filament. The leads on the 3156/3456 bulb base are in the same position on the socket as the higher power leads for 3157/3457. The 3157/3457 low power filament leads are inside the high power lead and won't make contact in a socket intended for a 3156.

315x bulbs are 32 candle power while 345x are 40 candle power on the single or higher power filament.

My guesses are:
- the 3457NA is now spec'd since a brighter signal light is better, especially next to the low beam light, where glare masking can be an issue (and is on many, many current vehicles.)
- the BMW plug is configured to run both filaments on the 3457NA for a bit extra brightness, from the single +ve wire to the plug ... perhaps, I haven't checked.
- no-one makes a 3456NA, only 3456 clear

If you could find a 3456NA, it would probably work just fine.

I suspect the dim illumination on the parking light position is a fault in the LCM or wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks RDl

Only BMW will know why they spec a 2 filament bulb and use only one. BMW dealers are still specing the 3157. They didnt have any and would gladlky order them for me at 21$ a bulb! I passed and went to local parts supplier and picked up the 3457's

There's a million bulbs out there that would work.

ANother question

What lights are supposed to come on when "PARKING" lights selected?
 

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On my 530, which should be the same as your 540, "parking lights" illuminates the rear tail lights and the halo/angel eyes/Celis rings around the headlights.
Turn signal stalk in a "turn" position, illuminates just one side of those same lights.
Ignition off for these. I'd expect the same with engine running, but didn't check.
My car (and therefore LCM) is coded for the Canadian market. It's possible that that yours may be different, although I don't recall off hand parking light behaviour being an LCM option.
Post back if yours isn't the same & I'll have a look if you wish.

EDIT: Oops, I see you're in Canada too, so forget the LCM coding bit. BTW, are the airplanes in the background your other toys?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Going to check voltages and what comes on when.

On first blush, when parking lights selected only rear taillights came on. Nothing in front. Perhaps something in coding? :dunno:

Be right back at ya.

Oh and only one filament comes on on wither side.

The left side filament that is used for the turn signal glows when not blinking
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not my toys but get to play with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK my lights function as yours. Just couldn't see the halos in the bright sun.

So only anomaly is the glowing corner turn signal light when parking lights are selected ON.
some leaking voltage at 1.9 volts to bulb causing the dim glow.

I also did a scan and got a " Light Check Module (LCM): left front side lamp faulty" not sure what that is as bulb works and comes on when asked turn signal.
 

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The scan finding the LCM reporting a problem on the left front turn signal suggests to me a fault outside the LCM, which is hopeful.
Did you scan the LCM with left turn bulb in socket or out? Have you tried swapping the bulbs left to right to see if the fault follows the bulb or is fixed in the left circuit.
Any sign of damage to the harness between LCM and bulb or in the plug?
Any corrosion in the connector at the LCM that might explain the issue?
I wonder if it might have something to do with the "bulb cold check" in which the LCM periodically tests a circuit to verify the bulb has continuity, i.e. isn't blown. Except these cold checks are only a momentary pulse for continuity check every 30 seconds or so, not a continuous voltage.

You can find electrical schematics and system descriptions here.
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/
 

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iirc, the side marker lights when faulty will cause a turn signal fault code for the respective side. i could be wrong on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just to avoid confusion.

I originally had fault codes for both the "side marker light" AND the "Front Left Turn signal"

Both bulbs were burned out. They didn't go out at same time, (I was just too lazy to replace when they the first went out)

Although all bulbs work I still get the error code for the left side fender marker light.

Clearer this way perhaps.


The scan finding the LCM reporting a problem on the left front turn signal suggests to me a fault outside the LCM, which is hopeful.


The scan fins the code for the side marker light not the front turn signal

Did you scan the LCM with left turn bulb in socket or out? Have you tried swapping the bulbs left to right to see if the fault follows the bulb or is fixed in the left circuit.

Bulbs were all in and bulbs swapped left to right and back again. As the left front had a constant glow wanted to check bulbs.

Any sign of damage to the harness between LCM and bulb or in the plug? NO

Any corrosion in the connector at the LCM that might explain the issue? NO and used contact cleaner just in case

I wonder if it might have something to do with the "bulb cold check" in which the LCM periodically tests a circuit to verify the bulb has continuity, i.e. isn't blown. Except these cold checks are only a momentary pulse for continuity check every 30 seconds or so, not a continuous voltage.

You can find electrical schematics and system descriptions here.
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/
awesome site

I'm going to check into the LCM and wiring a bit more. Can't figure out where the rouge voltage comes from other than the LCM.

ANd change side marker fender bulbs again.
 

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The clarification helps. I'd misunderstood some of what you wrote although I see in hindsight that was my mistake.
To confirm my understanding:
A - left side fender bulb (turn signal repeater) works as it should, but LCM reports a fault
B - left front turn signal bulb glows dimly when light switch is in "park", no LCM fault, and flashes for turn signal properly

For A the only suggestion is to check the bulb wattage is correct; there are at least two variants of that bulb shape with identical wedge seats but different wattages
For B I'd try disconnecting the connector on the LCM that runs the bulb. Then test if the rogue voltage &/or dim illumination is present at the bulb plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The clarification helps. I'd misunderstood some of what you wrote although I see in hindsight that was my mistake.
To confirm my understanding:
A - left side fender bulb (turn signal repeater) works as it should, but LCM reports a fault
B - left front turn signal bulb glows dimly when light switch is in "park", no LCM fault, and flashes for turn signal properly

Both correct

For A the only suggestion is to check the bulb wattage is correct; there are at least two variants of that bulb shape with identical wedge seats but different wattages
For B I'd try disconnecting the connector on the LCM that runs the bulb. Then test if the rogue voltage &/or dim illumination is present at the bulb plug.
I will try that. Thanks RDL
 

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Historical - for years the Sylvania guide had the incorrect turn bulb for the E39. There's prob a thread about it here. At some point it was corrected. But that might be the number your dealer is still pulling.

Cool P-51 in your sig.
 

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Same bulb different part number.

This is the one listed for my car

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/part?id=DN63-USA-03-2003-E39-BMW-540i&mg=63&sg=05&diagId=63_0642&q=63217160788

Either event, both dual filament bulbs in a single filament socket and NO interconnection between the bulb leads.

Defies logic.
The bulb in this link is for a version of the headlight assy with the yellow turn signal lenses (vs the newer style with white lenses, which use the 3157/3457.) Trade #s are: Philips 12356, Narva 68191, Osram 64136, Flosser 6021

EDIT: BTW, best price I've found for this bulb is ~$5 at RockAuto
 
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