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      04-30-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
miamie92m3
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Question Rear brake light isue

I keep getting a rear break light malfunction warning. When the warning goes off the light does not work (I will have someone check it while I hit the brake). After driving for a little bit the warning goes off and then the light works. It seems to be intermittent. I pulled out the rear brake light module and tested the lights with someone in the car hitting the brake and it worked fine. Then all of a sudden I will be driving and the failure light comes on again. Is this a fuse issue, light bulb issue, electrical issue? I hate taking the car to the dealer so any insight would be great. thanks!
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      05-01-2010, 12:42 AM   #2
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It's probably the socket. Do a search. You can get it replaced by a dealer, or read how others have fixed it themselves. There's a TSB on that issue, by the way. Good luck.

Last edited by elp_jc; 05-04-2010 at 10:20 PM.
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      06-07-2010, 02:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamie92m3 View Post
I keep getting a rear break light malfunction warning. When the warning goes off the light does not work (I will have someone check it while I hit the brake). After driving for a little bit the warning goes off and then the light works. It seems to be intermittent. I pulled out the rear brake light module and tested the lights with someone in the car hitting the brake and it worked fine. Then all of a sudden I will be driving and the failure light comes on again. Is this a fuse issue, light bulb issue, electrical issue? I hate taking the car to the dealer so any insight would be great. thanks!
EXACT same problem just happened to me. Wheres the TSB or DIY fix for this cant find it.
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      06-07-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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Haven't read the SIB myself, but know the bulb base is a bit larger than it should. I'd imagine a jeweler's screwdriver is all you need to make the base tighter where it needs to be. Haven't scrutinized the light module, but removed one to align the taillight properly (one had a bigger gap below than above, and bothered me), and it can't be any simpler. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to fix it. Another trick is to pull up the contact tabs at the bottom of the socket, so they make more pressure when bulb is seated. And no, I wouldn't take my car to a dealer just for that either . Good luck.
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      06-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Haven't read the SIB myself, but know the bulb base is a bit larger than it should. I'd imagine a jeweler's screwdriver is all you need to make the base tighter where it needs to be. Haven't scrutinized the light module, but removed one to align the taillight properly (one had a bigger gap below than above, and bothered me), and it can't be any simpler. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to fix it. Another trick is to pull up the contact tabs at the bottom of the socket, so they make more pressure when bulb is seated. And no, I wouldn't take my car to a dealer just for that either . Good luck.
Well I just took the light module out and use some needle nose pliers to make the connections tighter to the bulb but still getting the message intermitently.

I not sure I follow your suggestion of using a jewelers screwdriver to tighten the base? What base are you speaking of?
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      06-08-2010, 07:59 PM   #6
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I not sure I follow your suggestion of using a jewelers screwdriver to tighten the base? What base are you speaking of?
Remember I didn't scrutinize the panel. You seem to have taken care of the ground side of the bulb with the needle nose pliers. How about the positive contacts? Depending on the design, you could need a jeweler's screwdriver to raise the contact metal so it makes a more solid connection. It might have springs instead; I don't know. And finally, also check the connectors, ground, and all wiring, as one of the little terminals inside the connector could not be making enough pressure for a steady contact. It shouldn't be that hard to troubleshoot if you're a DIY guy. Try wiggling the bulbs, connector, hitting the panel with your hand, etc. and see if the brake light flickers or something. If you feel defeated, just take it in . Oh, and you might search for the actual SIB so you know exactly what you're dealing with. I remember reading about this problem, and how some folks fixed it, but honestly wasn't paying close attention since I didn't have the issue, and it was a while ago. Good luck man, and please keep us posted if you find what it is.
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      06-23-2010, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Remember I didn't scrutinize the panel. You seem to have taken care of the ground side of the bulb with the needle nose pliers. How about the positive contacts? Depending on the design, you could need a jeweler's screwdriver to raise the contact metal so it makes a more solid connection. It might have springs instead; I don't know. And finally, also check the connectors, ground, and all wiring, as one of the little terminals inside the connector could not be making enough pressure for a steady contact. It shouldn't be that hard to troubleshoot if you're a DIY guy. Try wiggling the bulbs, connector, hitting the panel with your hand, etc. and see if the brake light flickers or something. If you feel defeated, just take it in . Oh, and you might search for the actual SIB so you know exactly what you're dealing with. I remember reading about this problem, and how some folks fixed it, but honestly wasn't paying close attention since I didn't have the issue, and it was a while ago. Good luck man, and please keep us posted if you find what it is.

Quick update.

I was determined not to take my car in to get this looked at and have them blame something like my exhaust being the cause and charging me $120 to fix what is BMW's screw up.

I opened up the tail light again and pulled out all bulbs and used needle nose pliers again to make the connection really tight, wiped down connections with Iso and seems to have done the trick. 2 weeks now and now malfunction message.

Didn't bother searching for others but thats what I did.
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      09-13-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
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I'm having the same problem. What did you do with the needle nose pliers exactly? I haven't opened the light up yet.
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      09-21-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info Eurotrash. I tried it but still getting the message. I looked up the Service bulletin SI B 63 02 08 and ordered the parts from tischer, part total was less than $20 for the upgraded socket with bulbs and the anti-vibration strip. Better that losing the car for a day at the dealer.

Last edited by Hawk Lax; 09-21-2010 at 03:39 PM.
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      09-21-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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I had the same problem. Dealer said there was a service bulletin to change the bulb and install some anti-vibration straps. All done under warranty.
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      09-22-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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It takes 5 minutes is 3 bolts, and less than $20 in parts, so I went the DIY route, I hate turning my car over to dealer service guys.
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      09-22-2010, 09:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamie92m3 View Post
I keep getting a rear break light malfunction warning. When the warning goes off the light does not work (I will have someone check it while I hit the brake). After driving for a little bit the warning goes off and then the light works. It seems to be intermittent. I pulled out the rear brake light module and tested the lights with someone in the car hitting the brake and it worked fine. Then all of a sudden I will be driving and the failure light comes on again. Is this a fuse issue, light bulb issue, electrical issue? I hate taking the car to the dealer so any insight would be great. thanks!
I had the same issue with my '07 335I. It took a few trips to the dealer before it was solved.
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      09-24-2010, 10:54 PM   #13
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Don't mean to dig up old threads as the problem is relevant.

Recently had same problems as described after a year of ownership. Warning comes up for less than 30 seconds and goes off.

Opened the panel and found that all the brake light bulbs were loose.

Push the light bulbs back in until you feel it clips on.

Been about 2 weeks or so, no warnings so far. Might be worth looking at before you book your car in.
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      07-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #14
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Can we get BMWNA to give us free LCI LED Tail Light retrofits ?
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      07-09-2013, 07:04 PM   #15
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Ignore the warning
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      07-13-2013, 03:47 PM   #16
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Same issue here, it comes and goes intermittently. I pulled the bulb housing and bent all the contact tabs inward (tighter fitting to bulb) and nothing. It says its the left turn signal, but everything on the left (and right for that matter) work. Any ideas?
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      07-20-2014, 11:13 AM   #17
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Ever get this figured out? I think I'm having the same issue... I've replaced the bulb receptacle, bulbs, cleaned the tabs, pulled them back, etc... and nothing.
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      09-16-2014, 09:50 AM   #18
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permanent fix is swap to LCI LED Tails...
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      09-23-2014, 10:08 AM   #19
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Heres your solution. Takes 10 minutes max to swap out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk Lax View Post
Thanks for the info Eurotrash. I tried it but still getting the message. I looked up the Service bulletin SI B 63 02 08 and ordered the parts from tischer, part total was less than $20 for the upgraded socket with bulbs and the anti-vibration strip. Better that losing the car for a day at the dealer.
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