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      08-09-2017, 06:25 AM   #1
EnVe46
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Dipped beam failure

Got this message this am as I pulled into the gym lot. Research says either bulb or ballast. I'll swap left to right and see what happens, but saying it is the bulb, what are people going with? Osgram was the choice in the E46
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      08-09-2017, 06:57 AM   #2
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Probably broke your little sensors that attach to the control arms. Look under the car and you'll see them. Might be something obvious.
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      08-09-2017, 07:20 AM   #3
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Probably broke your little sensors that attach to the control arms. Look under the car and you'll see them. Might be something obvious.
Even if the bulb is out? I'll check right now
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      08-09-2017, 07:32 AM   #4
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Came back outside and it's pretty obvious my issue

Wasn't like this at the gym or on way home. Does this mean new headlight?
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      08-09-2017, 07:39 AM   #5
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yea, something is jacked up in there...
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      08-09-2017, 07:44 AM   #6
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yea, something is jacked up in there...
Weird cause everything was fine before. Last three days we've had heavy rain so it makes sense but wondering why all of a sudden.
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      08-09-2017, 08:56 AM   #7
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Doing some research it seems a common problem. Saw a YouTube video where he took a blow dryer to dry out the headlight. Not sure if the ballast is shorted though. May need new headlight assembly correct?
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      08-09-2017, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
Doing some research it seems a common problem. Saw a YouTube video where he took a blow dryer to dry out the headlight. Not sure if the ballast is shorted though. May need new headlight assembly correct?
if the xenon bulb is not lighting up and you have an adaptive error then both your ballast and adaptive module have shorted and will need to be replaced. if you buy a used adaptive module, make sure it is for the same side headlight. otherwise, you will have to code it to the correct side (same with brand new).

the headlight can be resealed, you would need to remove it, open it up, remove the old sealant and use new sealant. much cheaper than buying a whole new unit - you just need to take your time to make sure you do it correctly.

for now you can open the top cover and use a blow dryer to dry the headlight.
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      08-09-2017, 05:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azndrunk74 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
Doing some research it seems a common problem. Saw a YouTube video where he took a blow dryer to dry out the headlight. Not sure if the ballast is shorted though. May need new headlight assembly correct?
if the xenon bulb is not lighting up and you have an adaptive error then both your ballast and adaptive module have shorted and will need to be replaced. if you buy a used adaptive module, make sure it is for the same side headlight. otherwise, you will have to code it to the correct side (same with brand new).

the headlight can be resealed, you would need to remove it, open it up, remove the old sealant and use new sealant. much cheaper than buying a whole new unit - you just need to take your time to make sure you do it correctly.

for now you can open the top cover and use a blow dryer to dry the headlight.
I'm just going to purchase a used passenger headlight and parts. Unfortunately don't have time to take apart and reseal as I'm in the process of moving to Fla from NC in two weeks.

I ordered new bulbs cause I figured I'm in there so why not. So I'll need s new ballast and adaptive control module?
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      08-09-2017, 06:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
I'm just going to purchase a used passenger headlight and parts. Unfortunately don't have time to take apart and reseal as I'm in the process of moving to Fla from NC in two weeks.

I ordered new bulbs cause I figured I'm in there so why not. So I'll need s new ballast and adaptive control module?
if you are getting a low beam and adaptive error then yes they are most likely toast due to the condensation. hopefully you were able to clear up the condensation before that happened.
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      08-09-2017, 07:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azndrunk74 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
I'm just going to purchase a used passenger headlight and parts. Unfortunately don't have time to take apart and reseal as I'm in the process of moving to Fla from NC in two weeks.

I ordered new bulbs cause I figured I'm in there so why not. So I'll need s new ballast and adaptive control module?
if you are getting a low beam and adaptive error then yes they are most likely toast due to the condensation. hopefully you were able to clear up the condensation before that happened.
I found a complete working headlight same part number as mine locally. It's got everything already in it so I'm going to swap and hope for the best. I did order a ballast just in case. Should everything work even though it's from a different year? Headlight has same exact part number on top
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      08-09-2017, 07:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
I found a complete working headlight same part number as mine locally. It's got everything already in it so I'm going to swap and hope for the best. I did order a ballast just in case. Should everything work even though it's from a different year? Headlight has same exact part number on top
yes, any model year M3 headlight will work. you'll just need to re-aim the projector - very easy to do.

also - big tip when you remove the headlights. use a marker to trace around bolts/original mounting points where the headlights attached to the lower bracket. there are 2 areas/bolts, and these can have quite a bit of adjustability which pretty much give you an infinite amount of adjustment combinations along the x/y/z axis which can screw up the gaps between your headlight and bumper.
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      08-09-2017, 07:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azndrunk74 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
I found a complete working headlight same part number as mine locally. It's got everything already in it so I'm going to swap and hope for the best. I did order a ballast just in case. Should everything work even though it's from a different year? Headlight has same exact part number on top
yes, any model year M3 headlight will work. you'll just need to re-aim the projector - very easy to do.

also - big tip when you remove the headlights. use a marker to trace around bolts/original mounting points where the headlights attached to the lower bracket. there are 2 areas/bolts, and these can have quite a bit of adjustability which pretty much give you an infinite amount of adjustment combinations along the x/y/z axis which can screw up the gaps between your headlight and bumper.
Perfect! Thanks for the tips! Does the entire bumper have to be removed or can I get away with removing the passenger side? I'll be doing front/rear rotors anyway but less shit taken apart in my eyes is easier
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      08-09-2017, 10:25 PM   #14
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Perfect! Thanks for the tips! Does the entire bumper have to be removed or can I get away with removing the passenger side? I'll be doing front/rear rotors anyway but less shit taken apart in my eyes is easier
You might be able to pull one side of the bumper forward enough to access the front two bolts holding the headlight carrier in. I would personally remove the entire bumper.
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      08-10-2017, 07:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
Perfect! Thanks for the tips! Does the entire bumper have to be removed or can I get away with removing the passenger side? I'll be doing front/rear rotors anyway but less shit taken apart in my eyes is easier
You might be able to pull one side of the bumper forward enough to access the front two bolts holding the headlight carrier in. I would personally remove the entire bumper.
Fair enough that's what I'll do. At least this makes it easier to wet sand and reclear the lenses while bumper is off. Silver lining in everything!
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      08-10-2017, 07:29 AM   #16
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One last thing, I bought the Carly stuff. I'm assuming before I start dismantling and unhook battery I should clear codes or should I do after install? Never done much with newer BMW electrical so this will be a first
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      08-10-2017, 01:10 PM   #17
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One last thing, I bought the Carly stuff. I'm assuming before I start dismantling and unhook battery I should clear codes or should I do after install? Never done much with newer BMW electrical so this will be a first
you don't have to clear codes for the lights. i don't think they get stored. i don't disconnect the battery since the harnesses to the headlights unplug easily and i do it while the car is off.
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      08-10-2017, 02:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azndrunk74 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
One last thing, I bought the Carly stuff. I'm assuming before I start dismantling and unhook battery I should clear codes or should I do after install? Never done much with newer BMW electrical so this will be a first
you don't have to clear codes for the lights. i don't think they get stored. i don't disconnect the battery since the harnesses to the headlights unplug easily and i do it while the car is off.
Thanks for your and everyone's help! Hope to have everything in order by end of the week but waiting on parts to arrive. I'll post once a final update is ready
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      08-11-2017, 05:57 AM   #19
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Interestingly enough after clearing codes and condensation my light is fully functional. Still going to replace as there's some minor condensation still in the corner bu nice to know the electronics are still good. If anyone was in my shoes would you swap over the ballast and module to the new light since I know they're both good?
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      08-12-2017, 02:58 PM   #20
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Edited.
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      08-18-2017, 02:44 AM   #21
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I would also remove the adaptive module under the headlamp and ensure its properly sealed as that area can get wet and ultimately cause a failure.

It has a small gasket and I guess over time it may not work as well as one would expect, especially given the location.

HtH
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