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Thread: E36 spoiler brake light out

  1. #1
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    E36 spoiler brake light out

    I was stopped at a light today and a guy told me that the brake light in my factory installed spoiler and one of the taillight assembly brake lights were out. I'm guessing that it's just a bulb in the brake light assembly but what about the spoiler? Could it be out because the other brake light is out? Has anyone had to replace the LED in the spoiler? Expensive?

  2. #2
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    I was quoted $250 (australian) from the dealer for a new L.E.D spoiler brake light, so i took the spoiler off couldent find one secondhand or aftermarker. You can get them from www.spoilerlights.com not sure how good they are or how expensive

  3. #3
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    im sure someone will point the direction since i cant remember where i saw it, but i know i have seen replacement lights/led sections for oem spoilers somewhere.

  4. #4
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    Yes, I just replaced some of the bulbs in my factory M spoiler. First you need to unscrew the two screws holding the whole unit in, from there you should see 3 or 4 screws on the backside holding the whole unit together, with one spot in the middle where a screw is but is covered so that you are not able to open the assembly and replace an individual bulb. I drilled the little cover and screw out, and then could open up the whole thing and just replace the bulbs with some I found at a local parts store.. BTW don't think they are LEDs, just regular incandescent bulbs.. sorry if my write-up is not the most detailed, I know someone else wrote up on how to do this, but definitely don't pay the money to replace the whole strip, thats a major waste..

  5. #5
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    There's a couple of posts about how to fix this...

    1. Spend $100 on a new light bar from BavAuto or BMP Design

    Or do this...

    1. Uncrew the spoiler light strip (2 screws)
    2. Unplug the strip from the spoiler
    3. Notice there are 4 screws on back of the light strip... undo those, but curiously, it won't come apart.
    4. Get a file or a large drill bit... notice in middle of light strip... a circular shape. Get idea... perhaps another screw is under that...
    5. Gently drill out center cap... notice a screw in there... remove
    6. Notice strip now opens up revealing 7-silver bulbs
    7. Goto auto store and buy 8 interior/dash bulbs... 8 because they sell them in 2 packs. Pay $24 to store. Be smug about saving $75.
    8. Replace bulbs
    9. enjoy new lights

    10. 2 weeks later notice light strip is out again.... cuss to self
    11. open light strip... notice all 7 lights are burned out.... contemplate paying $100
    12. Go onto EBAY, find white LEDs from EBAY. Like the 10-pack of LEDs for $15 shipped.
    13. Buy and wait one week for LEDs to arrive.
    14. Install into light strip.
    15. 4 months later, enjoy working light bar and still saving $50...

    BMW CCA Member 186373 - Golden Gate Chapter
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  6. #6
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    GimmieSumMo72 is offline That's my BOY!!! BMW CCA Member
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    http://www.spoilerlights.com/servlet...-Center/Detail

    That's what I used on my M3 spoiler...

    really easy install all you have to do is splice and screw!
    Last edited by GimmieSumMo72; 04-30-2009 at 05:30 PM.
    1991 850i diamantschwarz metallic w/ 2 toned black/light silver grey interior: Mods: 20% Tints, OEM Style 37 rims (Winter), 18" BBS RG-R's Diamond Black (Summer), M3 Style Lip Spoiler, Wokke V2.0 Chips, Magnaflow 14833's, Dinan Performance Transmission Chip, CSi front spoiler, 3000k 35w Fogs, 5000k 55w Lows, Custom Randy/Dinan Suspension, Zimmerman Cross-Drilled Rotors, Goodrich SS Brake Lines



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  7. #7
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    So, there is no relationship between one of the brake lights being out and the lights in the spoiler being out?

  8. #8
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    The spoiler lights - if out will not trip the OBC and tell you.
    The brake lights - if out, WILL trip the OBC.
    BMW CCA Member 186373 - Golden Gate Chapter
    Former (e)Bombe Magazine Editor, "The Toy Box" product review writer | Current member of Team Jesus



    Gone: 1995 E36 M3 Arctik Silber, 1996 E36 M3 Cosmos, 1991 E30 318is Cosmos

  9. #9
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    Hey LuxoM3, how did you install the LEDS?

    I just took my spoiler brake light apart to find 7 burned out bulbs.

    I have several LEDS from another project and wonder how you installed them into the brake light holder?

    Which side was negative and which side was positive?

    Cheers,

    Willy

  10. #10
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    Willy - thanks for asking... the LED bulbs just drop right in. They last about 6 months to a year as I commute and brake A LOT.

    From what I notice, they aren't polarized, so left/right or vice versa they still work. Key is getting them to stay in their sockets.
    BMW CCA Member 186373 - Golden Gate Chapter
    Former (e)Bombe Magazine Editor, "The Toy Box" product review writer | Current member of Team Jesus



    Gone: 1995 E36 M3 Arctik Silber, 1996 E36 M3 Cosmos, 1991 E30 318is Cosmos

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveB View Post
    So, there is no relationship between one of the brake lights being out and the lights in the spoiler being out?
    having worked at a dealership I know that sometimes even the OEM light bars are hooked up into one of the existing tail lights. Meaning that if your brake light goes out, then the power normally shared between both will also stop supplying power to the spoiler light. I'd say check the tailight first and start from there.

  12. #12
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    When I got my car I noticed when I got home the OE spoiler light on my car had most of the bulbs burnt out. Luckily I got on here and someone had an OEM new one for $50. If you can find one here or ebay go for it, otherwise try the DIY route and just replace the bulbs.


  13. #13
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    This is correct...

    Agreed. If your car originally had the third brake light in the window, and now has the spoiler, chances are it's tapping power from the 3rd brake light... and thus the tail light will be out if the 3rd light is out.

    The coupes with spoiler (from what I remember) don't have the 3rd light in the window, but somehow run indy... at least on my 95 it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by LockDots84 View Post
    having worked at a dealership I know that sometimes even the OEM light bars are hooked up into one of the existing tail lights. Meaning that if your brake light goes out, then the power normally shared between both will also stop supplying power to the spoiler light. I'd say check the tailight first and start from there.
    BMW CCA Member 186373 - Golden Gate Chapter
    Former (e)Bombe Magazine Editor, "The Toy Box" product review writer | Current member of Team Jesus



    Gone: 1995 E36 M3 Arctik Silber, 1996 E36 M3 Cosmos, 1991 E30 318is Cosmos

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post
    The coupes with spoiler (from what I remember) don't have the 3rd light in the window, but somehow run indy... at least on my 95 it did.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I THINK if the coupe (or any car for that matter around these years) came with the spoiler from the dealer without it being an added option it didn't have the third brake light as it would have two 3rd brake lights if it did. Most of the times I see a spoiler with a light built into it as well as the third brake light in the rear deck it's almost always aftermarket or added on after the car was manufactured.

  15. #15
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    waking up since i'm having this problem -- hope this info is useful, thanks.
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  16. #16
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    I've just spent some time chasing a burnt out spoiler bulb (these are small bulbs, not LEDs) so I thought I'd post this for the next person with this problem who is not willing to pay $80 at the dealership to replace the entire light assembly.
    I've found that Sylvania 2723 ($4.99 for a pack of two) matches the light output and the socket size perfectly.

  17. #17
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    Good info, think a bulb or two are out on mine...

    John
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  18. #18
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    Eventually found out my problem was simply that the wires in the connection to light assembly were loose -- put some tape on them and good to go.

    Here's full story, check this before you mess with wires or purchase new lights: http://chrisparente.com/2013/04/20/q...r-brake-light/
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  19. #19
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    Thanks for the info......find it really odd that BMW decided to cover that center screw or maybe it somehow was done before someone said something. Will have to be one of those great mysteries. I'm sure there is a story behind it.
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  20. #20
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    im sure someone will point the direction since i cant remember where i saw it, but i know i have seen replacement lights/led sections for oem spoilers somewhere.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwiz View Post
    im sure someone will point the direction since i cant remember where i saw it, but i know i have seen replacement lights/led sections for oem spoilers somewhere.
    Oreilly, Napa, Autozone, the dollar store... why is it so hard to to just pop the light bar out and go find the bulbs. They are readily available just about everywhere. It's a stupid easy job.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwiz View Post
    im sure someone will point the direction since i cant remember where i saw it, but i know i have seen replacement lights/led sections for oem spoilers somewhere.
    Brett is right - they're literally just at the corner store.

    Don't get LEDs - they look terrible and because of the way the light is wired you'll have a hard time even making it work. But even if you do, they still look terrible.

    There are something like 4 Phillips screws. Take one of the little lights to the counter and they'll sell you a pack of replacements.

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