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Thread: BMW E36 Brake Light Problems - New Solution

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Blumenau, SC, Brazil
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    1996 BMW E36 Sedan

    BMW E36 Brake Light Problems - New Solution

    Hi there,

    Recently, my two brake lights stop working. So, I checked the bulbs, but they were fine. Just after I moved the bulbs, I noticed my Water Temperature and Fuel indicator stoped working. I went then to the fuse box and noticed that the Fuse 46 (Brake lights and Instrument Cluster) was dead. After changing the fuse, after depressing the brake pedal, the fuse was gone again.

    Many sites sugested that this was a problem in the Brake Pedal Switch, so I removed it and cleaned it, but the problem was still on.


    So I went to this thread:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=919575

    And get the entire eletrical diagram of my E36, and started to inspect (with a multimeter) every circuit and wire along the Fuse box-Brake Light path for the possible cause of the failure.

    And I got to the Check Control Module. I discovered that the correct voltage was going in, but 0 volts going out, in the brake lights conectors.

    So, I opened it and found the problem: the two resistors for the brake lights were burned out.



    Now I'm looking for that specific tipe of resistors, a serpentine type. I hope to fix that problem after changing them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    3,200
    My Cars
    6/96 318is
    I haven't seen such resistive metal shunts being sold by the electronics distributor I know, which makes me think they are custom made.

    Have you tried cleaning the metal and then bridging the gap with solder? That may raise the current thresholds enough that the check control no longer catches oxidation in the tail light sockets, but it should still detect burned out bulbs.

    Last week, I ordered a used ... 620 check control for dissection and measurement, but it won't be in my hot little hands until next year.

    It looks like you might have had a short in the brake lights and their wiring. Make sure you don't have one now!
    Last edited by johnf; 12-23-2011 at 08:06 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    350
    My Cars
    96 M3, 97 M3
    I like this thread. Glad to see someone trying to find a definate solution to the dreaded brake light problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    18
    My Cars
    1993 e36 325iS
    Having the same problem, no brake lights or fuel/temp gauges

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Blumenau, SC, Brazil
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    1996 BMW E36 Sedan

    Fuse

    Hi...

    Check the fuse...

    The fuse for the brake lights is the same for the fuel/temp gauge. If I'm no mistaken it's the fuse number 46.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pierce Co. , Wa, USA
    Posts
    88
    My Cars
    1996 BMW M3
    Check your wiring harness travelling down your trunk lid. Pull that apart and look at where all of your wires bend. Mine were all wore through and shorting out on each other, common problem on the E36 I reconnected the wired and fixed the problem. Try that maybe?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Posts
    21
    My Cars
    1998 BMW 328is
    would a break light short cause your car not to start? i have a 98 328is and couple days after trying to fix my 3rd break light, i think i shorted the whole all rear lights. The car was running and all of a sudden the stop lights stopped working, i got in and noticed the temp gauge and fuel indicator wasn't working either and maybe others too.. anyway i tried to restart the car but it wouldn't start back up. When i turn the key in the 1st position nothing happens, no sounds or lights, then i turn to the 2nd position and only some of the dash lights and only a few lights like the check engine, abs and some others, the srs airbag light doesn't turn on for some reason, also something clicks i think, a very quietly, climate control works as well,nothing else works except the hazards, when i do the final turn to start the car, nothing happens no sound no crank. i checked all the fuses with a tester and all are good. i dont know what to do
    Last edited by cocainebaby; 11-11-2017 at 11:24 PM.

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