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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 02-17-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
miketyler
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HID's are flashing

My 2000 328Ci is for sale and the first people to look at it love the car but the headlights are flashing. My car has the factory Xenons. They both blink together like the power is being interrupted to both of them. They come on fine but every 8-10 seconds or so, they will blink for just an instant.

I just got the car detailed, not sure if they took a pressure washer to under the hood but could be. What's your thoughts on this? Loose connection? Water trapped in a plug somewhere or ? Since they both are doing it togther, maybe there is more to this?

Thanks in advance
Mike in DFW
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:34 PM   #2
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sounds like a bad ground. check all the connections, including your battery and the tail lights.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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Bad ground? Is there a common point where they share the same ground connection?

The fact that they both do it together at exactly the same time makes me believe its a shared connection between them. Whaddya think?

One more thing and possibly unrelated, the battery is an Exide gel cel type and is been showing signs of weakness. It went dead from them having the doors open for 3-4 hours although a strong bat should have been ok.

The HIDS blink with the engine running or with key on. Any chance a flaky battery is playing a role there? No fault indication at the console whatsoever. I know its a reach but these both started about the same time.

EDIT: Dont the tail lamps get their ground thru the plug?
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:02 PM   #4
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yes the ground is through the plug, but a bad ground anywhere on the car will cause the symptoms you're having. for the older e46's, the most common place for a ground issue is with the tail lamps. the connector often gets melted or doesn't have a good connection altogether.

it maybe your battery as well, might want to get that checked.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:27 PM   #5
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will do, just noticed now my windows, dont drop and reset like they used to. This just kills me. I'll never take it to that detail shop again.

Would the window feature I described not working also be posibly caused by abad ground from the tail light?
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:33 PM   #6
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no, that sounds more like a battery problem there.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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but its hot enough to start the car easily. Shouldnt they operate with the engine running?
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketyler View Post
but its hot enough to start the car easily. Shouldnt they operate with the engine running?
yea, could be something else entirely. everything electrical on the car can be affected by a bad ground as well.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:59 AM   #9
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do you know where the HIDS get their common ground? I'd like to jumper a good ground to this point to see if it is a ground issue.

Battery is fully chanrged and windows still arent parking properly, cant help but think these two are related.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:27 PM   #10
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there's a ground point behind each headlight.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:26 PM   #11
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so they don't share a ground then? I guess it would be doubtful its a ground issue since they both are behaving identical..
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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so they don't share a ground then? I guess it would be doubtful its a ground issue since they both are behaving identical..
well the car is the common ground. but have you checked the tail lamps? are their any warnings? have you installed anything recently?
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:55 PM   #13
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actually, I did change a rear tail bulb. But no lingering warnings, and I have gone back and reseated the plugs on both sides.

I checked the head lights again today in case it was a moisture issue and it still seems about the same as previous. They may stay on a full minute or so before flickering. This can't be good for the bulbs or other firing components.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:14 PM   #14
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Im pretty sure the flashing intervals has something to do with the light control module (LCM).
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:54 PM   #15
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it's pretty rare for the lcm to go bad, nor the OEM HID components. but that may be a potential problem as well. has happened on few cars. if you've searched, the main problem with both headlights flickering is a bad ground somewhere on the car.

you could try adding another ground to the tail lamp plugs and bolt it to the chassis. see if that helps.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:39 PM   #16
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I tried jumpering from that body stud to the ground cage on the back light panel. Did it on both sides. Also I checked all the bulbs, reseated them, etc and it seems to have slowed down the frequency some.

My battery went completely dead from sitting all week, thats probably why it ran down at the detailers - lack of full charge. I have since charged it up and dont feel I have any battery issues.

Where is the ground source on the OEM lights? Will I have to pull the light assembly to get at it?

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Old 02-20-2008, 03:47 PM   #17
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it should be in the rear shock mounts somewhere. you could try tapping the brown wire (ground) and putting that tap at another ground spot. people have resolved it that way i think. just search for tail light connectors melting or something like that.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:04 PM   #18
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Hids Are Fixed

Thanks to titan 3, I was able to narrow this down. Removed the parking light bulbs from one taillight holder at a time. Narrowed it down to the RH side, then was able to narrow it down to outboard bulb.

The bulb appeared fine but as soon as you plugged it in, both started flashing. Replaced with new bulb and so far so good. Again thanks to titan 3.

Having researched this and seen the widespread affectivity, somone should sticky this thread or create a troubleshooting guide for blinking HIDS based on one or both blinking together and simplest test to most difficult/expensive. Who knows how many folks have paid stealership prices to get their LCM flashed.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ght=flickering
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketyler View Post
Thanks to titan 3, I was able to narrow this down. Removed the parking light bulbs from one taillight holder at a time. Narrowed it down to the RH side, then was able to narrow it down to outboard bulb.

The bulb appeared fine but as soon as you plugged it in, both started flashing. Replaced with new bulb and so far so good. Again thanks to titan 3.

Having researched this and seen the widespread affectivity, somone should sticky this thread or create a troubleshooting guide for blinking HIDS based on one or both blinking together and simplest test to most difficult/expensive. Who knows how many folks have paid stealership prices to get their LCM flashed.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ght=flickering
lol, good work detective. also, the majority of the people who need reflashes are people that retrofit xenons and have the flickering issue. their issue is quite different from yours though.
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