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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 09-29-2016, 01:18 PM   #1
TheMidnightNarwhal
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LED light bulbs not working - why?

I bought 2 LED same sized light bulbs as the old ones for the trunk lights on my 04 330ci and they don't light up. Is it because they are not compatible or do I have to code something or what?
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:25 PM   #2
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You probably put them in the wrong way. Try flipping them around.

LEDs are directional - the conventional lights you took out were not.

That, or you just need to get the bulb to make a better contact.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:30 PM   #3
TheMidnightNarwhal
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You probably put them in the wrong way. Try flipping them around.

LEDs are directional - the conventional lights you took out were not.

That, or you just need to get the bulb to make a better contact.
It works for the right side! I guess I have a wiring problem on the left side.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:32 PM   #4
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There's a coding option in NCS expert that helps with LEDs. It disables error checking IIRC.

You also could have a bad LED
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:08 PM   #5
TheMidnightNarwhal
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There's a coding option in NCS expert that helps with LEDs. It disables error checking IIRC.

You also could have a bad LED
The left light was already out when I got it so I guess it never worked or broke. It also had these weird kind of gummy candy things squeezed between the contact points at the back of the trunk light plastic module (?) thing.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:33 PM   #6
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You likely have a ground wire issue. when you resolve that and want to put in LED bulbs and I'd better not quote the incorrect expert advice above else my post will be deleted. The Light Control Module (LCM) sends a pulse width modulated (PWM) signal to all lights controlled by it. It then measures resultant resistance values. If the value is what BMW refer to as "implausible" then an error is logged. Often owners will install LED's - which will cause the PWM signal to report a value outside of acceptable parameters and activate the cluster error indicators - however the voltage is still going to the bulb so it still works. Disabling error checking will not enable anything that is not working. It will only disable the error warning on the cluster. That is not necessary. You can correct this and maintain the benefit of the error checking.

If you plan on replacing bulbs controlled by LCM the best approach is to modify the PWM signal values to what should be an acceptable response value. This is accomplished quite simply using PA Soft BMW Scanner interface screen for the LCM.

A screenshot of the interface screen where you would modify the values is below. This way you maintain the error indicators on the cluster and operate LED's with different reporting values.

If you need a list of appropriate PWM values for LED bulbs on the e46 (side markers, turn signals etc. PM me an email address as I am not posting it on this forum)

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Last edited by BMW-North; 09-29-2016 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:37 PM   #7
TheMidnightNarwhal
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
I'd better not quote the incorrect expert advice above else my post will be deleted. The Light Control Module (LCM) sends a pulse width modulated (PWM) signal to all lights controlled by it. It then measures resultant resistance values. If the value is what BMW refer to as "implausible" then an error is logged. Often owners will install LED's - which will cause the PWM signal to report a value outside of acceptable parameters and activate the cluster error indicators - however the voltage is still going to the bulb so it still works. Disabling error checking will not enable anything that is not working. It will only disable the error warning on the cluster. The LCM will continue to record "implausible value" errors.

If you plan on replacing bulbs controlled by LCM the best approach is to modify the PWM signal values to what should be an acceptable response value. This is accomplished quite simply using PA Soft BMW Scanner interface screen for the LCM.

A screenshot of the interface screen where you would modify the values is below. This way you maintain the error indicators on the cluster and operate LED's with different reporting values.
Thanks I'll check it out. Already ordered a BMW 1.4 scanner days back still waiting on it.

But I don't think that could be the issue, or could it? I haven't tried another bulb in the left trunk spot (should have) but the one there didn't work so maybe it's just the wiring or something? Also my right licence plate normal bulb comes on and off as it pleases, contact on bulbs seem all good.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Thanks I'll check it out. Already ordered a BMW 1.4 scanner days back still waiting on it.

But I don't think that could be the issue, or could it? I haven't tried another bulb in the left trunk spot (should have) but the one there didn't work so maybe it's just the wiring or something? Also my right licence plate normal bulb comes on and off as it pleases, contact on bulbs seem all good.
Your issue is not the PWM signals - turning off error checking will not enable anything You need to get a voltmeter and start to check for voltage at the tail lights.

There are some ground wire issues in the tailights and also an issue with what we call the elephant trunk harness that extends into the trunk lid. If you read threads on here about those I'm sure you'll find a way to diagnose this.

right now start checking for voltage using a voltmeter.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:03 PM   #9
TheMidnightNarwhal
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
Your issue is not the PWM signals - turning off error checking will not enable anything You need to get a voltmeter and start to check for voltage at the tail lights.

There are some ground wire issues in the tailights and also an issue with what we call the elephant trunk harness that extends into the trunk lid. If you read threads on here about those I'm sure you'll find a way to diagnose this.

right now start checking for voltage using a voltmeter.
Ok thanks I'll check it out.
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