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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-01-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
CHFBrian
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Turn Signal Problem

So I've been having an issue with my right turn signal for a few months. It's been going fast at times, which I thought might be a doomed signal bulb (the same thing happened on the left before the front bulb burned out). I replaced the front signal bulb to no avail, but yesterday I noticed that with the hazards going, the right rear turn signal was much dimmer than the left.

Today I switched out the right rear signal bulb with a fresh one, but the problem is still there. it's not quite as pronounced, but the right signal flashes both dimmer and what seems to be a half to a quarter second later than the left when the hazards are on.

Any ideas here? I'm new to working on my car, and while I've been doing DIYs as they come up, I don't have the experience to diagnose some things which might seem simple to many of you I've done a fair amount of searching, but I don't think I've found what I'm looking for yet. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
dmax
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If you did clean all the contacts, etc...which seems like you'd know to do...I can tell you there is a relay (well, there WAS a relay for my E36, so I'm positive there is for the E46 too). Don't know where it is, just that it is...and that $30 or whatever goes a long way towards your not otherwise hunting down grounds all over your car.

That's number one...the only other thought I'd make is I wonder whether your battery might be getting weak and that's why the bulb is dimmer...longer wire out back might be more susceptible to a slightly lower voltage (all theory this, but easy to check).

HTH...and GL

Doug
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #3
CHFBrian
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thanks for the tip. I have cleaned the contacts and don't think that's the issue. The battery was replaced last spring, and the issue was happening both before and after the replacement, so I'm pretty confident it's not that either.

Would the relay affect only one signal? Can someone let me know where to find and check the relay?
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
dmax
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On my E36, it was making it click fast and not turn off automatically...I had to signal the opposite direction to get it off.

I don't know the location in our car...there are relays hiding behind in the glovebox, I believe and by the brake reservoir...I'll check Bentley and see...

Okay, according to Bentley, if I'm reading it right...all the 'relaying' seems to be done through the light switching center control module...but there are 2 fuses related to that...high amperage fuses (50a) hiding behind the glove box fuse panel. Fuses 106 and 107 both go to this LSC.

Since you've prolly never been back there...I wonder if maybe you're just having an issue with corrosion or something back there...if so, check windshield cowl next. Anyway, this, and then there is the turn signal switch itself...and maybe the relay I referred to before is built into the switch...or maybe in the control module (hope not, as that seems like it'd be pricier than my old relay.)

Maybe someone will come along and know more than me about this...hope so!

Oh, also, I've heard our cars are sensitive to non-bmw bulbs...so maybe you just have two different brands of bulbs...and it could be as simple as this!

Finally, I didn't ask if you'd just checked fuses (not the high amp ones, just normal ones in glovebox)...there are those of course too!

HTH

Doug
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #5
ixtoxi
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It is likely a problem with the ground circuit in the rear light wiring harness. Search this forum for a cheap fix.
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