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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 12-23-2012, 12:09 AM   #1
UDown0311
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Where's a 12v wire under the hood?

Simple question = simple answer

Looking for a 12v wire I can tap to power an LED light for the exterior. I've never done anything electrical with this car so everything I've searched on these forums and many, many others is over my head.

Any help MUCH appreciated
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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*bump
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:08 AM   #3
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cigarette lighter
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:14 AM   #4
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Your jump start terminal, ie. the little black box with the "+" sign near your right strut tower.

Edit: you may want to find someone more knowledgeable to help you through this project. If the location for getting power is not obvious, then some of of the electrical dangers might not be obvious either.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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When do you want the light to come on?

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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i'd want the light to come on whenever i start the vehicle. i figured if i attached it to the battery terminals it would always be on, which is not ideal.

the cigarette lighter sounds like it might work, but which wire is it. i've tried looking up electrical diagrams but can't find one.

all i could gather from online was something about a purple and white wire and maybe a red an yellow one without the dots, but those are for different models.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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If you only want it to come on when you start the car or put the key in switch 2 then maybe the accessory wire might be your option
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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i finally found a pic of the accessory wire, it's the red wire with white stripe and yellow dots. i'll tap that one and ground over by the jump terminal, unless there's a wire somewhere i can tap into for that?
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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Got it working:

Click image for larger version

Name:	BMW LED.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	85.6 KB
ID:	483162

Now that I've taped into that accessory wire does that mean that if I try to install AE's I can't use that one? Or can you have multiple taps going into one line?
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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I think you should be able too. Just make sure it gets the proper ground.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:41 PM   #11
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I did a similar wire set up to mine but in the taillights. Where the outer LEDs on the tail light and the rear foglights were connected to the brake lights. As long as you ground correctly it should be good
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #12
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I ran the ground for this one to the 19mm bolt over by the battery jump. I intend to run the angel eyes off the same accessories wire and ground in the same spot.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDown0311 View Post
Got it working:

Attachment 483162

Now that I've taped into that accessory wire does that mean that if I try to install AE's I can't use that one? Or can you have multiple taps going into one line?
Use a relay, and use that accessory wire to trigger the relay. Draw the main power from the positive jump start terminal or some other high current power source. Then it will only be like a 200mA load on that accessory wire, and the load of the accessories will be directly on the alternator and battery so you will only be limited by your relay or the fuse you put on the accessories.

If you draw too much load from that accessory wire, short it, or send a power surge back through it, you risk expensive electrical damage that will literally immobilize your car.

With your current setup by the way I understood your description, if that lighting wire accidentally gets damaged and shorts, you'll blow an engine compartment fuse and your engine won't run if that fuse blows.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mkodama View Post
With your current setup by the way I understood your description, if that lighting wire accidentally gets damaged and shorts, you'll blow an engine compartment fuse and your engine won't run if that fuse blows.
Is that based on how it's grounded or because it's drawing its power from the accessory wire?
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDown0311 View Post
Is that based on how it's grounded or because it's drawing its power from the accessory wire?
Because if you short the accessory wire I'm thinking of, you lose power to a couple of control units that your engine relies on.
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