E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Lighting Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 05-23-2014, 06:10 PM   #81
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
BTW, i just checked my car, it says the fuse for the reverse lights is 27.
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 07:34 PM   #82
Kayss
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 391
My Ride: Bmw 328i 1999
Ok cool I'm going to check when I get the chance. Do I just pull the rubber thing out?
Kayss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #83
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
for the trunk? yeah pretty much. then check the wires for damage.
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 02:04 PM   #84
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,084
My Ride: F32 M4, E46 M3/325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillieidiot View Post
Well you really only did the first step to isolate the problem. Since it's not the bulb, why don't you proceed to the next step which is to swap the ballast? It'll tell you which you need at that point.

The other side is probably dying because you are turning it on/off so many times in quick succession. That's very bad for the xenon components and I would advise against continuing to do so.

Normally the tail light ground would just cause constant flickering and you would see this in both of the headlights. But you shouldn't have a ground problem since you have an 04 with LED tail lights.

I don't think it's the LCM, you would notice a lot of other random lighting errors.

Have you ever replaced the stock bulb at all? If not, I would replace those while you're at it.
Thanks for the reply.

The D2S bulbs are new, and I do not have other lighting errors which I'm able to identify at the moment. The car is a full respray/rebuild, including the wiring harness, so (although unlikely) it is possible some of the wiring was not redone correctly.

Are there any particular terminals I can check resistance on, to determine if I have a bad ground? Would measuring voltage output at the terminals be of any significance?

I took apart my driver ballast and it looks like new. There is no corrosion, and the internal components did not have any white residue or moisture. Thing is, if the xenons come on immediately with the switch, would that not mean the igniter is functioning correctly?

I will swap ballasts today and update.
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2014, 09:08 AM   #85
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,084
My Ride: F32 M4, E46 M3/325i
Exclamation

I've swapped ballasts. The lights go out at random on each side and does not follow the ballast.
Also opened up both ballasts and they look like new, with a tight seal on them, and no corrosion.

Cleaned them with electronics cleaner anyway, issue persists.

I think I've identified this issue though, and it's electrical.
Out of curiosity I fired up my multimeter and took some measurements:

Voltage at ballast connector (Car off): 12.1v
Voltage at ballast connector (Car on -idle): 14.3v

Now here is where it gets upsetting. And bare with me, since my multiplier may be off (20k, 200k, etc.)

Resistance at ballast connector (Car off): 6.1 Ohms
After cleaning the 2 wiring harness grounds behind headlights: 5.7 Ohms
After grounding the negative terminal to engine block: 5.8 Ohms

Measurements are consistent at both passenger and driver side connections.
By comparison, I measured resistance at the terminals of my 325i ballast plug, and sure enough its showing a big fat 0.00 Ohms, like its supposed to.

Now the question is, where in the world do I start looking?
Looks to me like there is an issue with the positive wiring, otherwise the grounding experiment I tried above, would've reduced my resistance.

Recently I was also getting the PA Soft code "Battery: Open Voltage", and my alarm would not stop going off.
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 03:10 PM   #86
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,084
My Ride: F32 M4, E46 M3/325i
Anyone?

Sent from my Nexus 4 using BimmerApp mobile app
__________________


Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpgolf1 View Post
The e46 M3 is by far the most boring and worst M3 that BMW has made to date.
It's amazing to me that a non M E46 is such a beautiful car but the E46 M has never done much for me.
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 06:13 AM   #87
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
Hmm electrical makes this even harder to pin point. With the PA Soft code, Have you checked the battery at all to make sure the connections are good/tight?

when you did your ground experiment, did you add your own wire? sorry it wasn't clear.

also, did you try cleaning the connectors themselves? you only stated that you cleaned the ground terminals.

your alarm thing might be it's own separate issue too.

other than that, i could only see it as a wiring problem based on the high resistance. usually it's either a partially cut/open wire that is chaffed somewhere, or there's corroision on the connections. could be that the wire itself came into contact with water or something too.
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 11:47 AM   #88
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,084
My Ride: F32 M4, E46 M3/325i
The battery itself, and the wires to the terminals are new. They're tight and secure.
Strong voltage reading at the positive lead in the engine bay.

When I did my grounding experiment, yes, I added my own wire but it didn't help.

Next will be a voltage drop test on the positive circuit of the headlights.
I would love to find something pinched at the LCM because that's a simple fix.

The alarm issue happened when I spliced the ignition (ACC +12v) connection from the GM5.
I needed to tap that signal for my deck, since the car's OE audio harness was completely removed.

My guess is that the "Battery: Open Voltage" code has a threshold of activation, and that was enough to trigger it.

Ugh.. this car is causing me to wear many new hats.
Would you happen know the main grounding locations of the body harness? I know there are several.
Just when installing the audio system, I located 1 ground under the driver seat that wasn't connected at all
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2014, 05:33 PM   #89
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,084
My Ride: F32 M4, E46 M3/325i
Did a voltage drop test.

Positive terminal of battery, and positive terminal going to ballast.

Result: Immediately after igniting 0.5v, decreasing and stabilizing to 0.23V

thoughts?
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 12:28 AM   #90
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Did a voltage drop test.

Positive terminal of battery, and positive terminal going to ballast.

Result: Immediately after igniting 0.5v, decreasing and stabilizing to 0.23V

thoughts?
hmm that is within acceptable levels although it's on the upper limit. have you tried the ground side?
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #91
samcritton
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Averill Park, NY
Posts: 8
My Ride: 2004 BMW 330xi
Very useful troubleshooting tips, Sillie-Thank you.

I have a question that is partially covered in your guide: is ballast failure common in OE bi-xenon setups such as my 2004 330xi? The reason I ask is that prior to my purchase of the car, someone added aftermarket ballasts that do not control the flap to operate the high beams. I took everything apart yesterday and put the headlights back to stock and NO xenons at all. I also switched the OEM ballasts to the alternate sides and still nothing. So, I think I have bad ballasts and will need to order new and replace. Just curious if it is common for both to fail. BTW, the car has 52,000 miles.
samcritton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2014, 03:15 PM   #92
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
Quote:
Originally Posted by samcritton View Post
Very useful troubleshooting tips, Sillie-Thank you.

I have a question that is partially covered in your guide: is ballast failure common in OE bi-xenon setups such as my 2004 330xi? The reason I ask is that prior to my purchase of the car, someone added aftermarket ballasts that do not control the flap to operate the high beams. I took everything apart yesterday and put the headlights back to stock and NO xenons at all. I also switched the OEM ballasts to the alternate sides and still nothing. So, I think I have bad ballasts and will need to order new and replace. Just curious if it is common for both to fail. BTW, the car has 52,000 miles.
any part of the xenon system is a common failure point. it doesn't matter which car (even non-BMWs).

But it is uncommon to have both fail that the same time. However, because you got it second hand. What could have happened was one died, then awhile later the other died, then they replaced both with aftermarkets.
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 01:14 AM   #93
Phoenix330ci
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 542
My Ride: 04 330Ci Convertible
Hey I just want to add here thanks for the write up. Had one light flick off and on a few times and didn't know where to start. I had an extra D2S in the garage and went to change the bulb to rulle that out. Got the bulb out and in and connected the small three wire plug to the ballast when I noticed that the green wire was broken in half. Repaired that and then noticed the black wire, the coating was starting to peel and before long the red too. So I taped those all individually then taped them nice and tight.

So just a word to everyone, the wiring does get brittle. No idea how the green just was broken in half but that wire seemed hard and brittle. There is a lot of heat generated in there.

So knowing what I now know, I'm figuring the drivers side will eventually do the same thing, and who knows how long this will last. The nice thing is that I have angel eyes installed so when the one light went out the angel eyes where still bright but also the fogs kicked on as well.

Is there any place where I can get a wiring kit for those wires inside of the headlight housing? If worse comes to worse, eventually I'll take this on as a project and pull the lights out, take them apart and remove all of the wiring and replace with new wire, maybe a little heavier as well. This stuff is thin.
__________________
Phoenix330ci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 06:04 AM   #94
ti317
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: S. Florida
Posts: 659
My Ride: 02 330ci coupe 5 spd
I searched but couldn't find anything on LED brights to replace the halogens. I have Bixenons coded to put on the halogen inside lights normally reserved for flash to pass, when I go to brights. The only issue is a difference in color due to the halogen.
Has anyone replaced their halogen H7 bulbs with LEDs? I know there are some only specified as DRLS but it seems you can get H7 brights too.
__________________
Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!
ti317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 02:10 AM   #95
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix330ci View Post
Hey I just want to add here thanks for the write up. Had one light flick off and on a few times and didn't know where to start. I had an extra D2S in the garage and went to change the bulb to rulle that out. Got the bulb out and in and connected the small three wire plug to the ballast when I noticed that the green wire was broken in half. Repaired that and then noticed the black wire, the coating was starting to peel and before long the red too. So I taped those all individually then taped them nice and tight.

So just a word to everyone, the wiring does get brittle. No idea how the green just was broken in half but that wire seemed hard and brittle. There is a lot of heat generated in there.

So knowing what I now know, I'm figuring the drivers side will eventually do the same thing, and who knows how long this will last. The nice thing is that I have angel eyes installed so when the one light went out the angel eyes where still bright but also the fogs kicked on as well.

Is there any place where I can get a wiring kit for those wires inside of the headlight housing? If worse comes to worse, eventually I'll take this on as a project and pull the lights out, take them apart and remove all of the wiring and replace with new wire, maybe a little heavier as well. This stuff is thin.
you're welcome. glad it still helps people.

as for the wiring, there isn't a wiring kit that is sold. so yeah eventually soldering new wires is the only way. but taking the headlights apart on a fl coupe is pretty hard (talkng about the bowls, not just the lens). i think the best thing to do would be to pull the leads out of the connector and just heatshrink as much of the wire as you can. that should help, not a perfect solution, but it should help a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ti317 View Post
I searched but couldn't find anything on LED brights to replace the halogens. I have Bixenons coded to put on the halogen inside lights normally reserved for flash to pass, when I go to brights. The only issue is a difference in color due to the halogen.
Has anyone replaced their halogen H7 bulbs with LEDs? I know there are some only specified as DRLS but it seems you can get H7 brights too.
are you trying to use the highs as additional highs? you can replace them with LEDs no problem. you'll need resistors or coding to get rid of the warnings. however, the output from LEDs is abysimal. it's basically just for looks. if that is what you're going for, then cool. if not, then just stick with the halogens. you can try using sylvania ultras or something to make it more white but that's about all you can do. you can also put another set of xenons, but the warm up time makes them useless as highs and it's not recommended for flash-to-pass applications
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 02:26 PM   #96
ti317
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: S. Florida
Posts: 659
My Ride: 02 330ci coupe 5 spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillieidiot View Post


are you trying to use the highs as additional highs? you can replace them with LEDs no problem. you'll need resistors or coding to get rid of the warnings. however, the output from LEDs is abysimal. it's basically just for looks. if that is what you're going for, then cool. if not, then just stick with the halogens. you can try using sylvania ultras or something to make it more white but that's about all you can do. you can also put another set of xenons, but the warm up time makes them useless as highs and it's not recommended for flash-to-pass applications
Yes, I thought about using them as additional highs but you answered the critical question and that was light output. Currently when I hit the high beams, I light up the road very well, the Xenons on high and the halogens adding to that.
The only problem I have is that the central part of my field of view is slightly different in color because of the halogens. I have seen 2 types of H7 LEDs offered, one type as DRLS and another type is DRL/High beams with claims of higher output (lumens) than halogen.

I am aware of the need to add resistor wiring to simulate load and to assure cooling of the LEDS but I will wait to see if anyone has any input on the new offerings.

As usual, thanks.
__________________
Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!
ti317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2014, 06:17 AM   #97
330D 2005 E46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4
I would like to know if the indicator and hazards are connected to the LCM ?
330D 2005 E46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2014, 07:07 PM   #98
ti317
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: S. Florida
Posts: 659
My Ride: 02 330ci coupe 5 spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by 330D 2005 E46 View Post
I would like to know if the indicator and hazards are connected to the LCM ?
Why? Want to go with LED?
That is easy, you can get a flasher that works with LEDs without need for resistors.
__________________
Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!
ti317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 01:36 AM   #99
330D 2005 E46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4
My indicators are not working after I left the window open and the LCM was drenched, so the lights stay on now when I turn the key on but no hazards or indicators.

Last edited by 330D 2005 E46; Yesterday at 01:41 AM.
330D 2005 E46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 03:49 AM   #100
sillieidiot
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: the OC
Posts: 44,135
My Ride: '06 AW 330ci
Send a message via AIM to sillieidiot
yes they are connected to the LCM
__________________
I like to reply to threads with 0 posts




Have a lighting problem? Read this first:
Lighting-related Troubleshooting Guide
sillieidiot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
angel eyes, headlight, led, tail lights, xenon

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use