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Thread: Left Rear lights out (Brake, Reverse, Driving, Turn-signal) Relay? Suggestions?

  1. #1
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Left Rear lights out (Brake, Reverse, Driving, Turn-signal) Relay? Suggestions?

    Hello! I noticed my left rear turn signal wasn't working, then noticed the driving light nor brake light not even the left side reverse light was working. I pulled the easy one, the reverse lamp, and the bulb is fine.

    I looked at the fuse panel in the glovebox and there doesn't appear to be a fuse for these light assemblies. Any suggestions? Does anyone know how to access the rear taillights? Looks like they'd be easily accessed through the trunk?

    Does anyone know if there are relays and fuses that are inline for thee lights and if so where they are?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    I believe there is a separate ballast for the lights, and it sounds like thats whats failed.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    I believe there is a separate ballast for the lights, and it sounds like thats whats failed.
    That ballast runs all the lights on one side....including the separate reverse light? Any idea where BMW has hidden it? Could even be something as simple as a harness connection....if I could only access the harness. Thoughts on how to get at it? I figure I can start tearing things apart but wiser to follow a lead if one exists....

  4. #4
    Team Z8 tomfakes's Avatar
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    That broken reverse light is likely to be the rear fog light - there is one of each at the back, and often people will tell you a reverse light is out, when in reality, there is only one!

  5. #5
    This is the most comprehensive download I have on the car, hopefully you'll find the answer in here - http://www.bmwz8.us/pdf/Z8_Training_Manual_web.pdf
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  6. #6
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    How do you mean? there are those two little round lights in the back on either side of the license plate. Does only one of them light up when reverse is engaged?

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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    This is the most comprehensive download I have on the car, hopefully you'll find the answer in here - http://www.bmwz8.us/pdf/Z8_Training_Manual_web.pdf
    Thank you!!!!!!!

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    This is the most comprehensive download I have on the car, hopefully you'll find the answer in here - http://www.bmwz8.us/pdf/Z8_Training_Manual_web.pdf
    Wow this is some awesome material! Hours of reading pleasure

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    Andrew is The Man!

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    Getting back to the separate ballast issue posted by Macfly, is the ballast separate from the lamp assembly or part of the assembly? Having removed my failed lamp assembly, the back of the unit indicates 13.5 volts to each of the 3 functions and there is a ballast stamp on the lamp unit. I believe the ballast to be internal. The unit seems impervious to disassembly unless cut open with a dremel cutter. I will test the unit and the lamp feed at the plug and likely determine that the unit has failed. At this point I am inclined to purchase a new unit, if available?

  10. #10
    I think that there is an electrical diagram in the full Technical Manual (third one down here) which should give you a clear indication. I only know what I know second hand, so am just repeating what I heard, in this case it was from the club a few years back, but I don't know or remember if the ballast is separate or built in.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Andrew.

    The Technical Manual, page 56 addresses the neon light and states that the ballast circuitry is in the lamp assembly, as well as shows a picture of what I believe is the internal circuitry of the center brake light. There is no electrical diagram other than concept. In fact I have not found a traditional electrical diagram anywhere. Did I miss it?

    With an integral ballast/lamp package, there is no way of testing whether the lamp or the ballast has failed without cutting open the fixture.

    My next question is whether to purchase a new fixture that has been on the shelf for a decade or wait on the new fixtures reported to now being manufactured and back ordered, while my car is inoperable.

  12. #12
    I'd just get a new one, if it breaks it'll be covered for a year.

    I thought there was a wiring diagram in there, I know I've seen one somewhere, just can't remember where.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  13. #13
    Yes, only the right side reverse light actually illuminates. the left-side one is a reflector.
    Greg AH61930 - 2003 - Silver/Black

  14. #14
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    The left one is the rear FOG light which activates when you turn the fog light switch on. It is the only FOG light on the car. The right one is the back up light.
    Thanks,
    Terry
    ALPINA #480/555
    62502
    Jet Black/Crema-Black

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