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      02-10-2015, 05:10 AM   #1
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Odd issue: Brake lights don't work with car off

I'm not sure when this started, but my brake lights only work when the car is in radio mode or when it's on. When the ignition and electronics are off, the brake lights don't work.

Is there a line in the FRM that controls this? The only recent coding I did was disable bulbs checks for the reverse light since I put LEDs in there. I was testing out some LED brake bulbs and noticed they don't work with the car off.
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      02-13-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
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And the problem with this is...?
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      02-13-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict View Post
I'm not sure when this started, but my brake lights only work when the car is in radio mode or when it's on. When the ignition and electronics are off, the brake lights don't work.

Is there a line in the FRM that controls this? The only recent coding I did was disable bulbs checks for the reverse light since I put LEDs in there. I was testing out some LED brake bulbs and noticed they don't work with the car off.
I have never heard that it could work with key out and ignition off.
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      02-13-2015, 12:23 PM   #4
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Yep, my third brake light works with car off, but not L/R brake lights.
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      02-13-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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Every car I've seen has them work with the car off, even other BMWs. You see their brake lights come on before the car starts up because of the push button start.

It could be a potential safety issue. Brake lights should work under any condition as long as there is enough electricity to power them. What if there's some communication fault with the FRM and CAS and the FRM doesn't know the car is on? Or some malfunction causes the car to turn off while driving?
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Last edited by VTECaddict; 02-13-2015 at 07:04 PM.
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      02-14-2015, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict
Every car I've seen has them work with the car off, even other BMWs. You see their brake lights come on before the car starts up because of the push button start.

It could be a potential safety issue. Brake lights should work under any condition as long as there is enough electricity to power them. What if there's some communication fault with the FRM and CAS and the FRM doesn't know the car is on? Or some malfunction causes the car to turn off while driving?
Once you insert key, they should work. I think we were saying they won't work with key out.
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      02-14-2015, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy View Post
Once you insert key, they should work. I think we were saying they won't work with key out.
That's true, didn't think about that since inserting the key activates radio mode. I have CA though.
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      02-14-2015, 04:14 PM   #8
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My car does not light brake light (any) without key too.

Last edited by Douche; 02-14-2015 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Correction
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      02-14-2015, 08:02 PM   #9
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The tail lights derive power from the FRM, which doesn't distribute power until the car is awakened. So, after the car goes to sleep (about 15 min after key is removed), the lights won't get any power. Now, if you unlock your car or open your door/trunk, the car will wake up. The headlights operate a little differently since they have a switch.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's the shortest/quickest way to put it.
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      02-14-2015, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy View Post
The tail lights derive power from the FRM, which doesn't distribute power until the car is awakened. So, after the car goes to sleep (about 15 min after key is removed), the lights won't get any power. Now, if you unlock your car or open your door/trunk, the car will wake up. The headlights operate a little differently since they have a switch.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's the shortest/quickest way to put it.
LOL, you just pissed on everybody's heads and are asking to "correct you if you're wrong"? C'mon...
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      02-14-2015, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valter View Post
LOL, you just pissed on everybody's heads and are asking to "correct you if you're wrong"? C'mon...
Just trying to explain it the way I understand it... Of course I'm no electrical engineer.
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      02-14-2015, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy View Post
Just trying to explain it the way I understand it... Of course I'm no electrical engineer.
Not what I meant.
What I meant is: we just said the lights do not come on when you don't insert the key, and you come and say they do... Lol
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      02-14-2015, 09:03 PM   #13
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Interesting. Still odd considering 99% of other cars have the brake lights work no matter what. Oh well, not going to worry about this then.
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      02-14-2015, 09:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict View Post
Interesting. Still odd considering 99% of other cars have the brake lights work no matter what. Oh well, not going to worry about this then.
I never noticed until you complained, so I went in the garage now to try some coding and remember to test. they don't come on at all until you insert the key.
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      02-14-2015, 09:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valter
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy View Post
Just trying to explain it the way I understand it... Of course I'm no electrical engineer.
Not what I meant.
What I meant is: we just said the lights do not come on when you don't insert the key, and you come and say they do... Lol
My apologies... I stated my thoughts in correctly. The car was engineered different from most manufacturers.

Not related to this topic, but did you know you could start your car as normal,shut down, remove key and immediately restart car with key out. Even if your car doesn't have CA?
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      02-14-2015, 09:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy
Quote:
Originally Posted by valter
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy View Post
Just trying to explain it the way I understand it... Of course I'm no electrical engineer.
Not what I meant.
What I meant is: we just said the lights do not come on when you don't insert the key, and you come and say they do... Lol
My apologies... I stated my thoughts in correctly. The car was engineered different from most manufacturers.

Not related to this topic, but did you know you could start your car as normal,shut down, remove key and immediately restart car with key out. Even if your car doesn't have CA?
Something to do with car jack restart mode. Someone tries to car jack you, I assume it could go two ways. You are told to take the keys out, you restart and drive away. Or you take the keys out and get out and they can restart and drive away and hopefully not hurt you and you still have your house keys so they can't come rob you later.
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      02-14-2015, 10:01 PM   #17
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As for the brake lights I , until today, never noticed this since I had always seen red against the garage door. What I was seeing was the DLR lamps and not the actual brake lamps. Indeed, only when the key is in do they work and it will not keep them powered if you hold the pedal while removing . It must lose all power to the FRM.
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      02-15-2015, 12:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatcrazy View Post
My apologies... I stated my thoughts in correctly. The car was engineered different from most manufacturers.

Not related to this topic, but did you know you could start your car as normal,shut down, remove key and immediately restart car with key out. Even if your car doesn't have CA?
Matter of fact I did, thanks!
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