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Old 07.10.2011, 14:07
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Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

Okay, this is a pretty specific question but maybe there is somebody out there who has already been through the same mess.

I just had the inspection for my BMW that I originally bought from Canada (2007 3-series). I got the Swiss plates but there is a problem with the front lights: wrong color!

My car has tiny orange lights on the front, and this does not conform to the Swiss standars (they have to be white). The lights are not really functional - I think they are just decorative - but I have to get rid of them. Unfortunately, it is not possible to unplug them, or change the bulps or something like that...my BMW garage says that the whole light system has to be changed - with a cost of 3000 CHF.

Just wanted to check if anybody has dealt with the same problem?
Is there any "creative" way to get rid of the orange lights?
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Old 07.10.2011, 21:44
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

Hi DocHarry

Without seeing the lamps on the vehicle it is difficult to tell, what can be done.
I would imagine that BMW are quoting to replace the loom on the vehicle as most BMW's have a bulb failure monitoring device which alerts the driver when one of the bulbs is out. It may be possible to place a resistor into the circuit to account of these bulbs if removed.(i.e. trick the system) Or alternatively look to purchase different colored lens covers or bulbs, if this is what the MFK wants.
Feel free to PM me if you need.
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Old 07.10.2011, 22:50
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

Have u got pics? There's got to be a cheaper way round it
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Old 08.10.2011, 00:00
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

I ordered euro headlight assemblies for my '08 3 series from ebay...Worked like a charm...Pretty reasonable but that was a few years back
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Old 09.10.2011, 10:09
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

Hey, thanks all for your replies. Here is the pic of the "illegal" light.

The bulb cannot be replaced - you need to change the whole light set!


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Old 09.10.2011, 12:18
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

I take it this light is on all the time from starting the car? (cannot be manually switched off), I assume it is a type of running light? The bulb must be able to be replaced, what happens if it fails, BMW cannot expect their customers to pay for a new lamp unit.
It looks like a small 12v 5W bulb that could be purchased in orange or white. If it is an LED lamp then these can normally also be replaced. I also assume the MFK are just unhappy with the colour.
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Old 09.10.2011, 13:10
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

It is actually NOT on when using "daytime running lights". I was wondering if the lights could be reprogrammed...for example so that in Position 1 ("Parking lamps and daytime running lights") the low-beam headlamps would be on - without the amber side lights.

I asked my garage the same question as you - what if a bulb fails...how do you replace it? They said that it cannot be replaced, the whole light unit has to be changed. It's retarded, no?!
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Old 09.10.2011, 13:11
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

of course it can be un -plugged
....
Your dealer wants to sell you a light unit!
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Old 09.10.2011, 13:23
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

thats weird , in my bmw it is also orange and not an issue (angel eyes from 2001 with the amber corners?? ) there is several options , you can simply remove the bulb, paint the inside silver, buy new ones on ebay, etc etc
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Old 09.10.2011, 13:25
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

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It's retarded, no?!
Nah, it's how greedy corporations like BMW rip off their customers.
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Old 09.10.2011, 13:31
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

My car was just 2 days at a non-BMW garage - and I think a really good one - but they couldn't figure out how to unplug the bulb. They said that if I left the car there for a week, they could dissemble the whole front part and try again. But it would, of course, cost quite a lot, too...
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Old 09.10.2011, 14:44
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

as i may suppose, those lights can be disabled by programming the car. i've done such things on e53 from usa, but because it had no marker lights, it was a problem. here the car have angel eyes, so i think disabling this small light will remain angel eyes as the marker lights
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Old 09.10.2011, 16:19
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

Is this E92? Check this:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270839
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Old 09.10.2011, 18:02
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

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here the car have angel eyes, so i think disabling this small light will remain angel eyes as the marker lights
aren't angel eyes illegal in CH? i never saw someone who got them "homologiert"...
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Old 09.10.2011, 20:26
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

NO, angel eyes are not illegal. They come as BMW standard DRL (daytime running light).
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Old 24.11.2011, 01:31
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

I am struggling with the exact same problem here! I know that the problem can be solved by a small adjustment in the car's software. The problem is that I am not comfortable (nor have the cable) to do this myself.

I've done quiet some research on this topic and it would be best to chat over the phone. I'll send you a Private Message.
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Old 24.11.2011, 11:02
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

Thanks. I'm a pretty regular visitor of the e90 forum. The issue is finding a reliable guy in the neighborhood of Geneva, Lausanne, Basel that can help me out perform those changes in the car's board computer... All suggestions welcome. Unfortunately, the dealer just advised me that they don't have permission from BMW HQ... The story continues.
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Old 24.11.2011, 11:07
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

can't you just trace the wire from the back of the light and either cut it or install a switch to turn it off???
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Old 24.11.2011, 13:27
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My car passed the Swiss inspection!

I did consider the program gurus and all kinds of tricks and creative stuff, but it all sounded a bit sketchy…so I went for a simpler, albeit probably more costly option...Here’s what had to be done:

- New EU front lights. I just found no way around this. Even if it was possible to inactivate the corner amber LED somehow, there is still amber left, in the front turn signals - those are continuously on in North American cars! And you cannot, obviously, inactivate or destroy your turn signals. If you buy the headlights from your BMW dealer, they cost outrageous 2700 CHF. I found 2.hand lights on Ebay for 600eur. Installation cost 300 CHF.
- Reprogramming / new module. Without this work all the electronics in the car is totally messed up. My BMW dealer ordered the module (“Module bas d’habitacle 3”, ref. 61359249086, 400 CHF) and did the work (about 100 CHF)
- New lights switch for rear fog lights. Actually, I am not sure if this is required in Switzerland – my car inspectors never even looked at the rear lights – but I ordered the switch anyway (140 CHF) and it was installed without any problems (50 CHF).

Maybe the most difficult part was to deal with the Swiss mechanics – none of them had ever dealt with a North American import and, in a typical Swiss way, they were really skeptic and uncomfortable about doing anything new, anything they are not sure about.
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Old 24.11.2011, 13:31
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Re: Frontlight modications for a BMW from North America?

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can't you just trace the wire from the back of the light and either cut it or install a switch to turn it off???
That would probably give you a warning in the computer, but you could override that by installing an optional light (under the hood, fender, front somewhere or even interior blue light) in the cut wire so it has the amperage withdrawal showing for the computer to think the the yellow is on.
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