1995 525i headlights intermittent
Stationed in Germany with the USAF, and I just bought my first BMW ever - a 1995 German-spec 525i with 53k original miles (86k kilometers) on it. The car looks and runs great with a couple of minor issues, but one big issue is the low beam headlights have failed to come on twice now. I just started working nights, so this is no small issue.
I ordered a maintenance manual a few minutes ago, but it'll take at least a week to get here and I'd like to try to fix the lights in the meantime (it's kinda hard to drive to work at night when the low beam headlights don't work).
Here's the issue: I turn the headlight switch on. The parking lights come on, and the highbeams always work when switched on, but the low beams sometimes don't come on. I know it's not a fuse because sometimes they DO come on. The first time it happened, at some point the low beams came on while I was driving. The last time it happened, earlier today, the low beams never came on. But when I fired up the car after about an hour, they were working. The running lights, and all other electrical systems seem to be fine, no fault indications at all.
I'm thinking relay... But my problem is that I have no documentation with the car. I found the fuse/relay box in the engine compartment (directly in front of the driver), but I don't know WHAT each fuse and relay is (everything is in German).
Any suggestions? I hate to have to continue riding the family minivan to work at night when I have this slick 525i that I could be driving.
One update... I decided to drive it to work last night (figuring I could use the driving lights and/or high beams in case the low beams went out). I just came out of a rotary, and the low beams went out. I switched the high beams on (no other cars on the road), and after a few seconds the low beams came back on (low beams stay on when high beams are turned on). Don't know if that will help with troubleshooting or now...
Sorry, I forgot to post an update. My problem turned out to be loose solder joints on a relay in the LKM (light control module). I forget where I saw the fix action (with pics and all), but there's a good description of the repair procedure at http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Mainte...trical/LKM.htm.
When I pulled the cover off the LKM, the loose solder joints on the relay in question were obvious. I touched-up all the joints on that particular relay with a solder iron (loose or not), and the problem hasn't happened since. That was about two months ago.
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