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Discussion Starter #1
My friends '97 540i eats tail light bulbs. Electrical problems such as a short could be the cause. Does anyone have any ideas as to how to approach diagnosing the problem? Could an aging alternator be the problem?

I did some searches on the board and didn't find any info...

Thanks!

--Mike
 

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Some of the tail lights have reflectors. If a reflector is loose, and it touches the bulb glass, the reflector might melt (if plastic base material) and the lightbulb will overheat and burn out fast.

Check for loose reflectors.

David
 

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I had a 3 series that had this issue and was common to some years. What I have heard is that you need to use bulbs the same as oem number one and twoi there might be an issue with your socket that it is being plugged into - my case.

Evidently the socket assembly allowed the bulbs to overheat and killed them early. Once it was replaced all problems gone.

-Jeff
 

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Besides what the others have said, see if your friend takes care while changing the bulbs. For halogen bulbs and more so for xenons, if you touch the actual glass part of it, fingerprints and oils would cause the bulbs to overheat and burn out prematurely
 

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I second the socket problem as the culprit. Known problem on a bunch of BMW's, including X5's. Replace the sockets and he should be fine.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
XrayMD said:
I second the socket problem as the culprit. Known problem on a bunch of BMW's, including X5's. Replace the sockets and he should be fine.

:cheers:
Thanks a lot!! I'll pass the info on. This board is great.

Regards, Mike
 
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