BMW 3-Series Lighting

berenzweigberenzweig Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in BMW
I just got my new 2008 328i sedan last week. Needless to say, I love the car. I was wondering about the headlamps. I am interested in driving with only the two front "ring" lights on. I've seen other BMW owners drive like this, buy my vehicle doesn't have that option. The lighting options I have are as follows:

1) Xenon headlights which have the "ring" lights illuminated
2) Just the normal day time running lights with no Xenon and no "ring" lights
3) Daytime running lights with "ring" lights illuminated
4) Xenon only

The closest option I have to driving with only the "ring" lights on is option 3. I'm wondering if there is any way to get it where only the "ring" lights are on while I drive during the day?

Can anyone advise here? THANKS!


  • kominskykominsky Member Posts: 850
    Just a guess here (I have a 2001 w/o the Angel Eyes)... No daytime running lights(I'm pretty sure that option can be shut off. It was in my car) and parking lights manually turned on.
  • mudbikermudbiker Member Posts: 1
    May be stating the obvious, but have you asked your dealer? Just ordered a 2008 335xi Coupe with Sport, Premium, Cold and nav. They asked me how I wanted the daytime running lights programmed.

    Hope it helps.
  • msimonmsimon Member Posts: 1
    I am in the market to buy a new 328i sedan with a stick, power and heated seats, want to avoid unnecessary expense, but am considering xenon headlights and premium stereo with HD radio; also will want to add a cassette player w. Dolby C for my old tapes. Are the xenon lights and premium stereo worth the extra expense? Can you improve the stereo with after market options better and more cheaply? How do the standard lights and stereo compare to the premium options? Don't need leather or sports package. Has anyone replaced the run flat tires with standard tires and wheels? I am told by the dealer that car cannot be purchased this way and that the standard wheels can only be used with the run flats; something about integrated system with tire pressure warnings, etc. Will the stock wheels work with regular tires and if so, how?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    If it were me I would get the HID and upgraded stereo. That is only in my opinion. HIDs make a world of difference for night driving, but you have to balance that against your wallet. Same with the stereo. Balance out you listening against the standard system, aftermarket upgrade headaches and expense and your wallet.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Our buddy kdshapiro covered the HIDs and audio system (and I agree with his assessment), so I guess that leaves the Cassette, and the tires for me to comment on.

    - I am unaware of any way of adding a Cassette player to any BMW in recent memory short of replacing the head unit. Unfortunately, replacing of the head unit will mean that you'll most likely lose the functionality of the steering wheel controls. As a fallback, you might want to consider buying something like an old Sony Walkman (FWIW, I actually still have a mint condition 1st Gen blue Walkman), and then connect it up via the Aux port.

    - While your dealer was correct in that the 328i cannot be ordered with GFTs, he was bold face lying to you about using GFTs on the factory wheels. Plain and simple, the wheels that come on a 328i (regardless of package) CAN be used with conventional tires, period, full stop, the end. How? There is zero difference between the bead of a GFT and an RFT, and as such, other than the TPMS sensor (which works with ALL tires regardless of construction), there is no difference between the wheels that BMW puts on their cars today and the ones they put on their cars ten years ago. If you want to mess with your dealer a bit, ask him or her to show you in writing any statement by BMW regarding any incompatibilities between the factory wheels and GFTs. ;)

    Best Regards,
  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I drive a 2007 328xi with xenons. I am 45, have good night vision and frankly don't find much advantage over my wife's Honda minivan. The light is definitely whiter and perhaps more intense directly in front of the car but even with high beams doesn't reach much further down the road. The low beam setting is frankly annoying because the illuminated area has a VERY sharp cut off. What this means is that the area directly in front of the car is very brightly lit but the beam is so sharply focused that anything just beyond the area illuminated is totally dark. Additionally, with the xenon package the headlights turn with the steering wheel. This feature can be turned on or off. Sounded great when I bought the car but In practice doesn't seem to make much difference. With that said I have a close friend who is very nearsighted and suffers from higher order abberations especially at night. He is totally convinced that the xenons ar worth every penny and says he won't drive his SUV with regular halogens at night.

    One other thing to consider is the cost of replacement. A regular halogen bulb is less than $10 each. My dealer tells me that xenons installed are about $150 each. Oh yea, don't forget about the ignighters on each side that also periodically need replacement. These apparently cost about $200(?) per side.

    Personally, unless you have poor night vision I would save the $800 cost of this option. On paper it sounds great but in reality is only modestly better than BMW's good standard halogen lamps.

  • pylt1pylt1 Member Posts: 12

    Here's the TSB for the infamous problems with the BMW 3 Series rear lighting:


    Despite problems with so many cars under warranty, BMW isn't pushing for a recall, prefering instead to allow their stealers to charge upwards of $400 to rewire the rear light connectors. Unfortunately, that's illegal as the lighting system is required by law, and when they fail in large numbers (which they have) they're supposed to initiate a recall. Looks like someone at BMW wasn't paying attention in their Ethics and Morals class . . .

    In the meanwhile, please help by giving a short summary of your E46 lighting problem here:
    You can also report a vehicle safety issue to NHTSA online at our vehicle safety Web site: Select “File a Complaint” within the Defects and Recalls section of the home page. The information you submit via the Web site is recorded in VOQ format, entered into our consumer complaint database, and provided to our technical staff for evaluation.

    When you fill out a VOQ online, you will be given the option of checking a box to authorize or not authorize the release of your personal identifiers to the manufacturer of the alleged defective product you own. Again, while you are not required to provide such authorization, doing so can sometimes help facilitate the recall process.

    U.S. Mail
    To report a safety complaint to NHTSA by mail, send your letter to:
    U.S. Department of Transportation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
    1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
    Washington, DC 20590

    A written letter is probably best. Write the words "Petition for formal investigation" in your letter and include any receipts you may have.

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