How many BMW technicians does it take to screw in a light bulb??? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 5 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 9:01 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
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How many BMW technicians does it take to screw in a light bulb???

I'm not certain of the answer, but I'm getting a better feeling for how long it takes.

Picked up a brand new '06 on 18 August at BMW dealer (to be named later). One the 250-mile ride home, things just kept getting darker and darker..... while I waited patiently for the Xenon light to impress me.

When I left the dealer, I saw light in the reflection on the front door. First impression was that the parking lights were the actual DRL (daytime running lights) and that the Xenon didn't "kick-in" until it got the new cars. Seems the light was supposed to be on all the time... and never worked from minute one.

Another dealer (250-miles from the purchasing dealer) has gone out of his way to fix what I thought was a simple warranty claim.... replace a bulb. It's been in his dealership almost three weeks and we don't have a solution yet.... seems no one stocks replacement bulbs or replacement parts for this new light..... that's supposed to last forever.

Has anyone else had similar problems (infant mortality) with the Xenon headlamp system and what was the outcome? First attempt was to replace the bulb (waited a week for a new bulb)... bulb blew. Second attempt was to replace the headlight assembly (waited another week for parts).... BMW sent without the bulb. Dealership overnight's a new bulb and still no light. I believe they said they were ordered some sort of computer controller.

Is this headlight system reliable or should I be looking for some aftermarket lighting just in case?

Really looking forward to riding the bike as I've only had it to myself for one day since my 18 July purchase.... the first two weeks were a business trip..... not BMW's fault.
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post #2 of 5 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 9:30 pm
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I don't think it is a new light issue.. I'm hearing more and more of people waiting long time for parts.

You're a lot cooler than I would be about a brand new bike hung in a dealer. Too bad it wasn't in the original dealer.. ranting would make sense.. but in a dealer that is trying to help.. looks like it is time to call corporate and let them earn their money..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #3 of 5 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by TxOily
bulb blew. Second attempt was to replace the headlight assembly (waited another week for parts)....
Sounds like a bad ballast/igniter. Which delivers 20,000+ volts to fire the Xenon light but then should back off to running voltage, if not it would fry the bulb.

I don't know if this is part of the headlight on the '06s or a separate part. Who knows how BMW has it set up.

Aftermarket units are configured with either the ballast/igniter as a single box or 2 individual boxes.

DO NOT try and troubleshoot the ballast/igniter they generate very high voltage and you would not want to be on the wrong end of 20,000 volts.


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post #4 of 5 Old Sep 19th, 2006, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by dronning
I don't know if this is part of the headlight on the '06s or a separate part. Who knows how BMW has it set up.
The ballast is mounted to the back of the headlight housing dust cover. Sounds like the dealer is (slooowly) moving up the chain -- bulb, headlight (which includes the ballast), now heading upstream to the power source. Not sure I'd take the same diagnostic path, but about the only thing left is the power supply to the ballast. I'm not aware of any upstream "computer" module; afaik there is only a power wire from the load relief relay and a ground wire. Given my own experience with bikes being delivered with connectors not fully inserted (my '02's left heated grip connector was "together," but not completely seated, so the contacts were not touching), I'd be hand-over-hand checking the wiring for physical problems (connectors, broken/chafed wires).

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #5 of 5 Old Sep 21st, 2006, 12:16 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
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It appears BMW found a solution as they report my bike is ready to be picked-up.... so the answer to the question of time is 2-1/2 weeks. Unfortunately, I'm in Scotland this week and if I'm lucky, will make it back to town before the shop closes on Saturday.

BMW of US will hear about this one... along with complaints about the offending dealer that sold me BMW's "top-of-the-line" product in a defective condition.... and praise for the dealer who suffered through the problem even though they did not sell the product.
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