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High beams a hassle on 2006 525xi

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High beams a hassle on 2006 525xi

Old 01-03-2019, 08:24 PM
  #1  
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Default High beams a hassle on 2006 525xi

Hello everyone,
I have had this ongoing issue with my high beams since I bought this vehicle last summer. Pushing the lever forward illuminates the high beam icon on the dash and nothing more. When I pull back on the lever the same icon illuminates and I get high beams. The problem is, to keep the high beams on, I have to continue holding the lever back.

In case this might be helpful to know, the car has been wrecked in the front prior to my purchasing it. Also, there is quite a bit of moisture in the driver side headlight. By all appearances it looks good but perhaps something was wired wrong or improperly installed to be causing me to have to hold back the lever to keep the high beams activated?

Any guidance is appreciated. As you can imagine it gets annoying to have to hold the lever back. I have even wedged a piece of foam between the dash and the lever for long trips!
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:14 AM
  #2  
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Well to begin with, the headlight assembly has in essence 2 headlights contained within the headlight assembly. The innermost light is the flash to pass that is actuated by pulling back on the stalk. The outermost light is your headlight. Most US spec cars are fitted with bi-Xeon headlights. The one light performs both high and low beam functions. When you push the stalk forward, a shutter is pulled down within the light assembly, allowing the full intensity of the Xeon bulb to be used. When you pullback on the stalk, the shutter is once agiain released and returns to cutoff 1/2 of the beam that is reflected out of the light assembly. Oversimplification of the operation, but I trust you get the point.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Aboom View Post
Hello everyone,
I have had this ongoing issue with my high beams since I bought this vehicle last summer. Pushing the lever forward illuminates the high beam icon on the dash and nothing more. When I pull back on the lever the same icon illuminates and I get high beams. The problem is, to keep the high beams on, I have to continue holding the lever back.

In case this might be helpful to know, the car has been wrecked in the front prior to my purchasing it. Also, there is quite a bit of moisture in the driver side headlight. By all appearances it looks good but perhaps something was wired wrong or improperly installed to be causing me to have to hold back the lever to keep the high beams activated?

Any guidance is appreciated. As you can imagine it gets annoying to have to hold the lever back. I have even wedged a piece of foam between the dash and the lever for long trips!
How do you know that the high beam is on when you pull on the lever? Pulling on the lever only activates the inner beams which are not always the high beams but the "flash to pass beams", depending on the setup for the hi-low for the outer beams. Perhaps the hi-lows on the outer beams is not functional.
Also, do you really have a V6?
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:28 AM
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^ if it's anything like my E53s, pre-LCI E60s may have a halogen inner lamp that's the "flash to pass", and have a shutter on the outer HID lamp that pops up for true high beams. I can't say for sure as mine's a LCI model that uses HID for "flash to pass" as well as high beam.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by audiophool View Post
^ if it's anything like my E53s, pre-LCI E60s may have a halogen inner lamp that's the "flash to pass", and have a shutter on the outer HID lamp that pops up for true high beams. I can't say for sure as mine's a LCI model that uses HID for "flash to pass" as well as high beam.
Also, pre-LCI E60s use the inner beams for DRL, at 1/2 voltage and they become "flash to pass" at normal voltage. That's what I have on my 2005 E60. BTW, when using the "flash to pass" the high beam indicator on the dash does light up!. I believe that the OP high's (which are probably HIDs) don't work, i.e. the shutters don't rise in the bi-zenons.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by FormerE30Owner View Post
How do you know that the high beam is on when you pull on the lever? Pulling on the lever only activates the inner beams which are not always the high beams but the "flash to pass beams", depending on the setup for the hi-low for the outer beams. Perhaps the hi-lows on the outer beams is not functional.
Also, do you really have a V6?
I figured that the high beam was on because when I pull back the lever, it's much brighter (and the high beam icon is illuminated). I will have to check it again to determine if the "outer" hi/lows are working. It's a v6. Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jtbgonesailing View Post
Well to begin with, the headlight assembly has in essence 2 headlights contained within the headlight assembly. The innermost light is the flash to pass that is actuated by pulling back on the stalk. The outermost light is your headlight. Most US spec cars are fitted with bi-Xeon headlights. The one light performs both high and low beam functions. When you push the stalk forward, a shutter is pulled down within the light assembly, allowing the full intensity of the Xeon bulb to be used. When you pullback on the stalk, the shutter is once agiain released and returns to cutoff 1/2 of the beam that is reflected out of the light assembly. Oversimplification of the operation, but I trust you get the point.
Thanks for the breakdown because I didn't know any of that. I just knew what I described above and while I was unaware of how to get "normal" operation , I DID know what I had was not it!
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Aboom View Post
I figured that the high beam was on because when I pull back the lever, it's much brighter (and the high beam icon is illuminated). I will have to check it again to determine if the "outer" hi/lows are working. It's a v6. Thanks.
I always check lighting action by having someone use the controls and me observing from the outside of the car the actions or non-actions of the lights I would also check to see if your 6 cylinders are in a V configuration. BMW doesn't make V sixes and I don't think that they ever have.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by FormerE30Owner View Post
I always check lighting action by having someone use the controls and me observing from the outside of the car the actions or non-actions of the lights I would also check to see if your 6 cylinders are in a V configuration. BMW doesn't make V sixes and I don't think that they ever have.
I check lights by pulling up to a shop window, then toggle the various levers and switches to see what's happening. On the LCI, when you steer left or right of center, the inner lamp comes on for the respective side to provide cornering assistance, and the HID swivels to the same side as the cornering lamp that comes on. Nifty stuff.

OP: do yourself a favour and pull up to a shop window and watch what the lights do when you pull/push the switch.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by audiophool View Post
I check lights by pulling up to a shop window, then toggle the various levers and switches to see what's happening. On the LCI, when you steer left or right of center, the inner lamp comes on for the respective side to provide cornering assistance, and the HID swivels to the same side as the cornering lamp that comes on. Nifty stuff.

OP: do yourself a favour and pull up to a shop window and watch what the lights do when you pull/push the switch.
Great minds think alike..lol
ty
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