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The only thing that both the brake lights and tail lights use is a ground connection. Keep in mind the warning light on the dash may be for any exterior lamp. You may need to check the sockets and grounds on all four corners of the car.
Sounds like this may be a "glitch". The maintenance items will not do this but it never hurts to keep up on it. The brake/tail light warning is 1 of 3 things; 1. faulty bulb/s, have some one turn the lights on and then have them step on the brakes while you look at them from the back. 2. Inferior quality bulbs. They will work in the system for lighting but will keep triggering the monitor/warning indicator. 3. Faulty BCM (Body Control Module), but not likely.
You probably have a bad light socket that the bulb plugs into. If this is not the problem, you will have to trace the circuit from the light switch to the bulb. It could be the Check Control Module (The electronic box that is designed to monitor your light circuits and tell youthat you have a light out by iluminating the Lamp-Out Warning Lamp on the dash.) I have seen several of these things go out. Imagine that...the system that is designed to monitor the system and warn of system failure is causing the system to fail. Only in today's "too much technology" world.
Hi, is it possible you have the wrong lamps in the brake light sockets? It seems like the brake/turn lamps are shorting across to the tail lamps, which will the power the dash lights. The stop/turn lamps are supposed to be dual filament bulbs. If you put a single filament bulb in the socket, it may short across the stop and tail circuits.
You could have one of two problems here. Firstly if you are getting a christmas tree effect on rear lamp assy ie dull glow from all the lights ,, It's most likely a bad earth/ground connection to lamp,,Secondly if anybody has changed rear bulbs or attempted to fix the problem may have inserted a single contact (21W) indicator/turn signal bulb into the Twin contact brake/tail light socket in error . one bulb (21W) has oposite located pin lugs on side of bulb the double contact brake tail bulb (21/5W) has offset pins. Good luck
Check carefully the brightness of the stop/tail lamp bulbs when in operation.
1) Perhaps someone has managed to insert the stop/tail bulbs into the lamp holder 180 degrees out of rotation,
2) If the wiring has been interfered with, the stop and rear parklamp circuit connections are crossed over.
Either of the above errors will have the effect of :-
when running lights on, hi wattage (stop) lamp on;
when brake stopswitch operated, low wattage (running) lamp on.
There is an issue with the rear tail lamp bulb holders. BMW knows about this problem and released an updated part. Basically the bulb is not held tight enough, and occasinally loses contact with the holder. Your car should still be under warranty and any local BMW dealer should have the parts in stock.
The light will go off as soon as the light or the circuit to the light is repaired, if it is still on and the brake lights work correctly, meaning bright normal not dim looking then the monitor for the lamp out warning is defective, they are very pricey would take the bulbs out if i where you.