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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > N20, N26, B46, B48 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > F30 preLCI - rear turn signals LED conversion
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      11-29-2021, 01:05 PM   #1
MaYoT
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F30 preLCI - rear turn signals LED conversion

Hi! I bought 2013 F30 not so long ago and lately I noticed that previous owner mounted LEDs on rear turn signals. Everything works fine and dandy, but I still wanted to check if coding is right in bimmercode and to my surprise... it isn't.

REM 3061 FRA_H_L_WARMUEBERWACHUN and REM 3061 FRA_H_R_WARMUEBERWACHUNG is set to nicht_aktiv which is good because I don't want it to flicker when it checks lights while driving.

REM 3061 FRA_H_L_KALTUEBERWACHUNG and REM 3061 FRA_H_R_KALTUEBERWACHUNG is set to aktiv, but I don't really care because it flickers only when I'm starting my car.

But the most surprising thing is that REM 3061 FRA_H_L_IS_LED and REM 3061 FRA_H_R_IS_LED are both set to nicht_aktiv. But still I don't have any errors while scanning the car, no warnings in iDrive and it works absolutely fine, no quick flickering when turned on etc. So what excatly these settings do? Should I change them to aktiv even if everything works fine or just leave it (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)?

PS. And yeah... I messed up and put this post in the wrong section of a forum...

Last edited by MaYoT; 11-29-2021 at 01:15 PM..
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      11-29-2021, 02:33 PM   #2
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With incandescent the voltage isn't constant, it's pulsed. You can't see it pulsing, because incandescent filaments heat to produce light, and stay hot enough between pulses to remain lit. LED doesn't have filaments, and react far quicker to applied voltage, so a pulsed voltage might cause a rapid pulsing with some bulbs. Setting the bulbs to LED provides a constant rather than pulsed voltage.

The reason for the pulsed voltage is that it reduces current draw, which lightens the load on the electrical system and allows for lighter gauge wire. LED draws 1/5 or less the current that incandescent does, so there's no advantage to a pulsed voltage.
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      11-29-2021, 02:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
With incandescent the voltage isn't constant, it's pulsed. You can't see it pulsing, because incandescent filaments heat to produce light, and stay hot enough between pulses to remain lit. LED doesn't have filaments, and react far quicker to applied voltage, so a pulsed voltage might cause a rapid pulsing with some bulbs. Setting the bulbs to LED provides a constant rather than pulsed voltage.

The reason for the pulsed voltage is that it reduces current draw, which lightens the load on the electrical system and allows for lighter gauge wire. LED draws 1/5 or less the current that incandescent does, so there's no advantage to a pulsed voltage.
Alright, that explains it. Probably I'm lucky that those LEDs are not pulsing or I just don't see it (as turn signals don't stay still so maybe I haven't paid enough attention). I'll change it tho so it's coded the right way. Thanks.

My additional question is if I turn the warm and cold monitoring off (warm is off already) will my car inform me on iDrive of dead LED? I know they last much longer than halogen ones, but still they're not eternal.
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      11-29-2021, 03:49 PM   #4
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I can't say. If it does it must use a different mechanism to do it.

The pulsed DC isn't all that different from household AC power. You don't see flicker in incandescent bulbs because the 60Hz rate is too fast for the filaments to cool, you don't see it in florescent bulbs due to their ballast, and LEDs also use a ballast that prevents flicker. Some auto LEDs have a ballast built into the base, to prevent flickering and prevent warnings. Some headlight LEDs use an external ballast that does the same thing.
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      11-29-2021, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaYoT View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
With incandescent the voltage isn't constant, it's pulsed. You can't see it pulsing, because incandescent filaments heat to produce light, and stay hot enough between pulses to remain lit. LED doesn't have filaments, and react far quicker to applied voltage, so a pulsed voltage might cause a rapid pulsing with some bulbs. Setting the bulbs to LED provides a constant rather than pulsed voltage.

The reason for the pulsed voltage is that it reduces current draw, which lightens the load on the electrical system and allows for lighter gauge wire. LED draws 1/5 or less the current that incandescent does, so there's no advantage to a pulsed voltage.
Alright, that explains it. Probably I'm lucky that those LEDs are not pulsing or I just don't see it (as turn signals don't stay still so maybe I haven't paid enough attention). I'll change it tho so it's coded the right way. Thanks.

My additional question is if I turn the warm and cold monitoring off (warm is off already) will my car inform me on iDrive of dead LED? I know they last much longer than halogen ones, but still they're not eternal.
It won't tell you about the leds failing that's for sure. I just coded all my bulbs to led in BimmerCode and swapped bulbs to leds anyway. A quick Visual check at night gas station always does the trick.
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      11-30-2021, 03:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqwinny View Post
It won't tell you about the leds failing that's for sure. I just coded all my bulbs to led in BimmerCode and swapped bulbs to leds anyway. A quick Visual check at night gas station always does the trick.
Makes sense. For now I have only rear turn signals and planning to swap reverse lights to LED so it shouldn't be too irritating to check them visually once a week or two.
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      11-30-2021, 08:18 AM   #7
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There's an easy way to test the reverse lights: put the car into reverse at night, then look at the rear view mirror or camera view. I question the worth of the added complexity that the bulb testing creates. When your lights are on it's obvious with most of the bulbs if one is out. That's a good thing, as the warm and cold checks only function when the lights are off anyway.
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