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Interesting Euro feature

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Interesting Euro feature

Post by dwcains » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:20 pm

I was in the garage installing a new set of headlights, and found an interesting feature on my car. I'm guessing it's a Euro-only thing. Without the key in the ignition, if I turn on the right-side signal, the underhood light comes on, as well as the right rear tail light and the right front city light. No such feature when I switch on the left turn signal.
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Re: Interesting Euro feature

Post by MrE » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:09 am

I was aware of the indicator arm activating the corresponding front and rear park lights, but did not realise it activated the light under the bonnet as well.

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Re: Interesting Euro feature

Post by zinnocoupe » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:00 am

Dean, Its an interesting feature but why does it do that do you think?
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Re: Interesting Euro feature

Post by tschultz » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:25 am

For working under the hood? It is sort of pathetic if you actually need to see anything but still a cool feature I noticed on my '80 also.

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Re: Interesting Euro feature

Post by 86_6series » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:56 am

My 2004 MB E500 and now my 2011 MB E350 has the same lighting options left & right.

This is in the light switch and I believed is used in Germany when street parking overnight.

The left & right depends on which side of the street you park on.

Here is the sentence that pertains to the question:

"When parking on a street at night, you must use your parking lights unless you are parked near an all-night street light. Street lights that do not remain on for the entire night are marked by a white and red band Sign 394 around the lamppost."

Here is the link to German parking laws.


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Re: Interesting Euro feature

Post by MisterFixit » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:46 pm

My 1972 2002 also had this feature, both left and right sides. The manual called it 'Clearance Lights.' The key had to be off, and moving the turn signal switch to left or right lighted that side ONLY, not side markers (a different wire - red/grey). It lit the 'parking light' filament in front and the tail light in back.

The manual recommended when parking on narrow lanes at night, you put on the 'road side' clearance light to alert drivers of your car's presence on the street. I imagine for parking up against a hedge to make room for traffic, with one side lighted to show drivers where your car was. Obviously, it was designed to be used worldwide, for left or right side traffic. It was a rather nice feature!

The ignition switch had a separate dedicated hot lead (grey) to the turn signal switch, live ONLY when the key was off, for this feature.
It had leads feeding the parking and tail lamp on one side through the fuse box. As is typical for BMW, there are two tail light fuses, for left and right sides.

Of course, my car, having three tail light bulbs on each side, would have killed the battery rather quickly, had I used this feature overnight. 8)

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