Turb Signal Bulb Lites w/o Key?

Odd little happenstance yesterday. I was at work when someone called over the intercom and said there was a red BMW in the parking lot with it's lights on. There are two of us with red cars. So, rather than walk the,
seemingly, 10 miles to my car, I did the easy thing and checked to make sure I had my keys. Yep, got 'em. Can't be my car, right?
Well, while on my usual walk at break time, I strolled by my 330 and lo and behold, the driver's side turn signal light was lit. Front and rear. I said, "wtf?" Got in and everything seemed normal. Main switch in usual position, no key in ignition and again I said, "wtf?"
Well, turns out as I was exiting the car I must have pressed down on the turn signal stalk with my lunch pail and not noticed. Unbeknownst to me, the bulbs are energized and stay lit even with all switches in the off position and no key in the ignition. They don't flash, they just stay lit. Works on both sides, front and rear, by the way.
Is this normal? An electronic glitch specific to my car? Have others noticed this with their cars? What possible reason would BMW have made this a "normal" occurrence?
Any and all replies will be appreciated. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is normal, and required of cars in Europe. It's not against FMVR, so they just leave it that way. VW, Porsche and others are just the same (not sure about SAAB or VW...)
Floyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Didn't realize it, but ditto for both my cars (U.S. '99 E46 & '03 Z4). Will be on guard in the future!
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You don't have to be. It will happily run those lights overnight.
--
*Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Yeah. Doesn't seem to be a big current draw but why is this "feature" there? Because BMW doesn't want to defeat it on US cars? Seems silly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No, it seems sillier for them to spend $$$ to remove it, when US regulations don't require them to.
Floyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Floyd Rogers wrote:

Agreed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Could be useful if you had to park on an unlit road? It's not easy to accidentally switch it on, though.
--
*It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

In that context I agree. Also, since the current draw is so minimal and there is really no chance to drain the battery, unless of course you were to leave the car unattended for days or weeks I guess, I see why the "feature" was not removed or defeated for the US models.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's not a requirement in the UK either, but I often use it when parking the car on the street away from home.
--
*I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the
position
noticed
Some years ago I had an Audi that had the same facility. Means you can just switch on the offside front and rear parking lights, to reduce power consumption when parking on a road at night. Mike.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Correct operation. All four of my BMW's have done this, as do most EU cars (Merc, Audi, Volkwagen, even GM & Fords IIRC).
Great if you have to park somewhere dark or a bit awkward at night, and want some charge in the battery to start in the morning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just went out to the garage and both my '04 X5 and '02 330i do the same thing. The key doesn't have to be in the ignition.
Dan
Jeff Mayner wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's not the 'turn' signals which are on but the 'parking' lights. And you must have operated the turn signal control after stopping the engine and switching off.
--
*Don't use no double negatives *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My 1972 2002tii touring euro-version does this, but I'm pretty sure the US version cars I've had don't. Charlie

sure
and
said,
the
position
noticed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.