page title icon Why BMW Lights Stay On When Car Is Off and How to Fix It!

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The BMW is an immense joy to ride. Although this premium automotive brand ranks high in luxury vehicles, it does not mean that problems will never transpire.

Sometimes, owners find that BMW lights stay on when the car is off. There are a few things you can try out to remediate this issue.

Here are the most common reasons why BMW lights won’t switch off.

  • The switch for light control is not correctly set
  • FEM malfunction
  • Faulty LCM

Here, you will find the most frequently occurring problems that could be why your BMW lights stay on. You will explore some quick fixes and options that you can resort to if these don’t work.

BMW Lights

Being an owner of a BMW can be very rewarding. With this premium automobile, you can get several awesome features that are not available in other cars.

One of these features is automatic headlight control. As a result of this feature, you do not have to worry about remembering to switch off headlights. If you fail to switch off headlights for other cars lacking this feature, you will find that the battery has drained to your dismay upon returning.

As with all features, this function can also fail to work correctly at times. However, despite the occasional problem, this feature is nevertheless very useful.

BMWs and other sports cars are equipped with an array of modules, sensors, microchips, computers, and other high-tech gizmos to keep your car running smoothly. These gadgets often control the proper function of various features in your car.

Of course, with increasing numbers of various components, one issue arising is the increased possibility of malfunction.

Also, finding the root cause of any problem with more components is that much harder. Electrical problems could be easily attributed to a burnt fuse or a loose wire in vintage vehicles. Hence, remediating issues in newer automobiles are more complicated.

Here are the most common causes for BMW lights not switching off.

Light Controls

This might seem fairly obvious, but a surprisingly large number of owners fail to realize that the light control switch could be responsible.

So if you have an issue with these lights, you can still read on to find out what you can do to possibly resolve the issue.

There are 4 settings concerning BMW headlights. These 4 positions are.

  • Parking
  • On
  • Automatic
  • Off

What usually happens is that owners often position this light control in one of these 3 options: On, Parking or Automatic. Then they fail to remember the position they selected.

This is far more common than you might think. It usually happens when owners switch the light control to automatic.

If you don’t remember this, you might think headlights are not switching off.

You just have to look at the light control switch and bring it to the right position.

Unplug BMW Battery

If tinkering with light settings hasn’t resolved the issue, the lights are still on after the vehicle is switched off, your next move should be to disconnect the battery.

This step is much easier than other fixes that remove various components like fuses, modules, switches, and controls. Hence, you should try out this method before moving on to more complicated methods.

After you have disconnected your battery from the vehicle, leave it for a minimum of 10 minutes. When this time has elapsed, you can reconnect the battery with your BMW. Doing so enables your vehicle to reset all modules.

Depending on the type of BMW modules you have, you will have to enter different codes so that various features can function again. You can obtain these codes from the dealer you bought your car from.

Replacing LCM

If you have gone through the two methods above without any success, then you will have to think about examining and/or replacing its LCM.

Do note that this method applies to older models of BMW since newer BMW models have a FEM (this will be discussed below).

If you don’t really know what an LCM looks like or which BMW models have it, you can visit this link.

This is quite often why the lights are not switching off for most people. The good news is that the module is easily replaced.

If you have the E39, then you can find the LCM in the footwell of passengers. However, it is situated towards the back of the control switch for other models.

You will have to look up your model to determine where this module is situated.

For removing control switches on BMW models that have the LCM situated towards the back of the control switch, here is what you can do.

First, get yourself a Phillips screwdriver and a pry tool.

Using the pry tool, you will have to take out the panel covering the control switch. You will have to do it as gently as possible so that the panel does not crack. You can gradually lift the panel very gently from all sides.

Then with the help of the Phillips screwdriver, you can make the control switch lose. The next step is removing the control switch.

Do remember that the switch/control module has various components. Once you remove it, you will have to replace the whole module.

And another thing to take note of is that you can’t use just any module that you prefer. You will have to find the module built for your particular BMW model.

Check out your model number from the module you have just taken out. The replacement module should show exactly the same model number.

Since BMW models have different features and controls, if you get a replacement that is not purpose-built for your BMW model, then it will not work.

Replacing the FEM Fuse

In newer BMW models, the FEM replaces the LCM. FEM is short for Front Electronic Module. This gadget has fuses and is a bit easier to work with.

It all depends on what has gone wrong with your lights or the FEM. Based on this, replacement may be necessary for either a fuse of the whole module.

As far as replacing the entire module is concerned, that is not covered here since it is a complicated procedure. However, you will learn how it can be accessed so that you can replace fuses that have melted.

The FEM is inside the cabin space of the BMW, much like the LCM. It is usually located in the passenger footwell or towards the passenger side.

You can check out the owner manual or Google it to find out where the FEM is situated.

Accessing the FEM is very much like accessing the LCM. You will have to use the screwdriver and the pry tool for this purpose and follow the steps outlined above. After removing the panel, you can get access to the FEM.

All you have to do is check up on which fuse controls the lights. And then you will have to see if it is burnt. If that is the case, you just have to replace the burnt fuse.

You should go online or contact your local dealer to know whether or not you need extra information. But you don’t need to worry too much about replacing a fuse since it is a relatively simple process.

Interior Lights Problem

If interior lights are switched on even when the car is turned off, this could be due to several factors.

For example, the door switch could be broken. This is a common reason for interior lights in the BMW to stay switched on. You can open car doors to find door switches. You will want to find the switch that has been left in the on position.

Just to be sure, you can press each switch to check whether or not the light goes off. While pressing these switches, you should hear a click sound. If you don’t hear any sound, this could imply a broken door switch.

You will then have to get this checked by a mechanic.

Bottom Line

There are a few reasons why your BMW lights stay on when the car is off. Discussed above are the most common reasons for this phenomenon.

However, if these methods are not working for you, then it is best to head over to a qualified mechanic or go to your local dealership to have it sorted out.