Turn Signal Relay options

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peminick
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:58 pm

Turn Signal Relay options

Post by peminick »

Just bought my first e12 (1979 528i) and I'm so grateful that this site exists. I think it's going to be invaluable when I get into the bigger work that my car needs, but for now I'm starting with the easy stuff. Namely, I've got a machine-gunning turn signal relay that I need to replace.

I can't believe there's not another option out there than the ~$50 replacement part that's available on Autohaus. Has anyone figured out a suitable aftermarket swap for this? I'm not above taping something in place if it doesn't have the clip that holds it to the frame under the dash. :)
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Mike W.
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Location: Sonoma County

Post by Mike W. »

The problem is how unusual it is combined with supply and demand, or rather lack thereof. It's a pretty complicated little device, it had two coils and sets of contacts inside and relays not just a thermal flasher. Combined with being at least relatively unique. You could probably find one for a ten spot if there was the market for 10K a year, instead it's closer to 10 instead of ten thousand. It's not worth it to anyone to reinvent the wheel.
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
1998 328is, quick and efficient, but not satisfying
2000 528iit, Vacation mobile/wife's grocery getter
GripGreg
Posts: 1797
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:50 pm
Location: Long Beach, Cal.

Post by GripGreg »

Welcome to the madness, Peminic. Get a book & some metric tools!
Some parts websites are; bavauto.com; pelicanparts.com; autopartswarehouse.com; bluntech.com & more I can't remember at the moment.
I recommend you stay away from the 'stealership'! :wink:
The only dumb question is the unasked question! Get a book!
Have fun with us,,,,Greg
Ps,,,,Did I say get a book & tools??
I think Sears is the best bet for tools 'cause of the lifetime guarantee.
BTW; your problem just may be a bad light bulb! start cheap & go up from there.
And for some reason, it's better to get the chrome looking base bulbs than the brass based bulb. Someone here can explain better than me.
peminick
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:58 pm

Post by peminick »

Thanks guys. I swear I went into this with my eyes open--hard to find parts and electrical bugaboos and all. Just wanted to make sure that I wasn't overlooking something here.

Now I'm going to go double-check my bulbs...
GripGreg
Posts: 1797
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:50 pm
Location: Long Beach, Cal.

Post by GripGreg »

I just remembered my situation when buying my Buster.
Even if your bulbs are working, replace them & lightly scrape the contact points 'cause you just don't know.
Then you will know! :wink:
CBradio
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:03 am
Location: Brooklyn

Post by CBradio »

to revive this old thread...

I've noticed my flasher dash indicator kind of flickers even when I'm not flashing, but the flasher seems to work, although it makes different ticking noises at different times....

sound like a tired relay to you guys?

Also... HAS anybody attempted a SWAP for a less expensive flasher?

Maybe another 4-prong that can be used with some slight modification?
Last edited by CBradio on Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1977 530ia
PatinaBeforePolish
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:22 pm
Location: Baltimore, Md.

Post by PatinaBeforePolish »

I'll add that a BMW retailer can be a valuable resource. Whenever possible I buy parts from a very knowledgable parts manager at BMW of Sterling that gives CCA members an extremely reasonable discount.

BMW OEM parts are the best fit and quality possible and come with a 12 month warranty even if you install it. RealOEM has all part numbers and availability for your browsing pleasure.

I'm grateful that BMW sees value in maintaining excellent vintage parts availability - makes it way easier to keep your car running well and looking good.

There's nothing wrong with seeking a good value, but bashing the dealer is tired, worn out advise.
79 528i
CBradio
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:03 am
Location: Brooklyn

Post by CBradio »

@PolishbeforePatina

I'm not sure where you're coming from.

The fact of the matter is the flasher relays for our cars are like 200 us dollars,,,
That is real money. That is expensive for a relay in my opinion. A flasher for the cherokee I owned before this cost $16.99. And I'm not even sure the relay is my issue!

I'm not sure whether you get a commission from the sale of vintage BMW flasher relays, but you can rest assured that I'm not "dealer bashing;" I'm looking for a cheaper alternative (i.e. aftermarket, reman) to this expensive flasher relay.

And, I'd love to be able to strut into the dealer and buy a relay, but times are hard on the boulevard.

Maybe somebody here has some more constructive input.

EDIT: thanks also for your input.
1977 530ia
PatinaBeforePolish
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:22 pm
Location: Baltimore, Md.

Post by PatinaBeforePolish »

Calm down CBRadio, I was just pointing out the value of OEM support. I would have suggested an alternative if I had one but this is likely the only choice.

Mike W provided an accurate explanation to the price level for this part. If it's any consolation, many BMW OEM parts are dirt cheap compared to other manufacturers. Ever own a 911?

I also recommend posting to the for sale / wanted section here. There's got to be one floating around. And sorry but I don't receive flasher relay commissions nor am I employed by or own a BMW dealership. But I'd give everyone here an awesome discount if I did!
79 528i
CBradio
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:03 am
Location: Brooklyn

Post by CBradio »

LOL,

Thanks, again for the input. I realize that you took the time to type out a response and I AM appreciative of that. Truly.

Also, I too appreciate the resources made available to us, and I have ordered parts from the dealer (I got two fuel lines for under 50 dollars that were shipped from Germany in two boxes nearly the size of the car, pretty amazing)...

That being said, flasher relays go, they will only get more expensive (since the time this thread was started in 2013, the price has more than doubled) and I'm sure there are others in my situation that may appreciate some easy cheaper alternative.. if such a thing is possible.

I've managed to find OEM ones that are about 120 dollars,
but still.... bleeding here to keep this daily my daily
1977 530ia
tonypatthou
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:54 am
Location: HOUSTON, TX

Turn Signal Relay Options

Post by tonypatthou »

They are extremely pricy, and the correct version will cost you in excess of $200.00 on Ebay, and all over. I forwarded you the contact info for a member on this site who helped me out for $50.00. I know he had a second Flasher Relay he was willing to also part with. He's a good guy, and an excellent resource.

Tony
1981 528i 5 speed
2000 Z3 2.8 Roadster, 5 speed
2003 540iA M Sport
2007 335i Coupe, 6 spd, Sports Pack
2016 328i Auto, Sports Pack
CBradio
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:03 am
Location: Brooklyn

Post by CBradio »

I managed to find one for about 120 on Bavauto, but I'm not going to pull the trigger just yet since the problem seems to be isolated to my Dash.


I also posted in the SALE/WTB section


Thank you
1977 530ia
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