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Alarm Lights Flash When Arming DIY
Alarm Lights Flash When Arming DIY
This guide is going to show you how to add flash to arm/disarm alarm.
Published by eurohb
Default Alarm Lights Flash When Arming DIY

Have not done a good write up for the community in a while, seen for a while how many people (including myself) have a OEM or aftermarket alarm and want the lights to flash when arming or disarming? I have found (3) different ways of doing this and this is option 1, my way.


Supplies needed:
1 - 4pin 30amp car relay ($5 from auto parts store)
Wire (I used 16g wire)
Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Female spade connector
Wire tap (4 was what I used)
Electrical tape
Flash light
Flat Head
Screw Driver
Basic wiring knowledge
Cold beverage of your Choice

The Tear Down-
1. I began by removing the hazard switch from the center console, I removed my shift boot and was able to get space from underneath with a small flat head and carefully pushed the switch up from underneath.

2. With the switch removed you should now see (4) wires coming off the switch and isolate them for later.

3. Locate where the alarm brain is located (oem should be behind the glove box). Once you locate the alarm brain (We are going off OEM wiring harness, for aftermarket please find your Wiring diagram or contact manufacture) You will now need to find the HORN wire which was RED wire in the OEM harness, now isolate that wire and continue to the next section.

1. Grab your 4pin Universal relay and grab (3) strands of wire, all 3 should be the same length (i did roughly 6-8inches) & 1 wire long enough to reach from the Alarm Brain wiring to the hazard switch area. One on end, splice and crimp a Female Spade connector on one end of the wire & strip the opposite side of the wire.

2. Now grab your wire taps and lets get to work. With the 4 wires you isolated off the hazard switch, run the wires so you can hide them under the console. Now grab the 4 wires you made earlier and tap them into the following wire:

Brown wire --> Goes to 86 Pin
Brown w/ Blue --> Goes to 87 Pin
White wire --> Goes to 30 Pin
RED WIRE (ALARM BRAIN) --> Goes to 85 Pin

Clean all your wiring up and wrap it with either heat shrink or electrical tape. With all said and done you should now be able to arm you vehicle and VIOLA! Your vehicles lights should flash now.

Option 2:
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By eurohb on 11-12-2015, 07:31 PM

CREDITS to ROARF from Bimmerforums

What you need:
1 automotive relay (avail. at Radio Shack, I used 30-amp auto relay)
2 diodes (also avail. at Radio Shack, I used 50 V, 1 A)
Wire (get a couple diff. colors so you know what’s what)
Wire terminals (to fit on prongs of relay)
Electrical tape and/or some liquid elec. tape if you want

Phillips head screwdriver
Flat head screwdriver
Stubby or right angle Phillips screwdriver
10 mm socket
Wire strippers/cutters
Soldering iron and solder
Utility knife

1. Remove glove box. Start by removing the six screws indicated by the yellow arrows. You may need to pry a couple of plastic caps off of the two middle screws first. I used a flat head screwdriver for this (see photo). The lower screws can be a bit tough to remove using a normal or even a stubby screwdriver. This is where the right-angle Phillips driver will come in handy (right inset). I didn’t have one so I used a Phillips socket bit in combination with an open ended wrench. With the screws removed, pop out the glove box lamp (left inset) by prying from the sides. Slide it backwards (toward front of car) and down and out, disconnecting the wiring harness once removed. With the lamp removed, you should be able to remove the 10-millimeter bolt that attaches the glove box to the frame of the car (green arrow). This bolt is above where the glove box lamp was.

2. Pull the glove box straight out, you may need to loosen two more screws at the very bottom of the glove box that hold the lower dash panel in. Don’t yank it out too fast though, the flashlight charger is still connected to a wire harness, it should have a decent amount of slack though. Once you have the glove box out a ways, pry the two metal tabs inward on the left and right part of the flashlight charger socket (yellow arrows in photo below) and pull the charger out the back of the glove box. Now you can set the glove box aside out of the car and out of your way.

3. Remove the two screws indicated by yellow arrows in the photo below from the lower dash panel. Slide the panel out slowly, disconnecting the wire harness to the foot well light. Be sure to get a hand on the alarm module (next picture, yellow circle) as this may fall down from above when you remove the panel.

4. Now we’ll wire up the relay and come back to the car in a minute. Ground will be hooked up to two of the prongs on the relay. Take some wire (it’s a good idea to use brown or black to denote ground wire) and crimp a wire terminal to one end. Splice a short length of wire to this wire and crimp another wire terminal to the end of it as shown in the photo below.

For all splicing connections in this DIY I used wire strippers and cut the insulation on the wire in two places about a half inch apart, then used a utility knife to cut a slit down that short section of wire and peeled the insulation off. I then separated the strands of the wire on that section a bit and sticking the wire to be spliced through the other wire I twisted them together and soldered the connection. It is not required but I brushed some liquid electrical tape over all my soldered connections before taping them up. Tape gets old and sometimes falls off, leaving exposed wires.

Next take the diodes out. Connect a wire from the end of the diode with the silver band (cathode) to another wire terminal. Repeat for the other diode but splice this wire to the one you just did ahead of the end with the silver band, instead of adding another wire terminal. (See photo below) Solder a length of wire to the other ends of the diodes.

The reason for the diodes is that one wire will go to the unlock circuit, and the other to the lock circuit. The diodes only allow current to flow into the relay along these wires when oriented the way we have. If you did not put these diodes in, the first time you used the alarm you would double lock the car, and there is no way to unlock it after that without getting at the wiring and undoing what you did.

Take another length of wire and add a wire terminal to one end.
Finally, attach these wires to the relay as shown below. Ignore the pin numbers on the left for now, these are on the 12-pin connector in the car. This signifies a diode. *-------|>|-------*

Wire from pin 3 (ground, brown)----------------------------------------------> Terminal 87 & Terminal 85 on relay
Wire from pin 9 (12V+ unlock, blue/green)--------* -------|>|-------*---------> Terminal 86 on relay
Wire from pin 10 (12V+ lock, black/yellow)--------* -------|>|-------*--------> Terminal 86 on relay
Wire from pin 11 (hazards, green)---------------------------------------------> Terminal 30 on relay

Here is the list of the wires in each of the twelve pins and their function. This was the arrangement in my car, the pin numbers may be slightly different in your car but the wire colors should be the same regardless.

Pin # Function
1 +12V Constant (from battery) – Yellow
2 Ignition – Purple
3 -12V Ground – Brown
4 Door Switch Sensor 2 – Black/white
5 Door Switch Sensor 3 – Black/red
6 Door Switch Sensor 1 – Black/green
7 Horn/siren – Red
8 Trunk switch – Blue
9 +12V Unlock – Blue/green
10 +12V Lock – Black/yellow
11 Hazard lights – Green
12 Dome lights – White

5. Now back to the car. Note the position of the 12-pin central locking connector in the car (see yellow arrows in earlier photo, and also yellow circle in photo below). This is very difficult to reach from the front of the car unless you have very small hands. Wrapped up in this bundle of wires is the hood switch wire (white/red) which plugs into something else that is not part of the 12-pin connector (red arrows in photo below). You could unplug these and splice the wires from the relay to the wires in the car close to the 12-pin connector but I chose to use the other end of this bundle of wires which plugs into the BMW alarm module because this was more easily accessible in my car.

So what I did was I unplugged the green 30-pin connector from the BMW alarm module on the other end of the bundle of wires running to the 12-pin central locking connector. (See photo below) Cut and peel back any electrical tape or heat shrink as necessary. Use the wire strippers to prepare the four wires which will be spliced into, ground, 12V+ lock, 12V+ unlock, and hazards. Refer to earlier diagrams above to verify which color wires you are tapping into.

I recommend putting something on the floor to protect the carpet in case of solder drips or anything like that. Splice the wires from the relay as shown in the diagrams earlier and solder the connections. At this point you may wish to attach the wires but not solder just yet, so you can test to see if it works. Reattach the green connector to the alarm module and close the car doors. Now test your work by locking the car with the remote. If everything works and the hazards flash, great! If not, you need to check your connections and verify that you are using the right wires from the 12-pin connector. Make sure you attached the diodes in the right orientation and that the wires are attached to the correct prongs on the relay.

If all is good, solder these connections if you haven’t already and tape them up. Peel any heat shrink back down around the bundle of wires if necessary and tape it up.

Last edited by eurohb; 11-12-2015 at 07:36 PM..
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By eurohb on 11-12-2015, 07:36 PM

Continue (2)
6. Now for reassembly. Carefully place the alarm module back into the glove box area where it was before and run the wires from the relay around and find somewhere to lay the relay. You could mount it somewhere with some double-sided tape or something. I didn’t have any so I just layed the relay next to the alarm module.

You may want to have a helper hold the alarm module up if it wants to keep falling out the bottom of the glove box area while you put the lower dash panel back in place. Be sure to reconnect the wiring harness to the foot well light and slide the lower dash panel back in place, lining up the heater vents with the holes in the panel. Tuck any wires back up above the panel.

Put the two lower dash panel screws back in but leave them loose! You will need a gap because the glove box has tabs with slots on both sides that slide in between the panel and the dashboard, with the screws fitting into the slot of the tab. (see red arrows in earlier photo) I should have taken a picture of this but don’t worry, it’s pretty obvious how it fits together when you look at it. Take the glove box and snap the flashlight charger back in and pull the wire harness for the glove box lamp through the correct opening in the top of the glove box so that you can plug the lamp back in once the glove box is in place.

Then just slide the glove box back into place making sure you get the tabs on the bottom in the proper position. Replace the 10 mm bolt first then the other six screws. Tighten down the two kick panel screws once everything is back in place. Plug the glove box lamp back in and snap it into place. You’re done!

And now a video for your enjoyment.

I would like to give credit to Titansilber for much of the wiring procedure and also to M3@Apex for additional help. Credit also goes to Pelican Parts for the glove box removal procedure and picture. Lastly, I can't accept any responsibility for you introducing problems or causing damage to your car. I think it’s a pretty safe mod though.

Other resources pertaining to this mod:
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By eurohb on 11-12-2015, 07:46 PM

Option 3:
Credits to EisnerRacing

E36 alarm light flash option

Factory e36 95 - 99 alarm systems are made by Alpine and aftermarket alpine alarm system gives you a audioable alert for arming and disarming as well as a light flash.

Factory bmw alpine alarms do not flash the lights on arm and disarm only if the alarm is triggered.

I have owned two differant cars and have done this mod to each. I just got a 97 M3 and here is the walk thru. The job takes about 30 -45 min, $8.00 and when you are done and arm the alarm the lights with flash and when you disarm they will as well.

6 - female spade terms(18 ga)
4 - 6 " wire black, red, blue and white(18 ga)or what other colors you have
black elec. tape
zip ties
phillips screw driver
olfa knife

Ok first remove the under dash and locate the brain right about the passenger kick panel. Black 5x8 box with a green connector.

unplug the green harness and just abouve the fused yellow wire cut the black cover that covers the wire about 3 inches away for the plug end. Just a single slit is fine. pull out the wires.

now locate the red, dr. green and yellow these are siren(red) lights(grn) and 12v constant(yellow)

now you need a single pole double throw automotive relay 20 - 30 amp is fine. you can find one at any auto store for $5.00
wire the relay like this with 6" of wire
86 to blue
87 to red fuse this wire with 10 amp fuse
85 to black
30 to white

make a fuse holder with two female spades

ok now move back to car an attach the following relay wires to car wires(no need for diodes the factory alarm has them internal)
Relay - car
blue - red siren (-) output
white - Green parking lights
red - yellow 12v
black - yellow 12v
basiclly its a negitive to positive switch from siren to lights - this will not interfere with parking lights or flashers

after connection plug the main harness back into the brain and test remote and make sure they flash. The car should chirp 4 time due to door being open
now wrap the harness back up with black tape and zip tie

now your done - when you arm the lights flash once and dis-arm lights flash twice
Last edited by eurohb; 11-12-2015 at 07:51 PM..
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By eurohb on 11-12-2015, 07:47 PM

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By amancuso on 09-11-2020, 07:55 PM

Option 1. What is the white wire? I'm assuming you tap into the Red (alarm siren) wire and wire it to the added relay.
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