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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 10-12-2007, 09:58 AM   #1
PHX325
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Exclamation Tailight Fix

Ok I posted this problem at the beginning of the week. My passenger side taillight is giving false indication that the bulb is out when it's really not. I got a lot of good replys but really still dont know what the hell to do. I hate this indication on the dash.

This is the best reply I got but I still dont know what to do
"On the intermittent tail lamp bulb-out, it's a common issue since the ground pin (brown wire) on the connector is too thin to carry all that current in the tail lamp bulbs. Some connectors melt eventually. Do yourself a favor and just do this $2 DIY: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=418836. I did it and the bulb-out indicator hasn't come on since. You don't have to cut and take out the brown/ground connector. Just splice into the brown wire and run a parallel connection to the ground plane tab."

Does anyone have a more detailed DIY or a step by step way to help me remedy this problem? Photos of the completed project would be nice.

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by Solidjake; 05-28-2014 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Auto-save 1401306771
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:20 AM   #2
vze3t229@verizo
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Taillamp

Go see your dealership, there is a bullitin about this situation. It is your ground on your wiring harness that will need to get fixed.
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:33 AM   #3
PHX325
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I went to the dealship ..... they replaced the bulb when I took it in under warranty (before I realized it was a known issue) I took it last week to get serviced now they want $248 to replace the tailight assembly(now that its not under warranty). I mentioned that I brought it in for this exact reason and they said they have no record that they worked on it. I need to look for my paperwork
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Ground it

on the back of the light fixture there is a tab where you can attach a female spade connector and ground it to your chasis. Just drill a small hole and connect a wire to it and your done. any questions Email me at Crisbautista97@gmail.com I can email pics to explain
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CrisB02 View Post
on the back of the light fixture there is a tab where you can attach a female spade connector and ground it to your chasis. Just drill a small hole and connect a wire to it and your done. any questions Email me at Crisbautista97@gmail.com I can email pics to explain
Hye chris./.. can you help me out maybe show some pictures of what you're talking about.. I need to ground both of my taillights...
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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No need to go with any homemade solutions guys. This is from another thread, but it's about to get serious for BMW:

For many of you on the board with a long history of tail light problems, be sure to SAVE YOUR INVOICES. It looks like you can get your money back once the recall starts. Better is the fact that BMW might actually stop having us fix our own cars with parts from Radio Shack . . . . Geesh, have they no shame?

It's time to stop with the "homemade" fixes. This is a serious safety defect and BMW knows it.

Just a quick update on this problem. Among my circle of friends we have five post-update E46 sedans. Four of them have had tail light, turn signal, brake light failures all caused by BMW's screw up when they updated the tail lights: not enough grounding wire(s). See the BMW service bulletin SI B 63 03 06 on this at the link below:

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B630306g.htm

Since the ne'er-do-wells at "Screw The Customer" BMW NA Customer Service (an oxymoron) have never heard of Ralph Nader, we're going to give 'em a little help. The nice folks over in Washington D.C. have these things called Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and EVERYONE selling cars here has to meet them for ten years after a car or truck is built. That means if our lights have design defects (they do), BMW is under potentially criminal liability to fix the things with a safety recall at NO cost.

BMW's service bulletins basically say, "Only fix the cars under warranty; screw everyone else for whatever you can get away with so you can buy a bigger boat." WRONG ANSWER BMW!

The ball is in motion on this; more later. For now, BE SURE TO SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS IF YOU HAD YOUR STEALER RAPE YOU FOR $400 (per side) TO FIX BMW'S LIGHTING SCREW UP.

I expect to see something in a few weeks so hang in there
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ajv85483 View Post
Hye chris./.. can you help me out maybe show some pictures of what you're talking about.. I need to ground both of my taillights...
No need to go with any homemade solutions guys. This is from another thread, but it's about to get serious for BMW:

For many of you on the board with a long history of tail light problems, be sure to SAVE YOUR INVOICES. It looks like you can get your money back once the recall starts. Better is the fact that BMW might actually stop having us fix our own cars with parts from Radio Shack . . . . Geesh, have they no shame?

It's time to stop with the "homemade" fixes. This is a serious safety defect and BMW knows it.

Just a quick update on this problem. Among my circle of friends we have five post-update E46 sedans. Four of them have had tail light, turn signal, brake light failures all caused by BMW's screw up when they updated the tail lights: not enough grounding wire(s). See the BMW service bulletin SI B 63 03 06 on this at the link below:

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B630306g.htm

Since the ne'er-do-wells at "Screw The Customer" BMW NA Customer Service (an oxymoron) have never heard of Ralph Nader, we're going to give 'em a little help. The nice folks over in Washington D.C. have these things called Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and EVERYONE selling cars here has to meet them for ten years after a car or truck is built. That means if our lights have design defects (they do), BMW is under potentially criminal liability to fix the things with a safety recall at NO cost.

BMW's service bulletins basically say, "Only fix the cars under warranty; screw everyone else for whatever you can get away with so you can buy a bigger boat." WRONG ANSWER BMW!

The ball is in motion on this; more later. For now, BE SURE TO SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS IF YOU HAD YOUR STEALER RAPE YOU FOR $400 (per side) TO FIX BMW'S LIGHTING SCREW UP.

I expect to see something in a few weeks so hang in there
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
pylt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajv85483 View Post
Hye chris./.. can you help me out maybe show some pictures of what you're talking about.. I need to ground both of my taillights...
No need to go with any homemade solutions guys. This is from another thread, but it's about to get serious for BMW:

For many of you on the board with a long history of tail light problems, be sure to SAVE YOUR INVOICES. It looks like you can get your money back once the recall starts. Better is the fact that BMW might actually stop having us fix our own cars with parts from Radio Shack . . . . Geesh, have they no shame?

It's time to stop with the "homemade" fixes. This is a serious safety defect and BMW knows it.

Just a quick update on this problem. Among my circle of friends we have five post-update E46 sedans. Four of them have had tail light, turn signal, brake light failures all caused by BMW's screw up when they updated the tail lights: not enough grounding wire(s). See the BMW service bulletin SI B 63 03 06 on this at the link below:

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B630306g.htm

Since the ne'er-do-wells at "Screw The Customer" BMW NA Customer Service (an oxymoron) have never heard of Ralph Nader, we're going to give 'em a little help. The nice folks over in Washington D.C. have these things called Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and EVERYONE selling cars here has to meet them for ten years after a car or truck is built. That means if our lights have design defects (they do), BMW is under potentially criminal liability to fix the things with a safety recall at NO cost.

BMW's service bulletins basically say, "Only fix the cars under warranty; screw everyone else for whatever you can get away with so you can buy a bigger boat." WRONG ANSWER BMW!

The ball is in motion on this; more later. For now, BE SURE TO SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS IF YOU HAD YOUR STEALER RAPE YOU FOR $400 (per side) TO FIX BMW'S LIGHTING SCREW UP.

I expect to see something in a few weeks so hang in there
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PHX325 View Post
... This is the best reply I got but I still dont know what to do ...
Thanks for the compliment.

I did the right taillight before since it was the one giving me the problem. I saw your post so I did the left one today -- this time with pics.

All photos are for the left taillight. Process is the same for the right.

The only materials and tools you need are:
- a 0.25" blade receptacle (available in Radio Shack, Home Depot or any electronics shop)
- a 5" strip of size #18 or larger wire
- rubber or vinyl electrical tape
- utility knife
- pliers

1) Release the taillight housing and lay it on the trunk.

2) Release the connector by pressing on the sides then pulling. Take note of the circled tab. That's the point we'll connect to later.


3) Cut a 5" piece of wire and strip one end about a quarter of an inch.


4) Insert the stripped end into the blade receptacle and crimp using any pair of pliers. Try pulling out the wire afterwards to make sure it's tight.


5) At the connector, the ground wire is the brown one. It's noticably thicker than the other wires.


6) Using a utility knife, carefully strip half an inch of insulation on the brown/ground wire 2"-3" from the connector.


7) Strip half an inch of the other end of the new piece of wire and wrap neatly (mine wasn't too neat in the pic) around the exposed ground wire.


8) Wrap tightly with electrical tape.


9) Plug in the connector again and insert the blade receptacle into the tab.


10) YOU'RE DONE!! If you've been having that annoying intermittent bulb-out problems and all bulbs seem to be ok, this is I think a more permanent solution. Replacing just the connector like what's done at the dealer will just bring back that problem after a few years. The problem is that the connector pin for the ground is too thin to carry all that current to the bulbs reliably. So eventually the pin builds up electrical resistance and will melt in some cases. Running a parallel connection using a thicker connector will solve it. (I'm an electronics engineer by education btw)
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Last edited by ssm1991; 10-12-2007 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:34 PM   #10
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Holy **** ssm1991! This is perfect...Thanks for all your help and for taking the time to take the pics. I'm sure others will benefit from this as well..

Thanks again!
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:44 PM   #11
Razkal
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Originally Posted by ssm1991 View Post
Thanks for the compliment.

I did the right taillight before since it was the one giving me the problem. I saw your post so I did the left one today -- this time with pics.

All photos are for the left taillight. Process is the same for the right.

The only materials and tools you need are:
- a 0.25" blade receptacle (available in Radio Shack, Home Depot or any electronics shop)
- a 5" strip of size #18 or larger wire
- rubber or vinyl electrical tape
- utility knife
- pliers

1) Release the taillight housing and lay it on the trunk.

2) Release the connector by pressing on the sides then pulling. Take note of the circled tab. That's the point we'll connect to later.


3) Cut a 5" piece of wire and strip one end about a quarter of an inch.


4) Insert the stripped end into the blade receptacle and crimp using any pair of pliers. Try pulling out the wire afterwards to make sure it's tight.


5) At the connector, the ground wire is the brown one. It's noticably thicker than the other wires.


6) Using a utility knife, carefully strip half an inch of insulation on the brown/ground wire 2"-3" from the connector.


7) Strip half an inch of the other end of the new piece of wire and wrap neatly (mine wasn't too neat in the pic) around the exposed ground wire.


8) Wrap tightly with electrical tape.


9) Plug in the connector again and insert the blade receptacle into the tab.


10) YOU'RE DONE!! If you've been having that annoying intermittent bulb-out problems and all bulbs seem to be ok, this is I think a more permanent solution. Replacing just the connector like what's done at the dealer will just bring back that problem after a few years. The problem is that the connector pin for the ground is too thin to carry all that current to the bulbs reliably. So eventually the pin builds up electrical resistance and will melt in some cases. Running a parallel connection using a thicker connector will solve it. (I'm an electronics engineer by education btw)

Thanks so much for posting this. I had this problem since I picked up my 330i, and I looked into everything. This weekend I saw that the ground wire connection had corroded and that the plug itself had a hole in the #3 spot. I pulled the wire out of there, re-made the connection and plugged it into that spot on the tailight - so far so good. No errors!

Thanks again!
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:08 PM   #12
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Just posting some additional info since on my search for "taillight connector" I couldn't find the part number.

If your connector is melted and needs replacement here are the part numbers:

Part # and Description List Price
12-52-7-519-956 Housing $3.60
61-13-1-387-144 Plug $0.72

The housing is the tail light connector housing and the plug is what you attach to the ground wire and put into the housing.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:21 PM   #13
ajv85483
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Originally Posted by GeMoose23 View Post
Just posting some additional info since on my search for "taillight connector" I couldn't find the part number.

If your connector is melted and needs replacement here are the part numbers:

Part # and Description List Price
12-52-7-519-956 Housing $3.60
61-13-1-387-144 Plug $0.72

The housing is the tail light connector housing and the plug is what you attach to the ground wire and put into the housing.
Is this for a 6 pin or an 8 pin... i need the one for a 6 pin... thanks
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ajv85483 View Post
Is this for a 6 pin or an 8 pin... i need the one for a 6 pin... thanks
That's for the 8 pin. I looked through realoem and Tischer and can only drill down to the taillight housing assembly, but not to the 6 pin mating connector.

I'm guessing here but the 6 pin connector looks like item 6 here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...80&hg=61&fg=15

and the pin connector looks like item 8 here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...49&hg=61&fg=15

To be 100% sure, email the good folks at Tischer (Mileone Parts) and they can help you out. bmwpartsdepot@mileone.com

Last edited by refimail; 02-11-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #15
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I know it may sound stupid but I have a 330 coupe & having the same problem off burnt signal but bulb is fine,,,,, in fact when I use it it blinks together with the stop light so please help!!!!
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:41 PM   #16
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do i have to disconnect the battery or anything?
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:40 PM   #17
refimail
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do i have to disconnect the battery or anything?
Nope.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #18
Alan330xi
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Need help with tail-light indicator

2001 330xi. Just today, the tail-light indicator went on (showing fault in both lights). Of course both sides are functioning normally. How do I correct this problem?
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #19
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2001 330xi. Just today, the tail-light indicator went on (showing fault in both lights). Of course both sides are functioning normally. How do I correct this problem?
This is the same problem I have, I haven't done the ground wire fix yet because I don't have the tab. Any other possible problems that could be causing this?
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:05 PM   #20
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Smile thank you sir !

after 18 months of dash crazyness the indicators started to go wild so enough was enough. found your site and hey presto ! 5 mins later indicators working , no dash display, and about 100 better off . I cant thank you enough.
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