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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 01-21-2010, 07:11 PM   #141
BeamNblack
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Just rerouted and grounded my taillight wire and it works GREAT!!!! Awesome idea and it cost me $5! Now my taillight works again without having to buy a whole new wiring harness. Love me some E46 Fanatics!!!! Thanks!!!!!
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:26 PM   #142
e4Tsex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeamNblack View Post
Just rerouted and grounded my taillight wire and it works GREAT!!!! Awesome idea and it cost me $5! Now my taillight works again without having to buy a whole new wiring harness. Love me some E46 Fanatics!!!! Thanks!!!!!
Gotta love that "What the hell would I do without the internet?" feeling.
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Originally Posted by 330msport View Post
i heard that this cars go like 300k miles
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:43 PM   #143
mickjagger
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I was having this issue where my passenger rear turn signal indicator was coming on part of the time. I didnt say anything about it, but the dealership offered to fix it for $563!!! Anyway, I said no thanks and found this thread. Also, when I got the car back, both taillight indicators were lit full time, so them messing around with it did something. I found the contact for the brown wire was burnt as expected, so I pulled the wire from the plug, cut off the terminator, stripped the jacket and crimped on a .25" terminator and grounded it to the flange shown in this thread. Its still lit I checked and the license plate lights are both working, so thats not it. Shouldnt this have worked? All tail lights, turn signals, trunk lights, etc work fine, its just the indicators on both sides stay on now.

thx for the help
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:22 PM   #144
v.i.massive
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i will be doing this, mine bin on for couple of months now and the dealership quoted me $540 to fix it (EF That) im glad i found this DIY
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:16 AM   #145
rEid46_323
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Nice

My buddy and i just did something similar to gf s 330 and we found the same solution. i think everyone with flickering lights or false indicator light for a bulb should check for burnt out ground wires. i think while im at it i will go ahead and do it to her other tail lamp connector seeing as its bound to go the same route.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:06 PM   #146
1st_ID_Vet
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Brilliant! I did the same last night and no issues to report. Thank you so much. My parents have a 2003 325XI and they spent a good chunk of change to have it repaired...as long as this issue doesnt pop up again all I have to do is decide whether or not to share the $5.00 fix with them
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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)
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:14 AM   #147
vintagegz
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When using the spade connector on one end at the tail lamp assembly, would it not be better to run a separate ground wire from there right to a body ground, but where would that body ground be, that way you have a backup for the brown wire and it does not carry all the electrical load. Any ideas?
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:58 PM   #148
lhendrick
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Just a shout to those who researched, tested and shared this fix. Did it today after looking at that idiot light on the dash for a year and it WORKED! Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:21 PM   #149
GCoop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagegz View Post
When using the spade connector on one end at the tail lamp assembly, would it not be better to run a separate ground wire from there right to a body ground, but where would that body ground be, that way you have a backup for the brown wire and it does not carry all the electrical load. Any ideas?
As I understand it the wire itself is sufficient to handle the load. The weak link in the OEM configuration is the small connector within the plug. There is too little surface area on the small connector to properly transfer the load. When this is combined with time and oxidation causes resistance and heat eventually melting and destroying the connection.

By tapping / splitting the wire and grounding it to 2 separate points it provides sufficient distribution of the load.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:56 AM   #150
jobszy
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well pleased

just done this on my car took all of 2 mins and compleatly cured the problem well chuffed.Thanks again.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:47 PM   #151
braxtoq
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Smile

Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I have been experiencing intermittent lamp failure indicators for a few months and my mechanic told me I would have to probably replace the rear lamp assy. Since the signal lamp was still working, I didn't worry too much about it. Yesterday, the right signal lamp failed completely, so I was checking this site for replacement bulb info, lo and behold, I found this thread and checked to see if the connector on my 325xi rear lamp assy's was having the same issue. Of course both rear assy's have a melted gnd pin, I bought a couple of .25" male connectors and some 18 gauge wiring, a couple of quick connects for splicing and and 15 minutes later, no more lamp error indicators!
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #152
bluey
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So I have a 2001 and mine does not have the tab. I wrapped my 14 gauge wire around the metal that was indicated in one of the previous post and my warning lights still comes on

I have LED lights installed in the interior and also the trunk, I also have LED lights installed for then license plate lights. My installer for my aftermarket security system also "cut" the wire to the crown nose on the mirror so he can integrate that light into the system. Can any of the above cause the indicator light to come on even with the fix?
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:24 PM   #153
ErinFaulk
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Just want to bump this thread and thank the OP (SSM1991) for the DIY.. Like many others, BMW Specialist recommended that I replace the assembly. When I went to tackle the other light for good measure, it already had a similar (yet cleaner) modification done... Records indicate that BMW did this side a couple years ago :-)

This DIY took around 5 Minutes and cost $10 (because Radio Shack didn't carry less than 55' of 18 gauge wire). No More False Warnings For Me = Happy Camper
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:45 AM   #154
mujjuman
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legendary thread
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:36 PM   #155
ErinFaulk
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Bump - 26 Days since I performed this DIY and - NO FALSE WARNINGS AT ALL

Last edited by ErinFaulk; 04-23-2010 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #156
itburnout
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Awesome!!

Just did this fix on my pre facelift 325i and it worked like a freaking charm! The mod took less than 10 minutes and so far no aggrevating lights on the dash!

Thank you!
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:22 PM   #157
ghui99ss
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Just did the DYI and worked perfectly... thx to all the contributors.... couldnt have done it without everyone on this post..
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:55 PM   #158
Sabreman
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How common is this problem? I have an '04 330Xi with no bulb problems, no indicator lights, and no melting/burning apparent at the ground connector after almost 6 years of ownership and 72K miles. I'm trying to figure out whether all the E46 cars eventually develop this issue, or if for some reason it's only a small number. If it's going to corrode over time, I would go on in and wire an additional ground as per the DIY now, but I'm also of the view that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. So my question, does this issue eventually develop in most of the E46?? If so, I think they would have made BMW do a recall, not just a TSB to deal with customer complaints upon failures.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:12 PM   #159
bobtrub
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04 325xi just burned out

Hello,
04 325xi with 60,000 miles
Noticed a flickering drivers side brake light, and trunk light.
Removed the drivers side rear light assembly and found the brown wire burned and melted exposing about 1/4" of copper wire. The socket has a nice round hole melted in it, and the spade terminal on the light housing completely corroded (melted) off.
Calling the dealer tomorrow, but will probably end up fixing it myself.
I'm pretty sure my extended warranty has ran out.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #160
CHFBrian
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Just wanted to add my thanks. I had a pre-facelift without the tab, but this fix worked just fine by attaching the wire to another part of the taillight housing. My stupid fast blinker problem seems fixed, hopefully for good!

Thanks again
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