E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Lighting Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 26 votes, 4.96 average. Display Modes
Old 02-18-2013, 06:16 PM   #301
TotheMountains!
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2001 330xi
Fix did not work

OK, so I did the basic ground fix on my 2001 330xi, even though the connectors both seemed fine. I've been getting the tail light indicator on the dash, the right turn signal is fast and not working at the back, and the xenon headlights have been flickering; usually the right goes out and stays out; sometimes the left goes out as well, so this cannot stand.

The car is fully stock; no funky light mods. I took a 12-gauge wire and spliced it into the brown ground wires on each side. My tail light assembly does not have the tab shown in the major DIY on the subject, so I tapped a small screw into the ground strips in the assemblies and ran the beefier ground there.

It did not work. I have lost one of the covers to a license plate light, and now in a Maine winter it looks gnarly, green and corroded. Do I need to replace this light fixture? I also have not checked bulbs for the side marker, or, for that matter, throughout the tail light housing, as these latter all seem to work.

Any ideas?

Last edited by TotheMountains!; 02-19-2013 at 07:04 AM.
TotheMountains! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 12:57 AM   #302
Don B
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 943
My Ride: 325i (RHD)
Had the light bulb out error on the dash for a while, and the
turn signal ligh no longer works, the brake lights flash quick
when the turn signal is used.

Will this DIY did my issue?
__________________
Don B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 07:21 AM   #303
figjam911
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Armadale, Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 193
My Ride: 1999-323i
If any of your check lights are on for car rear in the dashboard...check the wiring inside the rubber corrugated loom that runs from the body under rear window into the trunk (boot) lid. I'll bet there is broken wires in there. I opened mine up and found about 4 broken wires after checking everything else. Jusy pel it back carefully and you'll see them. Rejoin and bingo your OK! You might get a surprise. I did a DIY on it with some photos a while back...but havn't got the time at present to find it for a link! Sorry guys (and girls)
Cheers, Colin
__________________
1999-323i Steel Grey, black leather, CD stacker, tinted windows, reversing radar, sunroof and Pirellis on M-Sport 17" alloys, 245 mm wide on rear and 225 mm wide on front.

Colin Boucher
figjam911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #304
TotheMountains!
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2001 330xi
Thanks Colin! I have seen your post on the subject and will seek it out. I am ready to fix the flickering bugger once and (hopefully) for all.
TotheMountains! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #305
matthewbmarsh
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2001 330XI
Quote:
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)


I had to post to say thank you for this. These instructions were simple and this solved my problem I've been trying to figure out for some time. I really appreciate the detail and the photos to help a novice DIYer like me.

One thing I did, since I have a 2001 without the grounding tab, is I modified the blade receptacle by prying one of the sides open with a small flat head. That way I was able to easily connect it to the grounded metal bar that you called out in another reply to this thread. It kept it clean and made it so I didn't need another wrapping of e-tape. Using some needle-nose pliers you can re-close the side you opened so it holds the bar tightly.

Again, I can't thank you enough for this solution.

matthewbmarsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2013, 08:43 PM   #306
Crazylobay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2005 325i
Red face Thank you!

I was afraid to see what the dealer would charge to fix this. Have had this problem on and off for MONTHS. Amazing quick fix. Thank you.
Crazylobay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #307
dizzygreg
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: northampton, pa
Posts: 2
My Ride: 323i
My 323i has the 6 wire harness. I tried grounding it, but still no brake/tail light
dizzygreg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #308
kbsport
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nashville
Posts: 10
My Ride: e46, e36, e30
dizzygreg, this thread is in regard to "Had the light bulb out error on the dash when bulbs are known good". Tail and Brake light failure sounds like voltage problem. Remove Lamp unit and validate continuity in all leads, both directions. Colin (04/24/13) notes a good place to look if voltage or ground not found. Anyone good with a multimeter and/or test lamp (preferred) can easily diagnose.
kbsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2014, 10:51 PM   #309
IceDon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NY
Posts: 3
My Ride: E46 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliopinto03 View Post
This was very quick and really worked. For some reason I didnt have that prong sticking out to add the secondary ground, however I just firmly tucked it underneath and it worked fine.

It also stopped my HID's from flickering.
Old thread but I did exactly what juliopinto did because I didn't have the prong sticking out either...so I stuck the wire under neat & taped it in place with the electric tape & no more light coming on the dash.... Nice Fix!!!
IceDon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014, 03:22 PM   #310
tmurthy
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2002 330i
This was absolutely fantastic!

Quote:
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)



Thank you! This was absolutely fantastic! Took me 5 minutes and fixed the problem. I went ahead and did the other tail light just in case.
tmurthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2014, 11:48 PM   #311
ryanmyo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: melbourne
Posts: 19
My Ride: 325i Imola M Sport
+1 for this fix!

Amazingly simple with the most basic of tools.

The dash light annoyed me for months, bought new rear tailight bulb housing from pelican and it almost burnt through the fresh prong in 12 months

Love this forum
ryanmyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2014, 03:53 AM   #312
Patatsky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2005 BMW 318i, white
Hi all,

This is my first post on the forum. I've had my car for three years now (secondhand white 2005 318i, my first BMW, first car I bought myself) and in that time I've browsed these forums quite a lot.
This illustrated tutorial by SSM1991 is so good, I decided to join just to say so. Thank you, SSM1991, you made my weekend.

The dashboard has been telling me that the rear right taillight is out for the past month or so. Because the warning was intermittent, I was apprehensive about taking the car to the dealer. I was afraid that they'll suggest replacing all the expensive bits of the electronics.
So I googled a bit and found this thread. Went to the hardware store on my way home on Friday, got the wire and connectors and set to work. The whole thing took me about 40 minutes (and I worked slow, double-checking everything at every step).
...and SUCCESS! It works perfectly.

So thank you very much.
Patatsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use