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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-11-2006, 02:10 PM   #1
az-03-325xi
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Fixed: Melted tail light harness

This is probably only an issue for the 4 bulb R/C/R tail lights. I discovered that my tail light out indicators where not because of any bulb issues but the 8 wire harness that plugs into the tail light assembly was melted. There is a common ground for the 4 bulbs that melted its surrounding area. This caused the ground wire to short with a neighboring wire at will and be a pain in the ass for me.

The dealership was little help finding the harness part number because thiey system said my VIN needed part #61138369702 which was a 6 wire harness. I played around with realoem.com and found a part listed as "8 POL" under the euro model of my car, part #12527505271. The dealer ordered it and thankfully that was the part, ~$3 each.

After alll this I didn't sove the problem just fixed some symptoms and will most likely be dealing with this in a few years after the new harnesses have melted. Maybe that will be the time to switch to LEDs.


Pic one shows both left and right harnesses, there is only heat damamge in one slot, #2 on the left #3 on the right, the rest of the damamge is from me. I had to break the harness apart to get the wires out.



Pic two is the new harness all put together



Pic three is the last aspect of the damamge, the male connector in the tail light has melted as well. I'm lucky in that there is still enough metal left to make contact but I do not see this progressing well over time.

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Old 11-12-2006, 11:26 PM   #2
MIKEAW225
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This connector along with the Entire Harness in my 325I went bad. T
he Dealership Replaced the Entire Rear wiring harness due to the fact the car kept saying a bulb was burnt out. When in fact it was working fine. The problem ended up being the connectors where it makes contact with the Bulbs.
I lived in Las Vegas at this time so Moisture was not an issue. The bulbs contacts kept corroding and causing a High resistance and therefore tripping the Comp into thinking it was bad. I took the box out, Tinned with solder the contact area's where the bulbs make contact and then used electrical grease on them. 2 years later still never an issue. the dealer in LV ended up doing this to a few other cars also. Just an Easy few min fix for a HUGE Headache.
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:43 AM   #3
BJD1r
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How did you find it easiest to bust the harness apart?
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:24 PM   #4
///Mechanic
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This is a widely common issue. All you need to replace will be the actual plastic connector, the ground pin contact with wire, and on the same new ground pin contact.........splice in an additional ground wire. Run the new ground wire to either the gang ground on either side (as per BMW), or the outer most taillight housing bolt (10mm nut directly on chassis). The taillight/chassis ground is a solid ground and easier to run.
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:20 AM   #5
tvieira24
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I recently had to replace my drivers side harness for the same issue. My right tail light indicator also imply's that it's out when ina ctuality it isn't. Good to know it's not just me.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:57 PM   #6
eddiet
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I wonder how much this is going to cost me tomorrow....
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:09 PM   #7
gttriley
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You can do what I did and simply splice a connector to the ground (brown) wire and connect it to one of the metal tabs on the lighting housing. Just take a little scotch brite or steel wool to the tab to ensure a good connection.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:17 PM   #8
SEDUCTIV
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does anyone know what each wire in the harness is for?

i'm trying tap into the interior trunk lights...

any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:02 AM   #9
Flycaster
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I've got the intermitent, but some times steady, and some times OK, right rear light icon problem. This has been going on for about a year, or so. Right now there is no warning, as it has been for about a month. All rear lights work as they should, and the connections are not corroded. The stealership couldn't find anything wrong. Maybe there is a loosening break somewheres up the harness???
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
tbehling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gttriley View Post
You can do what I did and simply splice a connector to the ground (brown) wire and connect it to one of the metal tabs on the lighting housing. Just take a little scotch brite or steel wool to the tab to ensure a good connection.

[IMG][/IMG]
i have a 2001 325ci, i dont have a tab to hook a connector onto. where else can i ground out the brown wire?
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:09 PM   #11
Flycaster
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BTW, I forgot about this thread, but on another forum I saw the fix and did it quite a while back. Worked like a charm. Interestingly, my very good indy mechanic and BMW service never solved the problem...
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:48 PM   #12
tbehling
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coupe version? anyone?
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:01 PM   #13
az-03-325xi
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Originally Posted by tbehling View Post
coupe version? anyone?
I'm guess you are talking about the 6 wire harness: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=425784
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:03 AM   #14
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I'm having a similar problem to this, except it says BOTH of my tail lights are out. And they BOTH just started today in the morning at the same frickin' time. Everything works fine, I think... I haven't been able to check the brake lights, 'cause I'm currently the only one home. But, the other lights still work fine. I went out there and checked the wires and nothing's melted. Someone above said it was their connector where it makes contact... I took out all the bulbs and checked the metal underneath them, nothing looked corroded or out of the ordinary. Just out of curiosity, if my third brake light(the one at the top of the rear windshield) goes out, will that cause both light indicators to go off simultaneously? 'Cause like I said, I haven't actually been able to check my brake lights... I tried pressing the pedal and then running back there real quick, but... I'm too fat and slow.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:05 AM   #15
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Oh wait... connector. I'm a goon. Hmm... wow. Blonde moment. But still, BOTH connectors wouldn't go bad at the same time, would they? Or is my luck just that bad?
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TheFarkness View Post
Oh wait... connector. I'm a goon. Hmm... wow. Blonde moment. But still, BOTH connectors wouldn't go bad at the same time, would they? Or is my luck just that bad?
May not be the connectors. As it is a very simple DIY to reduce the resistance of the ground wire, why don't you just splice in another additonal wire to the existing grounds and see if the fixes things?
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:30 AM   #17
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The brake lights did work, everything worked fine. And the indicators were still on... but after a while, the lights turned. Right now, the indicators are off and says everything is fine. -shrugs- I guess if they come on again, I'll try splicing another wire into the ground. Hopefully you wont hear from me again about this problem. -Crosses fingers, knocks on wood, and sacrifices a chicken-
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TheFarkness View Post
The brake lights did work, everything worked fine. And the indicators were still on... but after a while, the lights turned. Right now, the indicators are off and says everything is fine. -shrugs- I guess if they come on again, I'll try splicing another wire into the ground. Hopefully you wont hear from me again about this problem. -Crosses fingers, knocks on wood, and sacrifices a chicken-
Rest assured, you'll be letting us know that the idiot light has gone on again, gone off again, and all your lights are working fine. I had this problem for probably a year-intermittent idiot light while all my lights were working perfectly fine. Things would be fine for a week, a month, and then all of a sudden the idiot light would be on for a week or so and then go out...you'll see.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:30 AM   #19
TheFarkness
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Rest assured, you'll be letting us know that the idiot light has gone on again, gone off again, and all your lights are working fine. I had this problem for probably a year-intermittent idiot light while all my lights were working perfectly fine. Things would be fine for a week, a month, and then all of a sudden the idiot light would be on for a week or so and then go out...you'll see.
Well, I meant if the lights come on again I'll do what you told me, hopefully that'll fix it. If not... I'll wait 'til I have to put in some LEDs before I really start tinkering with the connectors and all that stuff. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:16 PM   #20
troyec001
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I read in another post that the part number for the 8 pin has changed from #12527505271. Does anyone know if that's true?

Also, does anyone have a pic of the actual fix of regrounding the wire?
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