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Old 02-24-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
boutle
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: lancashire, uk
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46,2000 320Ci conv.
Exclamation Number plate lights/Trunk locking switch

Hi all,

I have a 2000, 320Ci convertible E46. A problem has developed since friday which I only discovered today (as the car wasn't used saturday) in so much as the problem indicator displays a fault with both sides rear lights. After investigation, all lights were found to be working perfectly EXCEPT the number plate bulbs. These were then inspected, found to be suspect and therefore changed for brand new ones. However the problem-lights were still illumated. I then discovered that the manual trunk release button (inbetween the 2 number plate lights) wasn't working!

I have checked all the fuses and all seem intact.

I undid the trunk lid trim to have a look and found a thin grey wire plugged into the actual lock array but loose at the other end unconnected to anything, kind of hanging free on the left side and a brown wire with spade end hanging loose too on the right hand side. None of these wires looked like they had actually come loose from anything and just in case it WAS a grounding thing, I held them against the car but nothing happened.

Anyway, this has only just occured with nothing like this ever happening before and as I've never had the trim off before I have no idea if the wire thing was like that when everything was working ok with no tell tale warning light.

Anyone any idea? Cheers.

Dvd
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
boutle
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: lancashire, uk
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46,2000 320Ci conv.
By the way, I forgot to mention that he bulbs despite being new, AND the manual trunk release button are still not working and the problem-lights are still illuminated in the dash.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
boutle
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: lancashire, uk
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46,2000 320Ci conv.
Through further investigation, I HAVE FOUND the answer! If anyone is interested, message me.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
duberia
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: England
Posts: 2
My Ride: e46 1999
hi boutle,

i have a similar problem but with the plate lights, though the bulbs are ok i still got warning light on the dash. i have e46 1999 saloon. cant figure what it could be , any ideas?

thanks.
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:54 PM   #5
boutle
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: lancashire, uk
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46,2000 320Ci conv.
Hi, after checking ALL the wiring to the bulbs and micro switch, I eventually found a broken live wire (brown sheath) in the loom that passes from the boot/trunk to the car body. There's a flexible rubber sheath through which all the wires that are bundelled together pass through. It was in here that I found the broken wire so I simply soldered the 2 ends back together, wrapped some pvc tape around them and hey presto, everthing's working again perfectly and the dash lights have gone out!

Have a look at your wiring in this area as it's not immediately apparent due to it being hidden. Hope this helps

Dvd
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:39 AM   #6
r0binx
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: London
Posts: 1
My Ride: BMW 318 SE
Smile number plate lights/ boot release not working

I recently had this exact problem. Driving around a corner and both tail light show up on the dash as being blown.
Further investigation showed only the number plate lights not working and the boot release button not working.

Thanks to this forum I found the broken brown wire in the rubber sheath going from the main body of the car to the boot (tailgate). Soldered it back together and presto error light disappeared, boot release working and numberplate lights working.

Only one thing to add, and that is I had to cut the rubber sheath to find the broken wire as the break was closer to the body of the car.

Thanks all, saved me a few quid
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:19 PM   #7
boutle
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: lancashire, uk
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46,2000 320Ci conv.
Also, in addition, I found that the electrical connection to the actuator locking mechanism was a bit dodgy, in so much that the plug wobbled on the pins which caused an intermittent signal. Basically I put the plug in the socket and kind of pushed it up against the pins at a slight angle and used insulation tape to make sure the plug stayed in place. So far so good
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