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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 03-30-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
Cavesprings
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Rear Tail Light Out Indicator Fault! Help

I'm getting a check brake and tail lamps indicator on the check control display on my dash. It's indicating I have a right rear lamp out but in fact I do not. When I turn my lights on it goes away after a few minutes but comes back when I shut the car off and restart.
I've replaced bulbs and that didin't help.
The dealer says it's a faulty connector in the lamp assembly causing this.
Is there anything I can do short of replacing the entire tail light assembly.
Thanks
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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check the plugs and look for burning or overheating/warping. the connector is easy to fix and a lead wire is $6.

5 min DIY. just make sure you use heat shrink and tap the wire correctly with the new lead.

oh, OEM or after market lights, and LED or incandescent?
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Question for you:
Are boobs and hands polarly charged, thus causing the inevitable joining of the two? If so are some breasts simply charged backwards?

On a scale from 0 to 24...wait, 3 to 24, where 6 is the lowest and 12 is the highest, how freaking high re you right now?

She's got you high, and you don't even know yet.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
Cavesprings
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OEM, incandescent lights
Any info on where to purchase lead wires?
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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i got mine from Ruben at Desert Motor Werks... but i dunno if he's still selling. Ruben is awesome, but i think tischer can get them too.. dunno the part number.
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Question for you:
Are boobs and hands polarly charged, thus causing the inevitable joining of the two? If so are some breasts simply charged backwards?

On a scale from 0 to 24...wait, 3 to 24, where 6 is the lowest and 12 is the highest, how freaking high re you right now?

She's got you high, and you don't even know yet.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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...also, at some point, if you keep getting lights out in the rear, check the boot that runs from body to trunk lid...wires get fatigued there from all the cycles of opening/closing. I've been in 4 times or so for various lights.

I'd had a taillight out and did pull power from my other side, but that only lasted a year or so...then the others started going.

BTW, if the light isn't out, but the indicator is still on, you might check some other lights that'd give you the same signal (as a rear light)--namely, license plate lights, reverse lights, and whatever the lights in the lid itself are called...probably just rear running lights.

HTH

Doug
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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had the same exact problem a week ago. just brought it into the dealer and had it fixed under warranty along some other small things.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:12 AM   #7
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I am experiencing somewhat the same problem, except am getting both left and right tail light indicators reporting faulty bulbs and they are also staying on the entire time the car is on. I have checked and no bulbs seem to be faulty---however I do notice 1 or 2 small LED's on the high mount brake light that don't seem to be functioning. Could that be what is causing the problem? By the way my ride is a 1999 323i-thanks
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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Not saying to search to be an a** but if you do a quick search you'll find some pretty good diy's to fix it. I had the same issue and it was just a faulty ground. The diy's for the fix are a great start for zero $$$$!!
Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebudd73 View Post
I am experiencing somewhat the same problem, except am getting both left and right tail light indicators reporting faulty bulbs and they are also staying on the entire time the car is on. I have checked and no bulbs seem to be faulty---however I do notice 1 or 2 small LED's on the high mount brake light that don't seem to be functioning. Could that be what is causing the problem? By the way my ride is a 1999 323i-thanks
License plate lights and reversing lights are also indicated by those lights...could be that wire loom for you...and bet it's a brown ground wire, but check them all if you go that route. I believe the 'extra ground' fix is a way that bmw doesn't have to take the time to remove hose, find weak wires, solder them. Removing a cover and adding a ground elsewhere seems much easier. Replacing that loom is expensive...I want to say a $300 + harness, and I'm sure it's a couple of hours at least. I'm down to maybe 1 hour per trip to that bundle of wires...not so bad.

Oh, and trunk latch is also wired through that loom...so don't forget to study details, pull apart EACH wire while you're there and shrink tube every one. You tube for soldering instructions!
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cavesprings View Post
I'm getting a check brake and tail lamps indicator on the check control display on my dash. It's indicating I have a right rear lamp out but in fact I do not. When I turn my lights on it goes away after a few minutes but comes back when I shut the car off and restart.
I've replaced bulbs and that didin't help.
The dealer says it's a faulty connector in the lamp assembly causing this.
Is there anything I can do short of replacing the entire tail light assembly.
Thanks
Unplug the offending lamp assembly and look inside the connector for burnt pins.

ON THE VEHICLE SIDE
Look _behind_ the connector where the wires go into it and identify the position of the BRN wire. Look inside the pin-side of the connector to see if the pin of the BRN wire is burned.

ON THE LAMP HOUSING SIDE
Look inside the pin-side of the connector to see if the mate to the pin of the BRN wire is burned, then look on the lamp assembly side of the connector to see if the trace is burned.

If you are any good at splicing wires, you can wire around the burned portion of the connector. If you are not any good at splicing wires, then you will need somebody that is. This is a common issue, and is easily repaired.

BRN = Brown, and is the ground wire for the entire car -- in this instance it is the ground for the lamp housing, but all ground wires on yoru car are BRN. You need to identify the ground path on the back of the lamp housing and connect a wire that you can bring past the burnt contact and splice back into the BRN wire on the vehicle harness. Alternatively -- and perhaps a better option -- is to bring the new ground made from a heavier guage wire out to a metal post and attach a new ground point so the BRN wire is not overloaded again.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:55 AM   #11
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Here's a DIY fix, haven't tried it yet since I only have the same problem which occurs randomly

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...469&highlight=
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
Unplug the offending lamp assembly and look inside the connector for burnt pins.

ON THE VEHICLE SIDE
Look _behind_ the connector where the wires go into it and identify the position of the BRN wire. Look inside the pin-side of the connector to see if the pin of the BRN wire is burned.

ON THE LAMP HOUSING SIDE
Look inside the pin-side of the connector to see if the mate to the pin of the BRN wire is burned, then look on the lamp assembly side of the connector to see if the trace is burned.

If you are any good at splicing wires, you can wire around the burned portion of the connector. If you are not any good at splicing wires, then you will need somebody that is. This is a common issue, and is easily repaired.

BRN = Brown, and is the ground wire for the entire car -- in this instance it is the ground for the lamp housing, but all ground wires on yoru car are BRN. You need to identify the ground path on the back of the lamp housing and connect a wire that you can bring past the burnt contact and splice back into the BRN wire on the vehicle harness. Alternatively -- and perhaps a better option -- is to bring the new ground made from a heavier guage wire out to a metal post and attach a new ground point so the BRN wire is not overloaded again.
ANOTHER SYMPTOM OF A BURNED GROUND WIRE
If you have a Fast Flash of the turn signals on one side, check for the burned wire as I described earlier.

My kid's car would fast-flash the Right Side Turn Signal for three or four blinks, then flash normally. If she used the blinkers again soon, then the flash owuld be normal, but if the blinkers were not called into operation for an extended period, then they would flash fast again for a few blinks then go to normal speed. I did not discover the burned ground until the rear tail light stopped working entirely. She put in new bulbs, swapped bulbs that worked on the other side of the car and they didn't work either. The pin of the BRN wire was burned. I touched it with a screwdriver, and it fell off. I took that as a clue...
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ccagle View Post
Not saying to search to be an a** but if you do a quick search you'll find some pretty good diy's to fix it. I had the same issue and it was just a faulty ground. The diy's for the fix are a great start for zero $$$$!!
Good luck!
since I am new to this site can you suggest where i should start my search or what particular search criteria i should use to get some of those diy's? your help and time is appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:49 PM   #14
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No problem. Use the search function here and search your topic heading it should return a few options. Also, search "BMW e46 rear tail light ground issue" here and in google. You'll find plenty of great info.

Good luck and welcome! Most here will help all we can. Let us know if you have any issues one you start to trouble shoot it!
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:11 PM   #15
ebudd73
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kudos for the useful info!
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:52 PM   #16
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Hi there i have a 01 330i, i have recently been having a problem with my signals not responding. when i put the left or right signal on, they work but the indicator on the dash will not flash the green arrow. usually about 15 second it will flash green, when the signal is cancelled the green flasher keeps going for a while. very irritating anybody have an idea what this may be?

Also at the same time my steering wheel audio does not work and while driving the volume of the care will go up and down on its own. help please
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:10 AM   #17
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hi jdstrickland, just wanted to thank you,ive trouble shot a similar problem on my car too. Its a 323i 2000. The right rear tail light was always on, on the dash that is. As though a lamp appeared to burnt out, but i always checked the lamps and they were all ok. They all worked fine. so after reading your post, i started looking a little closer. I looked at the brown ground wire after taking the light assy off, and checked the resistances of the light assy connections and found that the ground connection pin was way too high. So what i did was, i gently removed the plastic melted fasteners on the light assy connection and found the corrosion on ground pin. I cleaned the corroded connection plus all the others as well. I put the light assy back together and reconnected it to the harness. Well, that fixed the bothersome issue of the indicator lights burnt out on the instrument panel, so thanks again.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #18
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Guys--sorry that it took me 15 minutes to put the new ground wire bypass off of the brown (ground) wire. I am slow. I was so sure that it would work that I put all my tools back on the bench and then turned on the ignition.. But there it was, the red warning light still lite up for the rear lights. Tomorrow I am just going to buy all new bulbs for each side--hope that does it. (PS--had no signs of the plastic burnt marks on the plug)
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #19
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QUESTION
Does anyone know if the rear light bulbs sold by the dealer are better than the aftermarket ones sold in the local auto store. My concern is what might trigger a false Warning Light...........
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:37 PM   #20
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Hi Jay, bmw has engineered the rear light assy on the 323i e46 2000, in such a way that it maybe hard for you to see the fault area, simply because the area that was fauly on mine was hidden under the connector part of the assy. so if you don't open up the assy. you will never be able to see it.the only reason i fould the fault. is because i used an ohm meter on the light assy connection before i open the assy,and found real high resistance on one of the connections, of course its challenging to take the connector off the assy, cause its got plastic melted in fasteners. and on the question about the bmw bulbs vs aftermarket bulbs, i really cant ans that question, but i did hear from a bmw technician that regualated the bmw bulds are made to a specific resistance, and that the computer can sence differences in buld resistances, therefore giving out erroneous readings. but i personally dont by it at all,. Why? because i think all bulb manufacturers are regulated to comform to stringent specification. but thats just me
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