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Discussion Starter #1
My left tail light isreally dim. All the lights. Both brakes bulbs and the turn signal. And they seem to have a mind of their own. Sometimes the wont work and sometimes they will. Any idea? I doubt its all 3 bulbs at once. And if it was a fuse it would either work or it wouldn't.

Any help is appreciated.

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Not sure what it could be but check your wiring?
 

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Sounds like a bad contact. I had this happen.

Open your trunk and remove the connector.. you will probably find it oxidized, damaged, loose, or melted.
 

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I have the same thing. It is the wiring harness that holds all the bulbs. If you look carefully at it, one of the contacts in the harness is corroded from heat or something. Ive been told it works fine when im on the brake but when im not its dim.
 

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You need to splice into the brown ground wire on the harness and ground it to the metal tab on the mount for the lights. I you look at the front of the connector you will probably see one of the connections starting to melt - that's the one you want to splice to. There's a good thread about this somewhere on the forums. I'll post a link if I can find it.

I had the same problem and it also resulted in light out warnings on the dash. After grounding them they are brighter and no more light out warnings.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like a complete pain in the ass... if I change to led tails, which I've been looking into ordering, that should fix it right? Or possibly even just buying a new tail light assembly?

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Sounds like a complete pain in the ass... if I change to led tails, which I've been looking into ordering, that should fix it right? Or possibly even just buying a new tail light assembly?
Changing to LED tails won't make you immune from the tail ground issue. Even though the TSB was for saloon models of '02 and greater, my 01 coupe succumbed to the tail grounding issue even with Eagle Eyes LEDs. :( I had the issue intermittently before going from standard tails to the LEDs. When I did, I thought that problem was solved but little did I know the problem was to rear it's ugly head after 7 months. :thumbdwn: I pulled out my plug on the light housing to find that ground prong showing early signs of arcing, even though back before I made the switch the connectors looked fine. :eeps:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
alright so basically i need to take all the bulbs out and look at which connector is starting to melt or whatever. then most likely buy a new connector and reground it to the connector?
 

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alright so basically i need to take all the bulbs out and look at which connector is starting to melt or whatever. then most likely buy a new connector and reground it to the connector?
TSB for tail light fix:
http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B630306g.htm

TSB walk-through by Nathan Carter
http://bmw.tech.officelive.com/TaillightTSBFixFor20022005.aspx

Pics of my discovery even with EE LED tails:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpost.php?p=12341768&postcount=176

ssm1991's detailed pics of fix--this is the one you should be following unless you want to buy parts from the stealership for the TSB.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpost.php?p=6738459&postcount=5
 

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I am having the same issue in my 03 325i! Thanks for posting this, I was going to tonight, ha.
 

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Wow my dim left tail light might be caused by this!? definitely fixing this. i thought maybe my bulbs were just old! All the bulbs on the drivers side tail light are dimmer than the passenger side!!! but what happens when you install EEs? They don't use that light panel...
 

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Wow my dim left tail light might be caused by this!? definitely fixing this. i thought maybe my bulbs were just old! All the bulbs on the drivers side tail light are dimmer than the passenger side!!! but what happens when you install EEs? They don't use that light panel...
The problem isn't the panel, it's the light-guage ground wire that BMW used. All this DIY does is provide lower resistance for the ground.
 

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Here is something to consider. I just helped my friend with this problem. The brown wire was oxidized and had melted the plastic on the plastic connector on the plug side. We did the diy on adding the extra ground and replaced the plastic plug connector. The lights would now work but were dimmer than the other side. The moral of the story is even though you fix the ground the circuit that all of the bulbs plug into might also be damaged.
 

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I just checked mine out. Sure enough, driver's side ground wire has melted the plastic surround in the female plug and when moved/touched, the ground wire pin is shorting to the adjacent pin and causine electrical shorting noises and dimming of the passenger side interior trunk light. I definitely need to fix this now. I turned the wire around so its not grounding to the adjacent pin and the drivers tail light is now full bright again but now the passenger one seems slightly dimmer. WEIRD. Passenger side plug looks fine--nothing corroded or melted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I removed the back of my tail light and the actual connector itself is melted as well as the terminal pin on the tail light housing side.

Ill attach pictures.



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