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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?
 

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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
 

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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.

:clap:
 

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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.
 

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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!!!
 

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This was absolutely fantastic!

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.
 

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+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
 

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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.
 

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Great info on this forum. Really helpful to a new 2001 330i owner. As pointed out by an earlier poster, in my case the two rear red dash tail lights were due to burned out license plate lights. Check these first!
 

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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.
:clap:
I also have a 2001 without the grounding tab. I did a DIY for it, but used a rivet.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1053348&highlight=
 

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Great guide! Thank you!

My local dealer wanted AU$36 for all the parts to do it the TSB way - cost me AU$14 to follow the guide, which includes $10 to replace my missing crimping tool! The connector on one side is melted and will need to be replaced eventually, but for now it's not too bad. I've wrapped some electrical tape around the ground pin and reseated it for the time being. My lights are behaving again :excited: :bow:
 

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Xenon Issues

Hi guys, I have a bit of a unique situation. I've done a month of forum searching and can't find a situation similar to mine.

So last summer my left headlight was flickering. I bought khoalty bulbs and the problem went away for a month. When it came back I switched the igniters and saw the igniter was melting like there was a short. So I ordered a new one and the problem was fixed until about May. I got a tail light indicator on my dash in August that just turned out to be a bulb that burned out. So I was convinced it was the ballast. I ordered a kit from BavToys but they told me I'd lose my high beam function with one of their kits. I looked at the replaced igniter the other day and noticed a little bit of melting but nothing near the catastrophic failure of the old one.

So now I'm stuck. I'm gonna switch the ballasts today to see what happens, but does anyone have a clue as to what is wrong? Should I order another OEM ballast? Should I get new headlights altogether?? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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No Tab

So my brown wire melted its section on the connecter and the previous owner just wrapped it around the metal, so seeing this thread I tried to do that fix to that tab only thing is my car, 2000 323ci, doesn't seem to have that tab on it to connect a wire to. :hmm: is this setup only on certain years?
 

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So my brown wire melted its section on the connecter and the previous owner just wrapped it around the metal, so seeing this thread I tried to do that fix to that tab only thing is my car, 2000 323ci, doesn't seem to have that tab on it to connect a wire to. :hmm: is this setup only on certain years?
Check the link to the thread in post #314. I ran into the same thing and documented it. Our prefacelift's are a bit different back there.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 
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