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I did this fix for my 2004 330i ZHP about three years ago, and all was good. I started getting a "taillight out" light on one side and intermittent errors on the other one. Just opened up the left side and found that the spade connector at the tab was corroded, along with a discolored part of the board. The ground wire insulation was partially melted as well. Seems like a short. I replaced the bulb carrier and spade connector on that side, and it's working again.. Other side doesn't appear to be having the problem.. any ideas on what could cause the overheating? Seems like a real defect in the system
 

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Yeah, it’s a well known problem. There’s a recall on it. I took my 2002 325i to the dealer last year and they fixed it at zero cost. Did it at the same time as the airbags.


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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)
Is it possible to cut the brown wire between the connector and the node you have created? This way the connector would be bypassed. Or if done this way, would the "system" recognize somehow it's bypassed and show error?
 

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Is it possible to cut the brown wire between the connector and the node you have created? This way the connector would be bypassed. Or if done this way, would the "system" recognize somehow it's bypassed and show error?
I don't believe you want to do that. If it's not returning back anything because it's been bypassed, I believe that causes the cluster light to trip and turn on.
 

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So I have a good one, i Have a 04 ZHP sedan, and my outer tail light parking light bulbs won’t light up, my inner trunk lights come on instead due to the car thinking the bulb is out in the outers. everything else works my brake light, blinkers, and reverse light, front lights all work. I have no errors on the dash board, no blown fuses, new bulbs, no burn marks. Ground fix has been there. I noticed this one day randomly while walking to the garage while the car was on.

any insight?
 

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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 have the same problem on my E90 but is this solution possible for my car as well? Its a 2009 model. But the configuration looks different (See attached photo). Where would I fit/connect the blade receptacle?
917677
 

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r4hu7, could you post a pic of that assembly still installed in the body please?

I am a '05 e46 330ci and the only bulbs I can get at in the trunk are the ones that light up the trunk. I'm finding zero on the web for what I'm seeing in my trunk.

Thanks
 

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03 330i, performance package, brembos
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After reading through this thread you’d think that the damn electrical system in these cars was manufactured by Lucas.
 

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Glad this thread is still around. pin 3 on the housing was completely melted off on the 325i I bought. I replaced the housing but was still getting the annoying little light on the dash. This fixed it for me. Even more annoying though, the PO had this fixed by BMW and they plugged the connector on the passenger side into the NOT HERE connector on the body. Thanks for the photos on page 1 to fix. The light is gone now!
 

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works for F30 as well!



I know this thread is super old, but just wanted to make an account and report back that after extensive searching, the above solution solved my problem for my 2013 F30 328i BMW!!!

Surprisingly, I did not find many other F30 owners with this dreaded rapid turn blinker problem nor a solution but somehow stumbled on this thread! So odd that even the newer models are having this issue. Mine was having erosion where the harness meets the housing unit, there was near complete erosion on the ground male prong that was on the housing unit. The connection was intermittent, causing both a brake light and turn signal malfunction warning on the dash.

My fix was basically the same as the one originally outlined, but I used an existing white-capped port on the housing to feed the ground wire, pulled up the eroded (but cut and cleaned off) ground metal from the housing connector and attached the ground to that.

See attachments. I hope this helps any other F30 ppl searching around for an answer via google haha.





Good as new! THANKS! 🙇
Where did you attach the ground to?
TIA
 

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2001 330i (5-speed)
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Is there a video of someone doing this repair?
I have no idea how to correctly splice wires, etc.
 

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2001 330i (5-speed)
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My xenon headlights are intermittent.
Noticed my driver's tail light is flickering and weak.
However, I can not detach the wire clip from the tail light bulb panel to clean the contacts.
What is my next step?

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Bumper
 

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2001 330i (5-speed)
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I have no idea how this repair kit works.
Is there a video? Literally nothing in this link makes sense
 

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2001 330i (5-speed)
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Just splice into the brown wire and run a parallel connection to the ground plane tab."

What the heck is the "ground plane tab"?
 

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Alternatively, I can just leave the stupid plug alone and try to splice the brown wire.
But, where do you attach the 2nd spliced wire ? What does it connect to?
I think all the photos are gone from 2010
 

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2001 330i (5-speed)
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OP has a different style bulb tray than I have.
That circled tab does not exist on my bulb tray.
He has 8 pin and I have 6 pin.
What should I do ?
 
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