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thank you so much for posting this up!
 

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Thank you!

My driver side connector literally melted the plastic that keeps the ground and power wires separate - and had to rig up something quick for a long drive so just used an alligator clip to clip to the tab and ground.

I will take this SB to the dealer as now my passenger side is having the EXACT same issue and I can see the housing starting to melt along with an annoying intermittent bulb out warning.
 

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anyone ground it to the outter most lug nut of the taillight and still getting the light bulb out light? It's no longer burning but the light is still out.
 

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No, the problem is the size of the connector pins, not just corrosion. BMW should have used 2 or 3 pins in parallel for the ground connection considering the number and wattage of the bulbs.
 

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Reminder:

Many of us are pressing for a formal safety recall on the problem with the tail lights, brake lights and turn signals intermittently failing. Please send copies of your receipts (if the dealer gave you any) on this lighting problem to the address at the bottom. Use the phrase "Formal petition for a safety defect investigation" and that will help. Dealers are charging $500+ for the "official" repairs in the BMW Service Bulletin, EVEN IF you reported the problems while you were still under the warranty:

Safercar.gov
You can also report a vehicle safety issue to NHTSA online at our vehicle safety Web site: www.safercar.gov. Select ***8220;File a Complaint***8221; within the Defects and Recalls section of the home page. The information you submit via the Web site is recorded in VOQ format, entered into our consumer complaint database, and provided to our technical staff for evaluation.

When you fill out a VOQ online, you will be given the option of checking a box to authorize or not authorize the release of your personal identifiers to the manufacturer of the alleged defective product you own. Again, while you are not required to provide such authorization, doing so can sometimes help facilitate the recall process.

U.S. Mail
To report a safety complaint to NHTSA by mail, send your letter to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm

Service Bulletin copies:

www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B630306g.htm

These keep moving so you can also Google for "SI B 63 03 06 pdf" and one might turn up somewhere.
 

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A lot of guys have PM'd me to ask where to connect the ground wire if you don't have the tab (i.e. some pre-facelift models).

You can wrap 2-3 turns of the ground wire around the spot circled below, then wrap with electrical tape. Note that that point is part of the metal strip that goes to all bulbs.

 

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Just finished trying this and it fixed the false bulb indicator and the flickering of my xenons. Saved me time, money, and the hassle of dealing with the dealership. Thanks!!
 

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ssm1991

Thanks for the outstanding post! The dealer wanted to charge me $350 for a fix that cost me $7.93! The pics were a huge help. Again, THANK YOU!
 

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Oh, and I did go to the dealer when I still had factory warranty. They obviously did nothing about it. I can't believe they won't issue a recall on such a widespread problem that has such a cheap fix. I guess the wire they use is pretty friggin expensive!
 

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Reminder:

Many of us are pressing for a formal safety recall on the problem with the tail lights, brake lights and turn signals intermittently failing. Please send copies of your receipts (if the dealer gave you any) on this lighting problem to the address at the bottom. Use the phrase "Formal petition for a safety defect investigation" and that will help. Dealers are charging $500+ for the "official" repairs in the BMW Service Bulletin, EVEN IF you reported the problems while you were still under the warranty:

Safercar.gov
You can also report a vehicle safety issue to NHTSA online at our vehicle safety Web site: www.safercar.gov. Select "File a Complaint" within the Defects and Recalls section of the home page. The information you submit via the Web site is recorded in VOQ format, entered into our consumer complaint database, and provided to our technical staff for evaluation.

When you fill out a VOQ online, you will be given the option of checking a box to authorize or not authorize the release of your personal identifiers to the manufacturer of the alleged defective product you own. Again, while you are not required to provide such authorization, doing so can sometimes help facilitate the recall process.

U.S. Mail
To report a safety complaint to NHTSA by mail, send your letter to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm

Service Bulletin copies:

www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B630306g.htm

These keep moving so you can also Google for "SI B 63 03 06 pdf" and one might turn up somewhere.
I went ahead and files a formal complaint as well. This is definitely a design flaw that should be covered under a recall. I'm not sure we'll be successful but what the dealership charges to fix this out of warranty is criminal. Mine happened on both sides within a few months of each other.
 

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SSM1991 thanks for the post and pics, I searched everywhere to find a solution to this problem! Did the fix and no false indications! I used a plastic wire splice connector so I didn't have to strip the brown wire or use tape.
 

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My tail lights didn't have the tab on them that the newer versions do and I also have the 6-pin connector and not the 8. Anyway, on the picture that ssm1991 shows, you won't be able to wrap wire around in the circled area because there is plastic underneath the metal strip there. I chose to drill a hole elsewhere to secure the new ground and I can post up some pics and a better explanation later after I get my pics downloaded. For now though, many thanks to everyone who participated in this thread. This is such an easy fix to some extremely annoying problems that almost all of our cars have!

A lot of guys have PM'd me to ask where to connect the ground wire if you don't have the tab (i.e. some pre-facelift models).

You can wrap 2-3 turns of the ground wire around the spot circled below, then wrap with electrical tape. Note that that point is part of the metal strip that goes to all bulbs.

 

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Dre325 thanks for looking into this. I have the same problem and it actually causes my front head lights to blink too. Let me know how it works out and where you drilled the hole.
 

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guys...this post is the shiznit!! THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS! You literally just saved me a TON of time and a TON of hassle in figuring this freaking thing out. I should also say - mine had a burnt connector in the harness AND the taillight assembly. I just cut the brown wire and ran it to the tab, like shown here, and now my lights work again! I literally just cut out the unnecessary connector in the pigtail and ran the brown ground straight to the tab - lights work and no dash problem!! YOU ROCK!!
 

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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



Here it is in 2009 and I using this post as a bible to fix the driver's side tail lights in my 2004 325i. :thanks: But, for me, the brown wire had already burned out and I am replacing it, the receptacle, and bulb carrier Your pictures are great and easy to follow. Super work and thanks.
 

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What a great DIY, Mine tailight warning comes on when i start the car and then it goes away - both tail lights still work. Going to try this later! BTW does #18 wire mean 18AWG?

thanks
 

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Instead of shaving the insulation off of the brown wire to make the splice for the ground wire, I used a 'tap splice'. This is a neat little gadget for splicing to a conductor.

My ground wire (brown wire) on the driver's side had burned in the bulb carrier and the connector so i had to replace the bulb carrier and the connector, Everything was easy except getting the good wires out of the connector, I ended up just smashing the bad connector to get the good wires out, and bought a new connector.

In total, all of the parts for this cost me about $50-60. I bought the bulb carrier on-line for about $45 including shipping.

I will probably add the extra ground to the passenger side tail lights before it goes bad and I have to do this again.:)

By the way, is there an easy way to get the wires out of the connector without smashing it.
 
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