2004 E46 325i Rear Tail Light Bulb Warning - Fault?

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  1. 2004 E46 325i Rear Tail Light Bulb Warning - Fault? 
    #1
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    I am getting bulb warning lights on my E46 325i Sedan (Facelift)

    The problem started about a year ago (its the common grounding issue) The problem went away itself but has now just come back and my entire left side tail light is not working.

    I've pinched a couple of pictures from an earlier thread to show my issue, its identical, and also my brown wire has lost about 3 inches of its plastic cover and is exposed wire.





    Q1) If I jiggle the wires about, I get a sort of spark coming off them (ignition is off). Is this dangerous? I read you do not need to disconnect the battery to do the fix.

    Q2) I know the proper fix would be to replace both bulb carriers and a beefier ground wire etc.. but as a temporary fix to get my lights working, can I just splice into the existing brown wire and connect to the tab as shown below?

    Or should I completely remove the brown wire from the black plug and connect this directly to the ground tab.



    Appreciate the help.
     
     

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    IMO and only as a temporary measure splice additional wire to tab and remove exposed brown wire, sounds like its shorted and melted the insulation

    I did a "How To" on this fix http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...or-fix-t49882/



    Full BMW repair kit instructions here in Ronnie's post..........
     
     

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    Thank you SlowTech.

    Just to clarify, do I still need to have the original brown wire connected within the black plug, or will it suffice for the moment to remove it completely and cut the end off it.

    Also could you clarify exactly what I need to buy for this temp fix. What type of cable, what size, what type of plug at the end of it? Also where?

    I've never done any electrical work, or have any idea what is what. We have a spark at the office who will do it for me, if I can get him the parts. Will halfords do them?
     
     

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    Just to clarify I am not an electrician but if the existing brown wire has shorted out and melted its insulation then (imo) it makes more sense to cut away the damaged wire,
    right up to the black plug, then replace with that connection with wire connected to the tab on the bulb rail.

    Yes you can get the stuff to repair from halfords but tbh I'm sure the spark at work will have 3" of speaker wire and a female spade connector lying around (as I did).
    Just opt for thicker wire than the existing wiring uses although the BMW repair doc states 1.5mm.

    hth
     
     

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    OK, here are some actual pictures of my N/S Tail Light (Passenger Side) taken a few minutes ago.

    The first picture shows the extend of the damage to the brown wire.

    So again (due to my ignorance), I cut the brown wire OFF before it gets to the plug (ie: where it starts to burn) and I join a 3" speaker wire to the end of this with a female spade at the end of the 3" wire. So therefore there will be no brown wire going into the black plug and into the bulb carrier?

    This will be OK as a temp fix? So I will not need to splice into the brown wire. I can just connect the 3" wire to the end of it?






     
     

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    Yes cut the brown wire as near to the black plug as possible, cut away the exposed section of brown wire, strip back the insulation on the brown wire, connect the "new" wire to the stripped brown wire, insulate with electrical tape and finally connect the "new" wire to the bulb rail tab with female spade connector.

    simples
     
     

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    After a trip to Halfords this morning, I have the following

    i) 15Amp Female Semi Insulated Spade Connectors. They are 16-14 gauge as advised on another forum

    ii) 17 Amp Cable - Blue. There were loads of cable at Halfords, so just grabbed one that looked quite thick. It says Max 200 Watts and is suitable for lamps.

    iii) Insulation Tape (couldn't find any electrical tape - I assume its the same thing)

    I made my spare wire by stripping off about 10mm from each end, connecting up the spade connector (and securing with electrical tape). I haven't soldered or crimped on the spade with pliers. Its just squeezed into place.

    Am I on the right track? I'm going to join it to the brown wire, which I will cut when it stops raining, and secure that with insulation tape.



     
     

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    I have a very similar problem. I had a rear o/s failure light on dash, however all o/s lights appear to work ok. rear n/s brake light does not light and normal rear driving lights a little dull n/s.

    Looking into it, I found the exact same problem as mentioned above, burnt out pin 2 etc etc. I have done the repair, however, still no joy. However, if I take my fog light bulb (???) rear n/s out, my brake lights work perfectly. However, I have no rear n/s fog lamp and now have both failure lamps on the dash (rear o/s and rear n/s).

    Any ideas???
    Regards

    Ray
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by reez777 View Post
    Am I on the right track? I'm going to join it to the brown wire, which I will cut when it stops raining, and secure that with insulation tape.
    Yes mate, crimp the spade connector with your pliers & twist the two stripped wires together then insulate the join with the tape


    to ray_t, have you checked both rear light connections for the burnt out brown wire connection?
    Last edited by SlowTech; 01-11-2010 at 20:52.
     
     

  12. Thanks! 
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    Hi,
    Thanks for this. Worked a treat. Although the layout of my rear light closer was somewhat different (2000 325cic) the issue was the same. A blown out connection. I soldered a new wire to the circuit and stripped it into the earth. no more flashy indicator!

    :-)

    330ci M Sport
     
     

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