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Discussion Starter #21
I have this issue but my car is a coupe so my light cluster is not the same as in the images.

It doesn't look like there are any tabs to attach the new section of ground wire so I will just use wire and electrical tape. Does it matter where I connect it?
Yes you need to connect the extra wire to the shared earth rail, if you're not sure which that is post up a picture of your cluster
and we'll be able to identify for you :thumbsup
 

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rear light fault error

I have just baught a 320d 03 reg. after couple of days i had a rear light failure on/off in my dashboard. I was about to go to the delear to get it fix. Recently i become a member of this forum and found this remedie. i have just followed the steps and the problem hasbeen fixed now. thanks to every one
 

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6) Wrap the short piece of wire around the stripped section of Brown wire, tighten up using pliers, (for a more permanent solution you could solder this join)
It shouldn't be "you could solder this join" but solder this join or use some form of crimp on connector. Just twisting wires like this will likely lead them getting hot eventually and building up resistance leading to issues like the original burnt connector.



the voltage to the bulbs is seperatley fed to each bulb for its individual function but all ya bulbs share the same negative return earth pin to get back to battery a bit of a poor design IMO..
A few diodes and there would never be a common earthing fault :)


I have this issue but my car is a coupe so my light cluster is not the same as in the images.

It doesn't look like there are any tabs to attach the new section of ground wire so I will just use wire and electrical tape. Does it matter where I connect it?
If you have a soldering iron you could solder a wire straight to the track, or alternatively drill a small hole in a suitable place to use a self tapper and ring terminal. Just taping it to the track is a bad idea
 

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Thanks for the great write up. Ironically, after reading this post, the next day my warning light came on. My o/s connector is pretty much knackered at pin 2. Just to clarify though, rather than splice the brown wire, can I simply remove it from the connector block, trim off the burnt bit (!) and connect it via a spade terminal to the cluster? I have two spade terminals as in the pic in Slowtech's original post. Does it matter if I attach it to the outer one, the one nearest the connector block, or self tap it anywhere on the cluster as per thegentleway's pic in post #10?

Regards

John
 

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Perfect thanks for this, I've actually replaced the plugs myself a while back but its only just started to happen again, this is a lot easier and has worked a treat!
 

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Yes you need to connect the extra wire to the shared earth rail, if you're not sure which that is post up a picture of your cluster
and we'll be able to identify for you :thumbsup
I have this common fault but it is on a pre-facelift E46 (2001), where the 'grounding/earth' tab does not exist on my cluster (see attached pic). What is the best way to implement a fix in this situation?
 

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E46 2002 325i Reat Tail Light Bulb Holder

I had this same problem and lived with it for a few weeks. I didn't know exactly what the issue was but whenever I wiggled the 'brown' cable, things got better for a few days. Until finally yesterday it went out completely and my 'wiggling-fix' didn't work anymore.

I re-routed the ground cable (brown) and bought one of those clip thingies like the photo ($1.99 at Autozone, assorted package -- i only used one). Then placed the cable on the light bulb holder fixture like the pictures show.

I'm so glad because I had priced the light bulb holder at $130, and the molex connector i could not find online. Thanks so much, i saved $128.01 with this DIY fix. Thanks so much and wanted to let everyone know this works just fine. Now I can go out at night without any worries. :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup
 

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I have this common fault but it is on a pre-facelift E46 (2001), where the 'grounding/earth' tab does not exist on my cluster (see attached pic). What is the best way to implement a fix in this situation?
Just in case its useful for anyone else. The way I ended up attaching the ground/earth cable where no 'tab' was available was to simply use a self-tapping screw (with a washer) and tapped straight into one of the earth rails. Works fine.
 

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I have the same issue from my front right hand side light.... It keeps saying that its not working but the light is working fine, how do I sort this problem out?
 

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Well - it happened to me the other day so I fixed as per yr message...so thanks for your trouble in posting the remedy.

Just a few questions please !! After completing the exercise the warning lights still came on! So I reinserted the original earth wire back into the connector (even though it was wobbling around in the burnt out cavity). The warning lights went off! I found this quite strange??

Can I merely cut the old terminal off and crimp on a female spade and attach to the male lug on the cluster frame? Will this work?

One final query my " black cable" wire is not as thick as the brown earth wire so maybe it does not have sufficient earthing potential, the reason I ask this is because by cutting/& remove the original earth terminal would have been sufficient as it is no longer required.
 

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I completed this fix on my 325 today but I am still getting the dash warning come on. I had no visable damage to plug or light cluster on either side but have had the dash warning coming on for approx 6 months.

I connected a new wire to the brown via an inline connector

image.jpg

And as I don't have the tab on my light cluster I ran the other end to the cars body

image.jpg

This has been done on both sides but dash warning is still on, all bulbs have been checked/replaced, have I missed something or is there another reason the dash warning can come on ?
 

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other connector?

I completed this fix on my 325 today but I am still getting the dash warning come on. I had no visable damage to plug or light cluster on either side but have had the dash warning coming on for approx 6 months.

I connected a new wire to the brown via an inline connector

View attachment 45843

And as I don't have the tab on my light cluster I ran the other end to the cars body

View attachment 45844

This has been done on both sides but dash warning is still on, all bulbs have been checked/replaced, have I missed something or is there another reason the dash warning can come on ?

I have the same problem. My connectors are perfect but my warning light for both rear sometimes comes on but goes off if the lights are turned on after a few seconds, I'm guessing the voltage is low at first but when the alternator kicks in it just pushes it the other side of blown or working bulb.
It all started when I changed the final stage resistor (hedgehog), so I assume I dislodge something under the steering wheel which caused it. Anyone have any ideas what though?
 

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Good Guide....

I just done mine today 5 minute job but well worth it...

my near side one was showing signs of bad arcing...but I only really noticed when I locked the car and noticed that the near side indicator was a lot dimmer than the offside.
The offside didn't have any signs of arcing..
 

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Just in case its useful for anyone else. The way I ended up attaching the ground/earth cable where no 'tab' was available was to simply use a self-tapping screw (with a washer) and tapped straight into one of the earth rails. Works fine.
Yep,i done the same as I had no extra tab either.
I just drilled a hole on the earth strip and screwed in a self tapper.
Worked perfect.
 

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I completed this fix on my 325 today but I am still getting the dash warning come on. I had no visable damage to plug or light cluster on either side but have had the dash warning coming on for approx 6 months.

I connected a new wire to the brown via an inline connector

View attachment 45843

And as I don't have the tab on my light cluster I ran the other end to the cars body

View attachment 45844

This has been done on both sides but dash warning is still on, all bulbs have been checked/replaced, have I missed something or is there another reason the dash warning can come on ?
By earthing back to the car body you haven't really done anything only loop the earth back to the car before it gets to the light cluster.
I would recommend that you drill a hole(since you don't have the extra tab like me) in the earth strip on the cluster and if that doesn't work then clean all the bulb holder contacts surfaces.
 

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Sorry to bring up an old thread, but my E46 320D was showing the error light for the passenger side rear lights, and when I loosened the rear light the lights were flicking on / off, so I went into the wire as per the first post instructions, and placed the earth wire on the tab.

However, now it seems that my left indicator is flashing the wrong bulb (ie it's using the bottom row of bulb, rather than the orange bulb that it should be).

The plug itself on the bulb holder, the pin is completely gone, so I have gone ahead an ordered a replacement holder, do you think that is the reason to cause the wrong bulb to be flashing when using the indicator? Seems bizarre as I would have thought bypassing that with the new earth would fix it, but I guess maybe somewhere along the line the car assumes that pin MUST be connected to work properly... :/ ?
 

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Sorry to bring up an old thread, but my E46 320D was showing the error light for the passenger side rear lights, and when I loosened the rear light the lights were flicking on / off, so I went into the wire as per the first post instructions, and placed the earth wire on the tab.

However, now it seems that my left indicator is flashing the wrong bulb (ie it's using the bottom row of bulb, rather than the orange bulb that it should be).

The plug itself on the bulb holder, the pin is completely gone, so I have gone ahead an ordered a replacement holder, do you think that is the reason to cause the wrong bulb to be flashing when using the indicator? Seems bizarre as I would have thought bypassing that with the new earth would fix it, but I guess maybe somewhere along the line the car assumes that pin MUST be connected to work properly... :/ ?
ha ha,i had same problems,i would get middle red light for brake light,and when i swapped bulbs around,the nearside middle light would glow and the offside upper red light would glow,i done the earth fix and hey presto,over a year ago and still good,also was getting the fast indicator problem,so i think you have got to do it,only takes half an hour and about £4 for a pack of wire and a pack of spades off fleabay
 
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