Back brake tail light shorting out [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Back brake tail light shorting out

10-19-2007, 04:01 PM
Hi 1st post.

I recently bought a used 01 x5 4.4i and I am loving it. Other then some electronic quirks it runs great.

I saw that my back left brake light signal was going off, so i took out the bulb socket and replaced the bulb socket and the light turned on. Now after 2 days, the light has come back on and it looks like the bulb socket shorted out again. I see that the metal prong where it connects looks a little burnt, but I don't know why. If anyone else has had this problem and knows how to fix it I would appreciate the help. Thanks in advance.

10-22-2007, 07:11 PM
I had the same problem, and my mechanic took the contacts and clean them and the problem disappeared. I replaced the bulb like 3 different times. Cheers

11-04-2007, 11:20 AM
thx dude :)

09-28-2009, 08:46 AM
I'm repairing my X-5 Taillight as I type this . Same problem. I removed the t-l housing for inspection and found burn spots on the housing side. The contacts on the bulb socket begin to loose proper contact with the housing and begin to arch which burns a hole where the bulb socket contacts the housing. I am sanding out the burn spots and have a small hole where the contact is made. I am going to drop a little solder in the small hole then sand the area flat. hope it works or I have to buy an entire Tail light housing .

09-28-2009, 09:42 AM
I had the dreaded "fast flash' turn signal on the passenger side for the last week. When I pulled the headlight unit and removed the turn signal bulb you could see the little burn spot on the conductor.
I had this happen on the driver side about 3 years ago.

Clean up the contacts and apply BLACK (CONTAINS CARBON) CONDUCTIVE HI-TEMP GREASE to the bulb contacts. (NOT DIELECTRIC GREASE! A dielectric is an insulator.)

I did this to the drivers side 3 years ago and it still works.

You can get the grease at any electrical supply house as it is used to coat the aluminum conductors in service connectors at fuse panels etc.
You should apply a small blob with a toothpick and ensure you do not use too much.