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-   -   Right tail lamp malfunction (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571079)

new_kid_in_town 09-26-2011 10:06 PM

Right tail lamp malfunction
 
I have this warning message on my iDrive for last couple of days... I remember seeing this same message once before about a month back which disappeared by itself.

Could someone please tell me what to look for? Can I determine this visually? Is there an easy fix for this? Any DIY?

Thanks in advance!

Nube1kenobi 09-26-2011 10:29 PM

Yep... check the connector to the tail light assembly... specifically the brown and white wire terminal. I had high resistance there and melted the whole connector which caused my iDrive to go nuts because it did not know which failure to show first; brake lamp, park lamp, backup lamp, etc. The bulbs were all good. I had no moisture but you may want to check for condensation...

sammie 09-26-2011 10:29 PM

Try this web site it should tell you what you need to know.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov

new_kid_in_town 09-26-2011 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammie (Post 6342542)
Try this web site it should tell you what you need to know.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov

Could you please be little more specific in terms of finding solutions for my problem from the website you referred... I do appreciate your help very much!

new_kid_in_town 09-26-2011 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi (Post 6342541)
Yep... check the connector to the tail light assembly... specifically the brown and white wire terminal. I had high resistance there and melted the whole connector which caused my iDrive to go nuts because it did not know which failure to show first; brake lamp, park lamp, backup lamp, etc. The bulbs were all good. I had no moisture but you may want to check for condensation...

Thanks Nube! Let me see if I could find any DIY resource... Please let me know if you have/find any.

Danger 09-27-2011 04:40 PM

I also have this error coming up.. thought it was the bulb.. guess i'll check the tailight assembly

etsok1 09-28-2011 04:56 AM

There is a know issue with the connectors in the wiring harness for the rear lights. It starts as an intermittent problem but eventually progresses to include the taillights, brake lights and backup lights. I had both of mine replaced under warranty, and was told they had to reflash the software after the repair. Hope someone can help you with a DIY repair.

brocyourworld 09-28-2011 07:24 AM

Had the same issue, had to get the wiring harness replaced, luckily I was still under warranty. It's super annoying with the loud beeping everytime it goes on and off.

Kinda neat how the clicking sound when you activate the turn signal changes tone/pitch to let you know something is wrong.

HPIA4v2 09-28-2011 08:48 AM

Funny, just got my warning last week. iDrive was rather specific telling me the right rear light was out; checked and bulb is fine, put everything together and no warning for now.

I believe it's some sort of oxidation in the contact, on my X5 I just layer a thick high silver/tin on the contact area and no problem for years. Though I was stupid not checking for water under the batt while I was there (in case the sunroof drain is clogged).

Also I don't understang why BMW can't make the contact area gold plated, it shouldn't cost that much more to do so especially if you can pick up a few point on JD Powers ratings in the process.

John1970 10-10-2011 12:08 PM

Unfortunately, I started to experience tail lamp malfunctions as well in my 08 528xi (out of warranty). 1st it started on the left, then the right affecting all rear lights. I took the car over to my independent bmw mechanic who I've used since my 1st BMW in 02.

Basically, the connections had melted on both lights. I had to replace both light rear bulb carriers as some connection paths were fried as well. I literally saw the melted plastic. According to the mechanic, he'd seen this in almost all 3's but never a 5. He ended up creating an extra ground to prevent the issue from happening again.

Razorclaw 12-04-2011 02:07 PM

Noticed right rear small red light just above reverse light not working when I hit the door unlock button while walking up to my car last week. No i-drive codes. On closer inspection, the bulb was working, but only at about 10% intensity.

I changed the bulb myself with a P21W bulb purchased at the dealership ($10). No difference.

Read this post.

Took apart tail light assembly (5 minutes) and pulled the wiring harness connection out. There are 7 wire connections. #5, the brown wire, had melted plastic surrounding the connection for about a 2 mm radius. Screwed with it for a few minutes, plugged it back up, and now everything working well.

Appointment at dealership for wiring harness replacement under warranty in two days.

Thanks for the help on this Nube1kenobi!

BMW535xia 12-04-2011 03:12 PM

ahh, yes....mine also.
 
i also had this "error message" appear last week, but one time only for the right rear taillamp assembly as stated above. all is working ok for the moment, so should i look into this a little more deeply (on my own) or see the dealer since it is under warranty until 12/31/11, and would the "damage be readily apparent? btw, it's an '08 535xi with 34xxx mileage. thanks...

Razorclaw 12-04-2011 04:00 PM

With 15 minutes of work, I found my problem to be exactly what Nube1Kenobi described. So, I would be very surprised if your problem is not exactly the same. As such, it will not repair itself. It will only get worse and need fixing later. I'd jump on it now.

BMW535xia 12-05-2011 03:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Razorclaw (Post 6479860)
With 15 minutes of work, I found my problem to be exactly what Nube1Kenobi described. So, I would be very surprised if your problem is not exactly the same. As such, it will not repair itself. It will only get worse and need fixing later. I'd jump on it now.

ok, thanks...will look into it today and make a dealer appt.

Nube1kenobi 12-05-2011 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Razorclaw (Post 6479676)
Noticed right rear small red light just above reverse light not working when I hit the door unlock button while walking up to my car last week. No i-drive codes. On closer inspection, the bulb was working, but only at about 10% intensity.

I changed the bulb myself with a P21W bulb purchased at the dealership ($10). No difference.

Read this post.

Took apart tail light assembly (5 minutes) and pulled the wiring harness connection out. There are 7 wire connections. #5, the brown wire, had melted plastic surrounding the connection for about a 2 mm radius. Screwed with it for a few minutes, plugged it back up, and now everything working well.

Appointment at dealership for wiring harness replacement under warranty in two days.

Thanks for the help on this Nube1kenobi!

BMW have had this issue on previous models as well. You would think they'd fire the guy who designed this and give the job to a new 21YO eng'g grad who knows what he is doing and is a little more aware of environmental effects...

zufahren 12-05-2011 07:25 PM

I've just come in from the garage as my left tail light assembly is doing strange things, and sure enough the brown #5 pin and wire in the harness is hosed :-( If I replace the harness and carrier, what is to stop it happening again? Just time?

Thanks!

Nube1kenobi 12-05-2011 08:23 PM

You can trace and use contact enhancer on the terminals and ground and you can also add another grounding point. If you search the E60 thread, I posted some links and attachments that may help you.

zufahren 12-06-2011 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi (Post 6482512)
You can trace and use contact enhancer on the terminals and ground and you can also add another grounding point. If you search the E60 thread, I posted some links and attachments that may help you.

Thanks - appreciated.

Razorclaw 12-06-2011 05:42 PM

Got the work done on my right tail light today. Didn't take them long to do the work. I saw the new housing and connectors and they appeared to be essentially the same as the ones they were replacing, so I have no idea what keeps it from happening again. They checked the left side and said no problems were seen.

The most interesting thing about the whole process was the reflash of the CPU. Took over an hour, and my service tech came and got me for the final portion. He asked if I wanted to see my car "dance." I had no idea what he was talking about.

If you have never seen your car run through its dynamic suspension test protocol, I would advise making it a priority. Holy cow! I cannot believe the car is capable of doing that. Came home and tried to find a video of it on YouTube and was unable to. I now have a much better understanding of what makes this car so special. Truly unbelievable.

Nube1kenobi 12-06-2011 07:41 PM

Yep... and after seeing that you start wondering why with all that gyrations the ARS is capable of, the motion is virtually imperceptible when driving through hairpin curves. I too was made amazed when I saw it... but it was not my car doing it. I'm glad. I was afraid that other car would pop a spring... :)

Razorclaw 12-06-2011 08:06 PM

Found a couple of videos--neither of great quality. But, gives an idea of what the car can do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtXwe...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIZZn...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRAaZ...endscreen&NR=1

Nube1kenobi 12-06-2011 09:02 PM

The one I saw was okay leaning left, but leaning right it was doing it violently and with a thud. I gues that was why it was there in the first place...

BMW535xia 12-07-2011 04:16 AM

this thread answered a number of my questions and has good pics of the problem that all have had. my car goes to the dealer tomorrow for repair. http://forums.5series.net/topic/1170...d-mild-damage/

Razorclaw 12-07-2011 04:33 AM

Yes--that is exactly the same.

Nube1kenobi 12-07-2011 07:28 AM

Here's one of my older post regarding this issue, and the fix most people have done to bypass the shaky grounding and connection that BMW designed for this tail light carrier/connector. Whichever grounding method the user use, make sure that the connector is still removable without the need for tools as it should be, and provide a vibration proof connection.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=22

What I did is back out the brown terminal from the carrier, and cap it together with two other brown wire, install a male and female spade connector, shrink wrap the exposed ends, and reconnect. Same principle as the second link, just simpler.


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