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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2011, 04:39 PM
bimmerstien bimmerstien is offline
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What's with the E60 Rear Turn Signals?

Had the CPO two weeks and the left turn signal clicks triple-time. I get a bulb symbol on the I-Drive that says left rear turn signal malfunction and sometime I get a break light malfunction.

I pulled the felt liner out and removed the bulb cluster but couldn't figure out how to get to the turn signal section I saw three torx screws and figured they probably had to be removed. I put the bulb cluster back in and the problem went away.

Is there a lamp socket or wiring harness problem these cars are known to have? Everything looked clean to me; no corrosion.

BTW, how do you get to the rear signal light section where the LED's are?
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:21 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerstien View Post
Is there a lamp socket or wiring harness problem these cars are known to have?
I had the same issue before except on the opposite side. All the bulbs were good but the connector shell was burnt due to sparking and arcing on the brown and white wire terminal - very high resistance, possibly just barely making contact. The dealer replaced both the male and female connector shell and all is well again. Keep an eye on your issue. Mine started with the turn signal failure, then brake, then reverse light... they kept cycling all over. When I looked, the connector was toast and that brown/white terminal was loose (possibly bad insertion) and burnt. You would think that somethng like that would pop a fuse but never did... and all the bulbs were good.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2011, 09:32 AM
bimmerstien bimmerstien is offline
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That's exactly what's happening. I called and made an appointment. I printed out your reply to show the service department in case its new to them or if they can't duplicate the problem.

Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2011, 08:28 AM
Fatespawn Fatespawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
Mine started with the turn signal failure, then brake, then reverse light... they kept cycling all over. When I looked, the connector was toast and that brown/white terminal was loose (possibly bad insertion) and burnt. You would think that somethng like that would pop a fuse but never did... and all the bulbs were good.
Humorous. Mine started with an Engine Malfunction.... well not really I assume, but that's what happened yesterday. Was out driving and got the Engine Malfunction... Reduced power. Bummer, really was looking forward to the Christmas road trip. Anyway, I call the dealer and let them know I'm on my way... limping. Exiting the interstate, I signal right - another chime! Right Rear turn signal malfunction... *expletive* On my way down the ramp I press the brake pedal - another chime! Right Brake Light malfunction *expletive with laugh*. Then when I get to the dealer I pull into the wrong spot, have to back up and.... Right Reverse light malfunction *laugh*.

At least it all happened on the way to the dealer. I'm driving a sweet bare bones 328i now that can't go across state lines. It's like I have another ankle bracelet.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:17 PM
ronmexico ronmexico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nube1kenobi View Post
I had the same issue before except on the opposite side. All the bulbs were good but the connector shell was burnt due to sparking and arcing on the brown and white wire terminal - very high resistance, possibly just barely making contact. The dealer replaced both the male and female connector shell and all is well again. Keep an eye on your issue. Mine started with the turn signal failure, then brake, then reverse light... they kept cycling all over. When I looked, the connector was toast and that brown/white terminal was loose (possibly bad insertion) and burnt. You would think that somethng like that would pop a fuse but never did... and all the bulbs were good.

I just had this problem bite my right side. Just like you said, the harness (female) part is melted, and 2 of the leads are loose.

One of them is the "Brown" the other looks like the brown/white you allude to

No way I'm letting the dealer fix this, no telling how much they charge. I'm certain I could do this myself but I have 2 questions:

1) I saw in another thread you mentioned one of these problematic leads is the ground. Which one? Could I just break that one lead out of the harness and ground it somewhere in the trunk?

2) Am I going to have this same problem on the driver's side? Anything I can do to prevent it?
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2011, 10:42 AM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerstien View Post
Had the CPO two weeks and the left turn signal clicks triple-time. I get a bulb symbol on the I-Drive that says left rear turn signal malfunction and sometime I get a break light malfunction.

I pulled the felt liner out and removed the bulb cluster but couldn't figure out how to get to the turn signal section I saw three torx screws and figured they probably had to be removed. I put the bulb cluster back in and the problem went away.

Is there a lamp socket or wiring harness problem these cars are known to have? Everything looked clean to me; no corrosion.

BTW, how do you get to the rear signal light section where the LED's are?
Wait i have a question???!!!!! When you press gently on the turn signal, is it suppose to click 3 times?? Like when your changing lanes?? I have to hold mine down or else it clicks once.. If that isn't ok I will take it to the dealer asap!
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2011, 10:48 AM
MRV99 MRV99 is offline
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Originally Posted by ArtchredTTU View Post
Wait i have a question???!!!!! When you press gently on the turn signal, is it suppose to click 3 times?? Like when your changing lanes?? I have to hold mine down or else it clicks once.. If that isn't ok I will take it to the dealer asap!
There is an option in the Idrive which allows you to turn on/off the three blink option for changing lanes. I would bet you don't have it turned on. I believe it is under the lighting section.
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2011, 11:56 AM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Merry Christmas!

It's like I have another ankle bracelet.

Did not know what to make of that last... another one?
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2011, 09:48 AM
Fatespawn Fatespawn is offline
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Just trying to keep my spirits up! Off we go on the road trip in the minivan
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:21 PM
bimmerstien bimmerstien is offline
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I had the same problem with my pre-owned certified two weeks after purchasing it, and three mos or so, after that. Each time they had to replace the wiring harness.

The problem is that BMW is using dissimilar metals between the male and female connectors and they corrode each other. When this happens the current has to fight to get to ground and the result of this is "heat". Similar to using aluminum wires on a wall receptacle with copper or brass terminals.

I told the SA this but for some reason the Electrical Engineers at BMW are not getting it.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2012, 05:24 PM
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The brown wire; you can break it out or bypass the connector as some have done. Remember that bulb still need ground.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:14 AM
ronmexico ronmexico is offline
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I guess you mean to say that if I remove the brown wire from the harness, to be sure I ground it, and not leave it free?

I'm kind of confused by the 2nd part "bulb needs ground" . Would grounding the brown wire separate from the harness still require I ground the bulb assembly somehow?
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  #13  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:53 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Here you go...
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=22
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2013, 02:49 PM
dbond698 dbond698 is offline
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Ran into a similar issue with my '04 545. I had to remove the front right headlight assembly to replace the angel eye bulb which was quite the PITA. About a day after fixed, I had the right turn signal malfunction error and the hyperactive signal inside. I had read about the bad connection so removed the headlight unit once again (pleasure) and removed both wire connections. I sprayed both (female and male ends) with electronic parts cleaner and worked them back and forth (plugging together) to work out any corrosion that might exist. After wiping the residual cleaner and letting them dry for awhile, I plugged them back together and tested it out - all working! We'll see how long it lasts but had been malfunctioning 2 days straight before.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2013, 09:59 PM
jim165 jim165 is offline
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Just had the reverse lamp bulb out error error today and hastily checked the bulb holder and harness, praying that it had not caused any damage. Bulb was fine and the bulb holder and harness were pristine on both sides. I'm assuming this is the beginning of the grounding issues, so being proactive, I'm going to install a ground wire tomorrow!
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2013, 10:55 PM
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2chill 2chill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim165 View Post
Just had the reverse lamp bulb out error error today and hastily checked the bulb holder and harness, praying that it had not caused any damage. Bulb was fine and the bulb holder and harness were pristine on both sides. I'm assuming this is the beginning of the grounding issues, so being proactive, I'm going to install a ground wire tomorrow!
Before you do all that, why don't you just try changing the bulb first? The bulb may have started working again when you opened up everything...
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2013, 02:31 PM
jim165 jim165 is offline
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Before you do all that, why don't you just try changing the bulb first? The bulb may have started working again when you opened up everything...
Changed both bulbs but didn't have a chance to drive the car to see if the errors will come back. I just don't want my harness or tail lights destroyed by this fault, so just to be on the safe side I went ahead and supplemented the ground wire. Only cost $14 and 5 minutes of my time...

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  #18  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:50 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Yeah this problem seems to be on all older BMWs. I just take the bulb holder and put a thin layer of solder and it always fix it. overtime the bulb holder looses spring tension and contacts point develop oxidation, enough to create this problem.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:21 PM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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OK....so I got off my A** and went outside to ground the right light fixture. I drilled a hole through the ground wire circuit on fixture, and with metal screw attached ground wire from body ground to the screw.

It took all of 10 minutes, 5 of which was unloading and loading my trunk. No this was not a random placement of the ground wire...so guess what...it works.
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  #20  
Old 02-28-2013, 09:21 AM
jim165 jim165 is offline
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Originally Posted by German Steel View Post

OK....so I got off my A** and went outside to ground the right light fixture. I drilled a hole through the ground wire circuit on fixture, and with metal screw attached ground wire from body ground to the screw.

It took all of 10 minutes, 5 of which was unloading and loading my trunk. No this was not a random placement of the ground wire...so guess what...it works.
Fantastic! Many thanks for sorting this out. I will modify my bulb holder in a like manner...
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  #21  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:40 PM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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Your solution will work but not for the reasons you describe. It is not a current problem - that gauge wire is perfectly suitable for the amount of current required for the lights. Your car did not suddenly start needing more current for the
Lights and just now melted the insulation.
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  #22  
Old 02-28-2013, 04:00 PM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
Your solution will work but not for the reasons you describe. It is not a current problem - that gauge wire is perfectly suitable for the amount of current required for the lights. Your car did not suddenly start needing more current for the
Lights and just now melted the insulation.
You do not understand the word current. Look it up. If it involves electricity, by definition it involves current. The other term you could look up to understand what this is about is "electrical resistance" Too much resistance is what is causing the problem at the factory ground connection at the plug. Your statements indicate the need for more study on the subject before posting. Then expound on the subject professor, and let us know reasons why my solution will work.

I see you wear the term NoQuarter with good reason and yet, with no reason

Last edited by German Steel; 02-28-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:15 PM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German Steel View Post
You do not understand the word current. Look it up. If it involves electricity, by definition it involves current. The other term you could look up to understand what this is about is "electrical resistance" Too much resistance is what is causing the problem at the factory ground connection at the plug. Your statements indicate the need for more study on the subject before posting. Then expound on the subject professor, and let us know reasons why my solution will work.

I see you wear the term NoQuarter with good reason and yet, with no reason
You have had some pretty good posts on this forum up until now. Instead of asking questions you actually contributed some help this time. However, with even the slightest rebuttal you have turned all butt hurt and display the attitude of an angry teenager. Grow up a bit and your retirement years spent on car forums learning about your new car will go much better.

Last edited by NoQuarter; 02-28-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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  #24  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:56 PM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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You have had some pretty good posts on this forum up until now. Instead of asking questions you actually contributed some help this time. However, with even the slightest rebuttal you have turned all butt hurt and display the attitude of an angry teenager. Grow up a bit and your retirement years spent on car forums learning about your new car will go much better.
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  #25  
Old 03-13-2013, 10:14 AM
Darnell J Moore Darnell J Moore is offline
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I read somewhere that the 3 Series had a recall on this. It seemed BMW's solution was to replace both bulb socket unit and female plug. A larger ground (brown wire) was spliced to ground and placed in female plug.
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