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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2010, 06:59 PM
knight4825 knight4825 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3
Rear license Plate Lights

One of my license plates bulbs were out. I replaced it with a new bulb, the one closest to the drivers side is working but the one on the passengers side isn't. Even though it was burned out the burned out bulb indicator on the dash never came on. The bulb is brand new but still doesn't work, Iam assuming that it's not getting any voltage, but I haven't checked. What should I do, or has anyone had this occur??
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:38 PM
new2u new2u is offline
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I know this sound stupid, but have you inserted the new bulb the other way around?
And you could also interchange two bulbs' positions and see what happens.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:29 AM
John320 John320 is offline
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Small inconsequential bulbs are not on the monitoring system. I remember a couple of months ago “Chancevought953” had a posted a similar problem- he was told no power to one of the bulbs, and a new light strip was required. ( he never posted what he finally did though) “new2u” idea of switching bulbs is a good and easy first step. But lets say after all your checks (cleaning it out, voltage check, etc) that one socket is dead; that light strip might still be repairable -my thinking is that corrosion at the back connector would be the origin, and that could be removed, or a new splice of wire put in. There is a little more to getting that light strip out then would first appear ( not just the 2 screws ) but the rear-end trim section as well needs to come off, but it is doable.
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:51 AM
Chancevought953 Chancevought953 is offline
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I just had that problem. The "grip strip" (cant find the part # right now) was the name of the part. It was approx $68. It houses both bulbs and the hatch handle. My right bulb was getting no voltage. I thought I could take the housing out by removing the 2 torx screws and take a look. But after taking the screws out the piece did not budge.
Since the X3 was going in the shop to get a cruise control added I had them take a look at it. Turns out that grip strip as my shop called it, was kind of a throw away part. No real way to look at it to see if a wire was broken or corrosion you just replaced the whole thing.

So it was a little pricey at $112 installed total. But it bugged me that the light didnt work.
Got the X3 back yesterday. It is all squared away with the cruise control and light bulb fixed.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:58 AM
Chancevought953 Chancevought953 is offline
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OK just looked up the receipt. They called it the Trunk Lid Grip Part 51 13 3 403 611
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2010, 11:20 AM
jayvitela jayvitela is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530I
Is there a DIY on removing the housing to get to the bulbs, both license plate bulbs are out on my 2001 530I
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2010, 12:33 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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It's in the Owner's Manual for Vehicle (for an X3 - not sure about a 530i).

Just shows using a flat blade screwdriver to pry it off and replace the 10W bulbs.

Last edited by Supercourse; 06-11-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2010, 12:58 PM
jayvitela jayvitela is offline
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awesome! thanks for the input
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2012, 09:24 AM
nrigroom nrigroom is offline
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I have the same problem. Passenger side socket is dead. I took out the finisher trim but I am having a tough time getting the light grip (PN 51133403611) out. Following the TIS instructions (51 13 402: "Removing and installing/replacing handle strip"), I was able to get the four tabs out as shown in the first figure. However, I am unable to get the grip out as shown in the second figure - the connector housing comes in the way. Has anyone been able to get the grip out? My thinking is if I can get it out I can either fix it by soldering new wires from the driver side socket to the passenger side socket, or if that doesn't work, replace it.
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2012, 05:46 PM
chewchewone chewchewone is offline
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I will probably be doing the same thing soon. The switch for the hatch doesn't work along with one of the license plate lights. I initially tried prying out the outside trim finisher but was a little afraid of breaking it off.
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2013, 04:24 PM
big hassan big hassan is offline
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I have a 2001 330i and i just brought it and it seems the same thing with me the whole housing is rusted out where can i get this piece??
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2013, 01:54 AM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big hassan View Post
I have a 2001 330i and i just brought it and it seems the same thing with me the whole housing is rusted out where can i get this piece??
I'd check with the dealer, or here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=98
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2013, 03:22 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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I just replaced the "Trunk Lid Grip" on my X3. The symptoms were the same as the above posts (non-functioning right license plate light). The part number is unchanged (51-13-3-403-611), but the retail price is now $102. I also replaced the plastic clips (51-13-7-065-607) retaining the exterior trim piece.

For anyone who wants to DIY, please work carefully, a replacement trunk finisher trim panel is about $400, if you break it.

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  #14  
Old 05-22-2013, 11:23 AM
chewchewone chewchewone is offline
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How hard was it to remove the exterior trim? Is there any special clips/bolts that need to be removed before prying it out?
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2013, 12:29 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewchewone View Post
How hard was it to remove the exterior trim? Is there any special clips/bolts that need to be removed before prying it out?
I managed to get the trim piece off without breaking it. But I will admit, I was nervous since a replacement is so expensive.

I waited for a very warm day (plastic is less brittle). I did this with the license plate and holder removed.

1. I masked off above and below the trim panel on the tailgate with blue painter's masking tape. This reduces the likelihood of scratches.
2. I removed the two torx head screws on either side of the hatch release.
3. I used a broad-bladed trim pry tool (plastic), and carefully pried under the right end of the exterior trim piece. The left end is identical. The trim releases by pulling out, and slightly downward.
4. The trim is held by upper and lower plastic trim clips. I bought replacement clips.
5. I wore gloves, and carefully reached behind the trim to release the clips.
6. After the trim piece was loose, I unplugged it from the hatch lid.
7. I put the entire assembly on a towel, and carefully removed the electronic module assembly from the trim piece.
8. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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  #16  
Old 05-23-2013, 10:37 AM
chewchewone chewchewone is offline
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Good info..I'll put this on my to do list this summer. Thnks
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  #17  
Old 08-16-2013, 01:22 PM
Alance Alance is offline
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My right licence plate bulb is not working. Is there any chance that part 51133403611 can be fixed?? There is no microprocesors in there? It is just some bad conector?? Am I right? Did anyone took a look at this part?
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2013, 03:03 PM
chewchewone chewchewone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alance View Post
My right licence plate bulb is not working. Is there any chance that part 51133403611 can be fixed?? There is no microprocesors in there? It is just some bad conector?? Am I right? Did anyone took a look at this part?
yes, it can be fixed. I wish i had taken pictures of it when I took mine apart and re-wired it. i think there were four 4 wires, one common ground, one for the door switch and one for each bulb, in my case the long pc board (etched wires) were rusted out, so i took it out, then cut the piece where the trunk lid switch and the two bulbs were attached to so i can re-use them. After i ran/soldered all the wires, i then glued the pieces back to the housing. I also had to cut out the middle rubber piece that held the trunk switch to access the pc board/trunk switch. I ended up filling in the gap with an expanding foam and then spraying it with flexseal, then painting it. it looks a little crappy but you can't really see it after putting the trim back and i now have a functioning trunk switch and lights. also thanks to alpinweiss for the info on the external trim piece removal.

Last edited by chewchewone; 08-16-2013 at 03:05 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:17 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewchewone View Post
yes, it can be fixed.....
Wow, I didn't even attempt to fix mine, it looked like a sealed unit. Congratulations on finding a work-around to replacing the part.

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