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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #101  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:41 AM
DEADF15H DEADF15H is offline
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  #102  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:49 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
EDIT:
PS: What does "PSA" mean anyway?
In this context, PSA stands for Public Service Announcement.

Edit: I was too slow!
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  #103  
Old 10-21-2014, 01:36 PM
DEADF15H DEADF15H is offline
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  #104  
Old 12-03-2014, 12:26 PM
GrayChristopher GrayChristopher is offline
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Here's my story: First my reverse lights went out, I thought it was bulbs, so I replaced them, and nothing happened....Over time I kind of forgot about the problem and moved on. A few months later, my trunk stopped working. The button on the inside of the car to unlock the trunk, would not work, nor would the latch on the actual trunk. So basically there was no way to open the trunk unless you used the key in the trunk lock. I took the car to a BMW garage to get it squared away, they basically said they couldn't find what was wrong (last time I go there). Than today on my way to work my tail lights malfunctioned and went out (indicator on dash). I finally had enough of this, and researched the problem online. I found this thread while at work, and it sounded like my issue. At lunch I went to my car, opened the trunk and tried to pull the rubber boot back to see if any wires were in fact broken. The boot was so tight on the wires I couldn't move it far enough down to see anything. I finally got annoyed and just cut the rubber boot in the center and push both ends apart, and BAM!!! I instantly noticed (4) broken wires. Luckily I had my knife on me and some electrical tape. I striped the wires and reconnected, followed by sealing with electrical tape, than tightly taped the boot together where I cut it. I turned her on and EVERYTHING worked like normal. I couldn't believe it, I had been dealing with these issues for months. It's my own fault for not addressing it sooner. However I feel like I just solved some crazy mystery. Needless to say I'm happy. Just wanted to thank this forum and thread.

Last edited by GrayChristopher; 12-03-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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  #105  
Old 12-06-2014, 09:29 AM
wedwardwhite wedwardwhite is offline
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Trunk wiring harness

Soldering and shrink wrapping the severed connection can prevent the repaired wire from bending. In my case this led to a subsequent break at the edge of the shrink wrap. (Splice twice away from the bending with new wire between the splices)
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  #106  
Old 12-07-2014, 05:58 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Originally Posted by wedwardwhite View Post
Soldering and shrink wrapping the severed connection can prevent the repaired wire from bending. In my case this led to a subsequent break at the edge of the shrink wrap. (Splice twice away from the bending with new wire between the splices)
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  #107  
Old 02-04-2015, 03:05 PM
rembrandt rembrandt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayChristopher View Post
Here's my story: First my reverse lights went out, I thought it was bulbs, so I replaced them, and nothing happened....Over time I kind of forgot about the problem and moved on. A few months later, my trunk stopped working. The button on the inside of the car to unlock the trunk, would not work, nor would the latch on the actual trunk. So basically there was no way to open the trunk unless you used the key in the trunk lock. I took the car to a BMW garage to get it squared away, they basically said they couldn't find what was wrong (last time I go there). Than today on my way to work my tail lights malfunctioned and went out (indicator on dash). I finally had enough of this, and researched the problem online. I found this thread while at work, and it sounded like my issue. At lunch I went to my car, opened the trunk and tried to pull the rubber boot back to see if any wires were in fact broken. The boot was so tight on the wires I couldn't move it far enough down to see anything. I finally got annoyed and just cut the rubber boot in the center and push both ends apart, and BAM!!! I instantly noticed (4) broken wires. Luckily I had my knife on me and some electrical tape. I striped the wires and reconnected, followed by sealing with electrical tape, than tightly taped the boot together where I cut it. I turned her on and EVERYTHING worked like normal. I couldn't believe it, I had been dealing with these issues for months. It's my own fault for not addressing it sooner. However I feel like I just solved some crazy mystery. Needless to say I'm happy. Just wanted to thank this forum and thread.
Wish you lived on Long Island - I'd hire you to look at my car. Weird goings on here too. Randomly locking mechanism won't work - sometimes the key - sometimes the console. Afraid of getting locked in my own car one day then months go by and all is fine. Now I'm having non start issues - it will start & I'll drive somewhere a few minutes away - run in for 10 minutes and come out and the car needs a jump start - first time the headlights were accidentally left on for a short time & the second time it was my trunk. I couldn't get it shut. I thought the lock was frozen. It was locked shut but then I hit the trunk open with my key by accident - the trunk opened but he door lock wouldn't - but then I couldn't get the truck to close & it was showing open on the dashboard. 10 minutes the car needed a jump. The tow truck guy slammed the trunk really hard & got it to close & got the dashboard light off & I drove home and let it run for 1/2 hour before shutting it off. Afraid to try opening the trunk now! Plus I'm waiting for regulators to come in - 3 out of 4 of my windows failed to roll back up over the past couple years. And that blasted tailight lamp keeps randomly coming on & off - seems like the lights work fine but just keep registering troubled. Bizaar happenings. And she's only got just about 45K on her.
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  #108  
Old 04-06-2015, 08:57 PM
DEADF15H DEADF15H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rembrandt View Post
Wish you lived on Long Island - I'd hire you to look at my car. Weird goings on here too. Randomly locking mechanism won't work - sometimes the key - sometimes the console. Afraid of getting locked in my own car one day then months go by and all is fine. Now I'm having non start issues - it will start & I'll drive somewhere a few minutes away - run in for 10 minutes and come out and the car needs a jump start - first time the headlights were accidentally left on for a short time & the second time it was my trunk. I couldn't get it shut. I thought the lock was frozen. It was locked shut but then I hit the trunk open with my key by accident - the trunk opened but he door lock wouldn't - but then I couldn't get the truck to close & it was showing open on the dashboard. 10 minutes the car needed a jump. The tow truck guy slammed the trunk really hard & got it to close & got the dashboard light off & I drove home and let it run for 1/2 hour before shutting it off. Afraid to try opening the trunk now! Plus I'm waiting for regulators to come in - 3 out of 4 of my windows failed to roll back up over the past couple years. And that blasted tailight lamp keeps randomly coming on & off - seems like the lights work fine but just keep registering troubled. Bizaar happenings. And she's only got just about 45K on her.
Your electrical system is at least 10 years old, and most of us don't do any preventative maintenance on electrics, we just wait until the light in the dash comes on or a light goes out.

If your battery is over 3 years old, it's recommended that you replace it. Autoparts stores are notorious for testing bad batteries and telling you they are within parameters, but for the E46's 10 year old electronics you need the battery and regulator performing at their peak.
$190 94R battery - Autozone sourced ( the 49DL apparently is not offered anymore per Autozone.com)
Walmart 94R Battery Thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...833&highlight=
$34 Voltage regulator OEM or OE only, or take your chances. There are 2 different ones used on an E46, you won't be able to install the wrong one, but it's advised you get under the car and check the connector before ordering.

The tailight dash light is probably due to a bad ground in the trunk. If the bracket is fried you need a new one, it comes with a new pigtail, if it's in good shape. Here's a thread to fix the grounding issue for the prefacelift models I did, and a link in the first paragraph for the facelift model fix. It's a cheap and easy to do.

Those key issues sound like they may be the GM5 module. Google E46 GM5 module! There is a guy out in CA who fixes them cheap, otherwise they are quite expensive.

Last edited by DEADF15H; 04-06-2015 at 09:02 PM.
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  #109  
Old 06-17-2015, 04:18 AM
fgrigore fgrigore is offline
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can anyone tell me if they have a wiring diagram from an pinout connector from the module of the automatic luggage compartment lid like this.

Is for an F10
WBAFS11040C521873
Engine 523i N53, model 2011

And I want to install it on my car but I don't have a wiring diagram for the system.
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  #110  
Old 06-19-2015, 09:35 PM
fgrigore fgrigore is offline
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Found it... Thanks....
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  #111  
Old 07-22-2015, 02:36 PM
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I have been laid up in and out of bed for a few weeks now, but, the most blessed thing happened recently, which was that my automatic door locks STOPPED locking the moment I left my driveway (as if to acknowledge that it's ok to leave the car now!).

Then, as in life, things started breaking down from that root symptom, as my trunk wouldn't open from the key fob, then the trunk wouldn't open from the handle in the back, and finally the trunk wouldn't open even from the center lock button on the console; so, I knew my (previously repaired) wires were frayed again - but - I have more important things on my mind, so, I had put it off for as long as I could ...

Finally, this morning, after not having used the car in days, I felt well enough to get out of the house - but - the battery was deader than dead (the charger, with the negative cable disconnected, went way over the 6-amp maximum, indicating a veritable short in the battery), which has since calmed down to 4 amps after five hours on the charger:

So, it looks like I have another stop-gap wiring repair ahead of me ...

Funny how BMW repairs mimic life, in an ironic kind of way...
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Last edited by bluebee; 07-22-2015 at 02:45 PM.
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  #112  
Old 09-05-2015, 12:13 PM
xxplatnum xxplatnum is offline
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Trunk issues

You need to check your fuses. If you can access the trunk manually, it's your fuses... I would also check the cable that links to the trunk...
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  #113  
Old 12-15-2015, 08:43 AM
pitbullshoes pitbullshoes is offline
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Very interesting thread! I think you guys may have helped me solve an issue with my '01 330ci - My trunk light came on earlier this year and according to the dashboard, the taillights only work sometimes. In addition, the door locks only work someimes. At the same time these things began, my convertible lid wouldn't go down. When pressing the down button, the red light blinks to alert an error. The trunk does work with the key fob and the manual lever inside the car. I'm assuming now all of this may be happening due to the wiring. Makes complete sense now that the top won't retract because the system says the trunk is open. I'm looking forward to getting home tonite to check out the boot in the trunk. If this is the case, I'm sad to have blown an entire year of no top down driving due to such a simple fix. I searched the forums but didn't find anything relating to the convertible issue. Hoping this is the inexpensive fix I've been searching for.

Last edited by pitbullshoes; 12-15-2015 at 08:48 AM. Reason: addition
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  #114  
Old 12-15-2015, 02:26 PM
xxplatnum xxplatnum is offline
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Pitbullshoes:

If you are having trouble with your convertible it might be the actuator that needs to be changed. You can buy it from a junk yard for a $100.00 or you can pick it up at the dealerships for more money. Either way, you would need to change it.. Good luck
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  #115  
Old 01-24-2016, 04:52 PM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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When the Super Bowl comes around each year, I'm reminded of that Sunday in 2011 when I rebuilt my car's trunk wire harness. I could hear the halftime show playing inside the house as I sat in the trunk and finished crimping and heat-shrinking the last of those 16 wires.

I can happily report that the rebuilt harness is still going strong after five years. For those of you facing this problem, be confident that if you take your time and do the job right the first time, you'll enjoy a trouble-free trunk for years to come.
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  #116  
Old 01-24-2016, 06:00 PM
xxplatnum xxplatnum is offline
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Hi:

Good job homie..........
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  #117  
Old 01-25-2016, 07:03 AM
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catso catso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. P. Burdell View Post
When the Super Bowl comes around each year, I'm reminded of that Sunday in 2011 when I rebuilt my car's trunk wire harness. I could hear the halftime show playing inside the house as I sat in the trunk and finished crimping and heat-shrinking the last of those 16 wires.

I can happily report that the rebuilt harness is still going strong after five years. For those of you facing this problem, be confident that if you take your time and do the job right the first time, you'll enjoy a trouble-free trunk for years to come.
Always good to get a follow-up on an important repair! Thanks and keep up the good work!
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  #118  
Old 02-11-2016, 10:30 AM
Coffee Phil Coffee Phil is offline
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Hi G. P. Burdell,

I know this is an old thread, but I have to say I'm impressed that you were able to get useful info from the e46 Bentley electrical diagrams. I'm an EE and every time I look at them I get angry and "say what is this crap".

The e36 Bentley electrical stuff was much more readable and matched the ETM for my e36, although it lacked signal names which were in the ETM.

Thanks for starting this very useful string. So far my trunk lid loom has not screwed up, but I'm sure it is in my future. I went through this with my e36.

When I did the e36 I cleaned and refurbished the rubber sheath with RTV and pulled color matched wire through it. I then made the splices in the trunk lid and fender well with solder and shrink sleeving.

Phil

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. P. Burdell View Post
Thanks for the reply. The PTFE insulation also appears to be thinner, which allows me to approximate the diameter of the existing wire bundle.

Will adhesive-lined heat shrink bond to the slick surface of PTFE insulation?


I found the thread; it's interesting. With the help of the wiring diagrams in my trusty Bentley manual, I've identified the wires in the harness. The splices I make will be inside the trunk lid and inside the trunk; there will be no splices in the bundle that passes from the body to the trunk lid. Splices in the bundle are likely to fail again or chafe the other wires in the bundle.

I'm contemplating ways to make it easier to inspect the wires in the future. I'll probably add a few extra inches of wire so that it will be easier to slide the rubber covering away from the portion of the bundle that bends every time I open and close the trunk. Maybe I'll put an inline connector inside the trunk so that I can disconnect the harness and pull the slack up and out of the body for inspection.
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  #119  
Old 02-13-2016, 07:25 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee Phil View Post
I know this is an old thread, but I have to say I'm impressed that you were able to get useful info from the e46 Bentley electrical diagrams. I'm an EE and every time I look at them I get angry and "say what is this crap".
Agreed, and thanks for the compliments. They're not the most user-friendly diagrams, but I was able to extract enough preliminary information from them that I could write some notes and then go into the garage and confirm the wire colors and sizes in the trunk lid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee Phil View Post
When I did the e36 I cleaned and refurbished the rubber sheath with RTV and pulled color matched wire through it. I then made the splices in the trunk lid and fender well with solder and shrink sleeving.
Nice. When my E36 started having the same problems, I was fortunate to be able to purchase a new harness from my local BMW dealer. No such luck on the E46.
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  #120  
Old 02-21-2016, 07:47 PM
Andy320i Andy320i is offline
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My truck light is contently showing open when in fact closed. There must be a wire etc that is either unhooked or broken. Any anyone ran across this before? I also have the weirdest issue with my blinkers. When turning right it ticks at a normal rate however when i turn left it blinks very fast as if I have burnt bulb. It also shows on my dash i have a burnt bulb however when i check every light works. I am a a loss of why this is. Could it be the owner before myself put in bulb with the wrong resistance therefore causing this phenomena? I did find a wire hidden behind the back seats that was not plugged into anything and am wondering if he had issues with truck releasing by itself or something. However I may be wrong. Any suggestions on what to do about the truck always being open light and the faster than normal flashing when turning left? Thanks
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  #121  
Old 02-21-2016, 08:38 PM
Coffee Phil Coffee Phil is offline
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Hi Andy,

I do believe it is time to check the trunk wiring harness. The problematic part is from the body to the trunk lid. If it is starting to go the best solution is to match each wire by size and color then cut out the flexible part and gut the rubber cover and thread the new wires into it. Reinstall the flexible part with new wires and reconnect at both ends with crimp connectors and a good crimp tool. Alternatively you can solder and use shrink sleeving.

Phil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy320i View Post
My truck light is contently showing open when in fact closed. There must be a wire etc that is either unhooked or broken. Any anyone ran across this before? I also have the weirdest issue with my blinkers. When turning right it ticks at a normal rate however when i turn left it blinks very fast as if I have burnt bulb. It also shows on my dash i have a burnt bulb however when i check every light works. I am a a loss of why this is. Could it be the owner before myself put in bulb with the wrong resistance therefore causing this phenomena? I did find a wire hidden behind the back seats that was not plugged into anything and am wondering if he had issues with truck releasing by itself or something. However I may be wrong. Any suggestions on what to do about the truck always being open light and the faster than normal flashing when turning left? Thanks
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  #122  
Old 02-21-2016, 09:45 PM
Andy320i Andy320i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee Phil View Post
Hi Andy,

I do believe it is time to check the trunk wiring harness. The problematic part is from the body to the trunk lid. If it is starting to go the best solution is to match each wire by size and color then cut out the flexible part and gut the rubber cover and thread the new wires into it. Reinstall the flexible part with new wires and reconnect at both ends with crimp connectors and a good crimp tool. Alternatively you can solder and use shrink sleeving.

Phil
Thanks Phil,


I had an idea of what needed to be done...and once i find a garage to work in or it warms up i will be tackling this issue. I assume it not going to be that hard. i will let you know how i made once i tackle the project. Thanks again for the infol


Anre
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  #123  
Old 10-02-2016, 07:10 AM
Adriano Gominho Adriano Gominho is offline
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Hi,

This weekend I finally took some time to check the reverse light on my 2000 E46. I have already ruled out a dead bulb so the next step was to check the voltage at the connector. It has a small white plastic cap which allows access to the connector metal. No voltage at all!

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While inspecting the wires inside the rubber boot I immediately spotted a blue-yellow broken wire (which powers the reverse light) and another yellow-black wire just hanging on by a thread:
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To repair the broken wires I find it essential to use a positioning tool, solder flux and heat shrink tubing:
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A final check for the proper voltage at the connector:
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And everything nicely wrapped up in tape before attaching the rubber boot:
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One final note: It would be nice for BMW to isolate this part of the harness into a more robust or easily replaceable secondary harness...

Searching for BMW repair kit 61 12 8 387 186 I came across aftermarket kits like this one - which I will probably buy when additional wires break...
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  #124  
Old 10-02-2016, 07:51 AM
DEADF15H DEADF15H is offline
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Nice photos and great info on the repair harness.
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  #125  
Old 11-02-2016, 05:30 PM
Delineation Delineation is offline
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Does any of this affect the power going to the antenna & thus interfering with the key fob remote? There's a lot of info on this thread and I haven't had time to read it all. My trunk interior lights have quit and that's what caught my eye, but I had a ghost code a while back that said I had trouble delivering power to the antenna. Radio reception is fine so I thought it might have to do with the key's antenna.

Edit: That is to say, would any K-bus related wires run through the boot and cause issues with the remote locking?
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Last edited by Delineation; 11-02-2016 at 07:24 PM.
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