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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 12-08-2009, 01:12 PM
vx ORION xv vx ORION xv is offline
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Location: Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 530i
Unhappy Hella Celis LED Problem. HELP!

I have done hours and hours of searching this and other forums for an answer to my problem but I can't seem to find anything specific enough to be helpful.

Here is my story:
I recently bought a 2001 BMW 530i and I am new to BMW's in general. A few days after I bought the car I got a check tail light warning from my dash board. At first I was thinking, hey, no problem; I'll just replace the bulb. Yeah, that was a big fail on my part. After doing some searching I realized that the bulb thatís out is actually the LED portion of the tail light. The confusing thing about it is that every other bulb on the tail light works perfectly; it's only the LED part that is out.

I removed the tail light from the car and I had a very hard time un-hooking the connector from the tail light. Finally, after getting it unhooked I found that the connector, both the male and female ends were very corroded. So I'm not really sure what the problem is. I can't tell if itís because the connectors are corroded, because all of the other bulbs work fine. So I have ordered a new male connector and I plan on cutting the corroded connector off of the wires from the car and hooking up the new connector.

I can afford to buy another tail light, but I would prefer not to unless I have to.

I guess I am just trying to find out if this is the correct solution or if there is anyone out there that has experienced something similar to this and knows of a fix of some kind.

I am mechanically inclined and I try to avoid taking my cars to the dealership unless I have a problem that I absolutely cannot fix myself.

Please help. I have been searching the internet for over a week now trying to find anything on this particular issue and I am still empty handed.

This question is the reason I joined these forums.
Any helpful information would be appreciated.

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Old 12-08-2009, 05:58 PM
Bethesda E39's Avatar
Bethesda E39 Bethesda E39 is offline
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Location: USA
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 623
Mein Auto: BMW 1 Series
Let me guess......Right side????

I replaced my RR tail on my '03 525i due to excessive corrosion (accelerated by a water leak at the top of the tail light ass'y adjacent to the trunk 'gutter'). I took it to a dealership, who unplugged it and put dialectric grease on it, for a temporary fix. They told me I needed a new tail light assembly, and that the 'fix' would likely not last long (since the M/F connections were so badly corroded).

After less than a week, it failed again.
I tried finding a good used tail light, with no luck.

After searching this site, I learned pretty quickly that the RR tail tends to fail in the same way right aorund year 5-6 (apparently the corrosion is accelerated by gases from the adjacent battery). Not wanting to EVER deal with this BS again, I ultimately ended up paying the dealership to replace the whole assembly for just short of $600 (including new wiring).
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:41 PM
nike001 nike001 is offline
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Location: NE Pennsylvania
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Mein Auto: 04 330 ZHP
Maybe if you posted pictures it would help people better understand you and get better info on your problem. Good luck.

330i ZHP 6MT | H&R Sport Cup | BMW Performance | OE Clears | Coby Wheel
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