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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 11-14-2010, 12:52 AM
chrisrburgess chrisrburgess is offline
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Location: Ross on Wye
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: BMW 5 series E61
Tailgate Wiring Loom Repair

I have had an issue with the high level brake light on my E61 since I bought it, I suspected that it might be the tailgate loom.

BMW wanted 500 for a new loom and 1200 if they fitted it!

I decided to repair the loom myself, it took about 3 hours

1 I removed the tailgate spoiler and rear brake light unit, this is located by 4 torx bolts from the underside of the glass tailgate, you need to unplug the antenna wire and loom an dthen slide the unit towards the rear of the car to detach it.

2 undo the loom securing bracket on the right hand hinge, you also have to remove the glass tailgate hinge nuts, take great care as these are spring loaded

3 remove the speaker from the rooflining on the rear offside, and remove the loom grommet

4 you can then ease the loom down into the rear cargo area, remove the loom sheathing and identify and repair any broken wires

I spliced in new wires, soldered them and covered them in heat shrinks then once I had repaired all the damaged wires I resheathed the loom in almalgamating tape.

I then reversed the process

Good Luck
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:37 PM
2002325xiT 2002325xiT is offline
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Location: Kirkland, WA, USA
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2002 325 xiT, 2007 530 xi
For all US E61 owners, please file a vehicle complaint at NHTSA:


I just submitted mine:

I discovered failures of multiple wires in the tailgate/rear window wiring harnesses. Through research online I have found this is a common problem with this vehicle over several model years - search for BMW E61 tailgate wiring problems. The failures are caused by a poor design where the wires entering the hinge guides (4) for the glass and tailgate are repeatedly flexed at a sharp angle until the insulation, then the copper wire breaks.
Safety issues - possible electrical short circuit leading to fires (highest load is for rear defroster); lighting failures (rear high brake light, license plate lamps and others); reduced visibility due to loss of wiper/washer/defroster; rear glass latch opening while underway, possibly resulting in loss of cargo or ingress of exhaust fumes.
This is not an easily repaired problem. It would be beyond the capabilities of all but a skilled mechanic with proper tools. I discovered it when the remote lock/unlock using the key fobs failed. As I investigated I found the broken wire, along with several others with broken insulation, some with broken copper strands.
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