Rear Left Light Cluster Failure - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)

F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:20 AM
Spillpot Spillpot is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 428i Convertible
Rear Left Light Cluster Failure

I have a 2014 F33 428i M-Sport Convertible. Over the last few weeks I've been getting intermittent faults appearing on the dashboard saying I have either a Rear Left Brake Light failure or a Rear Left Indicator Light failure. However when I've checked they have always been working and the error goes away, then reappears later. However, this morning the warnings for both came together and the indicator started rapidly pulsing when switched to turn left. I checked the lights and have no rear left indicator, brake light or night light. I didn't check the reverse light. So looks like the entire light cluster has stopped working.

Would anyone have some suggestions on what I could check and how, to try and diagnose the issue before I take it into my dealer for an (I expect) expensive repair. I have a simple ODBC code reader and multi-meter and quite happy to have a pock around. I'm just not sure where to start.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:51 AM
AndDown's Avatar
AndDown AndDown is offline
just copacetic!!!
Location: Redlands CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,553
Mein Auto: '16 428i GC
Seems to be a common problem, thereís a short in the wiring. Do a forum search on this topic; there might be a recall on this issue, not certain.
__________________
Dan
'01 X5 3.0 AlpWhite
'16 428i GC AlpWhite
'19 230i MSpt AlpWhite
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-03-2019, 07:35 AM
John in VA John in VA is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Leesburg, VA
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 903
Mein Auto: '74 tii / E28s / '03 530i
Here's the most recent thread - https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1339685
__________________
___________
BMW CCA #30375 - National Capital Chapter
1974 2002tii
1986 535i
2000 328i
2003 530i
2006 330ic ZHP
2015 228i M Sport
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:51 AM
John MS John MS is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Virginia, USA
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,653
Mein Auto: 2014 Glacier Silver 328i
Maybe a bad ground connection.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:42 AM
Spillpot Spillpot is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 428i Convertible
Thanks for the updates. It definitely sounds like the ground pin has heated, melted the plastic around the pin and I now have no grounding. That would explain the intermittent issues for a few weeks as the contact around the pin was gradually eroded. Iíll take the lining out around the cluster and inspect the plug over the next few days to confirm. The fix to create a new ground looks simple enough so that will be my plan. Iíll update with findings to help others in the future.

Whatís likely to have cause the issue? Is it just the fact that all the lights run of one ground pin and it generates too much heat, or could moisture have got in? Sounds like a very poor design.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:39 PM
AndDown's Avatar
AndDown AndDown is offline
just copacetic!!!
Location: Redlands CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,553
Mein Auto: '16 428i GC
Not the first time that BMW has had this issue. There was a recall to beef up the ground wire on early E46 models when I had a 2002 and 2003 325i. Thanks to forum members, I had already added a thicker gauge wire for the ground. Somewhere along the design line, a design engineer did not get his Starbucks for the day!
__________________
Dan
'01 X5 3.0 AlpWhite
'16 428i GC AlpWhite
'19 230i MSpt AlpWhite
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-05-2019, 06:48 AM
Spillpot Spillpot is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 428i Convertible
I removed the light cluster and when disconnected the socket the issue is clear. Melted ground pin as was suggested. I spoke to my BMW dealer and they are ordering a replacement bulb tray and socket for me. They quoted £43.45 (UK) which seems reasonable for genuine parts and saves messing with a new earthing wire.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2685 (Small).JPG
Views:	19
Size:	51.9 KB
ID:	863567   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2687 (Small).JPG
Views:	19
Size:	87.1 KB
ID:	863569  

Last edited by Spillpot; 09-05-2019 at 06:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:47 AM
Spillpot Spillpot is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 428i Convertible
As my BMW dealer couldn't be bothered to call me and advise when my ordered parts had arrived, I decided to fix the issue myself. I've documented here for the benefit of others who may come across this in the future when experiencing similar problems.

I couldn't remove the brown wire pin from the socket as the plastic had melted all around it with the pin from the lamp tray stuck inside the hole. So I had to cut the wire and solder a short connecting wire with a bullet connector soldered to the end.
I then soldered another piece of wire to the female part of the bullet plug, and fed through the small hole in the lamp tray which appears to have a convenient cap over it to prevent (or at least reduce) water ingress. I then soldered the end of the wire to the ground plate in the lamp tray. The earth is now on a separate plug but it seems to work. I didn't bother looking for a better earthing point as there wasn't any obvious location that I could see on my convertable model. Pictures attached showing the work done. Lights working again and only cost me £2.10 for a pack of bullet plugs.

If anyone has an explanation as to why this pin would have heated up and melted off I'd like to know. I received the first warning on my dash for the right brake lamp failing (which then promptly went away) so I suspect the right is doing the same thing. I'm slightly concerned that I have another underlying issue of over-current being produced (although the bulbs aren't blowing)?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2693.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	69.4 KB
ID:	864365   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2694.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	59.1 KB
ID:	864367   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2695.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	89.3 KB
ID:	864369  
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:52 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: northern california
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,230
Mein Auto: bimmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spillpot View Post
As my BMW dealer couldn't be bothered to call me and advise when my ordered parts had arrived, I decided to fix the issue myself. I've documented here for the benefit of others who may come across this in the future when experiencing similar problems.

I couldn't remove the brown wire pin from the socket as the plastic had melted all around it with the pin from the lamp tray stuck inside the hole. So I had to cut the wire and solder a short connecting wire with a bullet connector soldered to the end.
I then soldered another piece of wire to the female part of the bullet plug, and fed through the small hole in the lamp tray which appears to have a convenient cap over it to prevent (or at least reduce) water ingress. I then soldered the end of the wire to the ground plate in the lamp tray. The earth is now on a separate plug but it seems to work. I didn't bother looking for a better earthing point as there wasn't any obvious location that I could see on my convertable model. Pictures attached showing the work done. Lights working again and only cost me £2.10 for a pack of bullet plugs.

If anyone has an explanation as to why this pin would have heated up and melted off I'd like to know. I received the first warning on my dash for the right brake lamp failing (which then promptly went away) so I suspect the right is doing the same thing. I'm slightly concerned that I have another underlying issue of over-current being produced (although the bulbs aren't blowing)?
Wow thanks for the writeup. This type of DIY usually scares me as if not perfect it may short out a lot more than just the cluster, and BMWNA will not goodwill future repairs .... But for the experts this fix seems quite reasonable. Is there any waterproofing needed?

As for the melting, other posters speculate ground wire is below spec hence the total amperage of the bulbs overload the wire, sounds about right?
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.