e39 Right Rear Brake light issue - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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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  #1  
Old 08-11-2015, 05:24 PM
41236 41236 is offline
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e39 Right Rear Brake light issue

Hello everyone. I have a 2002 BMW 530i. About a month ago, I got the warning from the car to "Check Rear Brake lights". I asked a BMW shop how much they would charge, and they said about $550!!!

So, these past few days, I've been searching the Internet to see if it's something I could do myself.

I found a video on Youtube on how to replace the rear Brake lights. And boy, that was EASY!!! Great Video. I would post, but I don't know if that's against the policy here.

Well, I tested the Bulbs to see if they worked. They did. I checked with a Digital Multi-Meter and the Bulbs tested good. To make sure, I then just put the right side ones on the left, where they did work! So it's not the Bulbs that are at fault. This step is done.

But now what? The Bulbs are good, but once installed on the right side, nothing turns on, even the turn signal. Nothing on the Right Taillight is turning on.

What's the next step to find out what's wrong?


Thanks.

Last edited by 41236; 08-11-2015 at 06:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2015, 07:04 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Examine the connector that plugs into the bulb assembly. You may find corrosion.

Make sure you battery is properly vented.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2015, 01:01 PM
ca2014mp2 ca2014mp2 is offline
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does the bulb have a brass fitting at the bottom of it? if so wrong bulb... use nickle coated..
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Series E39 Vehicle code DP63 Model 528ITA Engine M52TU
Body type OTHER Catalog model USA Production date 1999 / 06
Transmission Automatic Steering Left Catalyzer YES

Production FROM : 1998/09/01 TO : 1999/08/31
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2015, 05:31 PM
41236 41236 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Examine the connector that plugs into the bulb assembly. You may find corrosion.

Make sure you battery is properly vented.


I just got done checking for Corrosion. Everything looks clean.

Checked the battery and vents, that too seems clean. The vent seems perfect.
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:38 PM
41236 41236 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca2014mp2 View Post
does the bulb have a brass fitting at the bottom of it? if so wrong bulb... use nickle coated..


I don't think the Bulbs or the the holder of the Bulbs are the Problem. I put the Bulb/Bulb connectors from the right side on the left side(everything on the left side tail lamp works). When I did that, the Bulbs worked on that left side. But I put them back on the right side, and nothing. They don't work on the right side. Nothing does on the right side.



What else should I check? It has to be something on that right side. Could it be a Fuse? If so, which one?

Hopefully it's something that can be a DIY, because the shop and dealers around here are way too expensive!

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:16 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Check this thread, which discusses the cause of many strange electrical problems: Electrical problems traced to trunk lid harness wire chafing

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Old 08-12-2015, 06:33 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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This was in the thread I referenced above:

"I had a CHECK REAR LIGHT warning (last week) on my 540iT and one of the bulbs on the passenger side was not working. After checking the bulbs (swapping them etc) which proved that both worked...I tackled checking the loom (on the Touring it was in the far right tailgate hinge)...there it was...obvious as day...a broken wire (white with a burgundy/brownish stripe). I had to get my needle nose pliers to reach into the abyss to pull the half that was way back up into the roof area of the loom. I spliced the wire back together and all is good again."
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:40 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Hi Bob, hope your car is all fine and dandy after that epic rebuild.

That trunk deck harness is only for the trunk switch, the trunk lock, and the 2 license plate lights.
Change the bulbs to the correct ones, the LCM is very picky about them. Also check the ground connections.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:21 PM
41236 41236 is offline
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UPDATE: There is no corrosion/rust anywhere. That area is Clean!

After checking for anything back there, the problem of the Right Rear Brake lights seems to be either the Wiring or the Connector for that wiring. When i move either of those, the lights flicker on! So somethings probably just loose.

So question: Anyone have a link to a video or some website that has the schematics for the wiring back there? I've never done any electrical before, but this seems easy. Do I disconnect the battery before I try to disconnect and reconnect those wires/connector? I'm hoping, and it seems like this might do the trick.

Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:15 PM
41236 41236 is offline
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UPDATE: From what I've seen and read, it is either the Connector, or most likely one of the Leads that the 3rd connector hole attaches to.
I read about this in another thread on here. After seeing the Photo in that thread, I disconnected the Connector, looked in to where it attaches, and sure enough.........that 3rd lead from the left is only half the length as all the other ones.

My question is, can I just solder it back on, or is it just alot better to buy that circuitry in that photo? If so, anyone know the part # and/or name of the part?

Here's a link to the Thread with the picture: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...3&postcount=18

Here is the picture itself:


?
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2015, 02:16 PM
41236 41236 is offline
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Oh, almost forgot, anyone have a link to the schematics of all the electrical for that ^^^^?



Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2015, 05:37 PM
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gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Ummmm. The centre brake light is part of the right brake light circuit for faults. Over time, the heat from the light in that small cramped space does damage to the socket etc etc etc....
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2015, 11:34 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Ditto...it's not been made clear which instrument cluster you have...which would reveal the type of warning light you're getting.

If you have the low cluster with graphic display...the right rear warning light also includes the bulb for the center high mount (3rd) brake light. You also don't mention if you've ruled that bulb & bulb holder assembly out as being the culprit:



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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 2013 F06 650ix Gran Coupe` (Black Sapphire) 1/13 mfg date
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97 740iL (Arctic Silver) <<~>> 99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Last edited by QSilver7; 08-25-2015 at 11:42 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:03 AM
jroswag jroswag is offline
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I have the same issue and looked over everything mentioned. Is there a chance my right tail light isn't working because of the lcm?


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  #15  
Old 12-19-2017, 05:00 PM
E39beamerboi E39beamerboi is offline
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Yes the lcm will cause that
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2017, 01:29 PM
arthurwood arthurwood is offline
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Holy necrothread revival!

I just had a problem with the RIGHT (passenger side) tail light where there are two big issues that only happen to the right side, both are due to the battery.

1. The lack of venting causes corrosion (or a leak in the light-fixture gasket allows water which causes corrosion). Either way, corrosion is your demon.

2. Putting a battery in causes people to catch the corner of the battery on the harness which pulls the wires out of the four or five pin connector on the back of the taillight assembly. I had this problem. I had to shove a secondary wire in place to make the light stop being intermittent.

The OP needs to confirm the wires are clean and solidly in place.
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