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I have the strangest thing going on with the LED tail lights in my 2011 X3. Hoping somebody might be able to help me out. It is out of warranty (65k miles). The only tail light (led) that is working is the right fender light. The 2 tail gate led lights and the far left are not working. Well, let me rephrase that.... Not working all the time. After the car sits for a while and then when started the left will work for about a minute and then dim out. All while the Right stays on continuously. Also the Right tail gate light will do the same from time to time (on for about a minute, then dims out). Took it to a local import shop and they couldn't figure it out. They recommended I replace the Left fender light for the tune of $280. But then they couldn't explain why it would work intermittently. Anybody have any ideas why this would happen? Could it be possible that a dying battery could cause this?? Anybody know how this lighting system works? Does it go to a central hub of some sort? Any thoughts or testing idea's would be awesome. Thanks!
 

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Don't know why you have an intermittent problem, but both of my LED tailgate lights have been replaced in my 2011 X3 with 90,000 miles. They failed about 6 months apart. I happened to notice that just before the second one failed it wasn't as bright as the other side......... These units are pricey and I kept the original ones........maybe someone will figure out how to refurbish them.
 

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i had the same problem and found the cause to be the little control module inside the light to have a cold solder joint on one little resistors on the board.I found it by using jumper wires to hook up the tail light from the plug and started pressing to the diodes,resistors on the board until the LED light came back on and then re-soldered the joint. worked ever since.
 

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Timely post. I had a problem with the right tailgate LED. It tested fine in the shop, but was intermittent at best when out in the cold weather. I saved the old light, and plan to examine it closely when time permits. I'm expecting to find something similar to what Hammer49 found.
 

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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=815742&highlight=

Post #7:

"And here's an oddity. Over the past year, at four different times, all the rear lamps have failed except for the high-center brake lamp on the tailgate. The left outboard, right outboard, left tailgate and right tailgate lamps have failed which required replacement of the entire lamp assembly in each case. All covered under warranty.
We have Xenon headlamps which, I understand, gets you an upscale rear lighting package. LED maybe?
2011 X3 35i, bought new, now at 43,000 miles."
 

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My right trunk LED went out a few weeks ago... so I thought I would have to replace it. Then it came back on a week later. Now it's out again. I'm glad I found this thread, I'm going to have to check that solder joint.
 

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Dealer replaced the whole thing $300 + $40 labor.

Did any of you tried to just replace the bulb?
One might think that that is the "Well, Duh?" solution. On my 35i I have LEDs. In the tail ight assembly in question there is one bulb and a bunch of LEDs. The bulb was fine. It was the LEDs which failed. The control board is small, perhaps the size of my thumb, and not a dealer-serviceable part. The control board is sealed in place. I had to break off a plastic tab in order to remove it for inspection.
 

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Hi Hammer, would you happen to have DYI steps on this? 2 of my tail lights are out and I'm off warranty :(
Thanks in advance!
If you look at the two photos, you can see the additional soldier in the photo with the tip on the bad chip. I think I'm going to try this this weekend with my wifes, one bad light.
I've tried dielectric grease, which lasted for about a day.
 

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OK, I'm not a soldier expert at all, but I melted a little soldier on the tip of my 30 watt iron. I sort of scrapped it over the points of the same chip that hammer 49 soldiered on his. I was able to build it up so it looked similar to his in the after photo. I had one side that seemed a little low before the soldier. I didn't even remove the chip, I did this to the chip still mounted in the light. In any case, it works for now. When I was pressing and using dielectric grease, it was never as bright as the other lights. After this little fix it is just as bright as the others.
 

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FWIW,

The right tailgate lamp assembly went out on our 2011 X3 35i recently. It is out of warranty. I replaced the bulb myself but that did not fix the problem. Then took it to the local independent shop I use.

They had to replace the whole lamp assembly. As noted above, it has a strip / strips of LEDs. The shop said BMW issued a repair notice on this saying the whole lamp assembly needs to be inspected / replaced.

Bruce
 

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For those trying to re-solder the resistor or other parts, I would give my 1 cent here. The dry joint may not be the defect of soldering at the first place. It may be a design issue. Some of these parts are running very hot so eventually crystalised the solder and created a dry joint. The more thorough way of fixing it is: find out the value of the resister, change it to a higher wattage but same ohm value resister, solder back with high melting point solder (HMPS or SN10). If you don't change the value, at least using HMPS and create a slightly bigger solder fillet. Watch out the soldering, keep the time short as many SMD parts can't stand high temperature for long.
 

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Holy cow batman! I had the same problem with right side tailight led. went out along with the brake light bulb. I pulled out the 30 iron and melted the tiniest bit of solder on the end , then applied to same spots as the picture above...... First try the light was kinda dim and second try works perfect. Thank you for spending the time to post this fix as a new assembly is $280
 

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Another satisfied customer

Hi all, new X3 owner and new to the forum and it has already saved me some $$$$. Left tail gate and right side fender LEDs were not working which unfortunately was discovered when getting it inspected after registering it. Found this thread and soldered up the resistor on both and I am good to go. Had to do it twice as the 'no flux needed' solder really needed flux to get the solder to take. Hardest part of the whole deal was hooking up leads to the board and diagnosing the issue. From earlier posts it appears the same resistor is always the culprit. It was on mine. I fixed them both for less than $20 total including the panel tools from Harbor Freight and a 6 pack of Harpoon IPA. Second try was more successful. Had access to a bench and large magnifying glass which made life a lot simpler for soldering the board. I'll post pics of the rig I used to test the board and also removing the boards from the housings.

Brian

2011 X3 28i
 
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