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Thread: Tail light Fix

  1. #1
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
    GSXRliterbikz is offline Addict Number 45573... Moderator
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    Mar 2008
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    Danbury NH
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    01 740iL, 04 X5 3.0i

    Tail light Fix

    Shortly after buying my X5 3.0 I started getting false tail light out warnings. Just like my old e46. I started doing some research and found out its a common problem. With the e46 it was an inadequate ground wire that overloads and melts. On the X however, it seems that its caused by poor contact between the metal prongs on the bulb holder and the printed circuit board, causing it to arc between the two and eventually burn the circuit board.

    Here is what I did to fix it.
    This is the pass. side tail light after removing the access panel. You need to remove the three (3) nuts holding the assembly in place. One up high and two on the bottom. One is partially hidden in this pic. by a wire.



    Then pull out the light like so and disconnect the harness.



    With the light out I removed all the bulb holders and this is a pic of the circuit board they sit in. You can clearly see the dark spots where the holders were making poor contact and arcing.


    My solution was to clean the surface with a wire brush and then add electrical solder to the area to build up the height so as to make better contact with the holder. It doesnt look too pretty but it works.





    Thats it for this side. I reassembled everything with contact enhancer and protector, and installed in reverse order.
    Passenger side was the same for me however, if you have dsp, there will be a sub box behind the access panel that will have to be removed first. Here is a pic of the pass. side light out. Notice this side was much worse, it had actually burned a hole in the circuit board.







    These suckers are brighter than I ever knew they could be.
    Hope the pics help you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    L.I., NY
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    IP#145, 11 E92, 2500 HD
    I am having the same issue with my girlfriends X5. I guess this is a common problem. Thanks for the writeup!

  3. #3
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
    GSXRliterbikz is offline Addict Number 45573... Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Danbury NH
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    01 740iL, 04 X5 3.0i
    Yea, I didnt find out till after I bought it. But turns out that most if not all will do it at some point.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Bristow, VA
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    23
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    91 BMW 850I, 06 X5 4.4
    Great write up! I think this is the solution to my tail light problem. and I just made an appointment to go see the stealer on Friday. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nashvegas
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    866
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    06 330I, 11 GTI, 04 X5
    if you guys want...i have multiple sets of lights i fixed in this same manor laying around my house-id sell them for $100 shipped and insured for a set guaranteed to work. Thats like 1/5 the price of brand new ones...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    62
    My Cars
    1995 BMW 840ci
    I have 02 x5. The socket that the bulb sits in was rusty. Replaced that for $14 from the dealer (reasonable) and then put in fresh bulb and hit the contact area with wire brush on Dremel tool. Viola, it worked. Easy. And so many models have this issue

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