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rear drivers light warning and indicator fault - E46 320D

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rear drivers light warning and indicator fault - E46 320D

Postby Louise1982 » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 08:08:25 UTC

Hi All,

The rear drivers side light warning has been on my dash for the last few months. The only symptoms I have had is that when at MOT the guy said that the brake lights displayed differently to how they should show up which he said was really weird but he couldn't fail it as brake lights were still showing.

Anyway, a few weeks ago the rear drivers indicator bulb seemed to have gone. But when I pulled out the cluster to replace it started working again. Then it was fine for a couple of weeks but this week it stopped working again. If I pull over and take the cluster out and put it back in it starts working again but after indicating right once it go's faulty again.

Someone mentioned that it is a common electrical fault on the e46 due to bad earthing or something and that the brake light, warning light on dash and indicator are probably all linked to that.

Could anybody confirm this please and give me some ideas what I'm looking for?

Many Thanks
Lou
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Postby afterburner » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 08:38:35 UTC

Dodgy tail lights are a common E46 issue.

First thing to do is to get into the boot and check the connector where the wiring meets the light cluster. This is notorious for burning out the earth wire pin - this should be fairly obvious if it's happening, as you will be able to see the burned pin and receptacle. If this has happened, you will probably see odd warning lights on the dash saying that bulbs have blown when they haven't. When it happened to me, I got intermittent dash warning lights, then eventually the entire cluster (near side for me) stopped working.

If this has happened to you, the fix is to replace the light cluster and the wiring block - this is not terribly expensive. You can also run an earth wire bridge from the wiring loom past the connector directly to the cluster to prevent the weak pins/block from burning out again. I've done this on my car - I need to take some pictures of it as it's easier to show than explain.

Check both sides when you do this.
Slowly working my way through the list of 320d known issues...

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Postby chris1985 » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 10:38:52 UTC

Hi all,

I have a similar issue with my drivers side rear cluster however I cannot see any burning and I have checked all the concretion and they all look ok.

temporary fixes that I have found so far include

use all rear lights
open and close boot lid

Every time i try to look at this issue and fix it everything is working and the warning light disappears then will be back in a few days very annoying but i an convinced it is a loose connection somewhere.

I doubt this will help anyone but just though i would add my bit to this thread.

Chris
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Postby Louise1982 » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 12:11:36 UTC

Afterburner,

thanks for your help.

I checked and you are spot on there is one burnt out pin on both the connector on the cluster and the part it go's into.

How much would it cost to replace the two parts mentioned? I presume the cluster side is simple enough to change but what about the other block it plugs into? Does it mean I need to change all the wiring or
does it just disconnect from
somewhere?

Thanks
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Postby afterburner » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 12:19:26 UTC

Louise1982 wrote:Afterburner,

thanks for your help.

I checked and you are spot on there is one burnt out pin on both the connector on the cluster and the part it go's into.

How much would it cost to replace the two parts mentioned? I presume the cluster side is simple enough to change but what about the other block it plugs into? Does it mean I need to change all the wiring or
does it just disconnect from
somewhere?

Thanks


I replaced mine by getting the parts from Cotswold BMW (site sponsor, see their section on this forum), but any dealer should have the parts. If I remember rightly they have a 'kit' which includes a new light cluster, block connector, and wiring - I can't remember the cost, but it was less than £50 IIRC. I ended up just removing all the metal pins at the end of the wiring from the old block connector and inserting them into the new one ... whether you can do the same will probably depend on how bad your burn out is. You might have to cut the burned out connector off and replace it with a new one - these should come with the kit.
Slowly working my way through the list of 320d known issues...

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Postby Louise1982 » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 19:22:27 UTC

Thanks for the advice I'll give it a try,

thanks
lou
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