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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 04-17-2004, 03:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a problem with the rear licence plate light not working. See the pics. The OBC displays the error everytime I turn on the lights. I got the dealership to check it out, and they said it was the bulb compartment. They ordered a new one, but after a quick installation and test, it turned out that it was not that which was the problem.

The rear licence plate light on the drivers side will not work no matter which light [compartment] I put in it. The passengers side WILL work, no matter which one I put in there. Therefore, we assumed wiring problem.

Anyone know the specifics of where the wires actually split to go from one side to the other? I've never had my trunk apart. Is it easy to trace back that light wire through the trunk wiring? Do I need to take my trunk apart?

Thanks for any help.

Bill


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Old 04-17-2004, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm. This thread reminds me that my light has been out for months but I haven't replaced it. All i can suggest is popping off the plastic trim on the inside back of the trunk lid and follow the wires on both lights. If you can't find a split in any of them, check the security of the ground. If it still won't work, either splice the wires or let it be.
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Old 04-17-2004, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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your problem lies where all the lighting meets up or sumtin. my mech fixed all my exterior lgihting for me, including the rear lic plate light (whihc i thought was just a burnt bulb). I wud assume ur problem lies in the lkm, but i know he didnt touch that. ill ask him.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great. Thanks much. I appreciate the help.


Happy motoring.
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Old 04-18-2004, 07:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check the wires that go to your trunk lid. When you open your trunk they're on the left side. Those wires bend when you open or close your trunk and the wires wear.
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip. The collection of wires to the trunk are all encased in plastic and there doesn't appear to be any kinks.

I'm going to try to remove the trunk cover on the inside and see if I can see anything interesting...
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Use a DVOM to see if you have power to the wire if not, trace the wire back and probe it to see where you have power and that will help you find the problem.
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