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#1 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 06:50 AM
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Hi everyone -- first timer here. You guys have already been extremely helpful, but I have a pop quiz for you.

My good buddy OBC has been telling me "Lic Plate Light Fail" for about a week. Everytime I check it, they seem to be just fine -- both are illuminated. I was beginning to think OBC's just pulling a prank on me.

I must be a little slow, because last night I figured out what the little guy was saying. When the car's off, the license plate lights dim, but do not shut off (aha!).

Should I:

A ) Replace the bulbs with BMW-issue bulbs
B ) Replace the sockets that contain the bulbs
C ) Replace one at a time until OBC says the coast is clear
D ) Worry that it's some larger, more expensive issue
E ) Other ________________________________ (fill in the blank)

Pencils down, heads up! Whose willing to share their answers with the group?

Thanks in advance for any advice you're willing to offer!
Holygoof
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by theholygoof@Jan 12 2005, 05:50 AM
Hi everyone -- first timer here. You guys have already been extremely helpful, but I have a pop quiz for you.

My good buddy OBC has been telling me "Lic Plate Light Fail" for about a week. Everytime I check it, they seem to be just fine -- both are illuminated. I was beginning to think OBC's just pulling a prank on me.

I must be a little slow, because last night I figured out what the little guy was saying. When the car's off, the license plate lights dim, but do not shut off (aha!).

Should I:

A ) Replace the bulbs with BMW-issue bulbs
B ) Replace the sockets that contain the bulbs
C ) Replace one at a time until OBC says the coast is clear
D ) Worry that it's some larger, more expensive issue
E ) Other ________________________________ (fill in the blank)

Pencils down, heads up! Whose willing to share their answers with the group?

Thanks in advance for any advice you're willing to offer!
Holygoof
[snapback]269686[/snapback]

Had the same problem. I replaced the bulbs and the OBC message went away. My bulbs still worked also, but they looked blackened when I took them out. No need to get the bulbs from BMW.....any auto part store should be ok.
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wavewuver@Jan 12 2005, 08:27 AM

Had the same problem. I replaced the bulbs and the OBC message went away. My bulbs still worked also, but they looked blackened when I took them out. No need to get the bulbs from BMW.....any auto part store should be ok.
[snapback]269702[/snapback]
Good answer, wavewuver! Two gold stars for you. I went this morning, replaced the bulbs (I did go to the dealer and shelled out $6 for two bulbs), lights went out and OBC was happy.

All's well that ends well!

Thanks again,
THG
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 05:00 PM
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I wouldn't even worry about it if I were you, I took my license plate bulbs out so my tag can be less visible


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#5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 05:39 PM
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thats illegal in most states, especially in Jersey where they will pull you over for sneezing too hard...

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BlantonG13@Jan 12 2005, 05:39 PM
thats illegal in most states, especially in Jersey where they will pull you over for sneezing too hard...
[snapback]270128[/snapback]

Sooo, last night I went out to check on the car, and, that's right -- the license plate lights were still on, illuminating my plates for the world to see at the expense of my battery.

I've replaced the lights, what's next? Should I replace the little black thingies that house the bulbs? Looks like that's doable.

I think I also heard about electrical shorts in the trunk -- could that be the culprit, and is there anything I can do about that?

Many thanks!!
holygoof

PS: I think you're right about the law, BlantonG13. Lord knows here in the DC metro area the five-oh would send me to Guatanamo Bay for not having lights.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BlantonG13@Jan 12 2005, 05:39 PM
thats illegal in most states, especially in Jersey where they will pull you over for sneezing too hard...
[snapback]270128[/snapback]
thats so true.. Going to a giants football game I got pulled over for having an air freshener dangling from my mirror! How ridiculous, plus i was on the NJ turnpike for maybe 10 minutes..

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 09:09 AM
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yeah and i got pulled over for only doing a 110 on the turnpike.. how ridiculous? don;t they know beamers are meant to go fast...
no seriously, they are really anal over here in jersey... got one for having a air freshner too... they said it was obstructing my view...

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 05:33 PM
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for the license lights to stay on there are several possibilities, but i woulf first check the wires.. It was a problem on some e36 that the plastic pipe the protects the wire form the body to the trunk door brake on the inside so there are so shorts going on. The plastic pipe im talking is the electrical tuve that sits on the trunk door arm, on the drivers side. bmw had a service bulletin about a prodution defect on where the pipe was made of a hard plastic material and that it would brake the wires after some time. look for that first.

then form that i would check fuses. and light relays.

also try taking the light swicth out and using a multimeter check that the swich is swcthing off.. wich i think it is seems all the other ligths go ou right?>


well check the wires first, then look for faulty relays and all..

happy hunt for the electrical gremlins..

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#10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 05:42 PM
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i had the same problem.. so i changed the bulbs.. and the message went away!! i think the bulbs were about to fail thats why it was like that! that happeneds with all the blinkers too.. when they are about to fail... they blink extremely fast!

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#11 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by victorgallas@Jan 19 2005, 05:33 PM
for the license lights to stay on there are several possibilities, but i woulf first check the wires.. It was a problem on some e36 that the plastic pipe the protects the wire form the body to the trunk door brake on the inside so there are so shorts going on. The plastic pipe im talking is the electrical tuve that sits on the trunk door arm, on the drivers side. bmw had a service bulletin about a prodution defect on where the pipe was made of a hard plastic material and that it would brake the wires after some time. look for that first.

then form that i would check fuses. and light relays.

also try taking the light swicth out and using a multimeter check that the swich is swcthing off.. wich i think it is seems all the other ligths go ou right?>


well check the wires first, then look for faulty relays and all..

happy hunt for the electrical gremlins..
[snapback]275051[/snapback]
Hello again everyone-

Many thanks for Victor for his advice -- I have been hard at work researching this and cross-referencing message boards. I can't remember if it's okay to post a link to another message board, but this was my trouble (this could be my last post, if I've broken the rules) -- I hope it helps someone else here as much as it helped me.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=79896

When I removed the plug and pulled the rubber piping down, 8 of the 10 wires had been worn through the plastic to the copper wiring. I covered the wires with electric tape, and returned the rubber piping and plug to their orginal condition. This corrected the light problem, and seems to have repaired an intermittent "Brake Light Fail" I was also getting.

Thanks again to all who responded (and the sage advice, Victor). I appreciate your help!!

theholygoof
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#12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 03:42 PM
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that is good that you've found the problem, but i would recomend you to replace that piece of wire harness. not only because it already dmaged the wires, but also the wires inside the piping can also go bad and then fry...

BMW ETk shows a replacement coil for the trunk door. it replaces the wire from the inside of the car up to the interior of the trunk door.

To do this fix you have to cut the old wiring and re-sotter the new wires and use heat srink isolating tube to isolate the wires.. not a big deal of a job and also keeps you and your car of suffered a disaster,, it can happen that some live wires end up frying...

Well man im glad you got it working..

You are a BMW driver when you become part of the "Ultimate Driving Machine"

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#13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by victorgallas@Jan 20 2005, 03:42 PM
that is good that you've found the problem, but i would recomend you to replace that piece of wire harness. not only because it already dmaged the wires, but also the wires inside the piping can also go bad and then fry...

BMW ETk shows a replacement coil for the trunk door. it replaces the wire from the inside of the car up to the interior of the trunk door.

To do this fix you have to cut the old wiring and re-sotter the new wires and use heat srink isolating tube to isolate the wires.. not a big deal of a job and also keeps you and your car of suffered a disaster,, it can happen that some live wires end up frying...

Well man im glad you got it working..
[snapback]275679[/snapback]
Gotcha. Thanks, dude -- you're probably right. I should make sure it's done properly. I'll look into getting that replacement part, although my soddering skills are quite novice -- can't say I've even done it before! First time for everything.

Thanks again for the advice - I genuinely appreciate it.
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