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Thread: Reverse light not working

  1. #1

    Reverse light not working

    I have a 2004 330i sedan. The right reverse light stopped working when I brought it in for an inspection. I changed out the bulb and it still doesn't work. Tried bending the connectors out but still doesn't work. Then I noticed the light below it (the assembly is in the trunk lid) also wasn't working. Swapped out the bulb, and it doesn't work. If I put the trunk lid at a very specific angle, both lights work. Otherwise, no, but I can see that there is a faint glow (not a strong one like it should be) to the filament.

    Is this an issue with the trunk harness wiring? I had 9 broken wires fixed two years ago, but maybe more broke?

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    9,147
    I'm not familiar with trunk wiring, but hopefully someone with more knowledge will come along and help!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland
    Posts
    2,202
    Quote Originally Posted by swchang View Post
    I have a 2004 330i sedan. The right reverse light stopped working when I brought it in for an inspection. I changed out the bulb and it still doesn't work. Tried bending the connectors out but still doesn't work. Then I noticed the light below it (the assembly is in the trunk lid) also wasn't working. Swapped out the bulb, and it doesn't work. If I put the trunk lid at a very specific angle, both lights work. Otherwise, no, but I can see that there is a faint glow (not a strong one like it should be) to the filament.

    Is this an issue with the trunk harness wiring? I had 9 broken wires fixed two years ago, but maybe more broke?

    TIA!
    This is 100% the wire harness that connects from the car to the trunk. When you pop the trunk there is a wire loom on the right upper side of the trunk area that goes into the trunk lid itself. I started having issues with my LED license plate lights not working and a new bulb wouldn't fix it. My interior trunk lights stopped working too. Cut open that rubber and take a look and see what connections are loose or if something broke. I had 3-4 broken connections and after soldering them back everything worked great.

    Unfortunately this is a very common problem with the E46's and BMW used some really cheap wires that get brittle.
    2005 Jet Black 6MT ZHP "Family First"
    ~Rob~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,430
    Quote Originally Posted by Newjack View Post
    This is 100% the wire harness that connects from the car to the trunk. When you pop the trunk there is a wire loom on the right upper side of the trunk area that goes into the trunk lid itself. I started having issues with my LED license plate lights not working and a new bulb wouldn't fix it. My interior trunk lights stopped working too. Cut open that rubber and take a look and see what connections are loose or if something broke. I had 3-4 broken connections and after soldering them back everything worked great.

    Unfortunately this is a very common problem with the E46's and BMW used some really cheap wires that get brittle.
    Right on. This was even more of a problem on the e36. That trunk wiring would short out and cars would catch on fire in the driveway.

    I mean the e46 still catches on fire in the driveway, but it's due to the LCM instead.

  5. #5
    Was gonna say it has to be that damn harness. I had this issue in the spring where only one reverse light worked. Cut open the protective sleeve, lightly tugged on each wire and bam, broken wire. Also discovered the adjacent trunk driving light wire was broken. Fixed them both and got the lights back on.

    However I have another break somewhere as one of the driving lights on the driver side tail light is out. Haven't had the drive and energy to rip apart my trunk and follow the wiring harness to find the break. Other than the light being out, its really annoying that when I first start my car in the cold, or rain, anything electrical that comes on, lights, wipers, anything, causes my radio to cut out until I turn it off and on again.

  6. #6
    Thanks, all. It was indeed the harness. Twice in two years!

    Hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving.

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