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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > E92 - failed LED "bars" in tail light



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      08-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
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E92 - failed LED "bars" in tail light

Hi all,

The LED "bars" in my right tail light won't light up. This happens every time I detail my car (I polish and apply sealant with a Porter Cable DA polisher), but after a week or so they'll usually come back on. So far, it's been a couple weeks and no luck.

I'm curious if anyone else has had this intermittent problem, in that the bars will go out, but come back on eventually. I'd like to avoid buying a new outer tail lamp assembly, but it's looking that way.

Thanks!

Zach
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      08-03-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmundy07
Hi all,

The LED "bars" in my right tail light won't light up. This happens every time I detail my car (I polish and apply sealant with a Porter Cable DA polisher), but after a week or so they'll usually come back on. So far, it's been a couple weeks and no luck.

I'm curious if anyone else has had this intermittent problem, in that the bars will go out, but come back on eventually. I'd like to avoid buying a new outer tail lamp assembly, but it's looking that way.

Thanks!

Zach
it sounds like vibration loosened some critical connections. try checking the wiring loom/harness.
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      08-03-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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what year is your car?.. if it is an 07 E92... it is just one of the bulbs ... easy fix... just remove the tail light assembly on the side you need to fix... there is only 3 bulbs inside... it is not LED so do not worry.... It happened to me one bar is out i thought it is complicated and one shop says need to be replaced with LCI but I checked myself and found out that is is just a blown-out bulb...

Last edited by crzylildude; 08-03-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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      08-03-2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinstone157 View Post
it sounds like vibration loosened some critical connections. try checking the wiring loom/harness.
Checked the loom/harness as far as I could see; all seemed okay. Connector is not fouled or otherwise faulty. I wonder if the static electricity build up on the lens of the tail light would cause the LEDs to fail.

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Originally Posted by crzylildude View Post
what year is your car?.. if it is an 07 E92... it is just one of the bulbs ... easy fix... just remove the tail light assembly on the side you need to fix... there is only 3 bulbs inside... it is not LED so do not worry.... It happened to me one bar is out i thought it is complicated and one shop says need to be replaced with LCI but I checked myself and found out that is is just a blown-out bulb...
Fairly (read: 110%) certain that the 3 horizontal bars in both pieces of the tail lights are lit by LEDs. You can easily see the LEDs on the "side" of the tail light mounted on the rear quarter panel. Regardless, all bulbs are intact and not blown. Thanks for the reply, though!
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      08-03-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzylildude View Post
what year is your car?.. if it is an 07 E92... it is just one of the bulbs ... easy fix... just remove the tail light assembly on the side you need to fix... there is only 3 bulbs inside... it is not LED so do not worry.... It happened to me one bar is out i thought it is complicated and one shop says need to be replaced with LCI but I checked myself and found out that is is just a blown-out bulb...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmundy07 View Post
Checked the loom/harness as far as I could see; all seemed okay. Connector is not fouled or otherwise faulty. I wonder if the static electricity build up on the lens of the tail light would cause the LEDs to fail.



Fairly (read: 110%) certain that the 3 horizontal bars in both pieces of the tail lights are lit by LEDs. You can easily see the LEDs on the "side" of the tail light mounted on the rear quarter panel. Regardless, all bulbs are intact and not blown. Thanks for the reply, though!
The guy is right. They are regular bulbs, not LEDs. Especially since you are describing three horizontal lines instead of two, which means that you have a pre-lci version.

http://www.gospecracing.com/forums/showthread.php?p=220
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Last edited by onesuperboi; 08-03-2012 at 11:49 PM.
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      08-04-2012, 02:58 AM   #6
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The tubes are definitely LEDs on E92/E93. Those halogen bulbs are (from top to bottom) 2x for brake lights, reverse light, turn signal. The LEDs are bult into the tail lamp unit and can't be replaced separately. You need a new tail lamp. Unless you're adventurous and are willing to crack them open and see what part has failed on the LED board.

The E90/E91, however, do use regular halogen bulbs for the "tubes".
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      08-04-2012, 03:23 AM   #7
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Well i guess this is a good reason for you to UPGRADE to LCI ... it is only $500++ a set... DO IT!!! DO IT!!!

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...20&postcount=1

Last edited by crzylildude; 08-04-2012 at 03:30 AM.
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      08-04-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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Well, the outer tail lamp assembly is "only" $150 or so from Tischer. Looks like I'll just have to order one. Knowing my luck, they'll mysteriously come back on after I order, though.
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      05-04-2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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I've just come across this issue guys anyone got anywhere with this without replacing the lamp. I don't want to replace the lamp just encase its not that. its really weird because its only done it since I polished my car and had it cleaned at a hand car wash :S
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      05-04-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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mines the E93 though 2007
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      05-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimwood1992 View Post
I've just come across this issue guys anyone got anywhere with this without replacing the lamp. I don't want to replace the lamp just encase its not that. its really weird because its only done it since I polished my car and had it cleaned at a hand car wash :S
Unfortunately, I was only able to solve this issue by replacing the taillight. I wish I had better advice as far as an inexpensive alternative but for $170ish, it's at least guaranteed to fix the issue.
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      05-05-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
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thats a decent chunk of change. I have the same issue and it takes away from rear of the car. might have to bite the bullet and buy it
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      08-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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Looks like I will be getting added to the tailight fail list. :-/
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      04-07-2014, 02:59 PM   #14
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Another one here, after struggling to work out what was lighting the bars and then working out the contacts, I took my rear lens out and tried to get it working on the bench. No luck unfortunately
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      04-07-2014, 03:17 PM   #15
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Take apart the lens and reflow the LCD PCB and there's a very good chance it'll work again. Examine for any contaminates, burns, or damaged traces. You can also just remove the old solder for the LEDs and resolder them by hand with some good 60/40 lead-based solder.
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      04-08-2014, 06:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
Take apart the lens and reflow the LCD PCB and there's a very good chance it'll work again. Examine for any contaminates, burns, or damaged traces. You can also just remove the old solder for the LEDs and resolder them by hand with some good 60/40 lead-based solder.
How did you get the lamp apart ??
I've had my rear lens in an oven for 25 mins at 130 Deg C doesn't seem to want to come apart .. it seems plastic welded rather than sealed with goo
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      04-08-2014, 02:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
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How did you get the lamp apart ??
I've had my rear lens in an oven for 25 mins at 130 Deg C doesn't seem to want to come apart .. it seems plastic welded rather than sealed with goo
If you can't bake it open, then you'll have to break out the dremel and cut the damn thing open and then reseal it when you're done. Not the most elegant solution, but such is the case when BMW decides to make things as unfriendly to consumers as possible. Pretty ridiculous to have a a taillight that can't be replaced, even if it is an LED.
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      09-14-2014, 04:56 PM   #18
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Talking i just did that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
If you can't bake it open, then you'll have to break out the dremel and cut the damn thing open and then reseal it when you're done. Not the most elegant solution, but such is the case when BMW decides to make things as unfriendly to consumers as possible. Pretty ridiculous to have a a taillight that can't be replaced, even if it is an LED.
Hello,
I just dremmel away the transparent part of the tail light and had access to the pcb. Apparently there was a burned out led (the outermost) which i desoldered and replaced it with a 330 Ohm resistor. Problem solved.
No flickering, no dullnes, no error on dash.



notes:
1. 2 cracks appeared on the transparent plastic probably in the cut away phase of the repair...
2. Resealing is not as difficult as i thought it will be (just be sure no excess silicone is purred and a second layer of sealant is used)
3. The car is a total dissapointment
4. every led sits on the pcb on 4 pins. 3 of them are positive and one is negative, be sure to identify the ground one, so as to not short the whole board.
5. during testing be sure to use negative on black wire and positive on yellow (if repair is on the turn indicator leds)



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      05-07-2015, 11:02 AM   #19
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=769428

Would be nice if his pictures worked, I'm ordering an LCI set and then I'll be selling my old set, I'll probably take that one apart to see if I can fix it.
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      08-10-2015, 09:05 PM   #20
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So I have a weird problem along these lines. So on the drivers side only the top and bottom bar are lit, but the light above the reverse light is lit up. The passenger side has all three bars and no light above the reverse light. Thoughts??
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      08-10-2015, 09:50 PM   #21
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I just repaired mine last week. My passenger side would go out and flicker. I used an oscillating tool to cut a section out of the back side of the tail lamp assembly to gain acess to the small LED circuit board. The culprit was a cold solder joint on small 8 pin surface mount IC. I re-soldered it and sealed it back up and it has been working great ever since. I guess I should have taken some pictures of it.
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      01-08-2016, 06:08 PM   #22
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have you got a photo of where you cut the hole or does anyone know how to split the unit?

TIA
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