2009 BMW 328i XDrive Rear Trunk Tail Light Out

CaptainDan

Well-Known Member
  • #1
This is the second or third time these lights have gone out. I'm not talking about the corner tail light on this car - the one that's full of LED bulbs. I know that entire fixture needs to be replaced because you can't change the LEDs. This is the light that sits in the truck lid. It's the two closer together lights of the four. These lights each have two regular light bulbs inside of them. It's much cheaper to fix these lights than to fix the LED ones.

The last time this occurred, I took things apart, pressed a little here or there, and then the lights worked again. I figured it was just a connection somewhere. Well, the driver's side light went out again the other night, so I figured I should take a closer look. To do so, I pulled the two plastic clips out of the trunk lid liner and then pulled the one side of the liner away from the backside of the fixture (photo 2, 3). By pressing one plastic clip to the side with my thumb, I was able to pull the plastic bulb holder out and away from the housing (photo 4). As I wiggled things around, I noticed that nothing worked. The reason for this is because I had forgotten about the two ground contacts that remained in the shell of the light that was still in the trunk lid. I pushed the bulb holder back into its home and the light worked again (photo 5).

Here's what I'm thinking is causing this issue. As you can see in photo 6, there are two copper or brass ground connections. Somehow, those aren't connecting to the bulb holder part all the time. When I push and wiggle all the parts together, the light works just fine. Inside the bulb holder part (photo 4), there are also ground connections. Or maybe these aren't even ground connections. Perhaps they're the power connections or one is the ground and the other is the source. I don't actually know. What I do know is that these connections aren't being made all the time. For now, I cleaned the connections up a bit and applied some dielectric grease to them. I just reinstalled the bulbs. Later on, I think I'm going to bend the two springed connections out a hair so they apply more pressure to the other fixed copper connections. We'll see if that helps.

Anyway, this is what this light looks like on the inside. Have you come across this problem? Is this a BMW thing? A 328i thing? I wonder. Problems like this are always widespread on these cars for some reason. Let me know.
 

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