One of the most important safety features on your BMW is the tail light, as it can prevent dangerous rear-end collisions. The tail lamp wiring on the BMW e46 3-series is known to wear out overtime, and was even part of a nationwide recall that included over 241,000 BMWs in the 2000’s. While no accidents have been officially attributed to this recall, it is still important to have this fixed by a trained BMW technician to keep you and your family safe on the road.
E46 BMWS that are included in this recall of the faulty tail lamp wiring system include the 2002-05 three-series sedans, model numbers 325I, 325XI, 330I and 330XI. Other e46 series produced from 1999-2005 might also have this problem, but they were not included in the recall.
Before you rush to an independent BMW repair expert (if your car is not included in the recall), first check to simply see that the bulb didn’t die. Purchase a replacement bulb and then test it to see if it works. If the light still does not work, then clean the area where the bulb screws in. Use some steel wool or rough towel to wipe away any corrosion or debris. Then replace the new bulb and test it again. If it still doesn’t work, then it could be the result of faulty wiring.
Independent BMW service shops can replace the electrical connections to the rear lamps to fix this problem. If your vehicle is included in the recall, then the cost for this replacement might be covered by BMW.
Search for a local, independent BMW repair shop with BMW mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.