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View Full Version : Plate lights.... im about to ****ing lose it



osin34
05-16-2012, 06:52 PM
you know.... i replaced plate light bulbs in the past with LEDs and ive ALWAYS since i bought my car had the plate lights act funny. sometimes they would turn on no problems and run perfectly.

for the past few years though, they like to run dim.. so i tap the housing on the trunk and they brighten, or one will turn off and the other gets brighter, etc..

i bought both left and right new plate light bulb holder assemblies off of ECS, and took the time to put them in properly and re mount them, and voila! things were working again, bright LED plate lights.. lovin it

now, the drivers side plate light doesnt work at all, and the passenger side will burn bright, if i even so much as touch the tailgate to open it, it will dim, flicker, BRIGHT, off... on...

took the trunk liner off tonight and fiddled with the plugs and wiring, and im certain its the wiring coming from the front of the car somewhere along the way. i can play with it and jiggle it all around and it will turn them off, on, dim bright and everything in between, but the drivers side really just doesnt wanna fuckin work...

ANYONE else had this same problem?!?! i mean its looking like im gunna have to find someone whos scrapping a car, cut their working wiring out of their trunk, and splice and add it to mine.....

this sound like the most likely permanent solution? i just hope the short is somewhere near the end and not further in the car......

no idea how i havnt been pulled over yet for not having a plate light work, but im losing patience fast

crazexr7
05-16-2012, 07:01 PM
You're not the only one. My plate lights always only light when they want to. I'll come up to it and sometimes the left is on and the right is off, and other times it's the other way around. The only permanent fix I can think of is to rewire it? I've been pulled over twice in a matter of 2 weeks I just hope this isn't the next thing [:(] I might be taking on the job of taking it apart and seeing what's up.

Mister2
05-16-2012, 09:18 PM
I pulled out the housing and adjusted (bent) the contacts until they both stayed on and were bright enough. I bought new bulbs thinking they were blown.

walky_talky20
05-16-2012, 10:07 PM
If there is a wiring issue (and not the usual contact fingers/corrosion issue), then it is *highly likely* to be where the wire bends back and forth at the trunk lid hinge. I had to repair this on my old 90 quattro, and found it had already been repaired once before that. When repairing, make sure the "flex" does not happen at your repair location. This usually means cutting out the section and adding in a new section - splicing in 2 spots, NOT just crimping it back together where it broke.

They are just copper wires. There is no reason you need to get an entire trunk harness from another B5. You just locate the wiring fault and repair it with some regular wire. Nothing magical or B5-specific about it.

Also, your wiring fault would most likely be described as an "open", not a "short". Open is when the electricity flow is just interrupted (ie: a disconnect in the harness). This means the power just shuts off. A "short" is where the wires touch together where they shouldn't: making the electricity flow "shorter" than it ought to be. This is generally when you start blowing fuses and melting wires and such.

Mad Cow
05-16-2012, 10:46 PM
Most likely the wiring between the trunk and body like most people said. I had the same problem with my E36, and someone already tried to fix it already. The wires were broken or cracked in multiple places so I just cut out the whole trunk harness out of a junkyard car and spliced it in.

blogs
05-17-2012, 02:31 AM
You're not the only one. My plate lights always only light when they want to.http://www.nobod.info/g.gif

ImTheDevil
05-17-2012, 04:27 AM
Osin, we can tear into it this weekend. Been there, done that on my car already.

dirtydub01
05-17-2012, 05:01 AM
I had the same issue when I first got my S4 and just got new housings from ECS along with the plate light LEDs and works great now. http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_S4--2.7T/Lighting/License_Plate/ES2189630/

osin34
05-17-2012, 09:17 AM
I had the same issue when I first got my S4 and just got new housings from ECS along with the plate light LEDs and works great now. http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_S4--2.7T/Lighting/License_Plate/ES2189630/

This is more directed towards everyone but thanks for all the replies. I did buy the new housings from ECS already and they needed it bad cause my old ones were garbage. but that being said, its definatley the wiring thats causing the issue. Thats perfect to know that it is just copper wiring, i plan on cutting the old wiring out from right behing the connector, and going back about as far as i can reach and splicing in new wiring. Cant stand this hahaha such a small problem that irritates me so much! i dont know how i havnt been pulled over for it yet.

A4Rob
05-18-2012, 08:34 AM
I bought new lights from ECS and now they work great. Even bought a set for the wifey.

anmagro
05-19-2012, 06:42 PM
I have had this problem too. I'm planning on just removing all of the oem
Wire and connection points, run a simple LED bulb to the light hole and call it a day.

10kredline
05-19-2012, 10:24 PM
Mine did the same. Make sure the contact area is touching each other and try bending them around.

osin34
05-20-2012, 12:04 PM
Ive done all of the bending of the contacts and moving, removing, everything under the sun... its absolutley the wiring im afraid to say.. i just needed a direction to go. sounds like splicing in some new copper wiring oughta work i hope!

geeky
05-20-2012, 12:22 PM
I bought new lights from ECS and now they work great. Even bought a set for the wifey.

random and not related to the thread, but Rob, you're married?! I had no idea lol, sounds like you found the right one that lets you mess around with the car haha.

Nollywood
05-20-2012, 12:25 PM
Or simply revert to the OEM bulbs, they've always worked fine in ALL my cars.

RippleChip
05-20-2012, 05:18 PM
Common issue I have battled all the years of ownership. Every so often I have to take the housing apart and clean up the contacts and sometimes bend the metal back to ensure it makes a solid contact. Did it at the end of the winter and they are back running super bright.

rAphb0y
05-20-2012, 07:16 PM
I had the same issues with both sides of mine, took it all apart grinded the connectors, NOTHING. Ordered both whole new assemblies from ECS and boom, solved my problem and I'm sure it will solve yours also. GL