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If you're anywhere near as unlucky as I am you may have run into an issue with your Mini Cooper having a complete tail light malfunction whether it is the driver side or passenger side. Luckily there is a solution which is not too difficult but may be challenging if you've never tackled an electrical problem before or worked on cars. I did this repair on my 2015 F55 Base Mini Cooper that had halogen tail lights.

The Diagnosis:

You can refer to the pictures I have attached below as you have a better idea of what I'm talking about. You'll notice there is a side-by-side comparison of a burnt electrical socket and connector. This is caused by a faulty grounding point that is very clearly a manufacturing issue but wasn't considered as a recall for some odd reason. This issue is prominent in several BMW 3,4, and 5 series models as well which is quiet shocking.

The repair:

1. Start by purchasing the required repair kit and parts for this job. You will need a new connector and a new bulb socket replacement. This will run you around 120 Canadian dollars if you prefer to buy authentic MINI parts but you can definitely get cheaper ones if ordered elsewhere online.
Part # for Socket Repair Kit: 61132359993
Part # for Bulb Socket: 63217361305


2. Disconnect the battery from the car as you don't want to short out any electrical components
3. Begin disassembling your faulty tail light. Use a thin plastic tool to remove the chrome trim around your light. The clips are delicate so be sure not to break them in the removal process. You can refer to youtube videos on how to remove the tail light from its housing(just three Torx screws holding in the entire tail light).
4. Once you have easy access to the faulty connector, use a pair of wire strippers to cut the cables free from the connector. Then strip each individual cable exposing about 7mm of the wire. Be sure to take note of which order the cables were plugged into the socket
5. The hardest part of this repair will be re-pinning the connector. Start by sliding the green rubber gromets given in your repair kit over the base of the exposed cable such that the longer side is facing towards the exposed copper.
6. After sliding the gromets over, take the aluminum pins and slide them over the exposed copper and use pliers to firmly affix the pins to the copper wire. The points at which you must bend the aluminum will be quite obvious once you get to this step. Don't be hesitant to trim some of the exposed wire if need be
7. Begin inserting the wires back into the socket in the correct order you removed them from, follow the layout of the old faulty connector for guidance. Any extra empty holes can be filled with the little blue gromets given alongside the green ones in your repair kit
8. Once you are sure that you've inserted the wires correctly, push the pink locking pin closed, there's no going back from here so make sure that you've wired everything correctly.
9. Now it's time to fix the grounding issue. Locate the grounding point of the connector by following the brown cable. This cable will most likely be charred black due to its overheating.
10. I personally made a whole new grounding point by sanding down the paint to expose the bare metal and using a bolt and nut to ground the cable to the body of the car. I assume all the breaks in connections with the plastic piece MINI used was losing contact somewhere so I thought it'd be best to just ground the wire directly
11. After you've created your new grounding point replace the bulb socket on the tail light with the new one you purchased. Just push in the two pins holding it in place. Make sure to transfer the light bulb's over to the new socket replacement
12. After that you're done. Reconnect the connector and your car battery and run a quick test to make sure everything works then retrace your steps to put everything back together
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Automotive tire Product Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design


Hopefully, this guide helps out someone as this seems to be a common issue(even the tech who sold the parts said they sell these repair kits often). Feel free to ask questions if you have any
 

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If you're anywhere near as unlucky as I am you may have run into an issue with your Mini Cooper having a complete tail light malfunction whether it is the driver side or passenger side. Luckily there is a solution which is not too difficult but may be challenging if you've never tackled an electrical problem before or worked on cars. I did this repair on my 2015 F55 Base Mini Cooper that had halogen tail lights.

The Diagnosis:

You can refer to the pictures I have attached below as you have a better idea of what I'm talking about. You'll notice there is a side-by-side comparison of a burnt electrical socket and connector. This is caused by a faulty grounding point that is very clearly a manufacturing issue but wasn't considered as a recall for some odd reason. This issue is prominent in several BMW 3,4, and 5 series models as well which is quiet shocking.

The repair:

1. Start by purchasing the required repair kit and parts for this job. You will need a new connector and a new bulb socket replacement. This will run you around 120 Canadian dollars if you prefer to buy authentic MINI parts but you can definitely get cheaper ones if ordered elsewhere online.
Part # for Socket Repair Kit: 61132359993
Part # for Bulb Socket: 63217361305


2. Disconnect the battery from the car as you don't want to short out any electrical components
3. Begin disassembling your faulty tail light. Use a thin plastic tool to remove the chrome trim around your light. The clips are delicate so be sure not to break them in the removal process. You can refer to youtube videos on how to remove the tail light from its housing(just three Torx screws holding in the entire tail light).
4. Once you have easy access to the faulty connector, use a pair of wire strippers to cut the cables free from the connector. Then strip each individual cable exposing about 7mm of the wire. Be sure to take note of which order the cables were plugged into the socket
5. The hardest part of this repair will be re-pinning the connector. Start by sliding the green rubber gromets given in your repair kit over the base of the exposed cable such that the longer side is facing towards the exposed copper.
6. After sliding the gromets over, take the aluminum pins and slide them over the exposed copper and use pliers to firmly affix the pins to the copper wire. The points at which you must bend the aluminum will be quite obvious once you get to this step. Don't be hesitant to trim some of the exposed wire if need be
7. Begin inserting the wires back into the socket in the correct order you removed them from, follow the layout of the old faulty connector for guidance. Any extra empty holes can be filled with the little blue gromets given alongside the green ones in your repair kit
8. Once you are sure that you've inserted the wires correctly, push the pink locking pin closed, there's no going back from here so make sure that you've wired everything correctly.
9. Now it's time to fix the grounding issue. Locate the grounding point of the connector by following the brown cable. This cable will most likely be charred black due to its overheating.
10. I personally made a whole new grounding point by sanding down the paint to expose the bare metal and using a bolt and nut to ground the cable to the body of the car. I assume all the breaks in connections with the plastic piece MINI used was losing contact somewhere so I thought it'd be best to just ground the wire directly
11. After you've created your new grounding point replace the bulb socket on the tail light with the new one you purchased. Just push in the two pins holding it in place. Make sure to transfer the light bulb's over to the new socket replacement
12. After that you're done. Reconnect the connector and your car battery and run a quick test to make sure everything works then retrace your steps to put everything back together
View attachment 281038 View attachment 281039

Hopefully, this guide helps out someone as this seems to be a common issue(even the tech who sold the parts said they sell these repair kits often). Feel free to ask questions if you have any
Hi, I have the same issue and Im so glad you guided me through this repair! I would like to know how you made a new grounding point? Did you drill into the frame to make a hole and then put a bolt and nut? Can you send me a picture please?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you drill into the frame to make a hole and then put a bolt and nut? Can you send me a picture please?
That is exactly what I did. Except I was lucky enough to already have a hole drilled nearby presumably from when the car was manufactured. All I did was sand off the paint surrounding the hole, then wrap the ground wire around the threads of the bolt, applied thread locker, and bolted down the ground wire to the bare metal contacted I created on the car. Picture is attached below as requested.

Glad this repair guide came in handy for someone

281978
 

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That is exactly what I did. Except I was lucky enough to already have a hole drilled nearby presumably from when the car was manufactured. All I did was sand off the paint surrounding the hole, then wrap the ground wire around the threads of the bolt, applied thread locker, and bolted down the ground wire to the bare metal contacted I created on the car. Picture is attached below as requested.

Glad this repair guide came in handy for someone

View attachment 281978
Ah that makes sense! Thanks very much! You saved me a few hundred $$$ at the dealership.
 

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Just to say thanks for this. Used it to fix the burnt out connector on my F56 rear left right cluster. Same parts/part numbers, same wire burnt out (brown earth). I found it to be a pretty simple job, but I am quite handy. Just small fiddly bits but if your OK with that, it really is a simple DIY fix. One thing that might make it easier... On mine I was able to pull the wires out of the original connector with pliers. Pulling each out carefully, but some force was required. They came out clean with gromits and connectors attached so could just be pushed into the new connector block. Only had to rewire the burnt out one...
 

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I have just had the same problem. I have ordered replacement parts but took the light apart at the weekend and made up a bypass lead for the earth wire. I soldered a cable to the earth plate on the back of the light fitting, fed it through a hole and used a handy bolt to give a good earth which will do until the new parts turn up. i will end up adding the bypass leads to both sides with a disconnect and ring tag to hopefully prevent the problem in the future. Judging by other peoples experience I think I have been lucky, car is 05/2014 with 170K on the clock.
 

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Just wanted to thank you all. Superb thread guys thanks a lot. Exactly the same fault with identical pictures of the burnt out connector, brown pin. Pulled out all the wires intact and just changed the brown one. Found unfortunately that lights didn't all work. Must have shorted some of the other wires when it blew. Bulbs were all fine though, so wiggled each individual wire until I found the problem with each light and changed them one by one. Warning lights went out individually after each change. Other things to add for anyone reading this and trying to fix it in the future 1) you don't need to disconnect the battery, just ensure the engine is off 2) you CAN open up the pink locking slider each time and the wires slide straight out again without any force needed pulling with pliers etc. You can do this was many times as you like so it's not one chance only 3) you don't need to remove the whole tail light from it's housing, just unclick the bulb assembly and pull out through the access panel. Oh and I didn't mess with the grounding cable except to take it off clean the contacts and re bolt to original point.

Wish the next guy luck and thanks again for the thread 👍🏼👍🏼
 

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I had the same problem and found an alternate solution. I cut the ground wire just above the connector, soldered a wire to the ground plane of the lamp assembly, ran it out a hole, and connected it to the cut wire with a wire nut. Works like a charm - now I can take the car for inspection!. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread, and for confirming this is a common problem.

PS - if you do this on the right tail light, be sure you don't pinch the emergency gas cap unlock cable when you put the assembly back in.
 

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I had the same problem and found an alternate solution. I cut the ground wire just above the connector, soldered a wire to the ground plane of the lamp assembly, ran it out a hole, and connected it to the cut wire with a wire nut. Works like a charm - now I can take the car for inspection!. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread, and for confirming this is a common problem.

PS - if you do this on the right tail light, be sure you don't pinch the emergency gas cap unlock cable when you put the assembly back in.
If you don't want to solder or can't get the ground plane hot enough (I barely did) you can slip a tinned wire or a flat connector under a strip of ground plane. I did this before I tried soldering and it was OK. This is easiest under the long strip that goes down to the backup light. I'd advise hot-gluing it in place so it doesn't move.
 

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Just wanted to thank you all. Superb thread guys thanks a lot. Exactly the same fault with identical pictures of the burnt out connector, brown pin. Pulled out all the wires intact and just changed the brown one. Found unfortunately that lights didn't all work. Must have shorted some of the other wires when it blew. Bulbs were all fine though, so wiggled each individual wire until I found the problem with each light and changed them one by one. Warning lights went out individually after each change. Other things to add for anyone reading this and trying to fix it in the future 1) you don't need to disconnect the battery, just ensure the engine is off 2) you CAN open up the pink locking slider each time and the wires slide straight out again without any force needed pulling with pliers etc. You can do this was many times as you like so it's not one chance only 3) you don't need to remove the whole tail light from it's housing, just unclick the bulb assembly and pull out through the access panel. Oh and I didn't mess with the grounding cable except to take it off clean the contacts and re bolt to original point.

Wish the next guy luck and thanks again for the thread 👍🏼👍🏼
Hi Jarrad, that's very helpful to know.

EDIT: I just found a youtube video
showing how to depin the harness so that only the brown ground wire needs to be repaired when replacing the socket.

Indeed this seems to be a very common issue for multiple generations of BMW.
 

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Looking to take this one but I am an idiot and hoping for clarification.

My tail light is currently working but is coming in and out. Has signs of the ground connection charring so I've unplugged it for the time being. Do I need to replace everything or is it enough to simply properly ground?And when it comes to grounding, do I need to ground the cable coming from tail-light, or ground the cable coming from the front of the car?
 
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