Cars / e38 / Body & Interior / Soft Glow “Night Lights” – Pre 09/95 e38

Soft Glow “Night Lights” – Pre 09/95 e38

Article by: Alex (absessler)

Article applies to: e38 models (Pre – 09/95)

In my ’00, there are 2 small LEDs in the overhead dome light assemblies that produce a soft glow at night.

I always loved this feature as I think it makes the whole car feel more luxurious, and you almost never need to turn the dome lights on to look for something at night.

Well, when I bought the ’95, one of the first things I noticed was that it didn’t have those nice little glow lights that I have learned to love so much.

After some eBay watching, I was able to find an updated light assembly that had the LEDs in it.

When I got the new assembly, I was very surprised to find that the connectors were exactly the same on both the new and the old.

The only difference was that the male plug did not have the “Night Light” wire in the #4 pin terminal.

Well, with some help with John Carey and the rest of the board, I was able to come up with a plan to piggyback off the sunroof switch’s “Night Light” Signal, and run that to the dome lights.

A huge thanks goes out to John Carey for all his help!

You will need:

  • 3 Flathead Screwdrivers, one being small enough to fit inside the pin slots. (to slide the pin out)
  • The new light w/ the LEDs
  • An extra pin with about 6 inches of wire attached.
  • The Pinout diagrams for both the sunroof switch and the Dome lights. (or just look below for the
    pin #’s)
  • A way of connecting the two wires together. See below for what I did.

To start, pop out the old dome light by slipping a screwdriver in where the red arrows are, and carefully pulling down towards yourself.

Then, VERY carefully, push down from the inside to pop out the trim panel that contains the sunroof switch. There are weak plastic clips all along the edges.

You will then want to unplug all the connections, and set the trim panel aside.

Make sure that you bring the dome light connector around the bar between the dome light and the trim panel so that it is right next to the other cables.

You should be left with something like this. We will be using the connectors circled. The red one is the sunroof connector, and the green is the dome light connector.

We will start with the sunroof connector.

We will be working with pin & wire #2:

The top of the connector slides off, as shown below. It may take some messing with, but I was able to
get it off without breaking anything.

This should be what you see without the cover. Again, we will need to remove pin #2.

I was able to get it out by taking a very thin screwdriver, and pushing it into the slot.

Although everything still worked fine when I put it back together, I did break a little bit of plastic on the connector, so there may be a better way of removing the pin.

Next, I connected the new wire/pin to the wire from the sunroof switch. I used what I had, a basic blue thing that I don’t quite know the name of.

The picture will probably do a better job of telling.

Unfortunately, I don’t quite know what I did with the pictures that I took when disassembling the dome light connector, but I think it was pretty easy to figure out.

It slid off like the sunroof connector. Once you have gotten it apart, find the slot for pin #4. There shouldn’t be anything there.

Once you have found it , just slip the new pin in with the small tab facing up.

Now we just need to get everything back together. Slide the sunroof switch pin back in, and put both
connector’s covers back on.

Plug everything back into the trim piece. My car didn’t have the homelink option, so those who do may
have three plugs to put back in.

Slide the dome light connector back over, and put back on the trim piece.

Make sure that your connector is easy to get at.

Plug in the dome light connector, turn on the lights and….

Now, go for a “night ride”, and enjoy! Your now one step closer to an ‘01

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