BMW Cars 1999-06

Exterior Lights

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Brake, Signal & Marker Lights



Removal & Installation
Front Turn Signal & Parking
E30 Models
  1. Remove the 2 screws holding the lens. Remove the lens.
  2.  
  3. Gently press the bulb in and rotate counterclockwise.
  4.  
  5. Pull the bulb out of the socket. Inspect the socket for corrosion.
  6.  
  7. Install the new bulb. Press in and rotate clockwise. Install the lens and screws.
  8.  

E36 Models
  1. Open the hood. From behind the turn signal, squeeze to release the clip and pull the socket assembly out of the back of the assembly.
  2.  
  3. Press the bulb in slightly and turn counterclockwise to release from the bulb socket.
  4.  
  5. Gently press the bulb in and rotate counterclockwise or depress the retaining clips.
  6.  
  7. Pull the bulb out of the socket. Inspect the socket for corrosion and clean as necessary.
  8.  
  9. If necessary, the lens assembly can be removed by pressing in on the retaining clip on the side of the assembly that locks it onto the headlight. Press the retainer away from the headlamp and slide the assembly forward to remove.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install the new bulb by pressing in and rotating clockwise.
  2.  
  3. Install the socket into the lens.
  4.  
  5. Close the hood.
  6.  



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Fig. Squeeze the retaining clips to release the bulb assembly from the socket

High-Mount Brake Light
  1. From inside the trunk remove the bulb holder directly beneath the brake light. On convertibles, remove the 4 screws under the light on the trunk lid and remove the cover. On the M3, pull the cover back and down.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bulb from the socket.
  4.  
  5. Check the socket for corrosion and replace the bulb. Replace the socket or cover.
  6.  

License Plate Lights
E30 Models
  1. Remove the screws from the light and pull out to the side.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bulb from the assembly.
  4.  
  5. Check the contacts for corrosion and secure fit against the bulb when replaced.
  6.  
  7. Install the new bulb and the assembly into the body. Install the screws.
  8.  

E36 Models
  1. Remove the rear trim lifting handle by removing the four Phillips fasteners in the recessed holes.
  2.  
  3. Press the lens assembly to the left and lift up to release.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bulb from the contacts.
  6.  
  7. Installation is in reverse order of assembly.
  8.  



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Fig. Remove the rear trim/lift handle to access the license plate bulbs



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Fig. Press the lens assembly to the left and lift upward to release

Rear Turn Signal, Brake & Parking Lights
  1. Remove the light assembly cover from inside the trunk.
  2.  
  3. On the E30 3 Series, the bulbs will be exposed when the cover is removed. On the E36 3 Series remove the protective cover, then rotate the bulb holders counterclockwise to remove the bulb holders.
  4.  
  5. Press the bulb in and rotate counterclockwise to remove
  6.  
  7. Install the bulb holder and cover.
  8.  



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Fig. Remove the rear cover by rotating the handle-E36 3 Series shown



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Fig. View of the bulb holders once the cover has been removed



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Fig. Rotate the bulb holder counterclockwise to remove



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Fig. Press the bulb in and rotate counterclockwise to remove

Side Marker Lights

The side market lights on the E30 models are held in by clips and are removed by prying the clips out. The E36 models front side marker lights are integrated with the front and rear turn signals and are replaced in the same fashion as the turn signals.

Turn Signals
Side Turn Signals

The E36 models have a side, fender mounted turn signal.

  1. Slide the light assembly forward.
  2.  
  3. Once the assembly has been slid forward, pull outward on the rear portion to release.
  4.  
  5. Pull the lens assembly outward, then remove the bulb from the lens and remove the bulb.
  6.  
  7. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  8.  



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Fig. Slide the marker assembly forward until. . . .



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Fig. . . . the rear of the assembly clears the opening and lift outward



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Fig. Pull the lens assembly away from the vehicle, then . . .



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Fig. . . . remove the socket assembly to access the bulb

Fog/Driving Lights




CAUTION
Never touch the clear lens of a fog light bulb prior to installation. If the bulb has been touched or come in contact with debris, use a clean soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol and clean the bulb, then wipe dry before installing.

Installing Aftermarket Auxiliary Lights

NOTE
Before installing any aftermarket light, make sure it is legal for road use. Most acceptable lights will have a DOT approval number. Also check your local and regional inspection regulations. In certain areas, aftermarket lights must be installed in a particular manner or they may not be legal for inspection.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Unpack the contents of the light kit purchased. Place the contents in an open space where you can easily retrieve a piece if needed.
  4.  
  5. Choose a location for the lights. If you are installing fog lights, below the bumper and apart from each other is desirable. Most fog lights are mounted below or very close to the headlights. If you are installing driving lights, above the bumper and close together is desirable. Most driving lights are mounted between the headlights.
  6.  
  7. Drill the needed hole(s) to mount the light. Install the light, and secure using the supplied retainer nut and washer. Tighten the light mounting hardware, but not the light adjustment nut or bolt.
  8.  
  9. Install the relay that came with the light kit in the engine compartment, in a rigid area, such as a fender. Always install the relay with the terminals facing down. This will prevent water from entering the relay assembly.
  10.  
  11. Using the wire supplied, locate the ground terminal on the relay, and connect a length of wire from this terminal to a good ground source. You can drill a hole and screw this wire to an inside piece of metal; just scrape the paint away from the hole to ensure a good connection.
  12.  
  13. Locate the light terminal on the relay; and attach a length of wire between this terminal and the fog/driving lamps.
  14.  
  15. Locate the ignition terminal on the relay, and connect a length of wire between this terminal and the light switch.
  16.  
  17. Find a suitable mounting location for the light switch and install. Some examples of mounting areas are a location close to the main light switch, auxiliary light position in the dash panel, if equipped, or in the center of the dash panel.
  18.  
  19. Depending on local and regional regulations, the other end of the switch can be connected to a constant power source such as the battery, an ignition opening in the fuse panel, or a parking or headlight wire.
  20.  
  21. Locate the power terminal on the relay, and connect a wire with an in-line fuse of at least 10 amperes between the terminal and the battery.
  22.  
  23. With all the wires connected and tied up neatly, connect the negative battery cable.
  24.  
  25. Turn the lights ON and adjust the light pattern, if necessary.
  26.  

Removal & Installation
E30 Models
  1. Remove the plugs over the screws and remove the screws.
  2.  
  3. Pull the assembly forward and remove the cover over the bulb.
  4.  
  5. Compress the clip holding the bulb and remove the bulb. Disconnect the wiring from the bulb.
  6.  
  7. Connect the wiring and replace the bulb. Install the cover and the light. Replace the screws.
  8.  

E36 Models
  1. Press the clip in accessible from the upper opening next to the light assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bulb cover by turning to the left. Release the bulb spring and remove the bulb.
  4.  
  5. Install the new bulb and replace the clip and cover.
  6.  
  7. Press the assembly into the opening. The unit will seat into place with a click.
  8.  

Headlights



Aiming

The following items should be considered before aiming the headlights:



Check and set tire pressures to specification
 
Vehicle's fuel tank full or an appropriate load in the trunk
 
Have a load equivalent to the driver's weight on the driver's seat
 
On vehicles with xenon headlamps, wait 30 seconds after switching them on
 

  1. Park the vehicle on level ground, so it is perpendicular to and, facing a flat wall about 25 ft. (7.6m) away.
  2.  
  3. Remove any stone shields, if equipped, and switch ON the lights.
  4.  
  5. Aim them as follows:
    1. The horizontal distance between the light beams on the wall should be the same as between the lights themselves.
    2.  
    3. The vertical height of the light beams above the ground should be 4 in. (10cm) less than the distance between the ground and the center of the lamp lenses for fog lights. For driving lights, the vertical height should be even with the distance between the ground and the center of the lamp.
    4.  

  6.  
  7. Test to make sure the lights work correctly, and the light pattern is even.
  8.  



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Fig. A No. 2 Phillips screwdriver is used to turn the adjustment wheels



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Fig. Low-beam headlight alignment pattern



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Fig. High-beam headlight alignment pattern



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Fig. The horizontal or height adjustment and vertical or side-to-side adjustment wheels shown for E36 3 series vehicles



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Fig. The horizontal or height adjustment and vertical or side-to-side adjustment wheels shown for E36 Z3 vehicles



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Fig. The fog light horizontal or height adjustment is performed through an opening in the lower grille-E36 model illustrated

Removal & Installation
  1. Open the hood and if equipped, remove the plastic cover over the headlight assemblies.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the electrical connector from the bulb.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the bulb counterclockwise at the rear of the headlight assembly and pull out.
  6.  


NOTE
Do not touch the glass portion of the bulb. This will shorten the life of the bulb. Allow the bulb to cool before removing it from the headlight assembly.

To install:

  1. Install the new bulb into the headlight housing and rotate clockwise to lock into position.
  2.  
  3. Connect the wiring and replace the plastic cover as necessary.
  4.  



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Fig. Unplug the electrical connector, then rotate the bulb counterclockwise



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Fig. Once the bulb has been rotated about 1/8 of a turn counterclockwise, the locking tabs should align with the slots in the headlight housing . . .



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Fig. . . . now you can pull the bulb out of the housing to replace

 
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