Replacing an Old BMW Headlight Bulb
You found out that one of the headlights failed to light up. You already checked the fuse, wiring, switch, and the electrical connection. It turned out that the old headlight bulb has reached the end of its service life. The light on the dashboard has given you the heads-up. You have to replace it right away, so you can get back on the road in no time. If you haven't changed a BMW headlight bulb yet, the step-by-step instructions below will help you get this done on your own. Just grab your tools and the new headlight bulb to start the task. Good luck!
Note: This headlight bulb replacement guide is specifically for a 2006 BMW 325i. Other BMW models may have a similar set of instructions for changing the bulb. Consult your vehicle manual.
Required skill level: Novice
Needed tools and materials
- New headlight bulb
- Basic hand tools
- Bulb grease
Preparing for the job
Turn the wheels/tires inward. By turning the wheels, you can reach through the wheel well and get access to the headlight assembly.
Removing the burned-out headlight bulb
Look for that panel in the wheel well. You have to remove this panel to get through the headlight assembly. There are turn wheels on all sides with grooves. You just have to turn them until you can peel out the panel. This will expose the housing of the headlight. Look for a metal tab that's holding the cover in place and just push it up out of the way. By unlocking the tab, you can pull out the cover to get access to the light. Inside, you'll find an electrical plug. This plugs directly into the light bulb. Give this a little tug and unplug this from the light source. A little wiggle will do the trick. You won't have to disconnect it from the housing. Just let the plug hang free.
A metal hinge, which is attached to a hook, is holding the light in place. Just push it to the side carefully to get it off the hook and then pull it down to get it out of the way. You can then reach through bulb and safely pull it out. You'll find a tab that's lined up with the rim of the plastic housing. Take note of this, so you can put in the new bulb the same way.
Changing the light bulb
Apply some bulb grease to the tips of the bulb's plug, so plugging it into the socket will be easier. The grease can prevent corrosion and can moisture proof. Wear gloves as you change the bulb. Oil from the skin that comes in contact with bulb glass can shorten the lifespan of the bulb. Look for that metal tab at the top. This should line up with the housing as you slide in the new bulb. Once it's plugged in properly, put back the metal hinge you had to pull down and lock it in by sliding it back into place. Return the plug to the sockets of the new bulb. Once plugged in, see if the new bulb will light up. Turn on the headlights. If everything works, place back the plastic cover. This should slide in easily and should be sealed with the tab. Just put back the panel in the wheel and line it up. Turn the wheels on all sides to secure it.