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Old 02-09-2013, 05:48 AM
eborgelin eborgelin is offline
Registered User
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: E46-03 & E61-06
Thumbs down ZKW Reflector

Greetings from Sweden!

I can confirm that the ZKW issue exists also for European assemblies of E46 - 2003-2005 (ours was produced may 2003, first owner). In Sweden we have mandatory headlight usage (Daylight Running Lights) 24 h a day, so our ZKWs run out slightly faster. Also, replacing them is as costly as in the US, I got a quote for USD 3000 for booth sides. As we also have mandatory annual vehicle inspections (emissions and security), the headlights needs to be replaced every time you get your car fails the inspection.

The AL assembly can be installed instead of the ZKW, one of the connectors is slightly differently placed, which means you have to stretch the cabling slightly, but you should not need to replace the cabling.. To my knowledge, only ZKW assemblies has reported the issue. My car is currently running with one headlight from each producer, no issues with the AL assembly.

A visible ZKW mark is located on the headlight glass, you do not need to lift the hood to validate assembly type. AL lights are not marked in the same way, so if you can't see the mark it is probably an AL assembly.

No recall has been announced for the Swedish market and BMW does not accept this as a warranty issue. Funny you should pay for extras to get really bad quality headlights!
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