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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #76  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:08 AM
rbaisa rbaisa is offline
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Location: Indiana
 
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Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Sorry you blew $173. They knew exactly what was wrong and just wanted you to go away. If you want it fixed the best thing to do is either send them away to light weeks or order the kit and do it yourself. I retrofitted mine about 6 months ago and the difference is like night and day. I don't remember what it cost but it's a few hundred dollars to do it yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauraellis15 View Post
It's 2014. I have 2005 330i and just thought I had aging eyes. I am so mad about this light/reflector issue that I want to scream. $3200. I emailed BMW and they told me to go get a diagnosis. Well that was $173. I drive in the N GA Mnts at night 2x a week and it is scary. Should I still complain?
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  #77  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:19 AM
Lauraellis15 Lauraellis15 is offline
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Kit

I'll have to really make sure I order the correct kit. I have ordered stuff online and lost my $$.What does "either send them away to light weeks" mean? Thank you.
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  #78  
Old 12-22-2014, 11:01 AM
rbaisa rbaisa is offline
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Location: Indiana
 
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Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
I actually ended up going through the retrofit source not lightwerkz. It was like $225 I believe for the kit. Here is a link to the DIY. You just need to be patient and go slow. You can't order any of the plastic bits if you break anything because BMW only sells it as a full unit. I also replaced the lense covers and gaskets as well, which wasn't cheap, but my lenses were shot and were fogging up. That doubles the price of the project but it made a world of difference. ANyway good luck!

http://www.theretrofitsource.com/diy...on-guides.html
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  #79  
Old 12-22-2014, 06:51 PM
G. P. Burdell's Avatar
G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauraellis15 View Post
It's 2014. I have 2005 330i and just thought I had aging eyes. I am so mad about this light/reflector issue that I want to scream. $3200. I emailed BMW and they told me to go get a diagnosis. Well that was $173. I drive in the N GA Mnts at night 2x a week and it is scary. Should I still complain?
Did your dealer confirm that you have defective ZKW headlights? I'm guessing the $3,200 includes brand new headlights at full BMW list price (about $2,600 before sales tax) and about four or five hours of labor at the full dealer labor rate. Here are a few options that could save you some money.
  • Install new, complete replacement aftermarket headlight assemblies by Automotive Lighting (AL). Look for product listings that state Magneti Marelli as the manufacturer; Magneti Marelli is the parent company of AL. The cost for a pair of headlights will be around $1,500 to $1,700 compared to $2,600 for the BMW-labeled equivalents. Going this route gives you all-new wiring and electronics. It's important to carefully inspect the new lights for cracked or broken top mounting tabs and adjusters; for some reason, Magneti Marelli ships the lights upside-down in their boxes, which makes the top tabs and adjustment wheels particularly prone to breaking.
  • Install used, complete replacement headlight assemblies by AL. Be aware that you are buying used electronics with an uncertain remaining lifespan. Buy from a reputable seller who has tested the lights. Carefully examine the headlights for cracked mounting tabs, broken adjusters and cracked insulation on the internal wiring. The seller needs to include the plastic bracket on the bottom of each headlight. Your existing ZKW bracket won't fit the new headlights without major modification.
  • Retrofit aftermarket projectors into your existing ZKW assemblies, as rbaisa suggested. Read the installation instructions on The Retrofit Source's (TRS) Web site, and call them if you have a question before buying. TRS is located in Atlanta, but they do not do retrofits themselves; however, they can recommend a local retrofitter.

Replacement headlights by AL are fairly easy to install, and the electrical connections are plug-and-play. The light output from an AL projector is hard to beat. I recommend new AL assemblies based on the quality of light output and ease of installation.

If you're not comfortable installing the lights yourself, consider asking a handy friend or relative for help to reduce labor costs. An independent BMW specialist can also install them for you, but I strongly suggest that you call ahead and make sure they're OK with installing parts supplied by the customer.

If you buy used assemblies, get a new pair of bulbs. Xenon bulbs lose output as they age. TRS has a great selection of quality D2S bulbs by OSRAM and Philips, and when it comes to bulbs, you do get what you pay for. New AL assemblies come with new Philips bulbs.

Regardless of what you do, be sure to aim the lights properly according to these instructions:
http://danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

Good luck!

Last edited by G. P. Burdell; 12-22-2014 at 06:58 PM.
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  #80  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:09 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Not one person is willing or has the time to send a petition to NHTSA over this defect? Not one lawyer in the group?

The petition process is simple and straightforward (my previous posts). The worst outcome? NHTSA will analyze the complaint databaseand other sources of information...and perhaps deny the petition. Even this doesn't necessarily mean the end of it.

This is why it's important that EVERY owner submit his/her complaint to the safercar.gov complaint database including any safey implications (actually experienced) associated with the defect. Don't exaggerate your personal experience.

In the meantime, everone keep their receipts.
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F30 320i
F30 328i
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E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
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'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
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  #81  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:21 PM
Lauraellis15 Lauraellis15 is offline
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Unhappy Thank y'all so much

I reported my complaint today! This is all great info. I have to get it fixed. I drive in the n ga Mnts some nights. My click n pass is bright!!! Lights up the whole road.
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  #82  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:33 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauraellis15 View Post
I reported my complaint today! This is all great info. I have to get it fixed. I drive in the n ga Mnts some nights. My click n pass is bright!!! Lights up the whole road.
filing a complaint with NHTSA in 'safercar.gov' only takes a few minutes. You'll see the section: 'Complaints and Defects' for those who have experienced the defect.

Go for it. No personal information is asked for and NHTSA always redacts any personal information (car VIN for example).
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F30 320i
F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  #83  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:25 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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Location: Boston Metro West (BMW)
 
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Finally rebuilt my lights last month.

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I'd say it had issues.

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  #84  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:30 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceGuy View Post
Finally rebuilt my lights last month.

Attachment 494910

Attachment 494911

I'd say it had issues.

Attachment 494912
And you reported this to Safercar.gov?
__________________
F30 320i
F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Member: BMW CCA
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  #85  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:37 PM
Lauraellis15 Lauraellis15 is offline
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Location: Atlanta
 
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What year? Do you mind if I send your pics to BMW? I sent my light. They said the bulb did it. I said then your BMW bulb did it. Don't toss your lights.
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  #86  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:51 PM
Lauraellis15 Lauraellis15 is offline
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Location: Atlanta
 
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My light pics.BMW takes no responsibility at all for defective light!

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  #87  
Old 02-28-2015, 03:58 AM
TheFinanceGuy's Avatar
TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
And you reported this to Safercar.gov?

Yes. I've reported it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauraellis15 View Post
What year? Do you mind if I send your pics to BMW? I sent my light. They said the bulb did it. I said then your BMW bulb did it. Don't toss your lights.

I've reported it. Detailed pictures. It's an 04.

BMW probably will never do anything.
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99 540i TiAg
98 328i hellrot (sold)
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  #88  
Old 03-27-2015, 11:25 AM
khenault khenault is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceGuy View Post
BMW probably will never do anything.
It's not up to BMW if we get NHTSA moving. Keep sending your cards and letters.
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  #89  
Old 11-13-2015, 09:13 PM
ggareis ggareis is offline
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Just submit my report
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  #90  
Old 04-01-2016, 11:17 AM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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Location: Minneapolis
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 330i ZHP
Hey guys, so I've been debating about what to do with my headlights for months. Do I order from umnitza and do angel eyes and fxr projectors or so I retrofit. Well I am pinched for cash currently but the light output irritates me to the core. So I think I am going to do a retrofit.

https://www.retrofitlab.com/bmw-3-e4...em-md2s-1.html

This is the one I'm thinking, doesn't look too tough and has good reviews. Plus the price is right. I thought I would reach out and ask if anyone here has used this one specifically or had another recommendation..help! Thanks guys
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  #91  
Old 03-01-2017, 09:46 PM
05twinscrewzhp 05twinscrewzhp is offline
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Will the 05 coupes be included in this recall? My lights are dimmer than they use to be as well.
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  #92  
Old 03-02-2017, 04:24 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
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There isn't a recall yet. The thread starter's goal was to encourage affected owners to file a report with NHTSA in the hopes of starting an investigation, which could lead to a recall. The problem is with bi-xenon headlights manufactured by ZKW for sedans and wagons.

How old are the bulbs? All xenon bulbs lose output as they age. Have you had any suspension work done recently? The auto-leveling sensors can become damaged and cause the lights to be misaligned. Can you see any burn marks or light leaks when you open the back covers on the headlight assemblies?
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  #93  
Old 03-02-2017, 09:26 AM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 330i ZHP
I did the retrofit. Not that hard as long as you follow the videos on YouTube. I have never done anything electrical like that or anything. But yeah it wasn't bad at all! Highly recommend. I think I'll do angel eyes next
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