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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-27-2015, 12:30 AM
NathanTaylorP NathanTaylorP is offline
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Location: Lubbock, Tx
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 525i
E39 Headlights

I'm happy to say that I'm the proud new owner of a beautiful '01 525i!
Although I love this car to death, there's one thing that really bothers me.
The previous owner decided to take the OEM low beam bulbs out and put 12k bulbs in..
Normally this wouldn't bother me, but they're horrible. Night time visibility is non existent. Even on pitch black roads, it's just a dark blue glow on the road. I've been looking at replacing them, but I'm stuck. I'm not sure if the car came factory with xenons, or halogens. I'm almost certain it came stock with HID's, but that brings me to my next question..
If I were to order new ones, preferably 6k, would I need balasts? The lights in there now are connected to balasts, but I'm not sure if they'd work with just any HID bulb. Would it basically be a plug and play with a new set of bulbs?
Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2015, 01:03 AM
SpritzUSMC SpritzUSMC is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i ///M Sport
First is first, You need to figure out whether you have factory HID or aftermarket. Easiest way would be to look at you ballast. If it looks like this, it's factory.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2015, 01:08 AM
NathanTaylorP NathanTaylorP is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 525i
They're definitely aftermarket. They don't look anything like that.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2015, 04:58 AM
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Fudman Fudman is online now
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Remove the current bulb and see if you can find a make and model number. It is usually imprinted on the base. If yes, then order the same bulb in the correct color spectrum. Or compare it to the Phillips D2S bulb (OEM) to see if they share the same base.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2015, 06:31 AM
NathanTaylorP NathanTaylorP is offline
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The old bulbs are faded at the bottom and I'm unable to tell. I'm thinking about just ordering new ones and seeing if they work with the ballast that's already in there. If the bulb is 55w/35w.. The ballast needs to be the same correct?
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2015, 09:32 PM
lmezzulo lmezzulo is offline
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If your looking for new lights try MTEC. Amazing lights.
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2015, 08:18 AM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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Post some pics. Then we can narrow it down exactly
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2015, 10:54 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanTaylorP View Post
The old bulbs are faded at the bottom and I'm unable to tell. I'm thinking about just ordering new ones and seeing if they work with the ballast that's already in there. If the bulb is 55w/35w.. The ballast needs to be the same correct?
Factory HID bulbs are 35W, 4300 K (color of sunlight; best for nighttime visibility). You need to remove the ballast and read the specs. If they are aftermarket, who knows what's in there - could be anything. Genuine Hella headlights are so marked.

DO NOT handle bulbs with the bare fingers; it will shorten the life of the bulb.

Go here for a display of all options on your car to determine if it came with HIDs: http://www.bmwarchive.org/vin/bmw-vin-decoder.html
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Last edited by edjack; 03-28-2015 at 10:56 AM.
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2015, 07:45 PM
NathanTaylorP NathanTaylorP is offline
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Thanks everyone for your help. I ordered some new lights off amazon.
I ordered a pair of 6000k D2S bulbs, but when they I tried to put them in they didn't fit in the housing. After taking out one of the HID bulbs that were in the the other housing, it says H7 on the base of the bulb. So if I'm not mistaken, I ordered the wrong type of bulb? Should I have ordered H7 HIDs?
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2015, 07:54 PM
NathanTaylorP NathanTaylorP is offline
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Location: Lubbock, Tx
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 525i
Just to make things clear, since my last post was a little confusing, the previous owner of the car had put super blue hids in. I ordered a pair of d2s bulbs as well as the connections that go from the ballast to the bulb, but the d2s bulbs I ordered don't fit in the projector housing. The old hid bulbs in there say "H7ANPMH124" on the base. The new bulbs I ordered work when you turn the lights on, but they just don't fit into the housing.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2015, 07:52 AM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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You need to post pics so we can help. H7 is the size of the halogen headlight bulbs in this car.

You can go to bmwvin.com and enter the last seven digits of your VIN number to confirm what your car had new, HID or halogen.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2015, 04:32 AM
B-tsai B-tsai is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 2007 525i
Hey guys, new to this forum, but I read in another thread that it may be simply broken adjusting pins that's pointing the headlights into the bumper?
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