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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 04-15-2009, 02:07 PM
nutterdog nutterdog is offline
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replacing front turn signal bulb

How do I remove the drivers front turn signal bulb holder? Is it a turning motion? I can barely get my hand on it.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2009, 02:08 PM
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might have to remove the air box.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2009, 02:52 PM
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I removed mine fine...it is a tight squeeze though on the drivers side.

Just like any other bulb on any other car, just twist it and pull it out.
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2009, 03:51 PM
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Hmmph...well I'll be @$%&*+...I have a page from the owners manual on every bulb except the headlight/turn signal bulbs.

OH WELL...with so many different kind out there...perhaps it's better that I didn't.





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  #5  
Old 04-15-2009, 04:29 PM
Hosephus Hosephus is offline
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My driver's side is just fine, but my passenger side I had to remove the airbox for. No way to get leverage otherwise.
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2009, 04:41 PM
nutterdog nutterdog is offline
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I got it out with a good amount of force. Just wanted to make sure the force was applied in the correct direction. Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2011, 12:12 AM
N3llyNova N3llyNova is offline
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Question Recognize..

Quote:
Originally Posted by nutterdog View Post
How do I remove the drivers front turn signal bulb holder? Is it a turning motion? I can barely get my hand on it.
Hi Nutterdog,
Do you recognize my name? If so, please respond.

Last edited by N3llyNova; 05-22-2011 at 11:44 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:23 PM
Curtis37617 Curtis37617 is offline
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Which way do you twist it, counter-clockwise or clockwise? Like everyone else I can barely get to it on the drivers side, want to be certain I'm twisting it in right direction, is really tight.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2011, 10:46 PM
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Pinch the tabs together, twist, and pull. Be prepared to snap a tab though...
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2011, 06:00 AM
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I'm always confused when this topic comes up.

Is the OP trying to replace the rectangular side marker light bulb or the curved side of the headlight assembly where the angel eye fiber optic link ends or the (orange) bulb that is the third bulb inside the headlight assembly?

Here is the side of the headlight itself, which flashes with the turn signals but which has no bulb:


Now, here is the actual bulb in the headlight that is the turn signal bulb:

And, then, there is the side marker light (does that flash with the turn signals?).

Anyway, a quick E39-only title-only search for "turn signal bulb" revealed a few threads on that topic (and these pictures, which are of my E39, and quite a few of QSilver7's excellent responses).



Personally, if it's the orange bulb, even with small hands, I find it vastly easier to just unbolt the headlight (four 8mm bolts) and then pull the headlight assembly out a bit for muuuuuch easier access. But that's just me.

To the OP, I will add all these threads to the bestlinks so please let us know what you did to resolve the problem, and please let us know which of the three 'bulbs' it is:

1) Yellow bulb inside the headlight assembly
2) White light at the very side of the headlight assembly
3) Side lights at the side of the vehicle

Thanks - and please keep us updated.
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Last edited by bluebee; 11-10-2011 at 06:04 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2011, 05:33 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis37617 View Post
Which way do you twist it, counter-clockwise or clockwise? Like everyone else I can barely get to it on the drivers side, want to be certain I'm twisting it in right direction, is really tight.
Counter-clockwise looking from the back of the car. It's a normal right hand threaded socket. It's a tight fit.
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  #12  
Old 11-12-2011, 07:50 AM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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If you think the regular E39 is tight, you should see the M5. No room whatsoever. I had to ask my wife for help, much smaller hands!

To remove, twist clockwise -- away from the inside of the car. Reverse to tighten.

BB, I know I could have removed headlights but seemed like too much trouble for turns replacement. Subsequently I was told that removing the air box is very easy and gives lots of room.

While you're in there, replace with better bulbs. I like the silverstar blues, kills some of the amber:

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  #13  
Old 11-12-2011, 02:36 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
And, then, there is the side marker light (does that flash with the turn signals?).
Yes, the side markers just in front of the doors flash with the turn indicator..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
While you're in there, replace with better bulbs. I like the silverstar blues, kills some of the amber:

I have a pair of those and like the way they look. Unfortunately, OSRAM/Sylvania no longer makes those coated bulbs that flash yellow.

So you're stuck with the "egg yolk" look. You can spray paint the front of the bulb with a light coat of silver paint. I've had mixed results with that on the PY21W rear turn signals.
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Last edited by Steve530; 11-14-2011 at 06:44 PM. Reason: clarity
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  #14  
Old 11-12-2011, 03:24 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Quote:
Unfortunately, OSRAM/Sylvania doesn't make those coated bulbs that flash yellow.
Don't know what you mean here -- my silverstars flash amber. Otherwise I'd never pass inspection in VA.
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2011, 03:32 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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I edited the post. It's my understanding that the OSRAM/Sylvania has discontinued production of the "Diadem" bulbs that look silver and flash yellow. They are not in the current catalog.
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  #16  
Old 11-12-2011, 04:00 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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If true that's disappointing. Good thing I've got a backup set of 1157s for my M3. Better find some for the M5.

Stealth bulbs are offered by other vendors.
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2011, 04:05 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Let know if you find any OSRAM/Sylvania stealth bulbs. I'd like an extra pair for the front and back.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2012, 05:57 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Quote:
Let know if you find any OSRAM/Sylvania stealth bulbs. I'd like an extra pair for the front and back.
Happy 2012. Powerbulbs still has the rears: http://www.powerbulbs.com/product/os...ulbs-twin-pack

No luck so far on the fronts.
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I LIKE OLDER BMWS, PLEASE HELP ME:
Fern Green 99 M3, Conforti Shark Software, Conforti CAI, Dinan Exhaust. Stamped LTWs, 235x40 square, OEM Hella heads, ///M Pedal Kit, Clear Corners, OEM Rear Spoiler, CD43 stereo. MRegistry listing here.
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  #19  
Old 07-23-2014, 03:03 PM
Me Happi Me Happi is offline
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I did it myself!

Thanks to all of you that post helpful DIY instructions on this forum.

I was able to replace my right front turn signal bulb today in under 5 minutes. When my left turn signal bulb burns out, it won't be as simple. It's tucked way down in there behind stuff!

Helpful tip: I went to my local BMW dealer's parts department to get the replacement bulb. Big mistake! I really don't know how they can look you in the eye when they take your money. Google the part number and you'll find reputable online German auto parts companies (Pelican Parts) that carry it for a third of what I paid (before shipping costs). Lesson learned!

Part #: 63-21-7-160-900 BULB YELLOW 5

Thanks all!
Barbara
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2014, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me Happi View Post
I went to my local BMW dealer's parts department to get the replacement bulb. Big mistake! I really don't know how they can look you in the eye when they take your money.
See also:
- How to cross reference all light bulbs for any BMW E39 including for the headlights, stoplights, backup, blinkers, dome, vanity, side markers, licplate, parking, fog, trunk/boot, glovebox, etc. (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Interesting thread today on someone who failed Massachusetts inspection, not due to the amber turn signal bulb, but due to the clear lens.
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Car won't pass inspection (BS reasons)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hh3uunp View Post
I have amber turn signals but they are telling me the lense needs to be amber.
We might find information about the clear plastic in one of these threads, found by typing /lens f3 in the bestlinks:
replacing just the headlight lens (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

For the record, this is my turn signal bulb:

And this is my lens (ignore the caption, the dark spot is the parking light):

Here are all my bulbs in one headlight:

See also:
- Headlight aiming DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & how to physically remove the BMW E39 Hella headlights (1) & how to twist out the headlight bulbs (1) (2) (3) including HIDs (1) & which stock H7 'halogen' bulbs to buy (1) (2) (3) & how to physically remove the front turn signal bulb (1) (2) (3) (4) & what front turn signal bulb to replace it with (1) & how to remove the angel eye bulb (1) (2) (3) & which stock angel-eye bulbs to buy (1) (2) (3) & how to retrofit halogen angeleye bulbs to LEDs (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to modify pre-facelift headlights to angel eyes (1) (2) (3) (4) & headlight plastic polishing & refinishing DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & replacing just the headlight lens (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how to cross reference all light bulbs for any BMW E39 including for the headlights, stoplights, backup, blinkers, dome, vanity, side markers, licplate, parking, fog, trunk/boot, glovebox, etc. (1) & more information if you really want to know everything about broken headlight adjusters (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) & how to make your own headlight adjusters (0) (1) (2) (3) and a summary list of all your options when your headlight adjusters are broken (1) & headlight autopsy photos (1) (2) (3) & an explanation of the weird flat spot on the USA spec headlights (1) (2) & an explanation of HID versus conventional headlights and why the high beam is always a halogen H7 bulb (1) (2) (3) & the age-old argument of whether to buy aftermarket DJ Auto or Depo headlights (1) or OEM Hellas (1).
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 08-08-2014 at 03:10 PM.
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