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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 09-28-2014, 07:40 AM
Josh P.'s Avatar
Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530 SP/PP/CWP/Slush
license plate bulb housing: how to get the damn thing out

I've put a flat blade screw driver in the notch and tried to move it to the left, as the manual states. It won't budge, and now I'm starting to maul the hole in the plastic. Is the entire black housing supposed to slide left, or are you somehow supposed to pry just the clear blumb cover out? It's the left (driver) bulb that's out but I also tried to move the right one just to see how it works. That one won't move either.

Is there a clip in that little notch that is supposed to release, or is it just brute force?

Help!

(Yes, I searched before posting.)
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2014, 07:59 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
The whole light housing will come out as a single piece.
Keep working at it. You slide it over and then down on the pry side.
If you've never had it out before it can be difficult.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2014, 08:06 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Nevermind I found it on YouTube. The manual is actually wrong, the housing slides to the RIGHT not the left!
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2001 530 Steel Blue Metallic, purchased Dec 03
SP/PP/CWP/Slushbox (I know I know)

OEM M5 bumper, 40% Huper Optik ceramic tint, Dice Silverline Pro iPod adapter, 540SP radial spokes, Zimmerman Z-Coat rotors w/ Hawk HPS pads
"Mods": driveshaft, cooling system, Vanos, CCV, PSR, VCG, FSU, spark plugs, buncha belts-n-hoses, & other things I'd just as soon forget

BMW CCA member for 12 years
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2014, 11:22 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Typing /license plate light f3 in the bestlinks nets a howto:
- Replacing/fixing/removing the rear license plate light
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2014, 02:13 PM
wiredawg100 wiredawg100 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 525i (E-39)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Nevermind I found it on YouTube. The manual is actually wrong, the housing slides to the RIGHT not the left!
Yep, glad to hear your got-it out. I too had the same problem. It took forever the first time. and hopefully, I never have to do it again. I replaced mine with "led module" it was costly, but I think it was worth it. And yes, my manual had it wrong, also.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2014, 10:04 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh p. View Post
nevermind i found it on youtube. The manual is actually wrong, the housing slides to the right not the left!
bingo!
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2014, 08:45 AM
Atticus_6147 Atticus_6147 is offline
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I needed to change the bulbs and you have to slide it to the right. It took me about 15 minutes and was annoying. I hope I don't have to change them for a while. I sprayed a little bit of WD-40 on both sides and rocked it back and forth and after that they popped out.
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  #8  
Old Yesterday, 12:45 AM
damisco damisco is online now
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Lol your manual might be upside down


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