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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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  #1  
Old 01-17-2013, 04:32 PM
Bill M Bill M is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325xi
Bill M wants to know...

How can I tell what brand of headlight I have on my 2004 325xi? ZKW or AL? I have searched both housings. Do I need to remove assy to find out? Thanks to anyone who replies!
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2013, 04:58 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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Mein Auto: E46
If they're bi-xenon headlights, look at the low beam projector lens. If the lens is slightly frosted and has a horizontal line milled into it, then you have AL headlights. If the lens is crystal clear and has no line, then you have ZKW headlights, and you should probably search this sub-forum to find out what happens when heat from the bulbs burns up the reflective coating inside the projector bowl.

Regardless of whether you have halogen or bi-xenon lights, you can look for the ZKW or AL logo on the manufacturer's sticker on the top side of the assembly. You'll have to peer below the black metal headlight support frame to see it.

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:31 PM
Bill M Bill M is offline
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Bill M reply

Thanks for your help
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:00 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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you can also find it on the inside corner of the headlight plastic covers - there's a tiny zkw or AL imprinted in the plastic. I just swapped out my ZKW with a used set of ALs, selling back my zkw's for partial credit. the light output difference is dramatic, but I do like the crystal clear lens of the ZKW better.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:10 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RF330 View Post
you can also find it on the inside corner of the headlight plastic covers - there's a tiny zkw or AL imprinted in the plastic.
True, but there seems to be some cross-compatibility between manufacturers' clear covers, so if the covers have ever been replaced with a different brand, the logo in the inside corner of the cover could be misleading. The appearance of the projector lens and the labeling on top of the headlight assembly are more conclusive indicators of the headlight manufacturer.
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