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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 01-10-2011, 11:49 AM
Jerry5577 Jerry5577 is offline
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HID low beam bulb replacement

The owner's manual for my 2002 5401 simply says turn the bulb holder to the left and the HID bulb should pull out. Well, sounds simple enough but after turning it feels like the bulb is glued into the housing. I'm afraid of cracking the housing if I pull to hard. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2011, 03:02 PM
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3sons66 3sons66 is offline
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Hahahaha..just got my d2s replacement 6000k bulbs today. Tried removing mine and thought I was going to litterally tear out the guts of the light. Same question here folks. Says 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. My ass!
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2011, 04:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3sons66 View Post
Says 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. My ass!
Everyone asks this question (do a search and see).

You gotta have faith!

- How to replace your headlight bulbs (1)
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2011, 05:06 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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xenon is a pita, you need remove the rubber first
be careful , do search
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2011, 02:56 PM
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3sons66 3sons66 is offline
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Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Everyone asks this question (do a search and see).

You gotta have faith!

- How to replace your headlight bulbs (1)
What the hell???? Is it a 1/4 turn or not??? Either you have no idea what you're talking about and just answering random questions, or your making a very simple question very complex! I figured it out..but Jesus! Really guys??
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2011, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3sons66 View Post
Either you have no idea what you're talking about and just answering random questions
I'm not sure why you're so angry.

The question has been asked - and answered before.

I simply pointed to one of the answers that is already in the VERY best of E39 Links.

Bear in mind every single one of us has replaced the headlight bulbs. It's not something that requires a lot of words.

We even write entire DIYs on how to properly disassemble the headlights (which is something that requires, at least, a lot of pictures).

For example, here are three of my detailed pictorial threads on the insides of my headlights:
- Headlight autopsy DIY (1) (2) (3)

And here's my DIY for making headlight adjusters, from scratch:
- How to make your own BMW hella headlight adjusters (1) (2)

Those require a lot of more words.

Point is, we're not just making up the answer; but the question only required a simple answer - which has been given time and time again; so instead of answering the question - we point you to the answer to the question.



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  #7  
Old 03-05-2012, 09:00 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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This thread is absolutely useless, and contains ridiculous amounts of superfluous filler.
All links posted are also useless.

Simple question: How do you replace a bulb? Not selecting one. Not fixing adjusters.
Just, how do you replace the bulb?
Anyone know? Search yielded nothing but "Ehow.com" Also totally useless.

Anyone know how to remove the rubber boot? Mine is glued on, I think. Zero play.
Do you unclip the bulb plug? Or do you only turn it 1/3 turn counterclock-wise? When?
Is there a sprocket under the boot? DO you also do that counterclock-wise?

Last edited by EconoBox; 03-05-2012 at 09:11 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:20 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
This thread is absolutely useless, and contains ridiculous amounts of superfluous filler.
All links posted are also useless.

Simple question: How do you replace a bulb? Not selecting one. Not fixing adjusters.
Just, how do you replace the bulb?
Anyone know? Search yielded nothing but "Ehow.com" Also totally useless.

Anyone know how to remove the rubber boot? Mine is glued on, I think. Zero play.
Do you unclip the bulb plug? Or do you only turn it 1/3 turn counterclock-wise? When?
Is there a sprocket under the boot? DO you also do that counterclock-wise?
I have the pre-facelift xenons so with your xenons something might be different (your car is newer). But replacing the low-beam HID bulbs on my car goes something like this....

First, unhook the ballast connector on the back of the bulb.

Next, reach down to the base of the rubber boot and pull it up, working around the entire boot edge. It is a tight fit but once you break the seal fit it will start coming off. No adhesive involved, just the natural resistance of rubber press-fit against a metal holder inside. (Careful how much force you use... be patient. If your headlight adjusters are broken, the projector base may wobble more than you'd like....)

Now you should be able to see that the bulb is actually held in by a fat metal holder that's locked down with three torx screws (I forget the size, probably T25....). Remove the screws and the holder falls off.

The bulb then can be gently pried out. Do not touch the glass. If you notice, the bulb base has indentations that only allow it to be fit into the socket one way. Be sure to install the new bulb in the same orientation.

You can buy a pair of new xenon D2S bulbs from places like RetroFitSource.com for $50 or so.

*Caveat: You may have to loosen and slide out the drivers-side headlight housing in order to get your hands around the low-beam boot or remove those holder screws.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:22 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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The post-facelift are a bit different than pleiades describes. Instructions are in this thread in the 5 Series DIY forum.

Yes, turn the connector CCW to remove. The boot just pulls off. Then you turn the locking ring CCW about 45 degrees. Note that when you release the ring, the bulb will be loose, so hold the center of the bulb and remove the ring and bulb together.
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Last edited by Steve530; 03-05-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:28 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
The post-facelift are a bit different than pleiades describes. Instructions are in this thread in the 5 Series DIY forum.

Yes, turn the connector CCW to remove. The boot just pulls off. Then you turn the locking ring CCW about 45 degrees. Note that when you release the ring, the bulb will be loose, so hold the center of the bulb and remove the ring and bulb together.
Yes, Econobox, you should listen to Steve here. I only know about pre-facelift lights, and reading this, I wish mine were the new and easy version ....
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:39 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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It's still not easy. The retaining ring can be really tight, but at least you don't have to deal with Torx screws.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:15 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
This thread is absolutely useless, and contains ridiculous amounts of superfluous filler.
All links posted are also useless.

Simple question: How do you replace a bulb? Not selecting one. Not fixing adjusters.
Just, how do you replace the bulb?
Anyone know? Search yielded nothing but "Ehow.com" Also totally useless.

Anyone know how to remove the rubber boot? Mine is glued on, I think. Zero play.
Do you unclip the bulb plug? Or do you only turn it 1/3 turn counterclock-wise? When?
Is there a sprocket under the boot? DO you also do that counterclock-wise?
Well,.. bluebee was pointing you in the right direction,..but I see you have no patience and you need your hand held. There are three screws holding the bulb down in the housing... I was able to use an allen key and some patience (which you lack). After that, twist the base of the bulb firmly but not hard in either direction and it should slide out. Btw, you googled, but the search you shouldve made is right in this forum.
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Last edited by Big Chaze; 03-06-2012 at 08:16 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:32 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
...There are three screws holding the bulb down in the housing... .
Not on the face lift models lie EconoBox has. Check the link to the DIY I posted.
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2012, 06:15 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
The post-facelift are a bit different than pleiades describes. Instructions are in this thread in the 5 Series DIY forum.

Yes, turn the connector CCW to remove. The boot just pulls off. Then you turn the locking ring CCW about 45 degrees. Note that when you release the ring, the bulb will be loose, so hold the center of the bulb and remove the ring and bulb together.
That thread is good, yet it also skips right over the part I am stuck on. Boot removal!
The boot doesn't just magically come apart from the bulb base!
It's just so funny how people skip over the hardest part of a DIY.

I will try tomorrow, on day 3 of this project.

Last edited by EconoBox; 03-06-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2012, 11:19 PM
storeyrae storeyrae is offline
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Hey Guys, just browsed your thread looking for the answer to my new "situation"... check low beam light appears on the dash display. So, it looks like to me, I need to go to the mechanic... eh?
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2012, 07:45 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Are the low beam bulbs shining?

Replacing the bulb should be simple. And it is simple, but there were at least 4 different headlight assemblies originally installed on e39 models. These assemblies are pre-facelift halogen, pre-facelift HID, facelift halogen, and facelift HID. Facelift models are those manufactured after 9/2000, i.e. model year 2001. AFAIK all halogen assemblies use H7 lamps for high and low beams, and all HID assemblies use D2S HID lamps for low beams and H7 for high beams.

Determine which assembly you have and find the correct lamp replacement DIY for that assembly. Post here if you need further help.
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  #17  
Old 08-05-2012, 10:48 AM
aces1234 aces1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storeyrae View Post
Hey Guys, just browsed your thread looking for the answer to my new "situation"... check low beam light appears on the dash display. So, it looks like to me, I need to go to the mechanic... eh?
The replacement of the lowbeams bulb is actually very simple. It does help to remove the entire assembly. its just 4 little bolts. 2 small hex and 2 8mm.
You do not need to completely remove it just pull it away from the car a few inches so you can get behind it.
1. Remove the lowbeam wire marked with high voltage symbol.
2.remove the rubber boot. this just slips off. start at the outside(large) and then the inside(small).
3.remove the ring holding the bulb by turning it ccw 1/4 turn.
4.pull out the bulb.
5. do this in reverse to put back together.

Total time to do one light is about 20 min.
Be very careful not to torque on or force anything the self adjusters are very fragile and can break ez. The D2S bulb can be expensive (100$). And if you live in a ****ty little town like i do you will need to order it so be prepared to wait a couple days for the part.
if i have made some mistake in my directions please correct me. or if anyone can add something else usefull please do.
Thx..... ~Scott...2002 540i6
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2013, 06:49 PM
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Good stuff here. Will eventually need to swap out I'm sure.
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aces1234 View Post
The replacement of the lowbeams bulb is actually very simple.
Just for the record, I'll cross reference to the following ...

- 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).
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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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