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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Just replaced a blown dipped headlight bulb in my e90



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      08-02-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
NFS
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Just replaced a blown dipped headlight bulb in my e90

What a bizarre process that was.

You get to the back of the headlight through the wheel well so you basically can't see what you are doing, unless you jack up the car and remove the wheel.

Not that hard once you figure out what to do, but a pretty odd piece of design.
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      08-02-2009, 10:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
What a bizarre process that was.

You get to the back of the headlight through the wheel well so you basically can't see what you are doing, unless you jack up the car and remove the wheel.

Not that hard once you figure out what to do, but a pretty odd piece of design.
One of the most simplest but hardest things to do I agree.
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      08-02-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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I'm certain I didn't have to go into the wheelarch area when I changed my bulbs in my E90.

Perhaps I was just lucky?

Saying that, many cars these days are awful to replace some bulbs on. The days of garages free-fitting bulbs are long gone.
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      08-02-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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ive replaced every bulb in both my headlights, and have never had to go through the wheel arch.

i have standard headlights (non xenon) so maybe that makes a difference.
have it down to a fine art now and can change any bulb in 5 mins
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      08-02-2009, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post
I'm certain I didn't have to go into the wheelarch area when I changed my bulbs in my E90.

Perhaps I was just lucky?

Saying that, many cars these days are awful to replace some bulbs on. The days of garages free-fitting bulbs are long gone.
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Originally Posted by kceire View Post
ive replaced every bulb in both my headlights, and have never had to go through the wheel arch.

i have standard headlights (non xenon) so maybe that makes a difference.
have it down to a fine art now and can change any bulb in 5 mins
Mine are standard halogen headlights as well.

The instructions say to do the main beam from the engine bay and the dipped / indicators from the wheel arch.

You can just about get to the dipped beam lamp from the engine bay, but it's really tight for space on my car. Well done to you guys if you managed it.

I guess that's why they but a little flap in the wheel arch, but this then means that you have to work by touch.
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      08-03-2009, 02:56 AM   #6
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Models with xenon headlights are harder to change and the E90 is harder than the E92
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      08-03-2009, 03:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booforty View Post
Models with xenon headlights are harder to change and the E90 is harder than the E92
Ah yes, but how often do you need to access the Xenon burner on a car equipped with those lamps? They have a long life and are generally dealer-only work. But saying that the high beam bulbs could be tricky.....
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      08-03-2009, 04:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Ah yes, but how often do you need to access the Xenon burner on a car equipped with those lamps? They have a long life and are generally dealer-only work. But saying that the high beam bulbs could be tricky.....
On Bi xenon equipped cars the main and dipped beam lamp is the same unit
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      01-30-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
Mine are standard halogen headlights as well.

The instructions say to do the main beam from the engine bay and the dipped / indicators from the wheel arch.

You can just about get to the dipped beam lamp from the engine bay, but it's really tight for space on my car. Well done to you guys if you managed it.

I guess that's why they but a little flap in the wheel arch, but this then means that you have to work by touch.
With a torch can you see clearly what you're doing, or is it still a bit of a "by feel" job?
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      01-30-2010, 01:07 PM   #10
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try replace bulbs on vw passat, had to remove front bumper
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      01-31-2010, 05:43 AM   #11
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best thing to do is what i did, and drop the bulb holder clip into the bumper! that makes a 5 minute job a 2 hour one!
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      01-31-2010, 06:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
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With a torch can you see clearly what you're doing, or is it still a bit of a "by feel" job?
It's not lack of light. The problem is that you can't physically look at what you are doing.

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best thing to do is what i did, and drop the bulb holder clip into the bumper! that makes a 5 minute job a 2 hour one!
Nightmare.
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      01-31-2010, 06:46 AM   #13
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I Changed every bulb in the front of my car (E90 325i with Halogens) and I found this design extremely odd, I managed to do the main beam on the drivers side by the engine bay, but every other bulb had to be done via the wheelarch, me and my son were both changing our bulbs, he had his starlet done in ~2 minutes, I had my headlights done in 15, and the foglights took even longer.

Shafz.
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      01-31-2010, 06:54 AM   #14
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My son in-law had to change the indicator bulnb on his w reg A4,it was bumper off job
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      01-31-2010, 07:06 AM   #15
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I don't think I'm going to bother, sounds like far too much hassle!
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      03-29-2010, 08:20 AM   #16
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I don't think I'm going to bother, sounds like far too much hassle!
Lasted 2 weeks with the 320 e90, reminded me of my high school girlfriend - looked and felt brilliant but just not enough under the hood hahaha! I decided a Bayliner would be a good toy for a while - lovin the Broadwater and Morton Bay!! (hating the BA wagon I got to tow it) Although my wife now loves her new BMW - we already remember it as the car I brought her lol

Stock halogen lightbulb went tonight so I checked out how to best get at it... I found there was no need to get the wheel off and use that inner wheel arch window. But to get my head in there and see wt heck was going on I had to remove the coolant overflow and had someone help by holding it up out the way. Just enough room for a head and torch!

For feeling your way around in the dark --> The outer plastic cover clicks out from the top and back (hinging from the bottom). Then the inner metal clip that holds the bulb in place clicks out by pushing the top out towards the drivers side (hinging from the bottom also). I needed to use a long flat screwdriver to click it out. Easy replacement and then reverse to get it back - I found that I could get the metal bulb clip back in by hand, pushing it hard out towards the drivers side and allow it to slip back into it's hook home.

PS. Still love to throw the M Sport around - flogged it's guts out going up to Springbrook last weekend
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      03-29-2010, 10:10 AM   #17
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Any Gynaecologists on the forum

Wonder how they fare with them...........?

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      03-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #18
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I changed my bulbs the other week, it took 5 minutes and i'm only a keen amatuer gynaecologist .

I'd read about the access via wheel arch and thought it would be like a Honda where you have to actually peel the arch liner back and get your arm trapped inside the wing (still got scars that look like I tried to commit suicide). Turns out the wee hatch is really easy to access, you just turn the wheels hard left for the right side and hard right for the left side. No need to remove the wheels. I actually removed the hatch then just done the job from the bonnet. Having the hatch open and the wheels turned allowed for more light so I could see what was going on. I'd imagine with the bigger engine models it would be more difficult to work from the bonnet as there will be less space.

The only bulbs that I found to be a problem were the side lights. Having them mounted on the end of that lollipop stick is weird and an extra elbow half way down your forearm would be useful for the passenger side.
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      03-29-2010, 11:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
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and can change any bulb in 5 mins
How often do you do this?

In 5 years, 3 cars and circa 100,000 miles I've never had a single bulb blow. not one.

I can't remember before that...

Touch wood.
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      03-29-2010, 05:48 PM   #20
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I've changed 2 bulbs on the E90. In a carpark, at night, without going anywhere near the wheel arch.

A torch, and your hands.

I don't understand what you lot are finding so hard?

I had to lay on the rocker cover and shine the torch in to work out what to do, and I had to remove the main beam cover to get to the dipped mains, but it took at mot 10 mins per side.

Come on guys
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      03-30-2010, 03:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I've changed 2 bulbs on the E90. In a carpark, at night, without going anywhere near the wheel arch.

A torch, and your hands.

I don't understand what you lot are finding so hard?

I had to lay on the rocker cover and shine the torch in to work out what to do, and I had to remove the main beam cover to get to the dipped mains, but it took at mot 10 mins per side.

Come on guys
Maybe its the bigger/smaller engine thing?
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      03-30-2010, 04:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kceire View Post
ive replaced every bulb in both my headlights, and have never had to go through the wheel arch.

i have standard headlights (non xenon) so maybe that makes a difference.
have it down to a fine art now and can change any bulb in 5 mins
you must have very small hands i cant get in to do the front dipped.....
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