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Old 01-28-2008, 12:28 AM
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2004 Headlamb Bulb Replacement DIY

Long time member and user of many helpful hints and DIY tips that I figured I would like to use this opportunity to contribute as a way of saying thanks to alot of very helpful members.

I've searched and searched but really haven't found a step by step process in replacing xenon bulbs from year 2004 and above so here it is.

First of all, you need a bendable extender socket wrench like this. It really made it easy for me to do the job especially when it is really tight at the back of the headlamp and if you're like me who doesn't want to remove the whole bumper...you need this



PASSENGER SIDE:

Remove 4 bolts holding the headlamp cluster to the body. Two on top of the cluster which are black and two at the back of the cluster which are just silver/no color



Once you pull the headlamp cluster out a little, it should give you enough room to take out 4 screws that are on the back of the headlamp cluster by using an allen wrench preferrably the bendable extender which is pictured above



There is a black plug at the farthest left side next to the fender of the back cover. Use two fingers to press the top and bottom of the plug to unlock then pull out. Once all 4 screws have been taken out of the back of the headlamp cluster, use a flat head srew driver to pry open the back. It is a bit tight so be patient.



Now that the back has been pulled open it shows a metal block with a wire plugged into it. Simply pull/slide the plug backwards to remove. Then grab the metal block and twist till it stops then pull out.



Once the bulb is exposed, there are two metal prongs holding the bulb tight. All you have to do is use a finger and press it in towards the center then it releases. Do the same thing to metal prong on the other side of the bulb. Then when both prongs are released just pull the bulb out.



Make sure you wear gloves or use a rag to hold the bulb. Don't touch the glass part with your fingers since our fingers have natural oil and it will break the bulb when heated.

DRIVER SIDE:

It is pretty much the same on the driver side but you have to deal with the air filter box. Again, there are 4 screws that holds the cluster. Two black screws on top and two silver/unpainted screws on the back. There are two bolts that are close to the fender. Just take those two out and pull the hose that leads to the center vent.



When the air filter/box is lose, lift up and push backwards toward the windshield a little so you can have more room to work with. Unscrew the 4 screws that are holding the back of the cluster so you can have access to the bulbs.



Again, there is a plug on the farthest right next to the fender. Use two fingers to press the top and bottom of the connector to unlock. Once all 4 screws are taken out, take a flat head screwdriver and pry open the back end of the cluster. When open, pull/slide out the wire that is plugged to the metal box. Once unplugged, grab the metal box and twist until it stops then pull out.



The bulb should be exposed but don't forget to use a finger to push two metal prongs lose. Push towards the center then out. Do the same to the other side of the bulb. Once both metal prongs are released. Just pull bulb out.



When done replacing bulb. Just put everything back the same way! Good luck! If anyone needs help, don't hesitate to PM me and I'd be glad to help you out. If you're local...let me know and I can come over or something.

Hope this helps some of you!

Pics of the results aren't that good. But I upgraded to 6000K D2S bulbs that I got from ebay!

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Last edited by EKS PYB; 01-28-2008 at 07:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2008, 01:10 AM
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Nice!! It's also not very often I'm happy to have a 2001 instead of a 2004+ LOL
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:23 PM
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Yep, I actually had an easier time doing bulb replacement on my old '03 than the new one I have.

Nevertheless, it is a great learning experience...
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:34 PM
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Thanks a ton for this write up! Purchased the tool $15 on Amazon and was able to change the bulb in my 2005 3.0i post facelift with headlight washers without taking off the bumper. Bought the Wagner DS2 at RockAuto for $28.99. Got genuine Phillips bulbs for the price of fakes.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:50 PM
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The driver's side of the N62 4.4 & 4.8is ain't as easy as you guys with the 3.0 .

The PS reservoir and expansion tank are mounted to a bracket that is easily moved out of the way with a few screws...but there's still not much room to access all of the torx screws in the headlight assembly since the headlight washer jets don't give the headlights much room to move forward enough. Removing the bumper is preferable than trying to not lose the torx screws while holding a mirror and flashlight...ARRRGHH!!!
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejyann View Post
Thanks a ton for this write up! Purchased the tool $15 on Amazon and was able to change the bulb in my 2005 3.0i post facelift with headlight washers without taking off the bumper. Bought the Wagner DS2 at RockAuto for $28.99. Got genuine Phillips bulbs for the price of fakes.
Glad you found it helpful. I never thought anyone would actually use this when I posted it almost 10 years ago that's why I did it because I didn't find anyone who did it.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKS PYB View Post
...I never thought anyone would actually use this when I posted it almost 10 years ago ...
Let's see...5 replies & 4381 views since you posted this DIY. It's the silent majority doing their thing again.

I'm sure there have been many others that have found this info useful...they come to the forum and read and gain knowledge...but just fall into the major category of never or rarely posting.

On most forums...the vocal participants are the minority...and the silent participants are the majority.

Even in a "hot" thread where there are a lot of replies...the "views" will still heavily outnumber the replies...again, the silent majority reading and taking it all in...but choosing not to participate in the discourse.
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  • 2006 e53 X5 4.4i (12/05 build date) Sterling Gray exterior/Schwarz (black) interior
  • 1997 e38 740iL (3/97 build date) Arctic Silver exterior/Gray interior
  • 1999 e39 540iT (sold) Orient Blue
  • 1995 e34 525iT (sold) Alpine White
  • 1991 e32 735iL (sold) Schwarz (black)
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKS PYB View Post
Glad you found it helpful. I never thought anyone would actually use this when I posted it almost 10 years ago that's why I did it because I didn't find anyone who did it.
Thank you for the post that this COULD be done without the bumper removal. I was able to replace the right side Xenon bulb by loosening the headlight housing and pulling it forward and then gently working the rear cover torx screws out without dropping them. The lower right torx was the hardest but actually being able to see it from the turn signal area with the headlight assembly pulled forward made all the difference. Thanks again!
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:52 PM
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Glad I was able to do this write up for everyone!
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:54 PM
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I have a 4.8 and I'm trying to do this. But your pics no longer work unfortunately. I already got the passenger side assembly lose, but I was unable to remove it. Just seemed like the base of the headlamp kept getting caught on the bumper.
Did u completely remove the headlamp assembly?


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