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Front Exterior Light Bulbs Replacement
 

Pelican Technical Article:

Front Exterior Light Bulbs Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead and Phillips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Light bulbs, sockets if needed, license plate light lens

Hot Tip:

Do not touch bulbs with bare hands

Performance Gain:

Working exterior lights

Complementary Modification:

Replace bulbs in pairs

There are a number of exterior light bulbs around your BMW Z3 that require maintenance. The front side marker lights are located in the front fender and work in conjunction with the turn signal light next to the headlight. The front fog light is mounted in the bumper cover and is accessible from below the front bumper. The front marker lights are located in the bumper cover.

To avoid marring the trim if you need to pry anything, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb:
Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-Grab the side marker lens and push it toward the rear of the vehicle while pulling front of lens out of fender.
Figure 1

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-Grab the side marker lens and push it toward the rear of the vehicle while pulling front of lens out of fender.

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-This photo shows the light being removed from fender.
Figure 2

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-This photo shows the light being removed from fender. At the rear of the lens, you can see the spring you have to compress in order to pull it from the fender.

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-Rotate bulb holder counterclockwise 90° and remove from lens.
Figure 3

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-Rotate bulb holder counterclockwise 90° and remove from lens.

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-Then pull bulb out of socket to replace.
Figure 4

Fender Mounted Side Marker Bulb-Then pull bulb out of socket to replace. To install, reverse instructions.

Turn Signal Bulb:
Turn Signal Bulb-The turn signal bulb (green arrow) is located in the corner of each headlight.
Figure 5

Turn Signal Bulb-The turn signal bulb (green arrow) is located in the corner of each headlight. You can replace it by removing the bulb holder, then the bulb from the holder.

Turn Signal Bulb-To remove the turn signal bulb holder, rotate the holder 90° counterclockwise.
Figure 6

Turn Signal Bulb-To remove the turn signal bulb holder, rotate the holder 90° counterclockwise. This can be done by hand, or if your fingers cannot fit, you can use needle nose pliers.

Turn Signal Bulb-Once unlocked from the headlight, remove holder with bulb.
Figure 7

Turn Signal Bulb-Once unlocked from the headlight, remove holder with bulb. You can leave the electrical connector plugged in.

Turn Signal Bulb-To remove bulb from holder, rotate bulb while pushing it into socket to unlock tab (green arrow).
Figure 8

Turn Signal Bulb-To remove bulb from holder, rotate bulb while pushing it into socket to unlock tab (green arrow). To install, reverse instructions.

Fog Light:
Fog Light-The fog light is located in the lower corner of the front bumper (green arrow).
Figure 9

Fog Light-The fog light is located in the lower corner of the front bumper (green arrow). The bulb is accessed from behind the bumper.

Fog Light-Jack the front of your vehicle.
Figure 10

Fog Light-Jack the front of your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle. Working under the front corner of your bumper. Remove four 8mm fasteners (green arrows). Then pull the plastic shield down and away from the bumper (yellow arrow).

Fog Light-Disconnect fog light electrical connector by squeezing release tabs and pulling off.
Figure 11

Fog Light-Disconnect fog light electrical connector by squeezing release tabs and pulling off.

Fog Light-Unlock fog light bulb access door spring lock.
Figure 12

Fog Light-Unlock fog light bulb access door spring lock. To unlock, push spring toward center of front bumper.

Fog Light-Then open the fog light bulb access door and remove.
Figure 13

Fog Light-Then open the fog light bulb access door and remove. You will have to unhook the hinge side when removing; open all the way, then unhook and remove.

Fog Light-The bulb is now visible.
Figure 14

Fog Light-The bulb is now visible. For now leave the electrical connectors (yellow arrow) attached. First you will remove the bulb from the lens. To do this, unhook the spring retainers (green arrow).

Fog Light-Squeeze spring retaining clips together to unhook, then pull them away from the bulb.
Figure 15

Fog Light-Squeeze spring retaining clips together to unhook, then pull them away from the bulb. Pull bulb out of fog light lens.

Fog Light-With bulb removed, disconnect electrical connectors.
Figure 16

Fog Light-With bulb removed, disconnect electrical connectors. Then connect electrical connectors to new bulb. When installing, be sure square tab on bulb faces up and is properly seated in lens. If it is not, it will be difficult to get the retaining clips to latch. Reassemble fog light in reverse order of removal.

Bumper Marker Light:
Bumper Marker Light-Grab the marker lens and push it toward the center of bumper while pulling lens out of bumper.
Figure 17

Bumper Marker Light-Grab the marker lens and push it toward the center of bumper while pulling lens out of bumper.

Bumper Marker Light-This photo shows the light being removed from the bumper.
Figure 18

Bumper Marker Light-This photo shows the light being removed from the bumper. At the rear of the lens, you can see the spring you have to compress in order to pull it from the bumper.

Bumper Marker Light-Rotate bulb holder counterclockwise 90° and remove from lens.
Figure 19

Bumper Marker Light-Rotate bulb holder counterclockwise 90 degrees and remove from lens. Then pull bulb out of socket to replace. To install, reverse instructions.

Comments and Suggestions:
Vasil Comments: Hey, I have a 2000 bmw z3 2.3l and I need to figure out which wires in the front turn signal/parking light assembly are for which light. There is a brown wire I assume that is ground and then two others with a stripe. Which is which? Thank you
September 5, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have wiring info for your vehicle.
I would suggest you grab a repair manual, you should own one. It will have the wiring diagrams.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ped Comments: If I knew the location that the wire for the passenger turn signal the small one on the fender splits from the main harness then I can cut the lose end and re wire it from the main harness Right now there is a shortage caused by the lose end which I can't even find it I search a. Lot online but I couldn't find a diagram to show the routes for the fender turn signal thanks for your time
May 12, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would suggest you grab a repair manual, you should own one. It will have the wiring. I don't have it to share.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ped Comments: Hi , I have a BMW z3 2.5 , I had an accident and I hit the car on passenger side front corner the hood and tire the bumper and light they all had to be changed now that I got the car back the right side turn signal doesn't work I checked everything and I found out that the passenger side fender mounted turn signal wire was cut ! Do you know where the wire comes from I can't locate the other end of the wire I removed the fender and the plastic cover behind the tire but couldn't find any wire I would appreciate you help
May 10, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There should be a main body harness it routes to. Likely in the top of the fender, look behind the wheel well liner. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Tue 12/12/2017 02:08:35 AM