This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
It is not uncommon to experience a failure of your headlamp switch. Years of repeated use and abuse have a tendency to take their toll on the switch. Some symptoms of a faulty switch include headlamps that won't turn on, inoperable fog lamps, and strange chimes coming from the dashboard, just to name a few. In addition, there'Â's a small light bulb that'Â's contained within the switch itself that often burns out.
Replacement is very easy and only requires about 30 minutes of your time. See Photo 1 for the breakdown of the replacement procedure. The only tricky part for some people may be removing the plastic nut that fastens the switch to the vent housing. If you have a 22-millimeter deep socket, you can simply place this socket on the nut and turn it by hand. If you don'Â't have access to a deep socket this size, you may have to resort to a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the nut.
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This photo shows the sequence for removal of the headlamp switch on the E36.