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Wagon Taillights Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Wagon Taillights Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Taillight assembly, taillight bulbs, taillight bulb socket

Hot Tip:

Tape body so you do not scratch it

Performance Gain:

Replace faulty taillight lens; replace faulty taillight bulb

Complementary Modification:

Replace taillight seal

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the taillights on your BMW E61 wagon.

E60 / E61 exterior bulbs are monitored by the Light Module (LM), which also monitors adaptive headlight function (where equipped) and controls instrument panel dimming. LM is also capable of switching lighting functions in case of a fault. For example, in case of a taillight bulb failure, brake light bulbs are used as a substitute.

Bulb monitoring by LM is done both cold and hot (unlit or lit). In cold monitoring, LM sends brief current pulses to unlit bulbs to measure their resistance. The pulses are too short to illuminate bulbs but serve the purpose of evaluating whether an individual bulb or bulb circuit is defective. In hot monitoring, LM measures the current to individual lit bulbs to determine overload or a break in the circuit.

When dealing with bulb failures or bulb out messages, always inspect the electrical connector and taillight bulb holder. The connectors can wear over time causing heat and melting. Once the electrical connector on the harness side or the taillight socket has melted, you will have a poor connection and rear bulb faults or failures. If you find the connector is melted, you can repair it by installing a new plug pigtail and / or replacing the bulb socket assembly. See our tech article on taillight wiring replacing.

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 taillight: 
Fender taillight: Working in the trunk, open the carpeted door to access the taillight bulb socket.
Figure 1

Fender taillight: Working in the trunk, open the carpeted door to access the taillight bulb socket. Pull the handle (green arrow) and tilt the door out and remove it.

Fender taillight: The left side of the vehicle is shown.
Figure 2

Fender taillight: The left side of the vehicle is shown. The yellow arrow points to the turn signal bulb. The green arrow points to the brake light bulb. The red arrow points to the parking light bulb.

Fender taillight: To replace a bulb, rotate the bulb socket (red arrow) 45° counter clockwise and remove it.
Figure 3

Fender taillight: To replace a bulb, rotate the bulb socket (red arrow) 45 degrees counter clockwise and remove it. Then remove the bulb from the socket and replace it with a new one.

Fender taillight: To replace the lens, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it off.
Figure 4

Fender taillight: To replace the lens, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it off.

Fender taillight: Next, remove the four 8mm mounting fasteners (yellow arrows).
Figure 5

Fender taillight: Next, remove the four 8mm mounting fasteners (yellow arrows).

Fender taillight: Then push the taillight out of the fender from inside the trunk while supporting it from the outside and remove it in the direction of the red arrow.
Figure 6

Fender taillight: Then push the taillight out of the fender from inside the trunk while supporting it from the outside and remove it in the direction of the red arrow. When installing a new taillight lens, check that the taillight seal (yellow arrow) is in good condition. Replace it if necessary. If this seal leaks, water can leak into the trunk or taillight lens.

Tailgate taillight: 
Tailgate taillight: To access the tailgate lights, rotate the locks (red arrows) 45° counterclockwise.
Figure 7

Tailgate taillight: To access the tailgate lights, rotate the locks (red arrows)  45 degrees counterclockwise. Then open the carpeted access door and allow it to hang.

Tailgate taillight: Pull the sound insulation away from the lens.
Figure 8

Tailgate taillight: Pull the sound insulation away from the lens. Then press the socket release tab and pull the socket out of the taillight.

Tailgate taillight: Pull the taillight bulbs straight out of the socket and replace them with new.
Figure 9

Tailgate taillight: Pull the taillight bulbs straight out of the socket and replace them with new. The left side of the vehicle is shown. The red arrow points to the taillight bulb. The yellow arrow points to the reverse light bulb.

Tailgate taillight: With the socket removed, remove the 10mm taillight fastener (red arrow).
Figure 10

Tailgate taillight: With the socket removed, remove the 10mm taillight fastener (red arrow). Pull the fastener and plastic support away from the taillight (inset).

Tailgate taillight: Then remove the taillight lens from the trunk lid by lifting the inside of the lens up and unclipping it from the outer edge of the trunk lid and removing it in the direction of the yellow arrow.
Figure 11

Tailgate taillight: Then remove the taillight lens from the trunk lid by lifting the inside of the lens up and unclipping it from the outer edge of the trunk lid and removing it in the direction of the yellow arrow. When installing a new taillight lens, check to make sure that the lens gasket is in place on the new lens assembly (red arrow inset photo).

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Comments and Suggestions:
Matt Comments: With the tailgate taillight housing would you use a plastic pry tool and pry it up from the inside then pull directly to the side? Does it just pop off if you pry it off?
March 16, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes a plastic pry tool pop, the inside corner out and then pull in the direction of the yellow arrow
- Casey at Pelican Parts
 
Andrew Comments: I have an 08 535xi wagon and the taillights are different than this
February 2, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That would be the LCI models. Slightly different, should be similar to replace.

We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Fran Comments: Thank you, your photos helped me sort my bulb problem
July 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: I have a Euro spec 2005 BMW 535d Wagon. Does this model use the same tail light lens as the US spec 530? Thanks
June 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 5/26/2017 02:45:08 AM