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Radiator Grille Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Grille Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

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:

Radiator grille and upper trim piece

Hot Tip:

Work carefully to not damage grille retaining clips

Performance Gain:

Nice looking exterior trim

Complementary Modification:

Paint grilles black

The front radiator, or kidney grilles on a BMW have been a signature feature for what seems like forever. Let's be honest here. The most prominent trademark of the BMW brand is the kidney shaped grille. The shape or location slightly evolves with each model, yet still retaining that classic look. The grilles are usually coated in chrome and made of plastic. This leaves them susceptible to damage. In my area, the chrome flakes off or the grilles themselves become loose. Once loose, they will rattle and sometimes scratch the finish on the hood. If you have a faulty or worn grille, you can quickly freshen up the look of your BMW by replacing them.

If your kidneys are looking bad, you've got to do something about it. In this article, I will go over the easy steps of removing the grilles for replacement or radical improvement.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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 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.

The radiator grilles consist of two grilles (green arrows) mounted in the radiator support above the front bumper cover.
Figure 1

The radiator grilles consist of two grilles (green arrows) mounted in the radiator support above the front bumper cover. The plastic clips break on the grille and the chrome can wear off. If this happens you can replace the grilles quite easily and freshen up the look of your E60. In the past, the grilles could be separated to be serviced and were sold in pairs. BMW is now making the grilles available separately and in one piece. You no longer have to be concerned about prying the two chrome and black pieces apart when replacing. With that said, the aftermarket community may come up with a solution to repair one piece of the grille, so keep your eyes peeled. Once the grille is removed, I will go over how to separate the two halves, in case you need to.

Open the engine hood. 
Open the engine hood. Working at the radiator support, remove the hood seal (green arrow).
Figure 2

Open the engine hood. Working at the radiator support, remove the hood seal (green arrow). Lever out one side of the hood seal (inset) to release the retaining clips. Then work your way along the seal, detaching it until it's free.

With the seal removed, you now have access to the upper retaining clips (green arrows).
Figure 3

With the seal removed, you now have access to the upper retaining clips (green arrows). There are a total of seven clips that have to be detached to remove the grille. Start by pressing the center tab on the upper clip while levering the grille away from the bumper (inset). Do this for all three. Then detach the two at the bottom (yellow arrows) and two at the sides (red arrows). See the following steps for more info on releasing the lower clips.

See the following steps for more info on releasing the lower clips.
Reach inside the grille to detach the retaining clip by pressing the center tab on the upper clip while pulling the grille away from the bumper.
Figure 4

Reach inside the grille to detach the retaining clip by pressing the center tab on the upper clip while pulling the grille away from the bumper. Do this for both of the lower clips.

Reach inside the grille to detach the retaining clip by pressing the center tab on the upper clip while pulling the grille away from the bumper.
Figure 5

Reach inside the grille to detach the retaining clip by pressing the center tab on the upper clip while pulling the grille away from the bumper. Do this for both side clips. Once all the clips are released, pull the grille away from the bumper to remove it. As you pull it away, some may stick or become reengaged. If the grille won't budge, a clip is likely reengaged. Try releasing the clip in the area where the grille is stuck.

As mentioned earlier, in the past, the grilles could be separated to be serviced and were sold in pairs.
Figure 6

As mentioned earlier, in the past, the grilles could be separated to be serviced and were sold in pairs. BMW is now making the grilles available separately and in one piece. You no longer have to be concerned about prying the two chrome (yellow arrow) and black (green arrow) pieces apart when replacing. With that said, the aftermarket community may come up with a solution to repair one piece of the grille. If you're re-using the chrome grille trim, release the retaining clips and separate the chrome grille from the inner grille. There are a total of six clips to release. The red arrows point to locations of the top clips.

When installing the grille, align the tabs with holes in the bumper cover (green arrows).
Figure 7

When installing the grille, align the tabs with holes in the bumper cover (green arrows). Once aligned, push the grille into the bumper cover until it snaps into place.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:48:33 AM