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Third Brake Light Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Third Brake Light Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20 to $100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Philips screwdriver, 8mm socket

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Third brake light lens assembly, bulbs

Hot Tip:

Tape body so you do not scratch it

Performance Gain:

Working third brake light

Complementary Modification:

Replace tail light bulbs

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the third brake light bulbs and lens assembly on your BMW Z4. The third brake (high mount) light is made of multiple LED lights and is serviced as a complete unit. The lens on the third brake light wears and becomes dull over time or cracks. I find replacing it improves the look of the vehicle and visibility of the light. If you have a water leak in your trunk, check that the lens is sealed well and it is not the source of the water leak. Also inspect the tail light for water leaks.

When dealing with repeated bulb failure, inspect the electrical connector and bulb holder. The connectors can wear over time causing heat and melting. Once the electrical connector on the harness side or the bulb socket has melted, you will have a poor connection and bulb faults or failures can occur. If you find the connector is melted, you can repair it by installing a new plug pigtail and/or replacing the bulb socket assembly.

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

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 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. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The third brake light on Z4 models is mounted in the trunk lid (red arrow).
Figure 1

The third brake light on Z4 models is mounted in the trunk lid (red arrow).

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the third brake light bulbs and lens assembly on your BMW Z4.
Figure 2

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the third brake light bulbs and lens assembly on your BMW Z4. The third brake (high mount) light is made of multiple LED lights and is serviced as a complete unit. The lens on the third brake light wears and becomes dull over time or cracks (red arrow). I find replacing it improves the look of the vehicle and visibility of the light. If you have a water leak in your trunk, check that the lens is sealed well and it is not the source of the water leak. Also inspect the tail light for water leaks.

First you have to remove the emergency release cable from inside the trunk.
Figure 3

First you have to remove the emergency release cable from inside the trunk. Start by removing the handle. Pull it out of the mount, then unclip the cable and remove the handle (inset). Then remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows).

Pull the handle trim panel down, then squeeze the cable locking tabs (red arrows) and pull the cable out of the trim.
Figure 4

Pull the handle trim panel down, then squeeze the cable locking tabs (red arrows) and pull the cable out of the trim. Remove the trim piece from the vehicle.

Then, disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow).
Figure 5

Then, disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow). Pull the electrical connector apart to disconnect it.

Working through small holes in the trunk lid, remove the three 8mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 6

Working through small holes in the trunk lid, remove the three 8mm nuts (red arrows). When removing the nuts, be sure the springs (blue arrow) are not lost.

Once the fasteners have been removed, you can remove the lens from the trunk lid (red arrow).
Figure 7

Once the fasteners have been removed, you can remove the lens from the trunk lid (red arrow). Lift straight up as you feed the wiring harness through the trunk sheet metal. Thoroughly clean the trunk lid and lens mating surface. If there is any wear touch it up to prevent rust. Once you prepare the mating surface. Install the new lens. It can be tricky to align the spring and nuts, take your time use a small amount of butyl tape on the spring edge to help secure it to nut while installing. Check operation of the light when complete.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:00:41 AM