One of the most annoying issues to plague older BMW models are hazy or chipped headlight lenses. Years of ultra-violet light exposure combined with road debris and chemicals cause the acrylic lens of the E46 headlight to become oxidized or "foggy". This condition is not only aesthetically unpleasing, but it is also dangerous. Hazed or broken headlight lenses can severely limit the intensity of the light they emit, creating a hazardous condition during night driving or during inclement weather.
A BMW E46 headlight removal and replacement is a very simple procedure for the home mechanic and can save a very expensive trip to the dealership or independent repair shop. They are held in place with four screws...two on top of the light assembly and two behind it. Once the screws are removed, the headlight can be easily removed from the frame of the vehicle. Replacement headlights are readily available online (please see our parts list
) and installation is simple and quick.
It is important to note that there are several different versions of headlights in the BMW E46, so it is important that you get the right part number before ordering replacements. The E46 came with stock Halogen headlights and an optional xenon upgrade. Some models were also manufactured with ZKW halogen brand headlights. We suggest removing the headlight before ordering your replacement to ensure you get the proper part number.
For your convenience, we have listed all of the headlight variations for the 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i ,and 330xi models below in our parts section.
Click the link below for our YouTube video on the BMW E46 headlight removal process. For more detailed instructions, please see our step-by-step procedures with photos below.