HomeBMW F25BMW X3 Tail light Bulb Replacement - 2011-2017 F25

BMW X3 Tail light Bulb Replacement – 2011-2017 F25

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Repair Summary
This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the tail light, turn signal, reverse light, and brake light bulbs in 2011-2017 X3 vehicles. Even though we used a 2016 X3 to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2011-2017 BMW X3 vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.

Replacing the tail light bulbs in 2011-2017 X3 models is very simple and can save an owner an expensive trip to the dealership.

One of the easiest and most cost-saving repairs a BMW owner can perform is replacing their own vehicle's tail light bulbs. This holds especially true for owners of 2011-2017 X3 models (F25).
The brake light, rear turn signal, reverse light and inner/outer tail light bulbs on the BMW X3 F25 are extremely easy to access and can be changed out in less than 10 minutes. The only tools needed are a 10mm socket wrench and a plastic trim removal tool.
The left tail light on a 2016 X3
The BMW F25 X3 has both an outer tail light assembly (mounted to the rear fender) and an inner tail light assembly (mounted to the tail gate). The outer tail light assembly includes the turn signal bulb on top and the tail light bulb on the bottom. The inner assembly contains the reverse light bulb on top and an interior tail light bulb on the bottom.
View the video version of this repair.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Before starting this repair, you must have the following required parts.
All BMW vehicles
These are the same factory bulbs that would be installed at the BMW dealership. Single filament bulb used in most BMWs.
Fits most BMW models. 12v/16w.
Your reverse light illuminates when the vehicle is put in reverse. Help protect yourself and others by immediately replacing your reverse light bulb when it stops working.
Fits most BMW vehicles
Don't get a ticket because your tail light is out! Replace your tail light bulb today.
Repair Steps
Section 1 - Replacing the turn signal and brake light/tail light bulbs
The BMW F25 rear turn signal and brake light/tail light bulbs are located in the outer tail light assembly. Both use 1156 12v/21w bulb. Please see our parts list above to order.
  1. Use a plastic trim removal tool to pry the trim panel off of the body of the vehicle. The anchor nuts are located behind this trim piece.Remove the trim panel from the mounting nuts using a trim removal tool
  2. Use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the two tail light mounting nuts.bmw f25 tail light replacement - Remove the 10mm mounting nuts
  3. Pull the tail light free from the body of the vehicle and unplug its electrical connector.Remove the outer tail light assembly from the vehicleUnplug the outer tail light assembly
  4. Release the tabs on the bulb socket and remove it from the tail light assembly. bmw f25 tail light replacement - Release the bulb socket from the tail light assemblyPull the bulb socket free
  5. Remove the turn signal and/or brake light bulbs by gently pressing down and turning until they spring free from the socket.bmw f25 tail light replacement - Push the bulb down and twist to release itInstall a new bulb
  6. Reassemble following the above steps in reverse.
Section 2 - Replacing the reverse light and tail light bulbs
The BMW F25 reverse light and tail light bulbs are located in the inner tail light assembly mounted in the tailgate. The reverse light uses a 921 12v/16w bulb and the tail light uses an H21w 12v/21w bulb. Please see our parts list above to order.
  1. Using your fingers, remove the plastic trim cover from the back of the tailgate as shown below.bmw f25 tail light replacement - Remove the plastic trim from the rear of the tail gatePull the insulation back so the bulbs can be removed
  2. Use your finger to pull the plastic release tab down on the bulb socket. Remove the bulb socket from the tail light assembly.bmw f25 tail light replacement - Remove the bulb socket from the tailgate
  3. If replacing the reverse light bulb, use a cloth to protect your fingers. The reverse bulb is infamous for shattering. Grasp it firmly and remove it from the bulb socket. DO NOT lose the plastic base (see images below). It does not come with a new bulb and can be expensive to replace!Use rag to grasp the reverse light bulb. Pull it free from the socket.bmw f25 tail light replacement - Do not discard the plastic bulb base
  4. If replacing the inner tail light bulb, gently press it down and turn until it springs loose from the bulb socket.Push the bulb down and twist until it springs loosebmw f25 tail light replacement - Remove the tail light bulb from the socket
  5. Reassemble following the above steps in reverse.
BMW F25 Tail Light Bulb Replacement Finished

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