E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors
BMW 3-Series E46  
BMW M3 CSL BMW E46 3-Series
BMW E46 - Headlight Trim Removal
Written by: Jordan Buser June 24, 2001

Tools and Parts Needed: 

Flat Head Screwdriver
8mm Socket Wrench with 6" Extender

Estimated time: 15 Minutes



1. Pop the hood and remove your turn signal lens.  This is done by inserting a flat head screwdriver like so and pushing the tab towards the front of the car.
2. Next is removing the trim that runs underneath the headlight assembly.  Start by pushing the tab closest to the center of the car (first picture) and work across removing this piece.  Once you release the tab in the third picture, you are ready for the difficult part...



3. When you get to the tab that connects this piece to the fender, this will be the most difficult part of the procedure.  I used a couple of different techniques to release this tab.  On one side, I was able to sneak the flat head screwdriver behind the tab as pictured and push towards the front of the car to release the tab.  On the other side, that didn't work so I had to take a small-tipped flat head screwdriver and weasel the tab open from the front side.  If you work with this tab enough, you should be able to get it off.

4. With that piece out of the way, remove the black plastic piece that holds the rubber piece that seals between the headlight assembly and the hood by undoing the tabs as shown.

5. All that is left before you can remove the plastic headlight cover is releasing three tabs on the top, three tabs on the bottom, and one tab on the inside.  Once these are released (notice how the circled clips in the second picture are released), you can slide the clear plastic cover off and your headlight will be open.

6. Now there is one tab that secures the headlight trim to the rest of the headlight assembly.  Use a flat head screwdriver as shown to release this tab and the headlight trim can be removed simply by pulling it out.  Reverse these directions to put back together.