Question about BMW X3

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I have 2005 BMW X3 that needs driver side low beam replaced, when i remove the low beam cover, which is a 4" access opening, I see what appears to be part of the auto leveling or side to side light directional motor or ballast, I have turned the steering wheel to either side thinking that it may give me a better visual to the bulb but with no luck, I don't see the actual bulb like others on the web are stating, I am frustrated because I can rebuild and restore classic vehicles but am at a loss with the technology of this car, please can you advise?

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  • kcasper1 May 07, 2010

    I have removed the access cover behind the bulb but rather than seeing the wire harness and bulb, I see what looks to be a Ballast or something that is related to the motorized directional headlamp, because when I turn the steering wheel i can see the Ballast moving so I know that the bulb is ahead of this part, I don't want to start pulling things out of the way, the Dealer wants $375.00 to replace the lamp so I know there is some time involved to get to the bulb.

  • kcasper1 May 13, 2010

    it is not a matter of having small hands i want to know how to remove the motor that rotates the head lamp, this car has directional lamps that move left to right as you turn the steering wheel, the bulb is ahead of the motor, ballast assy.

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1-I have 2005 BMW X3 - 9199434.jpg

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With some help from a friend - These two pictures show - how to pull the cover off. Of course be careful with the bulb - best to use rubber type gloves as I am sure you know.
Best of it

Posted on May 13, 2010

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Hello. I feel your frustration because I had the exact same experience one week ago. And, I have been repairing cars longer than most. I was telling a friend that my hands are just too large to replace those blinkity blink bulbs and he gave me this tip. Go to Walmart where there is always one mechanic with small hands on duty. They replace the bulb for you and you only pay for the bulb. End of problem. Joe

Posted on May 07, 2010

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I hear you. A simple task can become difficult today if you do not know exactly how it is performed. Your owner's manual should show you exactly how to replace this bulb. I had to refer to mine on my 2004 Accord just to replace the headlight bulb. It was done by going through the fender liner. I would suspect that you do not remove the lens in order to replace the bulb. Look on the backside to remove the bulb. I can almost assure you it comes out the back and not the front. I found this on WikiAnswers.com on a discussion of this very issue. I copied this word for word for you to read and hope this solves your problem. I have a 2005 BMW X3 and searched the internet for the answer to this question, one answer I found for the 2004 year model showed pictures of the cover assembly for the low beam bulb and suggested prying the cover loose. BAD IDEA for the 2005 model as I soon found out. I can olny speak for the 2005 model, but the cover has a plastic clip at the top that breaks easily when pryed.. as I found out to my dismay. My bulb had to be replaced on the passenger side of the vechile, and looking in it seems to be quite a chore as it seems that much of the surrounding plates and harnesses will have to be removed. Not so! I was able to remove the window washer reservour tank by simply removing one bolt, it is secured at the bottom by plactic posts. Once the reservour is out of your way you will have plenty of room to get to work on replacing the bulb. It is quite straight forward and easy, less than a five minute job. Just be careful to open the clip at the top of the cover and the cover will open with little or no effort. If you have to force the cover you may be breaking something. Hope this helps!
Additional info by a different user
Great information above. I also removed the wiring harness on the reservoir to give me even more wiggle room, probably unnecessary. I would only add a few things:
Use a long skinny flathead screwdriver to gently lift the tab on the housing. Once inside the light cavity, everything pulls straight out. Jiggle a little and pull straight out. Lightbulb also pulls straight out. Wear some kind of gloves to keep your skin oil off the new lightbulb. When you put in the new light, make sure the round part is on the bottom and the flat part with the tab is on top.
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This was very helpful. Thank you both. I'd like to add that you can do this with nearly no tools. The only thing I used a wrench for was to remove the bolt from the top of the windshield washer reservoir so that i could move it out of the way. I used my house key to pull up the clip on top of the housing. This part, actually was a little confusing. If you look at the top of the clip, you'll see a nub in the center of the U shaped clip. If you go in at an angle, the U will pop right up over the nub and everything will open right up. I also was extra careful when pulling the bulb out and putting it back in, which slowed me down --seems like I could have just pulled hard once to get it out, then lined it up and popped it back in, but it wasn't that easy.

Posted on May 03, 2010

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