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BMW 5 Series E39 Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change the brake, reverse and turn signal light bulbs in a 4th generation 1995-2003 BMW 5 Series E39.

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2003 BMW 530i Sedan
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Open Access Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 2003 BMW 530i sedan in changing a burnt out brake, rear turn signal, reverse, parking and side marker bulb in the tail light housings.

Owners of other 4th generation (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 & 2003) BMW 5 Series E39 vehicles such as the 520i, 523i, 525i, 528i, 535i, 540i, M5, 520d, 525d, 525td, 525tds and 530d may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement light bulb part numbers are as follows: Brake # P21W (or 7506), Reverse # P21W (or 7506) and Rear Side Marker (if equipped) # 5007 or H6W.

The Rear Turn Signal light bulb part number is either the white/clear P21W (7506) bulb for models with the yellow rear turn signal lens cover or the amber colored PY21W (or 7507) for models that have the clear rear turn signal lens cover.

Attention: Please double check your owner's manual and look at your old light bulbs to verify the correct replacement part numbers before you purchase new bulbs.

If you would like to have brighter lights that will also last much longer before burning out, be sure to choose an LED bulb option.

The first two steps are to open the trunk and move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out bulb.

Gently open the access cover at the rear corner of the trunk.

On the passenger side, the cover also hides the CD changer.



 

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Access Bulb Sockets
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
In this 2003 BMW 530i, all of the bulb socket are easily accessed once the fabric trunk liner access cover has been opened.

I already disconnected some of the electrical connectors from the rear of the bulb sockets.

On other E39 models, you may see a large black plastic bracket that contains all of the bulbs.

Pinch together the two tabs in the center of the black plastic panel or "plate" to release the retaining clips.

Pull off the black plastic bracket to access all of the bulbs. To remove any of the bulbs, push them down and rotate them 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction.

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Bulb Socket Removed
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Push In & 1/4 Turn CC
Rotate the bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

To remove any of the "bayonet" style bulbs, gently push them down into the socket and rotate them 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling them straight out.

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Remove Other Socket
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Replace Bulb
If your vehicle is equipped with a miniature wedge base style rear side marker light bulb, it can be gently pulled straight out of the socket.

If your car has a small round base bayonet style rear side marker, push it down into the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out.

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Replace Socket
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Secure Cover
Push the new light bulb down into the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it into place.

Re-insert the bulb socket into the opening in the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to lock it into place.

You should feel or hear the socket "click" securely into place.

If your car has the large black plastic bulb holder bracket, line up the bulbs and carefully pop it back into place.

Otherwise, just close the felt carpeted access cover.

To test the new bulbs, have an assistant step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and shift the transmission into reverse by moving the gear selector from "P" to R".

Be sure to write down the bulb change in your vehicle's service records.

Please take a look at my BMW E36 Rear Trailing Arm Bushings Replacement Guide.
 

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