Fog Light Bulb Replacement on the E39 M5

April 26, 2011 at 7:43 am 3 comments

This past weekend I swapped out the fog light bulbs in my new (to me) E39 M5. I had hoped my first post after purchase would be detailing how I adjusted the PSS9 suspension. But I don’t have all the answers I need, so that will have to wait.

The stock fog light bulbs on the E39 M5 are noticeably more yellow in color than the xenon headlights. I decided to match up the color with a set of Philips “Blue Vision” HB4 (also known as 9006) bulbs. They are advertised as being 30 percent brighter than stock and 4000 Kelvin, almost exactly the color of the OE BMW headlights. (Brightness is measured by lumens, color by the Kelvin scale. If you want more, see this post from last year.)

Were on sale at powerbulbs.com

Another reason I did this minor mod first was a change made by a former owner. He had cut away the plastic around the fog light assemblies, because he wanted more air flow to reach the brakes. That’s total overkill except in the most extreme track conditions, and I didn’t like non-stock holes in my bumper.

Note the gaping hole and the rusty screw

Former top and replacement bottom

I bought the replacement inserts from BMW of Alexandria, and it was a pretty pleasant experience. I don’t usually have much use for dealers, so it’s only fair to say that Jason in the parts department took good care of me. While I was there he also helped me identify the wheel lock key I needed for my rims.

Install was straightforward, although there was a slight surprise from BMW. The original fog light assemblies are secured with a single screw, and the replacement inserts didn’t have one. BMW sometimes makes these little equipment tweaks over time with little or no notice.

Bulb plugs into back, comes off with twist

Fortunately the plastic inserts snapped into place and securely held the fog assemblies. I didn’t think to take a before shot and not sure this picture does justice, but now the colors match almost exactly. Some guys upgrade to HID for their fogs but I’m not interested in going that route.

This car is loaded — not many other little mods needed. I’m looking forward to moving into the 21st century car audio wise and taking full advantage of the iPod integration – now that’s a lot more handy than carving up your fog light assemblies.

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