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Shop Cleaning Your BMW Lenses

Last weekend I decided to take apart my Bosch ellipsoid headlights (that came stock with my Euro car) as the lenses had gotten dusty throughout the years. Here is a short write-up on the it. I thought some of you might find it useful.

Firstly, you have to remove your corner lamps. Remove the indicator lamp bulb, then use a screwdriver to pry the clip that holds the indicator lamp free. Slide the indicator lamp out forwards.

You can now remove the headlights. To do so, you need to remove the 3 screws that are on the top, and two on the side. On my car, they were all Phillips screws. The screw below the indicator lamp area is quite hard to get to. It would probably be relatively easy if you have a short Phillips screwdriver.

Pull the headlamp out towards you, then disconnect the connectors. Set your precious headlamp down on a soft, gentle surface!

There will be 2 small metal clips on both the top and bottom of the ellipsoids. Unclip them by prying them off with a flathead screwdriver. Remember to pry from the plastic end because you might break/chip the glass if you apply too much force on it.

Unhook the 5 big plastic clips (3 on top and 2 on the bottom) with a flathead screwdriver.



You should now be able to separate the lens part from the reflector part of the headlight. Pull them in separate directions. They might be tight, so wiggle them free.

This is how your headlight will look like when it has been opened:

Notice that both lenses are held in by factory silicone. Using a blade, slice them off. Your lenses should now fall out quite easily. If they don't, you can use a flathead screwdriver to gently nudge it out. Be very, very careful!


Clean the insides of the headlight thoroughly. I sprayed window cleaner then used newspaper to wipe it clean. You may want to wipe the projector for the low beam as well. Remember to wipe underneath the projector lens! You will see a definite improvement in clarity.

Make sure you have gotten rid of most, if not all, of the factory silicone. Put the lenses back into their original positions. Double check by looking at the orientation of the other headlight. Now, apply new silicone (I used Selley's Marine Sealant silicone) to the rim of the lenses (where the factory silicone was before). Let the silicone dry, then make sure the lenses are secure.

Double check for any smudges on the glass, then reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly.


Now, let's make a comparison:

Dirty Left Ellipsoid

Clean Right Ellipsoid