Replace a Brake Light on a BME E90

Whether it was an angry driver beeping at you, your mom driving behind you or a warning on your dashboard, we all find out we have a broken brake light differently. In this guide you will be able to replace the brake light on a 2006-2008 BMW E90 3 series, where luckily a warning on your dash will come up when it is out, however you must identify that it is indeed your brake light. Tools and preparation: Gloves (Work gloves or latex), Safe working area, Second person (optional), Replacement bulb (Sylvania 7506 or equivalent)


  1. Buy a replacement bulb. All the bulbs in the taillight for these cars are the same, making it easier to find.
    • Head to your local automotive store or large retailer to buy a replacement bulb
    • The bulb in this tutorial is a Sylvania 7506 bulb
  2. Park your car in a safe spot. This will ensure you have a safe work environment and avoid injury. You should also turn off your engine and lights.
    • Make sure you have a safe place to work in
    • Make sure you turn off your engine so the battery is off and you can avoid electric shock
    • Turn lights into the off position, marked with a "0" for extra precaution
  3. Identify which bulb is not working. This can be done two different ways.
    • You can do this by having a second person look at the rear of your car while you cycle between lighting modes, braking, and turn signals
    • If you do not have a second person you can set up your phone to record the back of your car while you sit inside and do this view the recording once done to know which light didn't work
    • View the recording once done to know which light didn't work
  4. Open the trunk and locate the covering panel that covers the backside of the light. To open the trunk, either use the latch on the handle of the trunk, or the button in the interior located on the left lower side of the dashboard. Lift the trunk and keep it open.
    • The covering panel is a piece of your trunk wall as seen in the picture
    • Make sure nothing is in your way inside the trunk
  5. Remove the covering panel to unveil the light bulb housing. To do this, pull back with two hands on the panel against the seams as show in the picture, in the direction of the arrows. Do this gently to prevent any damage.
    • Slowly pull back on the covering to unclip it and remove it from the trunk
    • The light bulb housing is the white plastic piece
  6. Remove the light bulb housing by pushing the release clip and pull the housing out.
    • The light bulb housing is the white piece you see when the back panel is off.
    • The clip you must depress is shown in the picture.
    • Pull back on the piece to take it out gently, and avoid ripping out the wires attached to this housing.
  7. Locate and remove the defective light bulb. Follow the diagram below to know what light is which. To remove the light bulb, gently grab it, push down and unscrew counter clockwise until it notably stops. Then pull it out.
    • Wearing gloves in this part is recommended as bulb may still be hot
    • Dispose of the light bulb safely, be careful not to break the glass to avoid injury.
  8. Install the new bulb safely. Wear gloves as a precaution to avoid touching the glass bulb with your bare your fingers. This could case pre mature ware on the bulb and cause it to go out faster.
    • To install the bulb safely, place it into the same spot you removed the old bulb from
    • Start by lining up the small bump on the metal part of the bulb with the lower edge slot of the housing, as seen in the picture.
    • Place it by letting the metal part sit in the light housing, and push down gently, then twist clockwise until it locks into position.
  9. Test out if the new bulb works. Before you re-install the bulb housing, let it hang in your trunk and test out the new bulb.
    • To do this, put your key in the ignition, with your lights still in the off position, press the brakes.
    • Have a second person check if the bulb you replaced turned on or not. You can also record with your phone sitting in your trunk while you are pressing your brakes.
    • NOTE: the light bulb will not shine red, it will shine white
  10. Re-install the bulb housing back where it was. To do this orient the housing so the two bulbs that are side by side are on the bottom, and push it back into its spot.
    • Push it into its spot until it clicks
  11. Re-install the covering panel.
    • The curved part of the panel will face the outside of your car along the side of your car.
    • Line up the panel with the opening, and push the panel into the opening.
    • It should click in
  12. Close your trunk and turn on your car. Check if the warning light for the bulb is still there, if it is, drive for 5 minutes, then turn your car off and on. Note: If the warning light is still flashing after multiple times of restarting your car, you may be having other problems with another light or your wiring in which you must see your mechanic for.
  13. Enjoy not getting beeped at by angry drivers, and most of all, drive safe!