2003 E46 320ci - Upgrade number plate lights

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  1. 2003 E46 320ci - Upgrade number plate lights 
    #1
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    ash187's Car Details
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    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to upgrade my rear number plate lights, to a whiteish colour rather than the factory yellow.

    I've managed to find out that the bulb is a 'festoon' bulb and that I can get a white LED version that simply replaces the old one... great. I've seen them go on ebay for a couple of quid, but noticed they come in different mm sizes (36mm/38mm/42mm etc). Any idea which size is correct for my car? I have the facelift coupe if that helps.

    Also scouring the forums I remember reading somewhere that changing the festoon bulb causes a error light to illuminate on the instrument cluster, any idea if this will/will not happen if i replace the bulb with the LED ebay version?

    Lastly if anyone knows anywhere else I can get the LED bulbs from that are good quality and similarly priced as ebay then please let me know

    Thanks in advance!!
     
     

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    #2
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    anyone??
     
     

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    Depends on how much you want to pay really.....the cheap festoon bulbs will give you error lights or you can change the complete unit ( bulb and lens cover), had mine a while and no problems and no warning lights but they are considerably more that the basic festoon bulbs
     
     

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    ash187 (16-10-2011)

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    How much would the complete unit cost, assuming I would need two of these then one for either side? Also where from? thanks
     
     

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    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxCeltic32's Car Details
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    Ash,

    I did this not so long ago but replaced them with an LED unit rather than the festoon bulbs. Off the top of my head I cant remember where I got them from, think it was Chromium Tech, but if you have a read of my thread below i explain in there.

    http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...it-for-t89092/

    I have a feeling they are 38mm ones but it is worth checking. The covers just pop off (put a small screwdriver or knife in the little groove on the outside edge) and the bulbs pull out with no difficult so this is easily done.

    As for the error message, im not sure. As I said, I replaced mine with the LED unit rather than the cheaper festoon bulbs which is not cheap but I have had no errors, even when one went out (just had to bend the contacts to fix), so im not sure if they will give an error or not. I contacted the place I bought them from before I looked at fixing the problem and they offered to replace the unit, but obviously once I looked into the problem I resolved it without the need for this.

    As an addition, upon seeing the difference in the number plate lights I decided to get all of my interior lights swapped to white LEDs too, these were all from SSDD Motorsport. I got the LED units for the drivers footwells and contacted them directly for all of the other bulbs which they sourced especially, including the festoon bulbs for the boot, glovebox and vanity mirrors. Comparing the LED units to the LED festoons I would highly recommend going for the units - although they are more expensive they are a lot brighter. And on the scale of things they aren't really all that expensive (as long as you dont think that they are just bulbs after all!).

    Hope this helps a bit.
     
     

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    ash187 (16-10-2011)

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    Hi. Take out a bulb and measure it, then go onto Ebay and look for error free festoon bulbs then order the right size. example- http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/?_nkw=no%2...d=273411058508 . Jim
    PS I put LED festoons (not error free) into my footwell lights with no problems, once again measure.
    Last edited by jcjdavis1; 14-10-2011 at 17:18. Reason: PS
    The older I get the wrong bit gets stiff !!
     
     

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    ash187 (16-10-2011)

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    #7
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    Celtic32 - Yes I do think this is probably the safer option but obviously the more expensive one! I have seen these units but they do seem to be very bright as I think they have more LED's correct me if i'm wrong, thank you.

    jcjdavis1 - I think these are a good option, cost effective as long as they don't set off the error! will probably give these a try, thank you.
     
     

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    i bough complete units: http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...lights-t65498/

    beofore i bought them, i had led festoons and tbh they were rubbish, spend the extra and get the complete units
     
     

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    ash187 (18-10-2011)

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    Would prefer to compare a car with the unit then another with the led festoons but I guess trial and error is another way. Will take a look, thanks
     
     

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