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BMW 650i Headlight Bulb

Troubleshooting Common BMW 650i Headlight Bulb Problems

The headlights of your BMW 650i are actually made up of several components, and at the heart of it all is the headlight bulb. Most 350i coupes are fitted with a composite halogen bulb, which can last anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 of use depending on the environment the bulb is used in as well from as a variety of factors. And when they do give out, busted headlight bulbs can pose a serious safety risk. Luckily, symptoms of imminent headlight bulb failure are easy to spot. The following are some of the common signs that your BMW 650i headlight bulbs are starting to fail and how to troubleshoot them.

One bulb doesn't work

A headlight that doesn't light up is a good indication of a busted headlight bulb, but it's just one of the many reasons why the headlight won't work. First, check if the electrical connections at the back of the headlight assembly are loose or damaged. Next, check if the headlight bulb socket is loose or corroded. If the both the wiring and the socket appear to be in good condition, check the bulb itself to see if it is burnt out and replace it if necessary.

All of the bulbs don't work

On the other hand, if both headlight bulbs aren't working, the problem is likely to be with the fuse. Open the 650i's fuse box and inspect the main fuse for the headlight circuit. If the fuse has blown, replace it with a fuse of the same amp rating. If the new fuse blows immediately after installation, there might be a short in the headlight circuit that needs to be repaired.

The bulb emits a dim light.

If the headlights appear to be dimmer than usual, especially when you press on the gas pedal, there might be a problem with the alternator. With the engine idling, check the charging voltage with a voltmeter; if the headlight is working properly, the meter should display 13.5 to 14.5 volts. However, if the meter displays anything less than 13 volts, there's likely to be something wrong with the alternator.

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  • Maintenance Tips for BMW 350i Headlight Bulbs

    Of all the parts that make up the headlight assembly of your BMW 350i, none would be as vulnerable to failure as the headlight bulb. The service life of headlight bulbs typically varies between 1,000 to 2,000 hours depending on the type of bulb as well as the conditions the bulbs operate in. But what is certain is that in order to ensure a long service life of your BMW 350i headlight bulbs, regular inspection and maintenance is necessary. So if you want to get the most value out of the bulbs in your 350i headlights, just follow these maintenance guidelines:


    Inspect the headlight bulbs regularly.

    Periodic checking of the headlight bulbs is crucial as it helps you notice any potential signs of wear or failure of the bulb. Check if the headlight bulbs are still clear and do not have a yellowish tinge (a likely indication that the bulb is about to burn out), a weaker than normal beam of light, and flickering beams. Also, we recommend inspecting the electrical wiring at the back of the bulb for any signs of frays, cuts and other types of damage.


    Remove any excess condensation from the headlight lens as soon as possible.

    In warm, humid environments, tiny droplets may form inside the headlight due to discrepancies in temperature inside and outside the headlight assembly. This condensation usually evaporates through the various openings surrounding the headlight assembly once the bulb heats up, but excessive humidity may cause larger pools of water to form inside the headlight lens which, if left to accumulate, may corrode the socket of the headlight bulb or short out the bulb itself. Make sure to remove this condensation immediately by taking out the lens and pouring the water out. We also recommend cleaning the inside of the lens with a swab of alcohol to prevent the growth of mold.


    Adjust the headlight beam whenever you replace bulbs.

    Whenever you switch to new headlight bulbs, the alignment of the headlight beam will become skewed. So every time you switch to a new bulb, make sure to have the beam of the headlight adjusted as well.