This article covers replacing the parking lamp in a BMW F30 3 series vehicle with the ZKW halogen headlight assembly. Even though we used a 2014 320i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2012-2019 F30 3 series vehicle with halogen headlights with minor modifications to the repair steps.
A BMW F30 parking lamp replacement takes less than 15 minutes and will clear the warning messages on your iDrive display and instrument cluster.
If a survey was ever taken as to which part on a BMW causes the most confusion as to exactly what its function is, it would probably be the parking lamps. They are usually the first bulbs that need replacing in the BMW F30 headlight assembly and their failure is the source of those indomitable warning messages on the iDrive and instrument cluster…”Parking lamp malfunction”. Where are the parking lamps on a BMW F30 3 series and what are their purpose?
The parking lamps on a 2012-2019 F30 3 series are located at the top inside corner of the high beam lens in the headlight assembly (see following image). They contain a small 6w bulb that is accessed from the top of the headlight assembly through a removable cover (see repair steps below).
The BMW F30 parking lamps are used as visual markers to identify the front and rear of a vehicle when it is parked on the side of a street that is poorly lit. The front parking lamps are a better alternative to identifying your vehicle to on coming traffic while parked on the side of the road; using the low/high beam bulbs while parked can cause confusion as to what your intentions are. Laws requiring their use vary among countries, but it is always a good idea to use them if you are inside a parked vehicle on the side of a dark street.
1. Parking lamps (required) – The parking lamps on your BMW F30 3 series are a standard 12v/6w bulb.
2. High beam lamps (optional) – Since the BMW F30 parking lamps occupy the same compartment as the high beam bulb, now is a great time to replace it as well. For more information on replacing the high beam bulb in your 2012-2019 3 series, please see our article on it.
- The parking lamp is located behind its protective cover on the top of the headlight assembly.
- Turn the cover counterclockwise and remove it.
- The parking lamp is the first bulb underneath the cover. Simply grasp it and pull it free from the headlight assembly.
- To remove the bulb, push it in gently and turn until it releases from the plug.
- Installation is the reverse of the above steps. Avoid touching the new bulb with your bare hands…the oil from your skin can cause it to overheat.