Lost headlight bulb retaining clip

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Discussion Starter · #1 · May 21, 2018

Please help. I was changing my lowbeams and the retaining clip for the H7 bulb fell into the engine back and I can’t find it. Anyone know where I can get a new one?

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Did it look like these?:

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When I lose tiny metallic items in crevasses and recesses , I use a magnet tied to a piece of sting and go fishing. Not very glamorous or tech savvy but it works most of the time.

You may now shoot me down in flames for the suggestion. he he he….

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Please help. I was changing my lowbeams and the retaining clip for the H7 bulb fell into the engine back and I can’t find it. Anyone know where I can get a new one?

I’d bet you will only get this small part at a wrecking yard. I’d take the” belly pan” off and it might even be laying on it…I got lucky once like that…if it’s not there…get a “magnetic pick up tool”, with a flexible wand if possible and “sweep around all the crevices and ledges below the light housing…you might have luck and snag it!:thumbup:

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Discussion Starter · #5 · Jun 1, 2018

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Thanks for the response guys! The part looks like a bent paper clip that holds the H7 light in place. BMW does not sell the part individually and they said I would have to buy a whole headlight assembly, I could not find part online nor at the junkyard. It seems to be very model specific. I’m running out of luck so I’m on electric tape until then!

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CA is the largest BMW population in US…and some of the largest BMW recyclers are in the Sacramento area (cheap land)…here’s a link…since the part is so small…shipping shouldn’t be a problem….front end crash destroys headlights but this clip should survive almost all of them….

https://www.google.com/search?q=bmw…1CHZL_enUS720US720&oq=bmw+salvage+in+rancho+c

Ive done business with most of these guys…if you call and beg they may help you out…:thumbup:

Should take ’em just a few min to pull this off….$200 per hour income…good luck!

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Discussion Starter · #9 · Jun 1, 2018

I’ll give that a shot. Thanks!

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Bulb clip

I’ll give that a shot. Thanks!

They are available in a special order lighting repair kit – special order from Munich. It includes 4 high output lamps, mounting modules, retaining clips, and misc coordinating parts. Price shipped is $1,231.24. Dealer installation is optional and extra @ $945.00 + tax.

:spank:

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Yes, they look very similar to those but not exactly. I saw a bunch that looked exactly like that at the junkyard but nothing with the same bent and design as the one in my X1..

You may need to “roll your own”…better than duct tape. *sigh*

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You may need to “roll your own”…better than duct tape. *sigh*

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I second that:thumbup:…

I had one of these clips pop off on my VW Golf during a bulb replacement..It was impossible to get it back on working “blind” just no space to even get a mirror down there to guide me…had to use duct taped….kept the bulb in place for a while but then things shifted (bulb heat softened the duct tape adhesive) and the bulb heat melted the edge of the reflector.:yikes:.. I added a piece of folded sponge between the back of the bulb socket and the snap on housing cover…that kept things in place…but I’d still rather have gotten the clip back in there!

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Hey dexter222,

I have just run into the same problem with my X1. The retaining clip is currently sitting somewhere in the headlamp. I am hoping to fish it out with a pick up magnet, but I am very sceptical about being able to reattach it to the headlamp given the cramped space and no view on what you are doing. What did you end up doing? Di d you keep the bulb in with electrical tape? I am thinking of taking my car to the dealer – they must have tools and methods to put the [email protected]#$ing clip back in. I have a feeling that our predicament is not that uncommon. Ideas and suggestions from all are welcome.

Cheers!

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There is just no way to work on something that requires precise handling back behind the headlight units…I gave up on my Golf after some time fiddling..I had the clip. The only way to install would be to pull the light unit..to do that you have to drop the front end…Dealer probably would charge 4 hours labor to do the job..Is it worth $400-500? If you can jamb something in there to keep the bulb tightly centered in the housing…go with it…but it’s gotta be able to stand some heat..duct tape didn’t work for me…bulb got out of line and melted the edge of the reflector…once I used a sponge under the snap on cap all worked just fine until I sold the car…:thumbup:

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Re-installing the clips may be a bit tricky, but not impossible. You can easily DIY this instead of spending any money at a dealer or indy shop.

I intentionally took both clips out and modified the shape to fit LED bulbs and replaced them both without much difficulty.

You can stick your phone into the assembly on the side where the clip is NOT lost and take a picture of clip placement. Then, it’ll be a mirror image on the side where the clip fell off.

Or, you can angle your head and look inside for where the holes and hook part are. You may need to get a step stool to get into the right position.

Another suggestion is if you have a small inspection mirror, you can angle it to look around inside. A magnetic retrieval tool should make quick work of pulling the clip itself out. While there are nooks and crannies to the assembly, it shouldn’t be hard to find.

You can remove both dust caps (top and rear of assembly) to give yourself more working room, and will allow you to fit a small light inside.

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retaining clip replaced

Thanks Bimmer2.0 for your words of encouragement. I was very close to admitting defeat. After giving it a serious try I was not able to find and fish out the lost clip from the headlamp assembly. So I bought a set of clips on Amazon in the hope that I will be able to fit one of of them in. It was not easy, but after modifying the clip that look the closest based on photographs with approximate scaling I was able to fit it in after a couple of iterations. Now a new bulb is in place and I am able to relax with a nice Bavarian beer in hand. Cheers!

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Thanks Bimmer2.0 for your words of encouragement. I was very close to admitting defeat. After giving it a serious try I was not able to find and fish out the lost clip from the headlamp assembly. So I bought a set of clips on Amazon in the hope that I will be able to fit one of of them in. It was not easy, but after modifying the clip that look the closest based on photographs with approximate scaling I was able to fit it in after a couple of iterations. Now a new bulb is in place and I am able to relax with a nice Bavarian beer in hand. Cheers!

Glad you figured it out! A bit of persistence, and ingenuity with problem solving, goes a long way when dealing with car issues.

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