BMW 3 series E46 – Replacing front fender


You’ll start working at the left and right lower corners of the bumper. Remove the bumper trim piece by disconnecting the catch (yellow arrows).


To remove the trim piece, grasp firmly on the inside edge and pull it out of the bumper cover – this mat might require a little wiggling. If it gives you a hard time, you can use a plastic prying tool to disconnect the catches.


Working from under vehicle, rotate the engine splash shield fasteners 90° (arrows) then remove it.


Working from under vehicle, remove the screws from the left and right lower corners of the front bumper, two on each side (yellow arrows).


Next, working inside the right and left wheel wells, remove the wheel well liner screws. But only remove the outer screw, indicated by yellow arrow. If no screws are present, using a plastic prying tool, gently pull the wheel well liner from the bumper cover.


Locate the bumper bolt access holes at the bottom of your bumper (yellow arrows).


Working through the access holes, use an E12 socket and a 1″ extension to loosen the bumper bolts.


Remove the bumper mounting bolts.


With all fasteners removed from front bumper, slide the bumper out enough to access the electrical connectors for the horn, fog lights, ambient temperature sensor, and headlight washer hoses – disconnect the applicable items by gently pushing or pulling the clips by hand. (yellow arrows)


Next, with help from a friend, slide the bumper off the support and remove. When removing the cover be careful not to scratch the bumper cover or snag any previously disconnected items


To install the front bumper, start by partially installing the bumper while leaving enough space to access electrical connectors and hoses. Reconnect the disconnected items. Slide the bumper cover onto the bumper supports and torque the bumper bolts to specs as shown. Install the lower bumper screws and reattach the wheel well liner to the bumper. Install the fog light / bumper trim in reverse of removal and check the bumper alignment with the body to make sure everything is flush.


If bumper height adjustment is needed, you can raise or lower bumper by turning the height adjuster in bumper support.