Last Updated: October 24, 2002
Thanks to "Das" for this awesome reference information!!! This research was triggered when the auto-level feature on my passenger-side xenon headlight failed and the dealer replaced the headlight assembly under warranty. Unfortunately, the replacement didn't match the original -- the turn signal blinker lenses were different. Here's the straight scoop ....
There are a total of eight different official BMW (Hella OEM) headlight assemblies for E39 (2001 on). First, a few definitions:
US DOT assemblies:
Halogen, clear blinker, lit amber corner (stock on all US E39 with halogen):
Halogen, amber blinker, lit amber corner:
(Note: the halogen clear blinker version is $100-$150 more PER SIDE than the amber blinker.)
Xenon, clear blinker, lit amber corner (stock on all US E39 with xenon):
Xenon, amber blinker, lit amber corner:
(Note: even though the clear and amber blinker halogens have a huge price difference, for some reason the clear and amber blinker xenons are all the same price.)
Halogen, clear blinker, unlit clear corner:
Halogen, amber blinker, unlit amber corner:
Xenon, clear blinker, unlit clear corner:
Xenon, amber blinker, unlit amber corner:
I still don't know where the amber blinker version is used in the US, or why it's so much cheaper. If you like amber, though, it is a much cleaner look than the normal "fogged"/opaque clear lens.
For those thinking of doing the AE upgrade, you also need to get the right connectors and adapters together to make the switch by getting:
Hope this helps!
Original stock xenon with clear blinker and lit amber corner (63 12 6 912 439)