The 1996 BMW 328i has a center brake light located just above the license plate at the top of the trunk. The center brake light, unlike taillights, illuminates only when you press on the brake. Like any other light bulb, those in your 328i’s center brake light can fail, requiring replacement. Although replacing the BMW 328i’s center brake light is slightly more complicated than replacing the car’s other brake lights, it’s still simple enough that you can do it yourself. Replacement is different for the convertible model than it is for the coupe and sedan models.
Tools Used: Tools, Replacement bulb, Wrench set
Replace the Brake Lights in the Trunk Lid
Coupe and Sedan Models
Switch off the ignition of your BMW 328i and turn off the lights. Press the trunk release button, located below the dashboard and to the left of the steering wheel, to unlock the trunk.
Open the trunk fully and locate the center brake light assembly. Access the bulb socket directly beneath the center brake light assembly.
Twist the bulb socket counterclockwise approximately 1/4 turn and pull it directly out of the light assembly. Pull the bulb directly out of the socket to remove it.
Insert a new bulb into the socket and press until the base of the bulb securely fits into the socket. Be sure to wear a clean glove. The oils on your fingers will cause a bulb to fail prematurely.
Insert the socket (with the bulb attached) into the center brake light assembly and twist it clockwise 1/4 turn. Press the brake pedal in the BMW 328i while someone else looks to verify that the center brake light works.