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BMW DIY Video – How to Replace Windshield Cowl Trim Seal Panel

June 24, 2016

Many of the later-model BMWs have a plastic cowl trim at the base of the windshield. The trim piece has a molded-in rubber lip that seals to the bottom of the windshield, helping to keep excess water out of the wiper linkage and climate control air inlet area as well as guide the water from the windshield out to the lower outer corners for proper drainage. Typically, the rubber lip that presses against the base of the windshield will start to crack or curl up and will no longer seal to the windshield. Additionally, the cover itself may start to pull up in the corners.  This not only looks ugly, but can cause water drainage problems and potential water in the cabin.

The cowl trim panel is relatively easy to replace.  Follow along as we replace the cowl trim on an E39 5-series (97-03).  Other models will vary slightly for wiper removal or trim panel screw, rivet and clip removal, but these procedures can be applied in a general manner to most models.

Click below for New Cowl Trim Panel (E39 5-series shown; search “cowl” for others):

Metric Socket Set:



Wiper Arm Puller tool:

Non-Marring Pry Tools:

When you are ready to tackle the job, you can order the tools and the cowl trim panel at www.bavauto.com or call our Advisors at 800-535-2002.

 

PARTS:

  •  Applicable windshield cowl trim panel for BMW model being repaired
  • Replacement plastic rivets, as needed

TOOLS:

  • Non-Marring Pry Tool set
  • Wiper arm removal/puller tool
  • Metric socket set
  • Non-Marring pry tool set
  • Phillips-head screwdrivers

PROCEDURE:

1)     Remove the wiper arm assemblies. Before removing the wiper arms take note of how they are positioned on the windshield and against the stops on the cowl trim panel.  Using the Non-Marring Pry Tools, pry off the trim caps covering the nuts that secure the wiper arms to the shafts.

2)     Remove the nuts using the applicable size socket and ratchet.

3)      Use the wiper arm puller tool to remove the wiper arms from the shafts.

4)     Remove the plastic rivets securing the trim panel to the cowl.  The rivets are removed by first removing the center “spreader pin”.  Some pins pull out (like pulling a nail), some screw out, as shown here.  Use the non-marring pry tools to remove the pull-out pins as well as to help the screw-out pins to come up as they are turned.  After the center pin is removed, pry out the rivet.

5)      Go to video for further details and procedures.


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