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I just wanted to get a feel for how often other M5 owners are replacing the piece that goes under the headlamps.

I am not my 4th set, and I dont replace them as soon as the "tabs" break. I let them go for some time before I get annoyed enough to get another set, paint them, and install them. But I cant seem to go a year without having to replace these. I dont know if its due to the car being lowered, and at times having to scrape and flex the bumper in certain areas with steep driveways etc, but I just thought I would ask to get a feel for how often others break the ends on this piece:

 

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Every other year for me.

Funny because I just noticed one of mine is broken as well -- and I swore I just replaced them last year, but that was two years ago, now. I think I will be on my third set.
 

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Mine have never broke, at least in the 7 years I've owned the car, and I drive on crappy Michigan roads and scrape my bumper on my driveway on a daily basis.

Have you considered using some silicone or urethane to hold them in place if the tabs break again?
 

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Mine have never broke, at least in the 7 years I've owned the car, and I drive on crappy Michigan roads and scrape my bumper on my driveway on a daily basis.

Have you considered using some silicone or urethane to hold them in place if the tabs break again?
The part that breaks is a weak point in the design of these parts. I dont know if silicone or urethane would hold together, but I guess it would be worth a shot. They are cheap parts and I have multiple cans of color matched spray cans from Tower Paint, so getting the parts and painting them is not really a big deal. But its just annoying that they break a lot.
 

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Blanket "so to speak" for this post:

I have replaced them once. My tabs were broke. My fix was to get a small thin screw, carefully screw it into where the tabs broke off (making sure to center it as best as possble), leaving about 3-4 threads, just enough so that the head of the screw would "hook" into the location where the tab normally would. I have had zero issues since. CAUTION: I did manage to crack the trim a bit on one side because I was too forceful with screwing the screw in place, but it held, has not broken since.

Edit: Forgot to mention, you'll need to sand down the area where the tab was located so the screw can get a clean entry.
 
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Never have replaced them.
 

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Mine have never broke, at least in the 7 years I've owned the car, and I drive on crappy Michigan roads and scrape my bumper on my driveway on a daily basis.

Have you considered using some silicone or urethane to hold them in place if the tabs break again?
I too am in this boat, sort of, as I have only 2.5 years of ownership. I did replace one but that was because I got ham fisted removing the left headlight to replace the adjusters and broke the locating tab at the fender. The other one is just fine, but I replaced them both as the cost difference for having one new piece painted and two was the cost of the part.
 

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245,000 miles, never changed (not even the clutch).
Drive her boys.... :)
...not even the clutch << now that is impressive!!

It is a fairly weak design as others have said. I managed to break one of mine when replacing my headlights with some aftermarket headlights which I quickly ran from. I did notice the trim pieces didn't fit the aftermarket lights as well as OEM --they seemed to put the piece into more of a bind when attached to the bottom of the headlight. As soon as I put new projectors and levelers in my OEM lights I went back with those and haven't looked back.

Pat Arnold
 

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Mine have never broke, at least in the 7 years I've owned the car, and I drive on crappy Michigan roads and scrape my bumper on my driveway on a daily basis.

Have you considered using some silicone or urethane to hold them in place if the tabs break again?
I too am in this boat, sort of, as I have only 2.5 years of ownership. I did replace one but that was because I got ham fisted removing the left headlight to replace the adjusters and broke the locating tab at the fender. The other one is just fine, but I replaced them both as the cost difference for having one new piece painted and two was the cost of the part.
245,000 miles, never changed (not even the clutch).
Drive her boys.... :)
Hmmmm. None of the Anthracite M5s seem to have an issue (save for Capitan Ham Fist's) with this. Just sayin'....hiha
 

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Hmmmm. None of the Anthracite M5s seem to have an issue (save for Capitan Ham Fist's) with this. Just sayin'....hiha
Is it because you drive so fast that the air pressure holds the piece in?
 

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Is it because you drive so fast that the air pressure holds the piece in?
That may be true for Vics and Xr4tic but as we all know I'm slow. This is not to say that the Anthracite is slow; as it is much faster with Clemster in the pilot's seat, just nobody looses to my drag racing skillz. :M5launch::rofl:
 

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Never had to replace them, and I removed them last summer to repaint.
If those are breaking that meants something is rubbing or pressurng them and lukelly all parts are plastic around it except te fender and maybe the internal support, so I would look for wear patters on those and I would suggest to look at the alignment of your body hardware, headlight, hood, and especially bumper. E39 is one of the easiest to align body parts but you have to know what you are doing.
 

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Also never had to replace mine. Mine are also "sandblasted" like the rest of the front of the car/bumper so they're likely original.
 
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