For the 2003 model year, BMW facelift the wheel center caps for the E39 M5. This new version looks more like the hood/trunk lid badge. Gone is the gray plastic bezel and in is a nice chrome ring. The plastic feels better, the badge is a hair bigger, and these new components seem to withstand the test of time better.
Objective: Update or refresh the look of your wheels with the new-style BMW wheel center caps.
Applicable Vehicles: Any BMW without hubcaps (Many 1997-2000 E39 528i and 540i models have wheel hub caps that hold the center cap)
Parts required: Four BMW wheel center caps. Note each model may have different sizes, check with your specific car to see the correct size. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
BMW Part Number: 36136783536
Tools Required: Thin knife, masking tape.
Time Required: 5 minutes
BMW states that to replace the center wheel caps, you must jack up each corner of the car, remove the wheel lugs, pull off the wheel, and push it out from behind. If my method described below does not work, you will have to default to this method.
Find a small, thin knife. Wrap the blade of the knife in one or two layers of masking tape, and trim off any messy tape with scissors. Carefully insert your tool in-between the wheel and center cap, taking care not to mar the finish of your wheel. If you’re careful, this is no problem at all. Press the knife into the center cap to create pressure, and pry it out of the wheel. It’s simply held into the wheel with a series of clips around the cap. Align your new cap over the hole in the wheel, and firmly snap it into place with the palm of your hand. You could also use a suction cup to extract the old caps.
New style (left) vs old style (right) center caps.
Remove the old caps, and pop the new caps in! It’s that easy. This new, updated part looks phenomenal in comparison to the original, and just goes to show what these little details can do to the over-all look of your BMW.
E39Source Wheel Center Cap Replacement DIY