I realised today that the seal around the rear lights, where the drainage around the trunk runs over, has perished on both sides of my car. Right side is worse with a substantial gap missing. I definitely don't want to chance rust or failed electronics so I need to fix it.

perished seal around rear tail light

So how can I fix it? I'm hoping it's just a new seal rather than the whole lighting fixture. It's a BMW E46 330Ci 2002 with the sport package. Pre-facelift I believe.

  • 2
    What year is the vehicle? And what model/trim E46?
    – Jason C
    Aug 14, 2016 at 1:13
  • 1
    @JasonC Ah yes, forgot that detail. Added, it's a 330Ci 2002 w/ sport package.
    – andrewb
    Aug 14, 2016 at 7:20
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    I don't have experience fixing things stuck on with adhesives (that's why I deleted my answer), but yes, you can fix this. The part is available separately, it's #9 in the diagram here. The actual part is this one if you don't have the convertible (might be a different p/n for the 330ci convertible); it cost roughly 15 USD. So you're in luck.
    – Jason C
    Aug 14, 2016 at 22:55
  • @JasonC nice find. Mine is the coupe, so could be a win, but going to need to look more carefully at that. Can't see exactly what the part is just yet.
    – andrewb
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:24
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    @JasonC I found an online shop with a better photo of that 63216933018 part - ecstuning.com/b-genuine-bmw-parts/tail-light-side-panel-right/…. Finding out if the seal is included, if so it should be a go.
    – andrewb
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


For tail lights, usually the seal is part of the assembly. Your best bet is to apply some sealant. Car parts stores will have some, they sell it in tubes.

  • This one actually is sold separately, #9 here.
    – Jason C
    Aug 14, 2016 at 22:58
  • @tlhIngan that's certainly a possible route, but I am going to hold out for a better solution, like the part replacement JasonC has pointed to. My car is almost worn enough to tolerate visible applications of "aftermarket" sealant... but not quite yet.
    – andrewb
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:24
  • Can confirm that this is the way to fix this :) Also, many sealants for sale online. Jun 24, 2017 at 21:47

This piece is called the "Tail Light Side Panel". The part comes with a brand new gasket installed on it.

enter image description here

The left side is BMW part # 63-21-6-933-017 The right side is BMW part # 63-21-6-933-018

This part is for the coupe (Ci) model - if you have a convertible, it's a separate part. The coupe part fits the 323Ci, 325Ci, 328Ci, 330Ci, and M3.

This part is available through BMW, ECS Tuning, or other websites that sell OEM BMW replacement parts.

ECS Tuning product links:

ECS Tuning Left Panel Link

ECS Tuning Right Panel Link

Or if you prefer direct from BMW:

BMW of Atlanta Left Panel Link

BMW of Atlanta Right Panel Link

  • Replacing a $200 part for the sake of a $2 seal seems a poor use of money, perhaps the other existing answer is better. And adding sealer is a common solution used on many cars.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 25, 2020 at 8:12
  • I'm not sure if you clicked on the link... It is a $17.14 panel which is clipped to the side of the tail light. It's not much of a price difference from buying a tube of silicon and allows for a brand new looking OEM finish. Jul 3, 2020 at 6:45

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