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.

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    What year is the vehicle? And what model/trim E46? – Jason C Aug 14 '16 at 1:13
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    @JasonC Ah yes, forgot that detail. Added, it's a 330Ci 2002 w/ sport package. – andrewb Aug 14 '16 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 '16 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 '16 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 '16 at 13:31

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 '16 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 '16 at 13:24
  • Can confirm that this is the way to fix this :) Also, many sealants for sale online. – Катерина Jun 24 '17 at 21:47

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