If you’ve ever attempted to remove petrified window film from an E46 coupe, you’ll know how hard it is to get the bottom 3 inches of glass with your scraper. You can try steam, heat, the trash bag method, or GooGone but chances are there will be this small bit you just can’t get without removing the hard plastic trim at the very back of the parcel shelf. This post is about how you get to it.
You will need to remove or lower the rear seat backs, and remove the seat latches and the surrounding black plastic trim to get free access to the parcel shelf and rear headrests. We previously posted a DIY on how to remove the headrests which you can view below.
Once you remove the child safety anchors, you will need to remove the C-pillar trim. Be careful because the plastic may be very brittle. And remember that there is a hex screw under each reading lamp that also needs to be removed.
Next, remove the speaker grills and speakers. Working under the parcel, disconnect and remove the sub-woofer if necessary, and remove the screws holding down the parcel shelf. The parcel shelf should now be free and will lift out. If the car was in storage or abandoned, expect very nasty things to be lurking under the parcel shelf. Be sure to wear a respirator and gloves to clean the area and disinfect afterwards.
Now you will see the four screws holding the lower window trim. They were 7mm bolts in this car (which is an odd size). With the trim removed, you can finally get to the lowest edge of the rear window.
Continue to remove the rest of the tint. I usually use a combination of heat and goo-gone with a plastic razor blade. Just be careful around the defroster elements.
Many of the parcel shelves have faded to a gray-purple color (Mulberry?) and can cause glare in the rear window. Now is a great opportunity to get some interior trim paint and respray them. Just be careful cleaning the surface as it is very delicate. Installation is the reverse of removal.