Removing BMW E46 M3 Rear Headrests

Ever set out on a task that should be easy and you quickly find out it isn’t? This was one of those. For most BMW headrests up until about 2008 you just had to pull straight up to remove them from the seat backs. At least that’s how it always worked on the front head rests.

Things got more complicated with the facelift E90 seats as they contained a charge that moved the headrest forward in a collision. For those head rests, you have to remove the back of the seat and unplug the wire before you can pull it free. So when I’m working on this 2004 M3, I’m thinking, easy-peasy, I’ll just pull up, no worries.

Then when that didn’t work, I turn to the trusty interwebs for sage advice and I’m told not to pull straight up, but cup your hands together on one side, and pull diagonally, one side at a time (which does work oddly enough.) But I got to thinking there had to be a more logical reason why this was so difficult.

Remove the two circled clips.

And if you lift the covering on the rear parcel shelf you can see it. There are actually two clips holding each head rest. The two hand method just twisted them to spring them free. Easier is to just reach in with long needle nose pliers and pull them free. Then the head rests just pull out, easy-peasy. You’re welcome inter webs.