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Interior Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Interior Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

Phillips & flat-head screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

Power window switch assembly; hazard switch assembly

Hot Tip:

Use plastic prying tools so you don't mar interior finish

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty interior electrical switches

Complementary Modification:

Clean center console

The interior electrical switches located at the center console operate the power windows, door locks and hazard warning lights. These switches can experience an untimely failure due to exposure to fluids and impact, most likely from what is referred to as âÂcoffee syndrome.â Here is what to look for: Hazard switches fail intermittently not illuminating the hazard lights, or the hazard lights stay on steady. The power door lock switch is also part of the same switch and fails as well. When pressed, the door locks will not lock or unlock; however the door locks work normally when cycled with the key in the door lock. The power window switches also fail, usually intermittently; one moment the power windows will work, then not. There are two separate power window switches in the center consoleâÂ"one for the driver side of the vehicle and one for the passenger side. 

In this tech article I will go over the steps involved with replacing these switches. While you have the center console apart repairing these switches, you can also take the time to clean all those hard to reach places.

To avoid marring the trim if you need to pry anything, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Vehicles with automatic transmission: 
Vehicles with automatic transmission: Grab shift boot at rear and pull bezel up and out of center console.
Figure 1

Grab shift boot at rear and pull bezel up and out of center console.

Vehicles with automatic transmission: Disconnect shift bezel electrical connectors by pulling straight off (green arrows).
Figure 2

Disconnect shift bezel electrical connectors by pulling straight off (green arrows).

Vehicles with automatic transmission: Next, remove shift knob by pulling straight up and off shift lever (green arrow).
Figure 3

Next, remove shift knob by pulling straight up and off shift lever (green arrow). The knob can be on quite tight and may need a lot of force to remove it. I found if you slightly twist the knob back and forth while pulling up, it will come off easier. With that said, be careful because the plastic rod can break when knob is removed. Pull it up using a well controlled force.


Vehicles with automatic transmission: Once knob is removed, slide boot with bezel off shift lever.
Figure 4

Once knob is removed, slide boot with bezel off shift lever.

Vehicles with manual transmission: 
Vehicles with manual transmission: Unclip shift boot at side and pull out of center console.
Figure 5

Unclip shift boot at side and pull out of center console.

Vehicles with manual transmission: Next, remove shift knob by pulling straight up and off shift lever (green arrow).
Figure 6

Next, remove shift knob by pulling straight up and off shift lever (green arrow). The knob can be on quite tight and may need a lot of force to remove it. I found if you slightly twist the knob back and forth while pulling up it will come off easier.

Vehicles with manual transmission: Slide shift boot up and off shift lever.
Figure 7

Slide shift boot up and off shift lever.

Next, remove two Phillips head screws from center console switch bezel (green arrows).
Figure 8

Next, remove two Phillips head screws from center console switch bezel (green arrows).

Once screws have been removed, lift bezel up and disconnect power window switch electrical connectors by pressing release tabs and pulling off (green arrows).
Figure 9

Once screws have been removed, lift bezel up and disconnect power window switch electrical connectors by pressing release tabs and pulling off (green arrows). Then remove bezel from vehicle.

To replace power window switch: 
To replace power window switch: With bezel removed from vehicle, press release tab (green arrow) of power window switch you are replacing and remove from bezel.
Figure 10

With bezel removed from vehicle, press release tab (green arrow) of power window switch you are replacing and remove from bezel. Snap new power window switch into place and reassemble interior.

To replace hazard / door lock switch: 
To replace hazard / door lock switch: With bezel removed from vehicle, lift up on center console where cup holders are.
Figure 11

With bezel removed from vehicle, lift up on center console where cup holders are. Then slide a plastic prying tool under hazard switch and lever it up. You do not have to pull console up very high, just enough to fit plastic prying tool under hazard switch.

To replace hazard / door lock switch: Disconnect hazard switch electrical connector and remove from vehicle.
Figure 12

Disconnect hazard switch electrical connector and remove from vehicle. Install new hazard switch and reassemble vehicle interior.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:21:15 AM