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Reverse Light Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Reverse Light Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$75

Talent:

**

Tools:

19mm wrench, DVOM, fuse jumper wire.

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Reverse light switch

Hot Tip:

Test circuit before replacing switch

Performance Gain:

Proper reverse light function

Complementary Modification:

Replace reverse light bulbs also

Manual transmission E60 models utilize a reverse light switch in the transmission to activate the reverse lights when the transmission is shifted into reverse. The reverse light switch is a mechanical momentary style switch. This means it closes when pressed and opens when releases. It does not latch closed. It is mounted in the transmission housing.

The reverse light switch sends a signal to the light control module (located in the right side kick panel) to activate the reverse light bulbs. The light control module is supplied power by fuses located in the front fuse holder: fuses F5 (50 amp) and F6 (50 amp) (check with the latest repair information to confirm fuse numbers). The switch has a permanent ground supplied to Pin 2 that is sent to the lighting control module when the switch is closed. An easy way to test the switch is to unplug it, then jump the terminals to each other, using a fused jumper wire. When jumped, the reverse lights should activate.

In this tech article, I will go over testing and replacing the reverse light switch.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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're 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. 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.

Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Working below the transmission, remove the transmission splash shield. See our tech article on engine splash shield replacing.

Replacing: 
Replacing: The red arrow shows the location of the reverse light switch when looking from the rear of the vehicle toward the transmission.
Figure 1

Replacing: The red arrow shows the location of the reverse light switch when looking from the rear of the vehicle toward the transmission.

Replacing: Press the electrical connector wire retainer and pull the connector straight off the switch.
Figure 2

Replacing: Press the electrical connector wire retainer and pull the connector straight off the switch.

Replacing: Next, use a 19mm (red arrow) wrench and loosen the switch.
Figure 3

Replacing: Next, use a 19mm (red arrow) wrench and loosen the switch. You will have to place the wrench alongside the transmission. It will just fit. Break the switch free. Then remove the wrench. Unscrew the reverse light switch and remove it from your transmission. I have changed a handful of these switches and none of them had a sealing washer. When installing the new one, do not add a sealing washer unless your vehicle has one when removed. It could change the way the switch works, altering the insertion depth into the transmission. Screw in the new sensor. Tighten using a 19mm wrench. Then plug in the electrical connector. Reinstall the splash shields and check the operation of your switch.

Testing:
Testing: Remove the reverse light switch from the transmission as described earlier in this tech article.
Figure 4

Testing: Remove the reverse light switch from the transmission as described earlier in this tech article. To test the switch, plug it back into the electrical connector. Then press the center button. When the button is pressed, the reverse lights should illuminate.

Testing: If the lights do not illuminate, check the electrical connector power (blue arrow) and ground (red arrow) supply.
Figure 5

Testing: If the lights do not illuminate, check the electrical connector power (blue arrow) and ground (red arrow) supply. The brown wire goes to a chassis ground. The other wire should have voltage present supplied from the light control module. If ground is present and there is no voltage, inspect the fuse to the light control module, fuses located in the front fuse panel - Fuses, F5, F6. If desired, you can use a fused jumper wire to jump the reverse light switch terminals together. This will illuminate the reverse light switch.


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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:41:48 AM