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Headlight Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Headlight Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

Phillips head screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-06)

Parts Required:

Headlight switch

Hot Tip:

Pry gently when removing switches so as to not mar the interior finish

Performance Gain:

Proper light function

Complementary Modification:

Replace headlight bulbs

Exterior lights and exterior light functions are controlled by the Light Switch Module in the dashboard. Some of the exterior light functions include:

  • Exterior bulb monitoring
  • Bi-Xenon headlight operation

In addition, LM keeps a redundant copy of vehicle data. This includes make and model of the vehicle plus current odometer and maintenance / service information. The same data is stored in the instrument cluster.

The headlight switch is located on the dashboard. Trim pieces in BMW X3, including the dashboard and switches, are made of hard plastic. Plastic clips or metal screws may be used to hold them in place. To avoid marring the trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

The headlight switch is located on the left side of the steering wheel. An indicator of a problem with the headlight switch would be non-functioning headlights with an illuminated instrument panel. You may also have a chime warning sound. The sound is similar to when you leave your headlights on when exiting the vehicle. The headlight switch is replaced as one unit. Once replaced, the switch requires programming using a BMW scan tool.

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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please include your vehicle information.

The headlight switch is located on the dashboard on the left side of the steering wheel (blue arrow).
Figure 1

The headlight switch is located on the dashboard on the left side of the steering wheel (blue arrow).

An indicator of a problem with the headlight switch would be non-functioning headlights with an illuminated instrument panel and parking lights (blue arrow).
Figure 2

An indicator of a problem with the headlight switch would be non-functioning headlights with an illuminated instrument panel and parking lights (blue arrow).

Using a plastic trim panel tool, lever out the vent (red arrow).
Figure 3

Using a plastic trim panel tool, lever out the vent (red arrow).

Next, remove the vent by sliding it straight out.
Figure 4

Next, remove the vent by sliding it straight out. When levering it out using the trim panel tool, you have to release the metal clips (red arrows).

Push the headlight switch out of the instrument panel through the vent hole.
Figure 5

Push the headlight switch out of the instrument panel through the vent hole.

Slide the switch out of the dashboard until you can see the electrical connector.
Figure 6

Slide the switch out of the dashboard until you can see the electrical connector. Then press the tabs and pull the connector with ribbon cable straight off. Install connector to new switch, be sure both side tabs engage. Install new switch, press into dashboard. Reverse remaining steps to reassemble. Program new switch using a BMW scan tool.

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Page last updated: Thu 8/17/2017 03:16:16 AM