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Seat Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Seat Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, T20 Torx

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-10)

Parts Required:

Seat switches

Hot Tip:

Be careful not to damage seat trim panel when removing

Performance Gain:

Proper power seat function

Complementary Modification:

Clean under your seat

BMW X3 front seats are electrically operated for position, inclination and height. Seat control switches are mounted to the side of the front driver and passenger seats. There is also a memory function for each seat with 3 positions which can be programmed for different drivers. Seat memory is tied in to the steering wheel position (when equipped with electronic column) and outside rear view mirror as well. When the driver presses one of the seat memory buttons, the seat, steering wheel and mirror adjust automatically.

Seat switches fail and wear out over time, leaving you with a non-functioning seat. I have seen cases where the switches have been stepped on by a child or hit with something and broken. If you are left to deal with any of these problems, this tech article will show you how to replace the seat switches.

If you have a stuck seat and want to test the switch, you have a few options. You can use a BMW scan tool and monitor the switch input to the seat motors or test the output to the seat motors from the seat switch. If you don't have a signal to the motor, and can manually activate it, you can suspect the fault is in either the module or the switch. When testing seat motors, be sure to keep yourself and your clothing clear of the seat, as it could move. You don't want to get snagged or pinched while working on it.

Programming a memory position

Place ignition be in position 1 or 2. Activate the memory button on the memory switch. Programming readiness is indicated by the memory button lighting up. Press one of the 3 position buttons to store the current seat position. The indicator lamp goes out after pressing the position button. Program readiness is canceled if no position button is pressed within 7 s. The position button goes out.

Calling up a memory position

A differentiation is made between two operating modes when stored seat positions are retrieved:

Touch button operation: In single-strike mode, it is enough to briefly press one of the 3 position buttons to start the positioning procedure. Positioning runs automatically until the target position is reached. The touch button operation is effective if the driver's door is opened and the ignition-lock is in position 0 or 1. With the driver door closed, touch button operation is effective in ignition lock position 1.

Continuous button operation: To call up a seat position, the corresponding position button must be pressed continuously to maintain positioning. If the button is released before the target position is reached, the corresponding drive is switched off immediately. The positioning procedure is continued when the position button is pressed again. If another position button is pressed, the positioning procedure for the new position is started.

The continuous button operation is effective if the driver's door is opened and the ignition-lock is in position 2. With the driver's door closed, continuous button operation is effective in ignition lock position 0 or 2.

End stops

In order to avoid unnecessary engine load and of the ripple count module, there is automatic detection of the adjustment range limits. Should a block be detected several times in the same position, the detected position value is interpreted as the end stop. Any further adjustment is terminated before this limit is reached.

An incorrectly detected end stop (e.g. blocking of the seats caused by objects lying around) can be overridden after removal of the blocking, by activating the manual adjustment switch.

Interior trim pieces and switches in BMW X3 cars are made of preformed hard plastic. Plastic clips or metal screws are sometimes 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.

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 leave your vehicle information.

This procedure will be shown with the seat removed. You don't have to remove the seat, but it makes accessing the trim clips much easier.

BMW X3 front seats are electrically operated for position, inclination and height.
Figure 1

BMW X3 front seats are electrically operated for position, inclination and height. Seat control switches (red and blue arrows) are mounted to the side of the front driver and passenger seats. There is also a memory function for each seat with 3 positions which can be programmed for different drivers. Seat memory is tied in to the steering wheel position (when equipped with electronic column) and outside rear view mirror as well. When the driver presses one of the seat memory buttons, the seat, steering wheel and mirror adjust automatically.

Working at the outer rear corner of the seat, remove the T20 Torx screw (red arrow).
Figure 2

Working at the outer rear corner of the seat, remove the T20 Torx screw (red arrow).

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrow).
Figure 3

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrow). Reach behind trim and unclip while pulling away from seat. Confirm clip is detached. Trim piece will not come off yet.

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrows).
Figure 4

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrows). Reach under front of trim and unclip clip. As you detach the next few clips, confirm this one and the others remained detached. They have a tendency to clip back on when trying to remove others. Be sure all are detached before trying to remove the seat switches.

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrows).
Figure 5

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrows). Reach under front of trim and unclip clip.

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrows).
Figure 6

Inset photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (red arrows). Reach under front of trim and unclip clip.

Working at the front side of the seat, pull the trim panel off starting at the front.
Figure 7

Working at the front side of the seat, pull the trim panel off starting at the front. Then work backward detaching the panel. There is one last trim clip (red arrow) that should detach as you pull off (red arrow).

With the trim piece removed, switch assembly is exposed.
Figure 8

With the trim piece removed, switch assembly is exposed. Start by disconnecting the electrical connector (red arrows) by pulling them straight out. Then disconnect the next connector by pressing the button (blue arrow) and flipping the lever 90° to open (inset).

To replace the lumbar switch, lever it out at the tabs using a small flathead screwdriver.
Figure 9

To replace the lumbar switch, lever it out at the tabs using a small flathead screwdriver.

Figure 10

Flip the switch panel over and unclip the three locking tabs (red arrows) as you pull switch away from t

Pull seat switches off enough to access the final electrical connector (blue arrows).
Figure 11

Pull seat switches off enough to access the final electrical connector (blue arrows). Lever the sliding lock up (inset) and pulling away from the switch.

If using a recycled part, be sure the part number on the old switch as the same as the new one.
Figure 12

If using a recycled part, be sure the part number on the old switch as the same as the new one. Reverse directions to reassemble switches and the trim panel. Be sure the tabs on the trim panel (red arrow) engage the slot in switch (blue arrow). Install the seat and check the seat function.

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Page last updated: Tue 9/19/2017 03:32:03 AM