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Left Lower Dashboard Trim Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Left Lower Dashboard Trim Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$35

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, trim panel tool

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Fasteners and panels

Hot Tip:

Use floor mat from vehicle to kneel on

Performance Gain:

Access to components behind panels

Complementary Modification:

Replace pillar trim as well

Above the left side footwell on BMW E53 X5 models is a plastic trim panel and knee bolster that help to house electrical components. These panels may have to be removed to service certain components on E53 models. For example, the left side panel covers the pedal cluster and electrical components under the dashboard. If you wanted to replace the clutch switch or brake light switch, the panel has to be removed first. Fasteners of varying style hold the trim panels in place. Be sure to have the correct ones on hand in case one breaks or is lost.

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 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.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the left lower dashboard trim panel on BMW E53 vehicles.

The red arrow points to the plastic panel above the pedal assembly.
Figure 1

The red arrow points to the plastic panel above the pedal assembly. The green arrow points to the knee bolster. I will show you how to remove both of these panels.

Starting with the lower panel, remove the plastic retainer (green arrow) by rotating it 90° clockwise and pulling it out.
Figure 2

Starting with the lower panel, remove the plastic retainer (green arrow) by rotating it 90° clockwise and pulling it out. Then remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows).

This photo shows the locations of all the Phillips head screws (red arrows).
Figure 3

This photo shows the locations of all the Phillips head screws (red arrows). Be sure to remove them all.

Lower the trim panel enough to access the electrical connectors.
Figure 4

Lower the trim panel enough to access the electrical connectors. Pull it straight down and away from the knee bolster.

Disconnect the electrical connectors (red arrow) by squeezing the release tabs and pulling them straight off.
Figure 5

Disconnect the electrical connectors (red arrow) by squeezing the release tabs and pulling them straight off.

Next, move to the right side of the panel.
Figure 6

Next, move to the right side of the panel. Pull the footwell light cover (green arrow) straight off. Then disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow) by pulling it straight out.

Next, remove the knee bolster.
Figure 7

Next, remove the knee bolster. Start by removing the three Phillips head screws (red arrows).

Then, move to the top of the knee bolster.
Figure 8

Then, move to the top of the knee bolster. Remove three more Phillips head screws (red arrows).

With all the screws removed, slide the knee bolster down (red arrow) just enough to access the electrical connector at the back.
Figure 9

With all the screws removed, slide the knee bolster down (red arrow) just enough to access the electrical connector at the back.

Flip the knee bolster over.
Figure 10

Flip the knee bolster over. Then disconnect the diagnosis plug electrical connector. Slide the blue lock to the left (red arrow). Next, pull the diagnosis plug straight up and out of the mount. To install the panels, reverse the removal steps. Be sure to properly align the panels and replace any damaged or missing fasteners.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Jeff Comments: This is very helpful and looks basic. I was hoping for a view of whats behind the panel because I want to know how difficult it is to get to the steering angle sensor.
Just completed the brake job and rear shock replacement. X5 with pull out is more involved removal.BUT it looks great.
Thanks for the instructions.
June 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:44:54 AM