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Seat Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Seat Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

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

Power seat movement is done via electric motors controlled by switches. The seat switches are mounted to the side of the front driver and passenger seats. The seat switches control fore, aft and height movement of the seats. These 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 module or test the output to the seat motors from the seat module. The switch receives power from the closed current relay switch. Then the switch feeds power and ground to the motor that the user activates via the switch. Testing the signals to the motor is best done using a digital volt ohm meter. If you don't have a signal to the motor, and can manually activate it using fused power and ground to confirm it works, you can suspect the fault is in either the power / ground supply 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.

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.

There are two serviceable switches on the seat, the lumbar switch (red arrow) and the seat position switches (blue arrow).
Figure 1

There are two serviceable switches on the seat, the lumbar switch (red arrow) and the seat position switches (blue arrow).

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

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

Working at the side of the seat, pull the trim panel off starting at the front, then work rearward detaching the clips.
Figure 3

Working at the side of the seat, pull the trim panel off starting at the front, then work rearward detaching the clips.

This photo shows the clip at the front of the panel you have to detach.
Figure 4

This photo shows the clip at the front of the panel you have to detach. The black tab (red arrow) on the seat engages the plastic clip on the panel (blue arrow).

Working at the lumbar switch, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out of the switch.
Figure 5

Working at the lumbar switch, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out of the switch. Note the missing piece of the switch on my subject vehicle. This is likely why the switch was faulty, a poor connection caused by a damaged switch (red arrow).

With the panel tilted toward you, remove the small switch connector by pressing the small button, then opening the connector lock.
Figure 6

With the panel tilted toward you, remove the small switch connector by pressing the small button, then opening the connector lock. The connector will pull out as you rotate the lock 90 degrees (red arrow).

Disconnect the two other small connectors (red arrows).
Figure 7

Disconnect the two other small connectors (red arrows). Pull the connectors straight out of the switch to remove them. There is one large connector remaining. I find it easier to remove it with the switches detached from the trim panel. See the following steps.

Release the switch mounting tabs (red arrows) by pressing them up.
Figure 8

Release the switch mounting tabs (red arrows) by pressing them up. Hold them up while you feed the switch out of the panel. You will have to do one at a time and work slowly to prevent damage to the tabs.

Slide the switch out of the trim panel.
Figure 9

Slide the switch out of the trim panel. Then disconnect the final electrical connector by sliding the lock up (inset) and pulling the connector off. Reverse the directions to install a new main switch.

To replace the lumbar switch, press the retaining tabs (red arrows) away from the switch as you pull it out of the trim panel.
Figure 10

To replace the lumbar switch, press the retaining tabs (red arrows) away from the switch as you pull it out of the trim panel. Reverse the directions to install the new lumbar switch.

When installing the trim panel back to the seat, be sure to properly engage the retaining tabs.
Figure 11

When installing the trim panel back to the seat, be sure to properly engage the retaining tabs. This photo shows the clip at the front of the panel you have to attach. The black tab (red arrow) on the seat engages the plastic clip on the panel (blue arrow).

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:44:57 AM