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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 socket, DVOM, fuse jumper wire.

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

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 BMW Z4 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 switch module (located at the main exterior light switch) to activate the reverse light bulbs. The light control module is supplied power on terminal 2, by fuses located in the power distribution box: fuses F6 (10 amp) (check with the latest repair information to confirm fuse numbers). The switch sends the switched power signal through terminal 1 to the light switch module. 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 your car may have been serviced before and 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. 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. Jack and support the front of your Z4. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

The red arrow shows the location of the reverse light switch.
Figure 1

The red arrow shows the location of the reverse light switch. It is mounted on the right side, just in front of the transmission mount bracket (blue arrow).

Press the electrical connector wire retainer (red arrow) and pull the connector straight off the switch.
Figure 2

Press the electrical connector wire retainer (red arrow) and pull the connector straight off the switch.

Next, use a 19mm (red arrow) deep socket and loosen the switch.
Figure 3

Next, use a 19mm (red arrow) deep socket and loosen the switch. Break the switch free. Then remove the ratchet and socket.

Unscrew the reverse light switch and remove it from your transmission.
Figure 4

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 and check the operation of your switch.

The reverse light switch sends a signal to the light switch module (located at the main exterior light switch) to activate the reverse light bulbs.
Figure 5

The reverse light switch sends a signal to the light switch module (located at the main exterior light switch) to activate the reverse light bulbs. The light control module is supplied power on terminal 2, by fuses located in the power distribution box: fuses F6 (10 amp) (check with the latest repair information to confirm fuse numbers). The switch sends the switched power signal through terminal 1 to the light switch module. An easy way to test the switch is to unplug it, then jump the terminals (purple arrow) to each other using a fused jumper wire. When jumped, the reverse lights should activate. You can also remove the switch, plug it back in, then press the button. If the button is up (red arrow), the switch is off, if the button is down (blue arrow), the switch is on.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:02:31 AM