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Replacing Your Seat Switches
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Seat Switches

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

1

Talent:

*

Tools:

T20, T27 Torx, trim removal tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W203 (2001-07)

Parts Required:

New switch module

Hot Tip:

Get some spare door clips

Performance Gain:

Working Seats

Complementary Modification:

Clean the leather

For cars with memory, there are multiple switches based on options and color codes. Please CALL OUR SALES TEAM to order the correct switch. 

If your seats start to act up or stop functioning completely, a good place to start trouble shooting is the seat control module. Unfortunately the module is in the door panel and must come out from the rear, which means removing the door panel. While this is not a difficult job, door panels can be very expensive so take your time and double check things as you go. Before you begin it is a good idea to purchase a set of trim removal tools. They are a set of hard yet flexible plastic tools of different shapes and sizes that are used in removing trim pieces. They work a lot better than a flat head screwdriver and there is nothing worse than ruining a "do-it-yourself" project by scratching up your car or damaging expensive interior pieces. Pelican sells a full line of these tool sets for under $20.

Before you begin removing the door panel, you need to disconnect the battery and let the car sit for half an hour. You are going to be working around the air bag and you want to make sure there is no electricity flowing in the car and that there has been time for the residual power to drain. You should also park the car on as level ground as possible. Nothing is more frustrating than working on the door while it is trying to swing open or closed.

First remove the plastic lock along the upper ledge. It unscrews counter clock wise. The door panel is only held on by three attached pieces of hardware. The first is the door lock trim piece. Remove this piece by unscrewing the single T20 Torx head screw and pulling the trim piece straight back.

Second is the door pull handle. Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the cover off the pull handle. With the handle off use your T27 Torx and remove the 2 screws inside the handle securing it to the door.

Next using your trim removal tool, remove the trim SRS trim piece located on the panel below the lock. Use a T20 Torx and remove the screw behind this piece.

There is a small footwell light under the map pocket that you can gently pry out with your trim removal tool and then disconnect the wires.

You will need to remove the small triangular shaped piece at the top front of the door that holds the speaker. Insert your trim removal tool at the top by the glass and pop it out. It will slide forward as you remove it. Disconnect the wires from the speaker.

There are seven clips that hold the panel to the sides and bottom of the door. Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the panel away from the door. If your door panel has never been removed it may take a little force.

Moving to the top of the panel gently insert your trim tool and pry the door panel up and away from the door.

With the panel off you need to remove the pull cable for the handle. Slip the metal end of the cable from the handle then gently extend the cable and slip it out of the channel.

Unplug the wiring for the seat controls and then the wiring for the power windows. The power window harness clip slides back and then the whole unit lifts out.

With everything removed that connects to the panel, take the panel to your work bench. Make sure it is clean, as you are going to be putting the "pretty side" down.

The seat control module is located in the upper corner by the door handle. The module is covered with a soft membrane to help protect it from moisture and vibration. You are going to have to peel this back to get the module out and there is very little chance you are going to get it off in one piece.

With the membrane out of the way there are four small plastic clips that hold the module in place. Use your trim removal tool and gentle pry the unit from the door. The unit is sealed and needs to be replaced if not working.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Shown here is the interior door panel.
Figure 1

Shown here is the interior door panel. You will need to remove the door lock pull (purple arrow) SRS trim piece (yellow arrow), the door pull trim piece (red arrow) and the footwell light (blue arrow, not shown) to get to the seat controls.

Begin by removing the door lock pull.
Figure 2

Begin by removing the door lock pull. It unscrews counter clockwise.

Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the cover of the pull handle (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the cover of the pull handle (yellow arrow).

With the handle off use your T27 Torx and remove the 2 screws inside the handle (yellow arrows) securing it to the door.
Figure 4

With the handle off use your T27 Torx and remove the 2 screws inside the handle (yellow arrows) securing it to the door.

Next using your trim removal tool, remove the trim SRS trim piece located on the panel below the lock.
Figure 5

Next using your trim removal tool, remove the trim SRS trim piece located on the panel below the lock. Use a T20 Torx and remove the screw behind this piece.

There is a small footwell light under the map pocket that you can gently pry out with your trim removal tool and then disconnect the wires (yellow arrow).
Figure 6

There is a small footwell light under the map pocket that you can gently pry out with your trim removal tool and then disconnect the wires (yellow arrow).

You will need to remove the small triangular shaped piece at the top front of the door that holds the speaker.
Figure 7

You will need to remove the small triangular shaped piece at the top front of the door that holds the speaker. Insert your trim removal tool at the top by the glass and pop it out. It will slide forward as you remove it. Disconnect the wires from the speaker (yellow arrow).

There are seven clips that hold the panel to the sides and bottom of the door.
Figure 8

There are seven clips that hold the panel to the sides and bottom of the door. Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the panel away from the door (yellow arrow). If your door panel has never been removed it may take a little force.

Moving to the top of the panel gently insert your trim tool and pry the door panel up and away from the door (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

Moving to the top of the panel gently insert your trim tool and pry the door panel up and away from the door (yellow arrow).

With the panel off you need to remove the pull cable for the handle.
Figure 10

With the panel off you need to remove the pull cable for the handle. Slip the metal end of the cable from the handle (yellow arrow) then gently extend the cable and slip it out of the channel (red arrow).

Unplug the wiring for the seat controls (yellow arrow).
Figure 11

Unplug the wiring for the seat controls (yellow arrow).

Unplug the wiring for the power windows.
Figure 12

Unplug the wiring for the power windows. The power window harness clip slides back and then the whole unit lifts out (yellow arrow).

This photo illustrates the seven clips that secure the panel to the bottom and sides of the door (red arrows).
Figure 13

This photo illustrates the seven clips that secure the panel to the bottom and sides of the door (red arrows).

The seat control module is located in the upper corner by the door handle.
Figure 14

The seat control module is located in the upper corner by the door handle. The module is covered with a soft membrane to help protect it from moisture and vibration (red arrow).

You are going to have to peel this back to get the module out and there is very little chance you are going to get it off in one piece (red arrow).
Figure 15

You are going to have to peel this back to get the module out and there is very little chance you are going to get it off in one piece (red arrow).

With the membrane out of the way there are four small plastic clips (red arrows, three shown) that hold the module in place.
Figure 16

With the membrane out of the way there are four small plastic clips (red arrows, three shown) that hold the module in place. Use your trim removal tool and gentle pry the unit from the door.

The unit is sealed and needs to be replaced if not working.
Figure 17

The unit is sealed and needs to be replaced if not working. Yellow arrow shows the electrical connection and the red arrows show the clips.

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