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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #101  
Old 12-13-2012, 06:12 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...Yes. I'd be interested in your fix.
I was having trouble with the connector coming out of the socket of the switch assembly, so I used a zip tie around the body of the assembly and over the connector.

You have to use a thin zip tie so that the assembly will still snap into the seat cover. The zip tie must go over the flat part of the connector, or it'll just slip off. Also, there are a couple of tabs on the switch assembly that go into recesses of the seat cover. The zip tie must be toward the center of the assembly so that these tabs will go into those recesses.

This "fix" has lasted two weeks now. I'm not really happy with it, but it's better than the duct tape that only lasted about an hour.

I did not take photos, so I edited one of Blubee's photos to show the approximate placement of the zip tie.
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  #102  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:04 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc82632011 View Post
Hi, bluebee i have a 02 525 i with passenger seat issues and i am trying to find out what the fuse amperage is
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc82632011 View Post
can you please help the fuse keeps burning out
The fuses are all described here:
- One user's attempt to locate, describe, and photograph all fuses and relays in the BMW E39 with a picture of every fuse & relay (1)

Personally, I've never messed with the fuses, as it's rare for there to be a problem on the E39 with the seats blowing a fuse, but, if I look at that thread for which ones affect the passenger seat adjustment, we find you're likely blowing a 30 amp fuse:
- F10 = 30A, Passenger seat adjustment

You didn't say which fuse, so, I add these for completeness:
Quote:
- F13 = 30A, Driver seat adjustment, Steering column adjustment [JimLev says F13 goes to all of the motors in the drivers seat and the two steering column adjuster motors in a left hand drive gas engine E39 built after 9/'99] [cn90 shows an F13 trick here]

- F21 = 5A, Anti-glare inside mirror, Driver seat adjustment, Garage door opener [JimLev says F21 also powers the current cutoff relay, garage door opener, rear view mirror, park distance control module, and the cig lighter relay]

- F32 = 25A, Active seat, Electric seat heating, Roller sun blind

- F61 = 5A,Park distance control module/ Seat heater switch, left rear/ Seat heater switch. right rear (empty in my 2002 525i)
If you're blowing any fuse, the test procedure is the same.
You check for a short.

You can't check for a short without a volt-ohmmeter.

BTW, a strange one was reported today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by capntang View Post
OK, I assure everyone that I have searched through all the old info on this issue, but I am still left with a driver's seat and steering column that won't adjust.

It appears as though most folks find a loose connector and a broken plug shroud to be the cause of the issue. Unfortunately, I found the connector to be plugged in properly and no broken plastic after removing the seat trim. As a matter of fact, both the plug and control module look like new.

Fuses all look OK, and a quick check of pin 25 on the plug seems to confirm that the module is getting power.

I thought for a second that it may be the ignition switch as I've seen that mentioned, but I have none of the other common symptoms.

I am about to order a new (used) seat control module, but I'm worried I may be overlooking another cause. Has anyone else had the seat control module just die completely?



See also:
- What to do when both your automatic steering wheel tilt and manual & automatic driver seat control fails (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & related automatic steering wheel tilt details (1) (2) (3) & what to do if your steering wheel & key cylinder locks in place (1) (2) or if you lose your key and need to program a new one yourself (1) & signs of a failing ignition switch (1) or ring antenna (1) & the BMW TIS for when the ignition switch spins but does not engage (1) & rebuilding a failed ignition switch (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) & how to test your BMW E39 DSC steering wheel sensors (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-04-2014 at 02:11 AM.
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  #103  
Old 03-24-2013, 05:44 PM
kodoq kodoq is offline
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can anybody tell me if anything wrong with the controller? i just cant figure it out how to put the knob to the controller. it looks like the little plastic thing (2nd from the left) is blocking the movement fro the big circle (3rd from the left)

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  #104  
Old 04-17-2013, 10:19 PM
taggart taggart is offline
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To all who did it with the seat in the car, my hat's off to you. I had to take my seat out to make it easy to remove the plastic tabs in the middle and the back. As mentioned, the dealer sells both right and left molding together. As for the switchbox, the top part was also broken but luckily I have a surplus part due to a different problem.(seat rails)
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  #105  
Old 08-03-2013, 03:04 PM
Trading101 Trading101 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001E39 M5
I have a 2001 E39 M5 and need to remove the plastic cover that holds all of the seat adjustment controls. I have removed the two screws and the three plastic plugs that hold it on and it is still holding on behind where the headrest adjustment is. I haven't seen a post that mentions removal of the headrest switch so I am look for some guidance; any suggestions?
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  #106  
Old 08-03-2013, 07:41 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trading101 View Post
I haven't seen a post that mentions removal of the headrest switch so I am look for some guidance; any suggestions?
Im slightly confused...do you mean the button...then see Post #36 on page 2 of this thread. If you mean the switch...the lower seat & seat back (includes headrest) are all on the same switch.
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Last edited by QSilver7; 08-03-2013 at 07:47 PM.
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  #107  
Old 08-04-2013, 08:22 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 140k
I sat on my seat cover and cracked it while doing my door actuator.
This thread was useful and thanks for he DETAILS BlueBee.
I might try to remove my cover and see if I can crazy glue the 1 broken tab.
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  #108  
Old 08-04-2013, 08:38 AM
Trading101 Trading101 is offline
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Plastic cover won't come off

I have removed all three plugs and two screws but it is still held on by something that is directly behind the round switch which I believe is the headrest and lumbar support switch. Is there something I am missing? I think this would be easier to figure out if I was able to move the seat but at the moment it's not working which is why I need to remove the cover.
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  #109  
Old 08-11-2013, 05:40 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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I managed to salvage my original seat side covering today.
It was cracked off in a few places and dangling.
If my jerry–rigged fix holds, I saved myself $50.
If not, I now know how to quickly replace the panel now.

Both of my Torx screw hole areas had cracked off.
I found the piece for the screw hole that is hidden under the seat cushion.
I just Crazy Glued it back into place, and also glued another snip of a credit card as reinforcement.


For the front Torx screw, I used an old credit card to recreate the hole.
I glued a few strips together and then glued that onto the panel.
Then I drilled a hole where the Torx screw will go through to secure to the seat base.
The picture explains it all.



Also, the rear fastener was a BITCH to remove.
It is a 2-step removal process.

1) The trick is that you need to seatback all the way FORWARD to be able to pop the rivet.
First, use a mirror to see where the rivet is. It's at the very back edge of the seat.
Try to follow the thin strip of plastic that goes from left to right at the very bottom of the seat cover.
Trim pry tools could not get in there. My hands were not strong enough to pop it off.
In the end, I used a tiny pick tool to get in there and get some leverage to get it to pop.
Once you pop it, the rivet point is still loosely caught in the hole. There's no room to pull it out entirely.

2) Then, you need to seatback all the way BACK in order to actually get clearance to pull the rivet entirely out of the hole.

You are pulling the panel AND rivet out as 1 piece.
The rivet will not come apart from the seat panel.
Also, the rivet is really barbed into the panel.
Don't bothering trying to remove it. Leave it in the panel.
I was not able to remove it, even once I had the entire panel off.

Last edited by EconoBox; 08-11-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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  #110  
Old 09-29-2013, 11:15 AM
riverjamie riverjamie is offline
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Need to know it part is bad or not. Look at this thread and #39 from bluebee

Hello, just started replacing my driver side switch cover an had a few questions. On this thread and #39 Bluebee shows picture of a bracket 52108207405, it has a support for a stand off for the wiring harness to the switch control box. Like Bluebee if you look toward the top of the picture (a little up above the red arrow and to the left, it looks like a piece of the plastic has snapped (gray in color, instead of black like the rest of the part). Mine looks the same. When I google the part it looks like there's a tap that is suppose to extend outward into the seat frame? I think it might add support to the whole seat switch cover housing so it won't flex in the middle when getting in and out of the seat? Does anyone know?

Also unfortunately my black switch actuator broke when removing the seat back tilt knob. So took it apart, using some epoxy to glue it back together, hope it holds. Other wise will be looking for a used switch to rob the part out of.

Thanks

Last edited by riverjamie; 09-29-2013 at 11:23 AM. Reason: wording
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  #111  
Old 09-29-2013, 05:38 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverjamie View Post
Hello, just started replacing my driver side switch cover an had a few questions. On this thread and #39 Bluebee shows picture of a bracket 52108207405, it has a support for a stand off for the wiring harness to the switch control box. Like Bluebee if you look toward the top of the picture (a little up above the red arrow and to the left, it looks like a piece of the plastic has snapped (gray in color, instead of black like the rest of the part). ...Thanks
That is a support piece for the round lumbar switch which helps prevent it from being pushed out of the cover. If it does provide any support for the plastic cover...it's probably minimal since its a simple plastic piece that probably can't support much body weight.


(bluebee's image from post #39 of the support plate for the lumbar switch)

Below is the lumbar switch that goes in the circular hole in the seat cover...it only has the small nubs (that collapse) that slide down in the grooves...then the supporting plate (in bluebee's image) helps to keep it in place and from being push out when occupants of the seat are pressing the lumbar switch to adjust it.

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 09-29-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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  #112  
Old 09-29-2013, 05:58 PM
riverjamie riverjamie is offline
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Qicksilver, thanks for replying. I agree for the most part with what your saying about the support piece. My concern with part of it missing is that it may just keep the center of the cover ay from moving away. Going to see if the local dealer has one and check it out.
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  #113  
Old 09-30-2013, 08:15 PM
riverjamie riverjamie is offline
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Okay, today I purchased a new 52108207405 support bracket for the drivers side seat switch control panel. It does have a tab/clip on the end of the area that I mentioned above. If you look at the attached picture below, the left side is the new support piece with tab/clip sticking up on the right hand side. I don't know if the tab/clip end really provides much more support, but it might if pressure is put on when you exit the car?

Also if your mechanical you can take apart the seat switch module if the black post breaks, like mine did. After I removed the switch module, I carefully removed to cover with a small screwdriver by lifting the locking tabs, and moving the housing up. After I got the cover off, I took the broken black post and cleaned it with lacquer thinner, then applied epoxy (get one that's for plastic) make sure you give it the full cure time. Then I lightly sanded the post plate assembly and applied a very thin film on light weight grease, I do mean a very very small amount, to help it move easier. Then reassembled the switch back together. I also applied a small amount to the post before I put the knobs back on, so in the future if I should have to remove the knobs, hopefully the posts won't break when removing.
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  #114  
Old 01-05-2014, 08:24 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread has interesting information from key members of this forum related to the steering wheel movement, the related fuse, and battery condition:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Steering wheel not repositioning on start
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
From time to time I've seen posts asking why the steering wheel wasn't repositioning itself when starting the car. I've found that at least one cause is a weak battery.

Over the autumn as temperatures have been falling, I started to notice this problem intermittently. The column would adjust freely with the engine running and when I turned the engine off but often not when starting the car. Christmas week we got a cold snap and the big morning the engine wouldn't turn over. With a new battery the steering wheel problem hasn't reappeared in over a week although temperatures have fallen even lower. I believe that the battery had been getting weaker/marginal and when I started the engine the battery voltage fell low enough that the steering column position motor dropped out.

So if you find your steering column isn't returning to position when starting the car have the battery load tested to verify its condition or try swapping in a known good battery.

BTW, I'm not actually a blithering idiot despite this evidence to the contrary. I had noticed that cranking speed seemed slow although the car always started at the first touch of the key. I thought I had some time and was scouting for a new battery. In the event, my Christmas Day emergency left me with limited options as most autoparts stores were closed for several days or had no stock.

One more example of the power of Murphy's Law. (or O'Toole's Commentary which states "Murphy was an optomist")
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #115  
Old 05-12-2014, 02:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this thread was posted today, which "might" be relevant to this thread above:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Memory buttons inop when door open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
My memory buttons work when the driver's door is closed but not when open.

Symptoms
1 Unlock and open the driver's door
- the memory buttons causes the driver's mirror to adjust, but not the seats, steering column or passenger mirror
- the seat will move using the buttons on the seat
- windows and passenger mirror inop using the buttons in the driver's door

2 Close door, key not in ignition
- memory buttons will adjust the door mirrors, seat and steering column when held
- memory button one touch inop

3 Door closed, key turned to KLR (accessory)
- memory one touch now works

4 Open door, ignition at KLR
- memory buttons adjust driver's mirror only, not seat, steering column or passenger mirror
- all windows operate from driver's door switches

5 Start engine, door closed
- memory buttons work only when held (one touch inop, as I expect)

I'd suspect the P-bus circuit in the harness from the driver's door to A-post, except the windows operate in 4) and that signal is passed by the P-bus.

Fuses are OK - everything works at one point or another
No fault codes found with INPA or EasyDIS
Door contact status per INPA as expected.
I've done wiggle test on harness from door to A-post
I've read BMW's GM3 tech training PDF and WDS function descriptions but haven't been able to come up with a plausible cause.
I've been the only driver & never used the memory buttons except to adjust positions on extended drives. So I don't know if this is a new problem or has existed since I bought the car. @#$%^&*!
Convenience opening and closing work properly

Now that I know the memory buttons don't operate correctly, it feels like an itch that I can't scratch.

Any ideas I might investigate to solve this quirk would be appreciated.
TIA
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
99% of what you wrote is how it works...see your owners manual for clarification.

The drivers door window doesn't operate when it's open to protect fingers from getting caught If you do a google search for this...there was a long thread a few years ago on an e39 board when a forum member's grandfather got his fingers smashed in the front passenger window while helping him out of the car...& was furious that BMW didn't design it differently. (can't win for losing). This is similar to the anti-lockout of the driver's door when it is open.

The same goes for the seat memory...sometimes you have to press & hold...sometimes its one-touch.

see "select a stored memory" from owners manual...note the difference in ignition position Off & position 2 is different from position 1 & 3 (engine running) :



Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I think this thread has good information in it, but I'm not sure of the keywords to see if other threads have the answers already.

Typing just /memory F3 in the bestlinks nets a few hits, but I'm not sure if they're apropos:

Here are some PDFs with "memory" in the keywords (probably most of them from RDL himself!) which purports to explain the car, seat, and key memory settings:
Also found in the bestlinks was this keyword-rich set of links, which "might" have the desired information:
- Changing the car memory settings costs about $100 at the dealer to modify basic user settings, e.g., automatic door-lock settings (0) (1) (2) & Easy-DIS unlocking (1)


Having said that, I'm not at all sure if any of this is relevant, so, if RDL (or someone) takes a look, please just let me know if we need to ADD SOMETHING to the bestlinks, so that the answer to the question is available to others in the future, easier than it was for RDL today.


See also this thread, which debugs the particular case of the seat and tilt steering not working due to the driver seat switch:
- Tips and suggestions for replacing destroyed E39 driver seat adjustment control panel
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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 05-12-2014 at 02:18 PM.
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  #116  
Old 05-12-2014, 06:49 PM
jc8333 jc8333 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 528i (e39)
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
That is a support piece for the round lumbar switch which helps prevent it from being pushed out of the cover. If it does provide any support for the plastic cover...it's probably minimal since its a simple plastic piece that probably can't support much body weight.


(bluebee's image from post #39 of the support plate for the lumbar switch)

Below is the lumbar switch that goes in the circular hole in the seat cover...it only has the small nubs (that collapse) that slide down in the grooves...then the supporting plate (in bluebee's image) helps to keep it in place and from being push out when occupants of the seat are pressing the lumbar switch to adjust it.


Blue and quick - you two are great

Neither my driver seat adjustment nor strewing wheel adjustment works (ever since I had the car). My dad fixed it before he sold me the car (took it to a mechanic) but a few months later it stopped working and it took me a while to notice.

I was able to fold back the leather of the seat to have a look where the connectors are, and from what i can tell the black box thing has a lot of corrosion around it. The # 13 and 21 fuses look in tact.

Before I buy parts and pry everything off, can you make a gut guess on my issue? Do you think I just need to replace the black box?


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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  #117  
Old 06-04-2014, 02:08 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the crosslinked record, this potentially 'similar' thread (regarding headrest controls) was opened today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > How do I lower the head rest in my 2002 530i?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccaloftin View Post
A mysterious passenger raised the head rest and I don't want to force it back down and am wondering if it may be electrical?
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
That diagram is from page 71 in a BMW document about ZKE III central body electronics. Here's a link to a downloadable 80 page PDF that contains this diagram plus a lot more info:
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Ummm....take another look...the 1st picture in post #3 is the button/knob for the seat back & head rest...which is as you wrote...behind the larger button (2nd pic in post #3)...in which both button/knobs are attached to the seat control module.

In post #3, the seat back's button/knob (w/4 directional arrows)...is turned sideways instead of the direction we normally see it as it's attached to the seat control module behind the button/knob (w/6 directional arrows)

(this image (thanks to eBay) shows both button/knobs attached to the seat control module + the module is still in the seat cover with the both button/knobs attached)



(pic below: (4 arrows) seat back & head rest button/knob by itself)




(pic below: (6 arrows) seat bottom button/knob by itself)


Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
If you have electric seats...then yes, the headrests are electric...see the instructions from the owners manual (or look at the directional arrows printed on the buttons on the side of your seat. The one that operates the upper seat back angle, also has up/down arrows which indicate the direction of the headrests:

(seat back button - 4 arrows for 4 direction of movement - up/down head rest + fore/aft seat back angle)



(seat bottom button - 6 arrows for 6 directions of movement - upward tilt/downward tilt + forward/backward + up/down )


You can see the 10-ways the seat control module can move the front seats (look along the bottom) in the diagram below:

__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-04-2014 at 02:15 AM.
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  #118  
Old 07-27-2014, 08:17 PM
nedmon nedmon is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i, 1987 Carrera,
Thanks Bluebee et al for a terrific thread on replacing the seat trim.

In summary, how to do the driver's side is as follows:

Remove the 2 Torx screws, one accessible through a hole in the plastic in front, the other uncovered at the back by pulling the seat covering towards the passenger side.

Remove the 2 control buttons on the side.

Remove the black fastener at the front, then the one beneath the seat half way back and the third one, visible by putting the seat back full forward.

Then unplug the seat control. Note how the plug goes in, get it right. Remove the square black plastic thing next to the black control box. Remove the control box.

Transfer the hole cover plugs from the old trim to the replacement. The circular plug has 2 clips and I was unable to fit it in the new trim. So I removed one clip and got it in.

Installation was easy. Connect the plug to the control box and refit the square black plastic piece behind it. Finagle the whole piece into position, jiggle is the style, no force. Then screw in the 2 Torx screws and then the 3 black push fasteners. In front, beneath and in the back, seat back full forward.
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