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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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Old 06-15-2015, 11:33 AM
wildbill044 wildbill044 is offline
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Location: cincinnati, OH
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 3.0i
2004 X3 numerous electrical issues

About three weeks ago jumped in the X3 just after dark and some craziness started to happen. The headlights were turning on and off, the interior lights would come on by themselves even after turning them off. The air bag light came on and the passenger airbag off overhead light came on, despite my 250# self sitting in the passenger seat. Eventually the interior lights went out and stayed out, after manually turning them off again without the key in the ignition. When I got home I checked the battery cables because I just replaced the battery in January. They were good. Checked the voltage- 12.6, it was good. Removed the battery cable and retightened, resetting, but to no avail.

At that point I started to read online about GM5's and the like. I tested all my fuses for continuity and they were good. Thought that was all that was going on problem-wise until a couple days later it rained. Rain sensor did not work, in fact wipers were intermittent, only doing a full swipe if I toggled the stick on and off. The horn stopped working as did the rest of the steering wheel controls. I only had a display on the radio if I manually turned the radio on. There were no warning lights on except the airbag light. Everywhere I looked pointed to a control module.

That's when I got on here through Googling the symptoms and where I found a thread about ignition switches. Not one of the threads I read ever mentioned the E83 specifically, but the symptoms were so similar, figured what the hell. I'll try a $100 fix before a $200-$500 one without labor.

Ordered the part for $38.76 on ebay. Was shipped to me in Cincinnati from Arizona in two days with regular mail service. I dicked around replacing for a few days thinking it would take me half a day to do. I finally did it yesterday in about 30 minutes. It seems at this point to have fixed all my issues (fingers crossed). I think if I had to do it again I could do it in 15 minutes, maybe 10.

Before you order or send out your GM5 and spend big $ even for a rebuilt one, check out this forum. I found it through QSilver7 on here.


There were two differences on this post to what I actually had to do:

#1- take the bottom dashboard skirt off with three phillips head screws to access the bottom clamshell, which is held up by two plastic telescopic push pins, which you can get off by pressing the center with a small flathead screwdriver to get them to release, and:

#2- You don't need the torx bit. There wasn't anything holding my switch in except the two small flathead screws which you loosen 1/8 to 1/4"

Thank you forum for saving me some jack, at least for now.

Last edited by wildbill044; 06-19-2015 at 09:32 AM.
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2004 x3, e83, electrical

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