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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:00 AM
bigblackseries bigblackseries is offline
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Question What is this steering column button?

Hi folks, feels good being here.

What role does this ON/OFF switch in photo play?

Cant seem to find information about it anywhere. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:07 AM
Ed Cheung Ed Cheung is offline
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That should be something the PO did.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:10 AM
BioGuy BioGuy is offline
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That looks to be aftermarket. Do you have aftermarket fogs or DVD player?

Could be a fuel pump kill switch- but that would be a terrible location for it.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:52 AM
bigblackseries bigblackseries is offline
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There's a dvd drive for the navigation. Fogs too. I don't know if they're after market. I imported my 2000 model E39 from Japan. Thanks
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2013, 09:29 AM
BioGuy BioGuy is offline
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Because it is aftermarket the only real way to know for sure is to pull the column cover and trace the wires out.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2013, 10:10 AM
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Ermagerd Ermagerd is offline
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It's the ejector seat. DO NOT PRESS IT.
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2013, 10:18 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Actually it is the SELF-DESTRUCTION button, it came from the factory.
It is for frustrated owners after the warranty has expired.
Once the owner is fed up with the millions of issues (cooling system, vapor barrier etc.), just hit the button, walk away, the car will blow up in bits and pieces.
Problem solved.
See...smart engineer design at work!
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 11:26 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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That must be the CCv, maf rebuild button



Lol just push it
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2013, 11:46 AM
tcbDE tcbDE is offline
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Drive up to 88 mph and then switch it on! Set the date and time of your destination on the navigation screen. And let us know when you get back!
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2013, 01:45 PM
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musa musa is offline
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Imported from Japan you say? My friend, all your escapades are possibly public info. You have no secrets. That thing is disguised as a switch but is in fact a high-tech communication device.

Last edited by musa; 07-02-2013 at 01:51 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:47 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Come on guys you got it all wrong, that's the switch for the flux capacitor.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:59 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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this is the "Sport" button
bmw started this design in Japan and finally implemented in latest 550i M Sport and M5
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:09 PM
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Andreas540i Andreas540i is offline
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What is this steering column button?

Thats actually a decent place to hide a switch.


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  #14  
Old 07-03-2013, 08:59 AM
z168 z168 is offline
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Bumper parking aide?
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2013, 10:01 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Aftermarket heated steering wheel? Vibrating hand massager?
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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
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  #16  
Old 07-03-2013, 10:18 AM
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If it was my car it would be to turn all the tail lights out for when im being chased at night.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2013, 03:07 AM
bigblackseries bigblackseries is offline
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C'mon guys, why not offer a reasonable answer for all to appreciate? I'm still afraid to push this switch.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2013, 05:18 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigblackseries View Post
C'mon guys, why not offer a reasonable answer for all to appreciate? I'm still afraid to push this switch.
It could be for anything, like BioGuy said your going to have to trace the wires and see what it's connected to, it could be anything. We're just guessing. Maybe aftermarket angel eyes?
Just push the button, the car isn't going to blow up.....OK so if we never hear back from you again maybe it did blow up!
Topaz, did you put a 1/4 stick in the trunk to celebrate the 4th?
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  #19  
Old 07-04-2013, 05:31 AM
miotoo miotoo is offline
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What is this steering column button?

Very intriguing option in a 2nd hand car with no access to previous owner. As said, if nothing is visible immediately you need to try trace the wires..

And my cliche comment here:

Its a wife silent/vibrate mode switch for those needed solitude moments of you & your car.


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  #20  
Old 07-04-2013, 11:08 AM
izoel izoel is offline
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Re: What is this steering column button?

Congratulation.. officially you're now member of the voltes 5 team..
that button will turn your car into part of giant robot.. prepare to save the world..

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  #21  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:11 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigblackseries View Post
C'mon guys, why not offer a reasonable answer for all to appreciate? I'm still afraid to push this switch.
We can't give a "reasonable answer" because it is not a regular/standard option. That button is an aftermarket install (which is what all the off the wall suggestions are all about)...and the only way to determine what it's for is to turn it on and watch/look/listen for something to turn on. What's to be scared of...what harm could come from turning a switch on? Then as suggested...if you can't see/hear/feel anything...then further discovery will be required (trace the wires).

Normally, if someone puts a switch that close to the ignition or steering wheel...it's usually anti-theft related, headlight related, audio related, radar detector related, heated seat/steering wheel related, etc. Again, we are in the dark just as much as you are since this was installed by someone we don't know. In fact, you're in a better place than us, you at least have a visual advantage...is there anything that looks like was once installed and now is removed? Or do you have other things in the car that are not standard (subwoofer in trunk, DVD player, aftermarket lights)?
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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; 07-04-2013 at 12:14 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-04-2013, 01:17 PM
waehrik waehrik is offline
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I installed two switches that look exactly like that that on the bottom of my steering column. One of them came with my Laser Interceptor and I bought a second one to match.

One switch turns the unit on/off and a second trips the reprogramming into parking sensors only. Neither switch can be seen, only felt on the bottom of the column.

I use the on/off switch to turn the jammers off once I've slowed down. That way the officer gets a reading after a few seconds and isn't suspicious that I've driven by him without getting a reading.

Laser jammers are legal in all the states I travel through, but the second switch is there if I were to ever get pulled over and I'm asked what the things in the front of my bumper are. Once that switch is thrown they operate only as parking sensors (beep-beep-beepbeepbeep) until the unit is plugged back into a computer and reset. It just avoids any trouble.

Check in the front of your car and see if you have anything mounted in between your grills. You may have a laser jammer system or hardwiring for a detector somewhere. If you're lucky it's still installed.
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