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auto trans shifter ribbon

4830 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  FreeBarabbas
the dealer told me that the reason the lights on the shift knob do not work is that the "ribbon" is cracking and wanted around $500 to fix it. Is it really that hard to fix? My concern is that the shifter would no longer change gears. Has this happened to anyone? Has anyone seen a DIY on replacing the ribbon? thanks
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If it's just the ribbon you should be able to take the shifter out of console and the trim and replace the ribbon. I'm sure the part is no more then 50 bucks..

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the dealer told me that the reason the lights on the shift knob do not work is that the "ribbon" is cracking and wanted around $500 to fix it. Is it really that hard to fix? My concern is that the shifter would no longer change gears. Has this happened to anyone? Has anyone seen a DIY on replacing the ribbon? thanks
Depends on the year and whether your car is a steptronic or SMG.

By "ribbon" does he mean the light strip in the transmission frame, or the lights in the post-LCI knob, or a sensor in the gearshift assembly?

What year is your car (or better, the last 7 digits of the VIN), and if you can find out what part he's talking about, we can advise.
First thing to do is get the panel off the console and have a look for yourself. If you can DIY, there are a number of threads to be found with similar problems where a repair was made. You can also just buy replacement parts. Use realoem.com to find part numbers and the various BMW parts specialists for parts...e.g. ecstuning.com -- they, in particular, have great photos that help immensely. There are many other great places: autohausaz, pelicanparts, bavauto, fcpeuro....I've bought from all of these at one time or another and been satisfied. Your local autoparts store or rockauto may be useful for some stuff, but decide carefully as some parts that are not OE or OEM just don't perform the same.
I had this exact issue. The ribbon separated and the lights on the shifter didn't work. If you are handy you can splice the wires that are separated in the ribbon back together and seal with electrical tape. I don't believe there is an option just to replace the ribbon, that's why it costs 500$ for a new shifter assembly

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/\ what he said.

This is a common issue on the E39/46/90

The wires in the shifter wear on a corner (or maybe the ribbon cable to the lights). You can splice these together with a soldering iron and some heat shrink.

No dash removal necessary, pop off the shifter skirt and take a looksie.

https://youtu.be/NQysOv1MqbE
Good info -- Hope it helps the OP.
KURT THANKS FOR THE VIDEO thanks for the other replies also. for $200 for a new handle I will try to reroute like the video but the ribbon looks different from the video maybe a little solder in the right spot will fix it http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=NW53-USA-11-2007-E60N-BMW-550i&diagId=25_0456
It looks like the sport transmission (S2TBA=Yes) has a different shifter than the non-sport steptronic.
I have the sport transmission shifter. My car is stored for the winter. Maybe if I get some free time I can take a picture of how I fixed it.
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