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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 04-08-2010, 03:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 590
My Ride: 325ci 2001
Smile Window Switch LED Conversion (pics)

Following on from my IKE LED Conversion here is a DIY on how to change the window switches in your car to a different colour. This may have been done before, there may even be a DIY but i just did this as it was easy.

To remove the switches you need to remove the gaiter on your gear stick. Pinch it around the corners and lift it out to reveal the two screws holding the trim panel in place.

Remove the two screws at the back (closest to back of car) and lift it from here. There are 2 hinge like features at the front that as you lift will just lift out. Unclip the wires for your window switches and you end up with this.

The switch units simply unclip from the trim panel to give you this.

To remove the switch gubbins there are 3 little catches on each side to unclip. Shown here at the top of the unit. Just use a flat head screwdriver to pry it out.

This is what will come out.

Don't panic that the switch rockers have now gone 'limp', they are not broken this is fine. Also do not worry if a few bits fall out when you disassemble, this is also fine. The black plastic slider and grey rubber pads simply life up and off to reveal the LED and it's resistor. Note the orientation of the black plastic slider this has to go back the same way (won't go back wrong so you will know any way), the grey bit doesn't matter. Here is the LED.

Simply snip off or de-solder the existing LED and solder your new LED in its place. I used trial and error to get the anode and cathode (positive and negative) legs right as i couldn't tell which was which as the legs are already cut. Turn your cars lights on and just connect the switch to the wiring harness. If it lights up, bingo, if not swap it round.

Once that is done refitting is a reversal of removal.

***Tip - to put the switch back together rest both parts on their side. You can see on the side of the rocker (the bit you push with your finger) there is a grey plastic bit. Position this so that the bottom is level with the bottom of the switch housing (see pic). Being on its side the switches wont move while you slide the parts back together. This is where the orientation of the black plastic slider comes in. The bit that stands proud fits into the bottom of the rocker.***

Flash on:

Flash off:

Couple of other shots.

Last edited by Scott87; 04-08-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
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