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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
Perfect_Balance
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Light Control Module?

I was told my light control module went out by the Service Adviser.

Where can I find one, they want $614.95 in parts+labor. Not horrible, but if I can do it myself, then that's what I'll do.


Originally I thought I was having a problem with the K-bus: Signals, hazards, dash back-lighting, self-leveling, and highbeams went out all at the same time.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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You can get used ones on ebay for around $50. Apparently, you get a tamper indicator dot on your odometer display when you use a used LCM, but that doesn't hurt anything.
Search for BMW E46 light switch. The LCM is attached to the switch.

I have a spare one now because I got a used one from ebay that had the auto light setting so that I could add auto headlights to mine.

There's nothing to changing them out, takes about five minutes. There are youtube videos showing how.

Last edited by joegr; 09-06-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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The problem with the LCM is that they have to get you a new one. It's designed to be coded one time only so that is associated only with your car. It is possible to get a used one and have someone recode it for you. I believe there is someone on eBay that supposedly can do this service for you, but I cannot find him at the moment. If you get a used one, it will work, but you'll have the odometer tamper dot on your dash.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...60&hg=61&fg=35

I'd find the right one for your car, buy it, install it, then bring it to them to code. Should save you a little money.

Also, you should get one made from 2006 and have them enable comfort blinking (AKA one-touch 3-flashes)
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. ECS has it for $317.88 http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/61319133029/ES168490/

So all together I'll save myself $84.

Dealer: $614.95

Me: $330 (part) + $100 (diagnostic) + $100 (re-coding) = $530
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Thanks guys. ECS has it for $317.88 http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/61319133029/ES168490/

So all together I'll save myself $84.

Dealer: $614.95

Me: $330 (part) + $100 (diagnostic) + $100 (re-coding) = $530
and you are happy to be just saving $84??
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Get a used LCM, get P.A. Soft 1.4 (BMW Scanner) code your VIN and mileage to your used LCM to get rid of the tamper dot then code the LCM back to default settings! Very easy to do.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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Why do you need to pay the $100 diagnostic? Did they already do it?
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Why do you need to pay the $100 diagnostic? Did they already do it?
Do you work for free? If I got a car where the customer had a complaint that needed to be diagnosed and then customer decides against fixing it, I sure as hell expect to be paid for the time I spend doing what the customer asked to be done.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
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Do you work for free? If I got a car where the customer had a complaint that needed to be diagnosed and then customer decides against fixing it, I sure as hell expect to be paid for the time I spend doing what the customer asked to be done.
The dealer costs $100 to just look at your car to determine the problem without doing any actual work fixing it.

It sounds to me like he already knows the problem and can install the LCM himself. If he brings the already-installed LCM to BMW, he should only pay $100 for computer coding and no "diagnostic" fee. Even then, $100 to do coding is a ridiculous fee.

I've gotten plenty of complementary checks from my indy for simple things that I asked them about.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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Why do you need to pay the $100 diagnostic? Did they already do it?
It's a diagnostic fee, you pay that no matter what you decide to do. Unless the mechanic feels bad for you(if it's a major repair.) And he posted their estimate to fix it, so I'm pretty certain he's already brought the car in to the dealer and probably already paid the diagnostic fee.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zell View Post
The dealer costs $100 to just look at your car to determine the problem without doing any actual work fixing it.

It sounds to me like he already knows the problem and can install the LCM himself. If he brings the already-installed LCM to BMW, he should only pay $100 for computer coding and no "diagnostic" fee. Even then, $100 to do coding is a ridiculous fee.

I've gotten plenty of complementary checks from my indy for simple things that I asked them about.
so looking at your car does not cost time experience and knowledge at all.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
The dealer costs $100 to just look at your car to determine the problem without doing any actual work fixing it.

It sounds to me like he already knows the problem and can install the LCM himself. If he brings the already-installed LCM to BMW, he should only pay $100 for computer coding and no "diagnostic" fee.

I've gotten plenty of complementary checks from my indy for simple things that I asked them about.
Depends on the dealer/shop and the situation. Simple things for free, sure, but if your having an electrical issue where the tech could have to spark chase and go through a wiring harness is not one of those times. Let's say diagnosis was free, the tech spends 6 hours and finally finds where a mouse has chewed through a wiring harness and the replacement is going to cost $1800. The customer declines the work and you just chased wire for 6 hours for a grand total of $0 AND you have to put the car back together for free. Not very fair is it? The OP very well may be able to replace the LCM himself as well as program it but that doesn't justify the tech having to spend his time diagnosing it, let's say an hour, then on a different day/shift reprogram a USED LCM that you bought elsewhere and cost him money and spend another 30 minutes on it for free? You paid for his hour of diagnosis and you'll pay for his 1/2 hour to 1 hour of labor to reprogram it as well. Tried explaining the best I could. Not trying to be a d!ck just wish people would understand that.

Quote:
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$100 to do coding is a ridiculous fee.
Look at it this way. You don't have GT1 or any other software which is why your taking it to the dealer in the first place. They have to pay the advisor, porter, technician, shop foreman, cashier, lift, utilities to power the lift, computer & for the software just so you can get your LCM programmed. That $100 goes quick now huh?
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Last edited by E46_330i_Stud; 09-06-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:13 PM   #13
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and you are happy to be just saving $84??
Like anybody, I wish I could save more, but $84 is still quite a bit of money. With that said, I'm most likely going to let the dealer handle it this time. I'm selling this car and just don't really want to spend any more time in it or under it. It has truly been one of the worst and headache ridden cars I've had.

VANOS replacement $1xx
DISA Replacement $2xx
Passenger Seat Airbag sensor Replacement. $6xx
A-Pillar replacement because cloth sags on a 6-year old car - ~$100

and now this LCM deal.

I've only owned the car since last August, but since then I've found these are pretty common issues, so instead of whining every time a new one comes up, I figure selling it would be best.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by E46-Cabrio View Post
Get a used LCM, get P.A. Soft 1.4 (BMW Scanner) code your VIN and mileage to your used LCM to get rid of the tamper dot then code the LCM back to default settings! Very easy to do.
The $650 price tag might be warranted if I planned on keeping this car for another few years. I'm trying to sell it to a more wanting owner though.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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Anyone with the GT1 software should be able to recode the LCM for free.

You might be able to find someone in your area to do it for you.

EDIT: Looks like you just need PA Soft.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1621447
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:07 PM   #16
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You could have done it all yourself for 100 bucks...as pointed out.

The dealer can NOT code a used LCM. Their software is unable to code a LCM that has been coded to a previous car.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #17
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I didn't see where PA soft was $100. The site I went to had it for $650.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #18
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as already pointed out.

Used lcm: $60-100 US sellers (ebay)

PA Soft: $30-40 US Sellers. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-BM...170eab&vxp=mtr)

and here are the instructions on how to do it..

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1587004

It's now up to you wether DIY to save some money or Take it to the dealer.

Last edited by haurelio; 09-07-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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