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Thread: Kneed headlight switch, need headlight switch...

                  
   
  1. #1

    Kneed headlight switch, need headlight switch...

    In an amazing feat of cleverness and dexterity, I slipped on something in a parking lot and kneed my headlight switch into my dashboard. The switch still works, but is now recessed back into the bezel where it's hard to turn and doesn't look right.


    My car is a 2011 E91 xDrive with halogen (not Xenon) headlamps, front foglights, and rain-sensing wipers. And a newly-bashed-in chrome headlight switch...


    I already planned to modify the switch to enable the secret rear foglights anyway. Now that I'm stuck replacing the switch, I might as well install the European headlight switch which visibly enables the rear foglights and adds a dimmer switch for the interior lights.


    So, what's the best place to buy one? As far as I can tell, BMW's part number is 61319169406 (Control Element Light, PERLGLANZ CHROM). Schmiedmann has new ones for $101 (out of stock, three days) and used ones for $45 (out of stock, five days) but asking something that's not even in stock to get from Denmark to me in time for the April 2nd DIY may be pushing my luck. BMWFANS.info says they cost $96 but doesn't say WHERE they cost that. ECS Tuning has them for $150 but, well, $150. Are there any other places worth looking?




    Oh, and a hearty [expletive deleted] to whoever left that big chicken bone in the parking lot. My headlight switch does not thank you, but the local rats surely do.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pseto's Avatar
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    Unless you want to spend the money on having a symbol on the button itself for the rear fog light, why not just by a OEM replacement and do the Lego mod? Plenty of YouTube videos and DIY write ups for it online
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pseto View Post
    Unless you want to spend the money on having a symbol on the button itself for the rear fog light, why not just by a OEM replacement and do the Lego mod?
    I have the chrome switch; I wouldn't even need to put a Lego brick in there, just cut the immobilization tabs. I want the European switch because I already have to buy a new switch, and:

    1. Every place I've looked that has both, the European switch and the American switch COST EXACTLY THE SAME. And no place I've looked that only carries the American switch beats the best price for the European switch.

    2. The European switch also adds a dimmer switch for the interior lights.

  4. #4
    In case anyone is curious how this all worked out...

    1. I got the European switch from Schmiedmann, for the same price as the North American switch.

    2. I took the new switch to the DIY at BMW of Sterling, and the installation was easy.

    3. As I was showing off my new switch, I handed someone my old switch. He demonstrated how the switch is BUILT TO PUSH IN LIKE THAT AND WILL PULL BACK OUT. I hadn't been able to pull hard enough because I couldn't get enough grip at that angle with the switch still in the dashboard. So, strictly, I didn't need to do any of this.

    4. The thumbwheel I was told was a dimmer switch for the interior lighting, is in fact a headlight height adjust which is non-functional in North America.

    5. In spite of all this i'm happy with how the project turned out. I can use my rear fog lights, and I can honestly say I've installed imported Euro-spec parts on my E91.

    6. I kept the original, not-actually-broken switch as a spare.

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