E39 99 528i Steering wheel and drivers seat adjustment

new problem, started yesterday - seat and steering wheel would not adjust. I checked the fuses (in glove box) and sure enough #13 (30amp) is blown).
I change it, all is good until the next day - when I start the car the steering wheel starts to adjust then stops and the fuse is blown again.
I try to change it again, but it flashes and burns fuse when I try to plug it in. I took the lower dash off and unplugged both motors that drive the steering wheel column and try to plug a new fuse in, but it flashes again.
Anyone have a wiring diagram? Any ideas? Maybe the power goes from fuse to a block or relay? Guess it could be the seat motor/circuits? Any advice for the DIYer?
thanks, Mike
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BMW Guy wrote:

What were you doing before this happened? Any electrical work?? Swapping or charging the battery?

My advice for the DIYer - see a dealer. Sounds as if the seat memory control module (which is much more complicated and expensive than a "relay" or "fuse block") has a problem. They'll need to use the GI1 to see if they can read a code from it. This module controls the steering column and also the seat and the mirrors. Your best bet for a wiring diagram is the Bentley E39 manual - about $100 - two 500 page manuals, the second one is ALL wiring diagrams.

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Nope, not much electrical work - I did swap a window switch out to see why it would only go down (the up button makes it go down too), but that's it. The mirrors are working fine by the way (they move like they are supposed to when I hit a memory button or use my key).
I ordered the Bentleys Sunday (should have them this week). If I can not troubleshoot it down more with the Wiring Diagram, then I will see the dealer (I am an electrical engineer, I like working on this stuff - just didn't have enough info).
Do you know where the seat control module is in a 99 528i? I did look at the general module, it seemed ok (nothing obvious anyway).

Thanks though
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BMW Guy wrote:

Ah... you'll have lots of fun with the E39 then..

General module has nothing to do with it. The seat/memory module is - I believe - ta-da - in the drivers seat.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=DT63&mospidG587&btnra_0121&hga&fg %
Part #17 is what you're looking for. The passenger seat doesn't have memory so it's not connected, but other components like the steering wheel and mirrors work off this module.
One thought - since it seems the wheel tries to move and then the fuse blows - you've checked the wiring going to the motors that move the steering wheel right? One of them isn't flexing and shorting somehow? Sounds as if you did since you disconnected the motors..
Of course this could be true with the seat also - but you haven't seen a lot of movement since the fuse blows rather rapidly, but worth checking all the wiring under it.

No problem.
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It is definitely a problem in the module or a wire under the seat... after I unplugged the connector at the front of drivers seat, I put a 25A fuse in (supposed to be a 30A, but wanted test with a little less) . Seat and steering wheel controls did not work, but the fuse didnt blow either. I connected the connector and was able to move my steering wheel down where I like it and adjust my seat more where i like it. I did notice a smell and saw a little smoke (small amt - like wire insulation melting) so I pulled the fuse. The fuse never popped and everything was working, but something was getting hot. I cannot see enough to find out whats up - any advice for getting to the modules and wires under seat? Do I need to remove the seat or is there a hidden access?
Thanks for the tips, can't wait for my manuals.
Mike
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Success!! I could see a spark whenI rubbed one set of wires around... I was able to use the buttons to raise the seat all the way up and back while keeping some tugging on that set of wires. Once up, I could see wherea wire had rubbed thru both sets of insulation at the tie strap. Once up, I cleaned up the wires, checked the other connections, and it works great!
Thanks for the tips/would still be interested in seat removal procedures for next time (or for when I get brave enough to consider some upholstery work).
I noticed my airbag light is on.... I heard there were switches under the passneger seat... Is there one under the driver seat that maybe I disconnected by accident?
thanks again!!!

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BMW Guy wrote:

Mike,
Glad to hear it was some help - and the success..

To remove it - you must leave it hooked up, move it all the way forwards and remove the rear bolts in the tracks, then all the way backwards and remove the forward bolts. You then must disconnect a small cable that moves the shoulder-seat-belt fitting up/down in response to the seat position. Then expect to bust a gut lifting them out of the car.

Actually - since you switched the ignition on while the seat was disconnected, it saw a seat-belt receptacle error. Unfortunately - this will not automatically reset. It has to be done by the dealer or with an aftermarket tool. Peake Research makes a tool intended to do this - it's their SRS tool. Figure the tool is about $125.. a visit to the dealer is ??

No problem.
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My Bentley manuals came today, well worth the $120. I read about that SRS reset tool today - think I will see if I can find someone with one (this car is $120ing me to death...).
Your instructions for seat removal were good (matched the manual minus all the warnings about SRS and exploding seat belts). My problem was that the seat wouldnt go back far enough to see the front bolts - I had to remove a metal stop on the inner rail - do I have to put that back - I like the extra few inches of leg room?
I need to get the right torques bit to go further though.
I will try to find it in the manual, but I found 2 connectors under my seat that are not connected - one appears to be male and one female, but they are not quite a match... could I have yanked them loose while fumbling with my repair? I do not have heated seats, but these are thin wires (2 small guage wires).
Mike
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BMW Guy wrote:

Nope. That's a US market only thing. Something about if the seat is too far back the airbags won't be effective. It actually wasn't on a lot of US cars also.

Unlikely if they don't match up. Might be for an accessory that you don't have (active seats in Yurop..)

HTH
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Good deal, I'll wait to try and reset until I get all the dash stuff back together. I'm probably going to pull the seat out to run the wires fr my Aux audio kit anyway.
You nailed my seat problem exactly - got any clues on my passenger window going down when either direction of the passenger switch is pressed? Works fine from the drivers side, so I am leaning towards a "Passenger Door Moudule" or a wire going to it (I tried swapping switches out). If I can't fix this one, I can live with it... but like I said earlier, I like tinkering (looks like this will be a great car for that).
The Bentley manual is mostly awesome, but as an engineer, I am a little disappointed in the wiring diagrams in the 2nd one - maybe I just need some time to get used to the style.

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I bought the Peake SRS tool - worked like a champ. I had 4 or 5 codes, all related to the work I was doing under the seat and dash. I reset them and no light for a couple days now (guess it was all hooked back up right).

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