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      12-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
bjacques
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2006 330i seat controls dead.

So there's an existing thread that's very similar to the experience I'm having:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=636579

Let me summarize and add a little color... I also had to replace my battery in the past year. I didn't do any registration thereof. I'm not sure if this is related.

When the seat is unoccupied, the controls and memory, etc worked as normal. As soon as pressure was applied to the seat bottom, the controls stopped working.

I recently obtained a supposedly verified known good seat memory controller from a slightly newer car, it was from a 2008 328i. It also had heated seats, whereas my 330i does not. I did consult with a BMW dealer and they claimed that if it was plug-compatible, it should work without re-coding, even accounting for the slight variations.

However, after wrestling the modules in and out, the seat still didn't work. Even worse, now it won't move at all. I even swapped my original controller back in, and the seat is still broken, as in not moving at all. The original controller was functioning right before I did the swap, as I moved the seat to the highest position for better access.

Does anyone have any ideas as to why this behavior is being seen, and what I might have to do to remedy it? Maybe there's a recalibration procedure, similar to that for the sunroof? Would a full car re-code be expected to fix something like this? The wiring harness looked perfectly intact when I was poking around down there, no frayed or loose wires, etc.

Lastly, if I have to take this in, does anyone know of a good shop in Orange County, CA, particularly around Santa Ana or Costa Mesa, that is honest and doesn't charge rapacious rates?

Thanks,
Brendan
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      12-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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Try the fuses! I was wiring my car for electric bolsters and accidentally blew the fuse for the entire seat.

They were in the #30-40 range of the fuses. They are 20A fuses.
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      12-24-2012, 03:40 PM   #3
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FYI. Careful unplugging seats while the battery is still connected. It can trigger the SRS airbag light. You would need a tool or dealer to reset.
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      12-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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Yeah, not the fuses... The air-powered functions (lumbar, width) still work.

I did disconnect the battery while I worked on the seat.

Any other ideas?
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      12-26-2012, 03:30 AM   #5
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Try tracing the wires. See how the switches are connected to the motors. Perhaps applying pressure on the seat is just enough to dislodge the connections?
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      12-26-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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Sounds like you have an intermittent broken wire somewhere...

If lumbar always works then you have good power to the seats...

Try this...

Remove the battery for a while (overnight) and plug it back in. Check the seats immediately to see if they move.

If they move and then stop moving after several hours, your canbus wires are probably bad or intermittent somewhere.
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      12-26-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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And the "newer" seat module should be OK even if it's heated. No reprogramming is required.
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      01-29-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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Hi smallseafishie (love the handle, BTW!). Thanks for responding... I was traveling heavily for the past 6 weeks, so I just now had a chance to look at this again, luckily I have a 2nd vehicle. Too bad it's a supercharged Tacoma with big tires that gets 14MPG!

Anyway, I think you're on to something... I did the battery trick and there was no improvement. So, I popped the seat motor controller out of its little bracket and started moving it around to see if there were some loose wires. Well, I got a repeatable result! If I held it in one specific orientation, the motors worked. Then, if I moved it a little this way or that, the motors stopped moving immediately. There must be a break or short in the harness or connectors.

You seem quite knowledgeable... Would you happen to know how I can get a pinout of the connectors? All the adjustment motors die at once, it must be some key signal that gets interrupted. I think I might just yank out the seat and inspect the harness and connectors more closely.
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      01-30-2013, 03:17 AM   #9
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Eureka! Good lord. It's the simplest thing imaginable... The ground wire to the motor controller broke. The pin inside the connector is sheared off, it looks metal fatigued, as it broke near where the pin folds up from the flat. Any idea where I may be able to get one of these pins? Check it out:

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      01-30-2013, 08:38 AM   #10
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As a fellow 330 owner, I'm saddened to see that your seats aren't working, but I really appreciate you following up with your findings and pictures.

You might be looking for what they call "repair wires," which can be purchased from the Dealer Parts Counter (or getbmwparts.com). If you can get the pin out of the connector, perhaps you can head to your local dealer with it and find a match.

This guy wrote an excellent DIY for swapping OEM LED License Plate Lights into his car. He purchased and modified OEM repair wires. The wires come attached to pins.
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641410
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