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This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the light control module (LCM) in an E53 X5. Even though we used a 2005 X5 3.0i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2000-2006 X5 model with minor modifications to the repair steps.
See all vehicles this article applies to
E53 X5 Series X5 4.8is
E53 X5 Series X5 4.6is
E53 X5 Series X5 4.4i
E53 X5 Series X5 3.0i
E53 X5 Series X5 3.0d
A BMW E53 light control module replacement may be necessary if the turn signals or headlights are malfunctioning in your 2000-2006 X5.
The light control module, also known as the "LCM", is an electronic circuit board that controls headlight and turn signal functionality. It replaced the use of relays in the late 1980's by combining all of the functions into one module. The LCM in 2000-2005 X5 vehicles is located in the passenger side footwell.
The LCM is infamous for failing. The classic symptoms of a defective LCM are; one or more headlights or turn signals staying on after the vehicle is shut off, turn signal malfunctions (not blinking correctly) and headlight high beams inoperable.
There is a known issue with 2000-2006 X5 sunroof drains backing up allowing water to infiltrate the LCM shorting them out. If you find moisture and/or rusty frame parts while removing the LCM, you will need to clean the sunroof drains to prevent damage to the replacement unit.
Replacing the X5 LCM is a relatively easy job for the home mechanic and can save a very expensive trip to the dealership. In order to properly remove the LCM from the vehicle, the glove box must be removed. There is unfortunately not enough room to navigate the LCM out of the footwell with the glove box in place. The BMW Repair Guide strongly recommends replacing a failed LCM with a new unit - avoid purchasing used ones. We give detailed step-by-step instructions on removing the LCM from your 2000-2005 X5 below.
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Section 1 - Removing the light control module (LCM)Removing the LCM from a 2000-2006 X5 is a fairly simple procedure. It requires removing the glovebox from the dashboard. Once the glovebox is removed, the LCM can be easily removed from the footwell.
- Always disconnect the negative battery cable before starting this repair! This will avoid further damage to other sensitive electronics.
- Using a flat blade screwdriver, remove the glove box hinge pin. Carefully pull the side of the glovebox door away from the glovebox frame and lower it into the fully open position (see images below).
- Using a phillips screwdriver, remove the six glove box mounting screws.
- Grasp the top of the glove box and CAREFULLY pull it free from the dashboard.
- Disconnect the electrical connections from the back of the glovebox and move it out of the work area.
- Using a plastic trim removal tool, remove the side trim panel from the passenger side footwell. it is held in place with two plastic trim clips.
- Locate and identify the LCM. It is mounted to the body of the vehicle with two screws.
- Using an 8mm socket wrench loosen the top mounting screw. Completely remove the bottom mounting screw and remove the LCM from the footwell.
- Unplug the three electrical connections from the rear of the LCM.
BMW E53 Lighting Control Module Removal Finished