This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the start stop button in a 2007-2013 BMW 3 series (E9x) vehicle. Even though we used a 2011 335i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2007-2013 3 series vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.
A BMW E90 start button replacement is a quick and easy way to restore the factory look to your 2007-2013 3 series dashboard.
Please note that this article can be used to either replace the worn start/stop button cover on your “push to start” switch, or to replace the entire switch if you are having issues with starting your vehicle.
Its hard to believe that the mileage on most of the BMW E9x 3 series vehicles on the road is now well over 100K miles. It seems like yesterday that these iconic designed cars were turning heads as they rolled down the highway. Unfortunately as our beloved E9x 3 series vehicles age, they prone to the normal wear and tear that afflicts all automobiles…especially interior plastic parts.
One of the most notorious interior plastic bits known for showing wear is the BMW E90 start button. After years of poking it with our finger the black finish wears off, leaving an ugly white wear mark in the middle. Since the BMW start stop button is right in front of our driver’s seat, it is difficult not to obsess over how awful the wear mark looks while driving. The good news is replacing the BMW E90 start button is a fairly easy procedure…even for the novice mechanic and costs about $10.
Although rare, it is possible that you are reading this article because the entire BMW start stop button has failed and you need to know how to replace it. Once again the good news is it is an easy procedure removing a BMW E90 start button switch and costs less than $100.
We cover both replacing the switch and the worn button in this article. We have also included a full parts list for your convenience.
1. BMW E90 replacement start button (required) – You do not have to replace the entire ignition switch if you just want to repair the button cover. There are many popular replacement colors depending on your taste.
2. BMW E90 start stop button switch (optional) – If your BMW E90 start/stop ignition switch has failed completely, then you will need to order a new unit. Be aware that there was a part number change in 5 series sedans and wagons produced after 3/2007. Make sure to check the VIN decal in the driver’s side door jamb to verify the production date of your vehicle before ordering.
Replacing the BMW E90 start button requires removing the entire switch first. In order to remove the switch, the dashboard trim must be pulled completely free from the dashboard. ALWAYS use a plastic trim tool when removing the dashboard trim – using a metallic object like a screwdriver can cause severe damage and make a complete mess out of this repair.
- Make sure the vehicle is off and the key is removed from the ignition.
- Using a plastic trim tool, gently pry the left side of the dashboard trim loose so you can get your fingers around the back of it.
- Once the dashboard trim is loose, use your fingers to gently pull it away far enough so the back of the start/stop switch can be accessed.
- Locate the start/stop switch’s electrical connection on the back of the switch housing. Using your fingers, squeeze the sides of the plug and pull it free from the back of the switch.
- Gently and carefully remove the rest of the trim from the dashboard. It is very common to break a trim clip or two during disassembly…especially on older cars. If you break any…don’t get upset and reorder them by clicking here.
- With the dashboard trim completely removed, locate the two metal retaining clips on the back of the start/stop switch. Using a plastic trim tool, depress the metal clips and pull the switch free from the dashboard.
- If you are replacing the entire switch, install a new one now following the above instructions in reverse. If you are keeping the switch and just installing a new start button, then proceed to Section 2 below.
Removing the old start button from the ignition switch is easy. Just be careful when removing the bezel from main switch housing – being overly aggressive while prying off the bezel could cause the housing to crack.
- The bezel is anchored to the ignition switch with three plastic tabs. In order to remove the bezel, a flat blade screwdriver must be used to pry the bezel off of the housing. First, locate the bezel’s small plastic retaining tabs as shown below.
- Using a small flat blade screwdriver, GENTLY pry the bezel off of the switch housing.
- Remove the bezel from the switch.
- Next, use a flat blade screwdriver to gently pry the start button out of the switch housing.
- BE VERY CAREFUL not to lose the two small rubber connectors on the bottom of the start button assembly. The button will not work correctly is you lose these connectors.
- Locate the plastic retaining clips on the side of the start button.
- Using a small metal screwdriver or pick, pry the cover off of the strart button as shown below.
- You can now replace the old start button with a new one following the above instructions in reverse.