BMW Footwell Module (FRM) Replacement – E90 2007- 2013 3 Series

BMW footwell module (FRM) replacement – 1 Hour
Basic level repair
Repair cost 2

The BMW Repair Guide used this 2011 E90 335i for the following article.

Repair Summary
The following article gives detailed instructions on replacing the footwell module (FRM) in a BMW E9x 3 series car. Even though we have used a 2011 BMW 335i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any BMW vehicle with a footwell module with minor modifications.

Symptoms of a BMW footwell module failure include inoperable interior and exterior lighting, front power windows and side mirrors.

The BMW footwell module (FRM) serves as an electrical hub, receiving signals from various sources including the driver’s door switch block, brake/reverse/hazard light switches, ride height sensors, front door contacts and driver’s side door lock. It acts as a gateway module, processing these signals and using them to control the following systems:

  1. Interior and exterior lighting
  2. Power windows
  3. Outside mirrors
  4. Central locking system
  5. Adaptive headlights

Failure of the BMW footwell module is unfortunately very common in BMW vehicles. It is usually caused by vehicle “jump starting”, incorrect charging techniques, or water infiltration which can damage the sensitive internal electronics of the FRM. BMW footwell modules may also fail while being diagnosed with certain versions of ISTA/D or ISTA Plus software, or during programming procedures with ISTA/P.

In August 2018, BMW released a Service Information Bulletin (SIB) extending the Limited Warranty period on the footwell module to 10 years/156,000 miles. The SIB affects the following vehicles: E70 X5, E71/72 X6, E82/88 1 series, E84 X1, E89 Z4, and the E9x 3 series. If you are experiencing a failed FRM in any these vehicles and are still within the warranty period, you may entitled to a new replacement. We suggest contacting your local BMW dealership’s service department for more details. To download the SIB extending the warranty on your footwell module, please click here.

You may have a BMW that does not fall within the above warranty period extension or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of filing a claim. In this case the least expensive (and quickest) option is to remove the FRM and ship it to a qualified repair shop to have it reprogrammed. The BMW Repair Guide doesn’t exclusively endorse any particular repair service, but a simple Google search of “BMW footwell module repair” will give you plenty of quality results to choose from, most for under $100 with a 24 hour turn around.

Whatever route you take, the good news is the FRM is very easy to replace, even for the novice home mechanic. It is located in the driver’s side footwell, behind the lateral trim panel (where the hood release handle is). We give you detailed instructions below on how to remove it in less than 20 minutes.

Affiliate link disclosure – The BMW Repair Guide uses affiliate links in their site. For more information on affiliate links, please click here.
1. BMW footwell module (FRM) (optional) – If you do not fall within the warranty period and your old module is not repairable, you can order a brand new replacement. Please note that new units will still need to coded to your VIN number. There are many repair shops online that can code your new module…just do a quick Google search to find them.
New footwell modules are either FRM2 (for older model non LCI vehicles) or FRM3 (newer model LCI vehicles). The newer FRM3 also works on many non LCI models, so there may be more than one unit that fits your vehicle. Please click on the footwell modules below for a complete list of what cars it is compatible with. For more information on what LCI means, please click here.
FRM2 - Please click to see the full list of vehicles this part is compatible with.
FRM3 - Please click to see the full list of vehicles this part is compatible with.
FRM3 - Please click to see the full list of vehicles this part is compatible with.
FRM3 - Please click to see the full list of vehicles this part is compatible with.
Section 1 – Removing the BMW footwell module
  1. Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. Always disconnect your vehicle’s battery before working on any electronic component. Failure to do so can cause catastrophic damage to sensitive footwell module - Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery before starting this repair.
  2. The BMW E90 footwell module is located in the driver’s footwell behind the lateral trim panel.BMW footwell module location
  3. Start by removing the interior door entrance strip by pulling on one end until it releases from its mounting clips. bmw footwell module - Remove the door entrance strip. bmw footwell module - Remove the door entrance strip
  4. Using a T20 torx bit, remove the three trim screws anchoring the lower dash trim panel. Grasp the trim panel and pull it loose from the footwell module - Use a T20 torx bit to remove the three lower dash trim panel screws bmw footwell module - Grasp the lower dash trim and pull it loose
  5. Disconnect the Bluetooth antenna cable by using a small flat-blade screwdriver or metal pick.Disconnect the Bluetooth antennae
  6. Disconnect the MOST diagnosis port footwell module - Disconnect the MOST diagnosis port
  7. Disconnect the under dash footwell module - Disconnect the under dash speaker
  8. Disconnect the under dash footwell module - Disconnect the under dash light
  9. Remove the dash trim panel from the car.Remove the lower dash trim panel from the vehicle.
  10. Moving to the lateral trim panel, use a phillips head screwdriver to remove the hood release handle.Remove the hood release handle with a phillips screwdriver bmw footwell module - Remove the hood release handle.
  11.  Remove the phillips screw anchoring the lateral trim panel to the body of the footwell module - Remove the lateral trim anchor screw.
  12.  There is a plastic trim clip holding the lateral trim panel to the body of the car. Grasp the trim panel as shown below and pull until the trim clip footwell module - Pull the lateral trim loose from body of vehicle.
  13. Unplug the trunk release button’s electrical connector and remove the trim panel from the footwell module - Unplug the trunk release button
  14. You can now see the footwell module. The footwell module has three wiring harnesses connected to it…two in the front and one in the rear. The two front ones are easier to remove after the footwell module is removed from the body of the vehicle.The BMW footwell module
  15. Remove the rear wiring harness by pressing in the tab to release the locking mechanism. Raise the locking mechanism and pull the wiring harness free from the module. bmw footwell module - Release the locking tab on the rear wiring harness Raise the locking mechanism bmw footwell module - Pull the rear wiring harness free from the module
  16. Use a 10mm nut driver to remove the top and bottom plastic hex nuts that secure the footwell module to the body of the footwell module - Remove the plastic hex nuts mounting the module to the body of the car Remove the plastic hex nuts
  17. Carefully pull the footwell module free from the side of the car. With the footwell module free, you can now easily remove the two front wiring footwell module - Remove the two front wiring harnesses from the module
  18. The footwell module can now be removed from the vehicle.Remove the footwell module from the vehicle


Section 2 – Reinstalling the new footwell module

Reinstalling the BMW footwell module is very straightforward…just follow the above steps in reverse. The top plastic hex nut can be a bit of a pain to reinstall. It is is difficult to see where it installs, especially when you are lying on your back on the floor of the car. Take your time and use patience to avoid losing the nut.

BMW Footwell Module Replacement Finished
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. And congratulations for Doing It Yourself!