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      10-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
MPBK
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God have mercy on your soul... (if you need to change a fuse)

...if you need to change a fuse.

The fuse box is behind the glove box.
You have to unhinge the glove box door and let it drop completely. It's not an extremely difficult thing to do, ONCE YOU KNOW HOW. For first timers, it's a killer. I spent 20 mins before I could figure it out.
Then comes the tricky part.
The fuses are all the way in, attached to the firewall. You can see it through a small opening, but you'll need a flash light.
Unless you have the hands of a 5 year old, sticking your hand through that small opening completely blocks your vision of the fuses.
So basically you have to make a mental image of where the fuse that you want to access is, then stick your hand in there and "guess".
Oh, if you don't grasp it right, it falls in the cracks and you lose the fuse and/or the tool that you need to pull the fuse.
WTF BMW.
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      10-19-2012, 01:32 AM   #2
Dackelone
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I did not think it was that hard.... Here is a quick "fuse box" DIY how to open it... You basically have to undo the damper on the left side and there is a "catch" on the right side, then the fuse box will hang down, so you can access the fuses. BMW has been doing fuse boxes like this for decades now. Nothing new for BMW.

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PS: and there is still the main fuse box in the RR of the car/trunk!
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      10-19-2012, 01:40 AM   #3
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Eh, that seems better than laying upside down on the driver side floor while hoping the flashlight doesn't move or something isn't in the way to make a shadow. But that is why you use a pair of needle nose pliers, they'll work just fine in either situation.
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      10-19-2012, 02:47 AM   #4
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Heh, I LOL'd at this thread
Amen, brother MPBK!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
I did not think it was that hard.... Here is a quick "fuse box" DIY how to open it...
Not that hard is relative! Opening it up is half the battle, actually getting the fuse out/in is quite another. Try it in another town away from your tools at a gas station at night (let's say your headlight fuse went out). Report back afterwards

Quote:
BMW has been doing fuse boxes like this for decades now. Nothing new for BMW.
"It's always been a pain in the butt" is no excuse.
And I also disagree. On the E90 I had, the fuses aren't recessed nearly as deeply as in the E82.

Making fuse replacement - or bulb replacement for that matter - so unnecessarily hard is stupid.

I just replaced my angel eye bulbs. My bleeding knuckles reminded me again how retarded BMW design can be when it's not driving related.

On my wife's Volvo S40 a single metal pin holds in the whole headlight. Open the hood, pull pin (no tool required) and voila, whole headlight is in your hands. I could replace the bulbs on her car in complete darkness at the side of the road with no flashlight in under 30 seconds.

Bottom line, it's 2012. This stuff isn't hard...
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      10-19-2012, 06:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post

I just replaced my angel eye bulbs. My bleeding knuckles reminded me again how retarded BMW design can be when it's not driving related.
I'm guessing it's intentional, to force your average driver back to the dealer for pretty much everything.
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      10-19-2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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I think BMW is actually pretty good with this stuff. My Japanese SUV has the fuse block up high in the drivers side footwell. Very difficult to get to at my age and size. Everybody uses the really tiny fuses these days so that makes removal replacement difficult regardless of fuse block placement.

BMW puts a trap door in the wind deflector under the engine for the drain plug. I haven't seen this on other cars and I've changed oil in a bunch of them (I do 8-10 a quarter for our church). I had the cover off the headlight compartment installing my "flash2pass" and once I understood it there was no real difficulty. The more typical twist off connector is OK but worse in my opinion. Oil filter cap up front on the engine makes that much better than my SUV where I have to remove the drivers side front wheel for filter access. Manual transmission drain and fill plugs were quite accessable. Filter for the cabin air is easily accessable in the engine compartment. It's behind the glovebox in my SUV. Plugs are all accessable and you can actually see at least most of them. Ever try replacing the back side plugs on a transverse motor?

I think BMW is significantly better than most for these normal maintenance items. Fuses are not a lot easier than others but aren't really worse IMHO. I wish they would just put all the fuses under the hood but I don't think anybody does.

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      10-19-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
BMW has been doing fuse boxes like this for decades now.
Really?

Every BMW I've owned (5) in the past have had their fuse boxes in the engine compartment, near the brake fluid reservoir...
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      10-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post
Heh, I LOL'd at this thread
Amen, brother MPBK!



Not that hard is relative! Opening it up is half the battle, actually getting the fuse out/in is quite another. Try it in another town away from your tools at a gas station at night (let's say your headlight fuse went out). Report back afterwards



"It's always been a pain in the butt" is no excuse.
And I also disagree. On the E90 I had, the fuses aren't recessed nearly as deeply as in the E82.

Making fuse replacement - or bulb replacement for that matter - so unnecessarily hard is stupid.

I just replaced my angel eye bulbs. My bleeding knuckles reminded me again how retarded BMW design can be when it's not driving related.

On my wife's Volvo S40 a single metal pin holds in the whole headlight. Open the hood, pull pin (no tool required) and voila, whole headlight is in your hands. I could replace the bulbs on her car in complete darkness at the side of the road with no flashlight in under 30 seconds.

Bottom line, it's 2012. This stuff isn't hard...
I won't tell you how long it took me to replace the passenger side headlight cover... Let's just say, I had bloody knuckles that were sore for days, I said every profanity known to man, and I swore I would NEVER do it again. Most ridiculous access EVER!!!
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      10-19-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
Really?

Every BMW I've owned (5) in the past have had their fuse boxes in the engine compartment, near the brake fluid reservoir...
I think he meant the power distribution box (fuses) behind the glove box. I think you are referring to the engine control unit box, which was moved to the air box.


To the OP, the fuse box location and how to get to it IS on page 233 of the owner's manual...

What was REALLY a piss-poor design from BMW was the seat belt extensions accessories they made available for the 1 series... Truly pathetic.
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      10-19-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill B. View Post
I think he meant the power distribution box (fuses) behind the glove box. I think you are referring to the engine control unit box, which was moved to the air box.
Hmm.

I'm more than sure that my E30 and E36 cars had their fuse (headlights, tail lights, markers, etc.) boxes in the engine compartment...
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      10-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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^^(yes)...I remember every year when I had my e36 and I would change the (cabin) pollen filter... I would have to pull out the glove box. As in remove the entire thing. There was some kind of fuse box up in there. But now that you say it... I think the "main" fuse box was up under the hood on the passenger side.

I personally think German cars are fairly easy to work on compare to some other makes. As long as you have the training and the special tools needed... its not that hard working on them. And having a great online community like 1Addicts is quite helpful!
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      10-19-2012, 02:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
Hmm.

I'm more than sure that my E30 and E36 cars had their fuse (headlights, tail lights, markers, etc.) boxes in the engine compartment...
Ahh, yeah, I believe it was the e46 that moved them all to the interior, so, almost decades.
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      10-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
I personally think German cars are fairly easy to work ...

As long as you have the training and the special tools needed.
These are two contradictory statements

Btw. E30 fuse panel is under the hood and easily accessible.
Audi A4 (and others) fuse panel is on the side of the steering wheel console and very easily accessible.

In other words BMW has gone backwards and made it harder and Audi is showing that it can be done....

I'm glad that BMW spends more time & effort on making the car *drive* well. But come on, at least spend some time on thinking about how to maintain things, too.
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      10-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post
Btw. E30 fuse panel is under the hood and easily accessible.
Audi A4 (and others) fuse panel is on the side of the steering wheel console and very easily accessible.

In other words BMW has gone backwards and made it harder and Audi is showing that it can be done....
But how often have you needed to change a fuse? I needed to access the fuse box 1 time on most of my BMW's, so that I could hardwire my V1. I think I only needed to check fuses 1 other time when my alternator went on my e46.

I would gladly give up easy access to my fuses to keep my oil dipstick... oh, wait...
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      10-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill B. View Post
Ahh, yeah, I believe it was the e46 that moved them all to the interior, so, almost decades.
Ah, the E46 and later... I guess I've dated myself.
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      10-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #16
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Hello Dackelone,
Thanks for your reply. But I must correct a few points:
a) Yes, I agree with you that opening the glove box isn't terribly complicated. I said that in my post... once you know what to do. I just went out and did it again (to take the picture below) and it took me less than 30 sec. It did take me literally 20 mins the first time.
b) There are 2 catches, one on each side. The problem is, while similar in design (you push a plastic tab in until the stop releases, they have completely different feel (at least in my car). The left one comes out easily, while the right one you have to push in A LOT. Obviously, the concern is how far to you push and when will the tab break? If you are a first timer, you won't know that until you've spent 20 mins thinking there must be something else holding it, and are desperate or frustrated enough to say "F it. I'm going to break this tab!"
c) The picture you posted is, obviously, what I see as well. However, it does not show how small that opening is. To show it better, I took this one.

Notice how you can't see $hit when your hand is in the hole. Wait... that didn't come out right.
d) So now you basically have to go by feel and a mental picture of where the fuse is.
e) wait, did I mention that you don't have tactile sense to help your "feel" because you're trying to grab a fuse using that little tool?
So, it's like you take a peek inside a room. Make a mental image of where object X is. You enter the room blind folded, and you can't find your way around the room by touch. You have to grab object X with one of those bionic claws


All my previous BMWs had fuse box in the engine compartment. Yes, my last BMW was over 10 years old...
But at least it had an oil dipstick and a decent fuse box!!
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