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BMW X5 Electric Trailer Brake Controller Installation

October 14th, 2009 · No Comments

This is the outline of my installation of a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller into a 2001 3.0 5sp X5.
I opted to install the Prodigy in the console ashtray. It’s in front of the shifter and relatively easy to reach the manual brake lever – it’s just a little tough to reach in 1st and 3rd gears but it’s the best available location for me as under the steering wheel on the bolster doesn’t work. The worst thing about this location is having to remove the console to install it. It is doable and requires a little patience to get the console out the first time.

1. To remove the console, remove the driver’s side black plastic panel just above the pedals (3 screws and 2 clips). Undo the connectors for the chime, OBDII connector, and the light.
2. Remove the same on the passenger’s side – 1 screw and 2 clips. Undo the connections for the 12V power and the light.
3. Remove the carpeted side panels on either side of the console. The front ones have a screw and 4 clips (1 near the front/middle and 3 near the back). The rear have 4 clips.
4. Remove the insert storage container from underneath the console armrest. At the back near the hinge, remove 2 phillips head screws. This will allow the rear center air vent to be removed. Remove the duct and disconnect the wires for the 12V power and any switches.
5. Disconnect the battery so that there is no danger in disconnecting a variety of modules. This will mean you have to reprogram the radio code and no doubt a few other things. (I skipped this step and everything still works but I do not recommend that you skip it and you can’t blame me if you do *^. I never turned the key to “on” after I started the job.) The battery is located beneath the spare tire in the rear cargo area.
6. Doing this job saves a lot of money in 2 ways: 1) the labor you don’t pay and 2) cut up one of your significant other’s credit card. Insert one of the credit card strips in between the dash and the HVAC controller on both sides to release the clips that hold it into the dash. Disconnect the electrical connections from the HVAC unit and toss the unit in the back with all the other parts you’re now collecting.
7. Remove the optional equipment unit (BMW calls it a switch unit) from the front of the console, just below the hole for HVAC unit you just removed fromthe dash. Use the credit card strips on each side again and then disconnect the electrical connections.

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