Replace window regulator-BMW 2001 525i Base

Old 07-22-18, 02:30 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Replace window regulator-BMW 2001 525i Base

BMW 2001 525i Base
Project: Replace front driver side window regulator

My friend just bought this car a few weeks back; of course used

Meantime he has asked me to assist him in replacing this device.

I did a lot of Googling and watched youtube vids to learn what I can so I can be helpful. As usual many of the vids that I have seen differ in one aspect or another and some don't mention the same things such as prior to removing the side air bag to disconnect the battery. The vids that did mention this said it was to prevent the bag from deploying by accident. But then another video a guy just removes the air bag and does not mention anything about disconnecting the battery. Then another vid the guy says that after you reinstall the air bag you will get an error code and must get a device that will reset the error code.

My intent is to learn as much as possible before starting this project as the car sits outside in the weather and once we start we can't stop so we are concerned that we know as much as possible before starting so we don't have to stop in the middle of the replacement for any reason and get stuck without a window in case it rains.

Being an electrician I can watch videos on youtube and pretty well tell which ones are pretty accurate and which ones the guy/gal has no clue what they are talking about or are instructing the watcher to do something dangerous.

Is there anything special that we should be forewarned about prior to starting this project that you may suggest. Is there a video on youtube that is pretty accurate. We both do better watching a video/s than reading how to do it.

We know that we will need special tools for the type of screws that are used. He has a lot of tools so that is not an issue. I am talking more about procedures and tips.

One major concern my friend has is that if we remove the ground from the battery to keep the air bag from deploying or causing the air bag to generate an error code the simple removing of the ground from the battery may cause the car not to start. Meaning disconnecting the ground informs the computer of a "tamper" so for security the computer will not allow the car to start again.

Thanks for any advice and suggestions.

Sorry about the rambling. Too much coffee this morning

Last edited by AFJES; 07-22-18 at 02:55 AM.
Old 07-22-18, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 771
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I own a 2002 530i and gave done this so the following on based upon my experience. Disconnecting the battery has no impact on any tamper warning. How would one change the battery otherwise? D/C the airbag from the door does not set any warning light. I have also turned the key to on w/o this occurring while the airbag is D/C'd . I have heard this can trigger the warning light, it just never happened to me over multiple experiences.

After removing the door cover, just pinch the electrical connector to remove it, unscrew the three (?) bolts and remove airbag. I was very cautious (not looking at airbag while working removing it, etc) and set it a fair distance away from car just 'cuz it does make me a bit nervous.

A very good forum to get E39 questions answered is

1996 - 2003 (E39))

What part are you actually replacing? The lifter mechanism? Did this last year and was a bit of a pain but took about 2 hours.

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