What’s the Best Method for Retrofitting a Heated Steering Wheel in a BMW 3 Series E90?

April 15, 2024

When it comes to enjoying your BMW 3 Series E90, one feature that you might not appreciate until you’ve experienced it is a heated steering wheel. This luxury addition can make all the difference on those chilly winter drives and early morning commutes, providing instant warmth and comfort at your fingertips. However, not all cars come with this feature, and you might be wondering how you can retrofit your BMW with a heated steering wheel. In this article, we will explore the process of retrofitting a steering wheel, the benefits of a heated wheel, and how to get a quote.

1. Understanding the Retrofitting Process

Retrofitting a car involves adding or upgrading certain features after the vehicle has left the factory. Therefore, if your BMW 3 Series E90 didn’t come with a heated steering wheel, you can retrofit one. The retrofitting process involves several steps, starting from deciding on the type of heated steering wheel you want, through acquiring the necessary parts, to the actual installation process.

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The heated steering wheel retrofit can be a DIY project for those who are mechanically inclined. However, if you are not confident in your technical abilities, you may want to consult a professional mechanic or an automotive electrician for the job. They can provide a complete quote for the parts and labor, and ensure the installation is carried out safely and correctly.

2. Benefits of a Heated Steering Wheel

Why would you want a heated steering wheel in your car? The answer lies in the added comfort and convenience it provides, especially in colder climates. A heated steering wheel quickly warms up your hands, making early morning commutes or long winter drives more pleasant.

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It’s a feature that you might not initially appreciate until you’ve experienced it. Once you have, you’ll wonder how you ever drove without it. The heat from the wheel not only provides immediate warmth, but it also helps to improve circulation, making your drives more comfortable and less taxing on your hands.

3. Getting a Quote for a Heated Steering Wheel Retrofit

Before you begin the process of retrofitting a heated steering wheel, it’s essential to get a quote. A quote will give you an idea of the cost involved in the retrofit process, including parts and labor. The quote can vary based on the specific steering wheel model you choose, the complexity of the installation process, and your location.

To get a quote, you can approach a professional auto mechanic or an automotive electrician specializing in retrofits. You can also check online platforms like iTrader, where you can find numerous professionals offering retrofit services. Make sure to get a few different quotes to compare and choose the most cost-effective option.

4. Choosing the Right Steering Wheel

Choosing the right heated steering wheel is crucial for an effective retrofit. For the BMW 3 Series E90, you might want to consider a BMW-specific steering wheel with heating functionality, such as the M Sport heated steering wheel or a similar model.

When selecting a steering wheel, consider the ease of installation, the quality of the heating element, and the compatibility with your car model. Some steering wheels might also offer additional features like trim options, button controls, or sport grips that you may find appealing.

5. Installing the Heated Steering Wheel

Once you’ve selected the right steering wheel and have received your quote, the actual installation process begins. This can get a little technical, so if you’re not comfortable handling car electronics, it might be better to leave it to a professional.

Most heated steering wheel installations involve replacing the original steering wheel, connecting the heated wheel to the car’s electrical system, and ensuring the heating element functions correctly. Special attention is needed to connect the wires properly, as you will not want to encounter issues like overheating or short-circuiting later on.

After installation, it’s important to test the heating functionality of the wheel. Ideally, the heating element of the steering wheel should warm up quickly and maintain a steady temperature. If everything works as expected, you can then appreciate the added comfort of your newly retrofitted heated steering wheel during your drives.

Retrofitting a heated steering wheel is an upgrade that can significantly enhance your driving experience. Whether you choose to take on the project yourself or hire a professional, make sure you understand the process and costs involved. With the right planning and execution, you can add a touch of luxury and comfort to your BMW 3 Series E90 and make those cold winter drives a thing of the past.

6. Maintenance Tips for a Heated Steering Wheel

Once you’ve installed the heated steering wheel, it’s essential to take proper care to extend its lifespan and ensure it functions optimally. The maintenance of a heated steering wheel doesn’t require much effort or any special tools.

Firstly, keep the steering wheel clean. Dirt and dust can accumulate on the wheel, which can affect the heating element. Use a soft, damp cloth for routine cleaning. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents that could cause damage to the wheel or heating element.

Secondly, watch out for any unusual signs, such as irregular heating or a failure to heat up completely. This could indicate a problem with the heating element or the electrical connection. If you notice any such issues, it’s wise to contact a professional mechanic or automotive electrician, who can diagnose and fix the problem.

Lastly, avoid putting excessive pressure or weight on the steering wheel. This could potentially damage the heating element and affect its performance.

Proper maintenance can help you appreciate the benefits of your heated steering wheel for many years. Besides providing comfort on cold drives, it’s also a feature that can improve the overall value of your BMW.

7. Conclusion

Retrofitting a heated steering wheel to your BMW 3 Series E90 can truly transform your driving experience, especially during those cold winter drives. It’s a feature you might not initially appreciate until you’ve experienced it – then you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

It’s not just about comfort either; a heated steering wheel can also contribute to safer drives by improving circulation in your hands, enhancing your grip on the wheel.

Whether you decide to take on this project yourself or hire a professional, it’s important to understand the process, the costs involved, and how to maintain your heated steering wheel. Get a comprehensive quote, ensure the chosen steering wheel is compatible with your BMW, and if you opt for DIY, take it slow and follow all installation guidelines to the letter.

So, are you ready to elevate your driving experience and banish the cold from your morning drives? Think about retrofitting a heated steering wheel – you won’t regret it.