Adding a button for heated steering wheel

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 3, 2015
Hi folks,

I am trying to add heating functionality to my stock "sport" BMW steering wheel. Other BMW steering wheels have the heat option, just not mine. So what I did was bought a used heated BMW wheel and stripped out the heating element. Now I need your help in creating a switch to activate the heat. The car is an e39 BMW 5 series.

BMW uses a multi-button "pod" that mounts to the steering wheel and that has buttons for steering wheel heat, radio volume, etc. See the first pic. I bought one of those pods hoping to transfer the button for heat to the wheel I want to add the heating element to (see second pic). The problem is the "pod" is way more complex than I imagined with what seems like a bunch of momentary switches connected to a circuit board.

Can you teach a newbie like me to create the proper switch to add to the heated wheel in the second pic? I'd like to repurpose the "R/T" button, or gut it and put the proper switch under it, to make it operate the heat. What information do you need from me? I already have the correct clock spring and circuit board for the heating element. Now I just need a button to operate it like the factory button does (first pic).

Thanks in advance and I really hope to make this project work. I'm willing to learn!

wheel button.JPG sport wheel.jpg pod.jpeg pod2.jpeg pod 3.jpeg pod4.jpeg


Joined Dec 18, 2015
As a Bimmerphile, that is a very cool project. Is the first picture of an E38 steering wheel? I had no idea they had a steering wheel heating function like that. Unfortunately I can't help you but I hope you get an answer soon.