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Saturday, November 6, 2010

BMW: Looking For The Socket Housing

On Friday I decided, since it seems apparent that I am the only one with a sense of urgency about my situation, that I would attempt to locate this mysterious part myself.  I was able to get the part number via Lara, and now I finally have a name for the culprit.  It was not as exciting as I had hoped.

"Socket Housing: 611C9141893"

This was the elusive part that is costing me so much time and money, and I set off on my research to find out if there was anything I could do to locate one.  I was very hopeful about my search, I'm a pretty good researcher when I set my mind to it, and as I began the hunt my mind was filled with giddy fantasies of finding the part instantly on the first attempt, and the mud that I would be shortly rubbing in Center BMW's face.  After an hour of searching, however, these fantasies had drained away and left my hope of being able to say that I took the problem into my own hands and solved it in minutes as empty as BMW's promises.

The part number that I had would not show up on any database or parts supplier, even those that claimed that they had "every part since 1967".  I could not find any reference to this part, it was as if it did not exist - which is consistent with everything I've heard since August.  Out of desperation I sent a couple emails out to likely candidates begging them to help me locate this part, and these were the responses I received:

From: Sales BimmerSpecialist
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 7:14 PM
Subject: [#ZEL-263119]: obscure part?

Hi Joshua,

Thank you for your email.

Connectors are sometimes a problem as the BMW part system doesnt show all connector part number for specific application but they show a bunch of connector that are installed on the car without specifying where they are installed.

Most dealers do have a box with general use connectors and in many case they can match it.

The part number you gave (611C9141983) is not a standard BMW part number as there is no letter in a BMW part number. I did try to replace the C with a number and doesnt seems to match anything.

Here is a website with the same part system as the BMW dealer use.

If you want to see all the connectors, go under "electrical system" --> plug and connectors. You will see all of them.

I hope this help a bit, most of the time they (dealer) should take the sensor and then check witch connector match there general use connector. Its also possible that its not easely available, hard to say to be honest. They (dealer) would probably have to check with there technical contact a BMWNA and get some help from them to find the good part number from BMW germany.

I understand your frustration and hope they will find a solution for you soon.



I thanked Eric for his prompt response, it was very kind of him to spend so much time responding to me.  So, from this, it seems that this part (with a "C" in the part number, which BMW apparently does not do, normally) isn't even normally listed on their parts list, only in a generic "connector" list that comprises the whole car.  I can appreciate that in a machine comprised of thousands of moving parts must have a very impressive schematic - but to not list a part so critical that the car cannot be driven without it seems pretty ridiculous to me.  Additionally, another kind soul emailed me a similar response:

From: Ken Brown
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: 2009 BMW Z4 sDr30i


Thank you for your inquiry.

The part number you have is not an actual BMW number. You have the correct number of digits but there are no letters in BMW numbers. Usually we can look things up by just the last 7 numbers but that doesn't bring anything up either. But considering this is an electrical plug on a later model car I'm actually not surprised it's tough to find. Most of these part numbers are BMW dealer only items and can only be sourced as part of a repair order. I ran into the same roadblock trying to look this part up for the car in the parts program. So chances are it's back ordered from BMW's supplier and the dealer simply hasn't been able to get it to repair the car. If this is just for the brake lining sensor wire (what tells you your pads need to be replaced) the system can be bypassed by simply installing a jumper wire in between the two terminals. It's not a proper fix but I'm rather surprised they haven't attempted this to get your car back to you. Of course maybe it's not that particular sensor.

Ken Brown
Bavarian Autosport Web Services
275 Constitution Avenue
Portsmouth, NH 03801

I guess Ken had a similar reaction to Eric, so this does seem to be consistent theme with BMW.  I do like his simple, elegant suggestion of how to get the car back on the road.  Install a jumper wire.  Hmmm... just as simple as pulling the same part from another Z4 that is not for sale...  If only Ken knew.

Thanks to Eric and Ken for their time with this.  The hunt continues.

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