copy and paste this link. http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/18/bf/d6/0900823d8018bfd6.jsp that answer is for an automatic transmission. On the Manual Transmission it is differant. My info is on the 1997 but I am fairly certain that it is the same on the 99. on the right side of the transmission there are two electrical connections plugged into the transmission. The front most of these two is the backup light switch. the wires going to it should be Pink and Light Green. If you place the vehicle in any gear except reverse you can easily remove this switch. Just unclip the wire and use a 24mm deep well socket. The switch has a small ball on the end of it that is depressed when the vehicle is in Reverse. If you have electrical skills you can place an Ohm meter across the switch after you get it out and then press the ball in to see if the circuit closes. I forget which fuse is for this check fuse 12 15 and 16 I know the one for the backup lights is a 15amp fise but I am not sure which fuse location Good Luck
You didn't state weather it was an Automatic or Manual transmission. Well any way they are both on the transmission. Manual transmission has a separate switch for the backup lights the automatic is built into the neutral safety switch on the transmission. Automatic switch is about $50.00. Manual switch is about $10.00. Hope you have a manual it is a lot cheaper.
There is a switch in the transmission (manual) and I believe also automatic that triggers your backup lights when you move (change gears) into reverse. If the switch (in the transmission) does not touch (trigger) the backup light switch; or if the switch is not working; you will not have any reverse lights. Also , if you have had any changes in your transmission due to lifting the body, or changing the original transmission; the lever that triggers the switch may not be able to come in contact with the backup light switch in the transmission. If you have this switch replaced by a garage it may run around $160 for the switch and another $100 to $200 for labor. If the transmission does not trigger the backup light switch in the first place ,due to changes in the transmission, or a body lift; then changing the switch will not make any difference; the backup lights still will not work.
You would have to literally run a wire from the battery through a fuse and then to a toggle switch and then on to the backup lights, this will only function when the switch is on and will have nothing to do with the transmission being in reverse. This is essentially the same as putting a toggle switch across the transmission mounted switch (assuming the transmission switch is not shorted).
Backup light switches are different between automatic and manual transmission bmws. If you have the automatic the switch is under the shifter. Disconnect the battery and remove the shifter boot. Unplug the switch wires and replace the switch and reconnect the wires and battery. If you have a manual transmission the switch is on the passenger side of the transmission above the Allen type filler plug. Disconnect the battery, unplug the wires and unscrew the switch with a 19mm wrench. Screw in the new one an torque it down then reconnect the wires and the battery.
There is no relay for the backup lights. The circuit is powered by the keyswitch, runs thru a 10 amp fuse on the interior fuse block, then goes through a switch mounted on the transmission, and on to the lights. The switch is on the front of the manual transmission, and on the lower front of the automatic.
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