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Thread: Weird Airbag light issue.

  1. #1
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    Weird Airbag light issue.

    As some of you may know, I investigated my Airbag light issue. Codes were for left and right side airbag sensors. I noticed that as long as I had a passenger in the seat the light would stay off. Well, I buckled the seatbelt with no one in the seat and the light went out. Unbuckle, light back on. I went through this sequence 3 or 4 times and each time it does the same thing. Does this indicate a bad seatbelt buckle??
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  2. #2
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    Has anyone ever heard of this or seen it happen on another make of car? Anyone know any websites that deal with SRS issues where I could look it up?
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  3. #3
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    What I find weird (as I mentioned in your other thread) is that the light goes on and off. I almost wonder whether someone in the past has had an airbag light and fiddled with the cluster to resolve the 'problem'. For example, when I bought my Z3, the airbag light was on and I asked the dealer to fix it before I picked it up, which he did.

    Unfortunately, the 'fix' involved isolating the bulb in the cluster from its proper contacts and rigging it up to one of the other warning lights (I forget which) so that it came on with the ignition and then went off when the car started, giving the illusion of working correctly.

    Do you guys have a seatbelt warning light on the dash (we don't in the UK)? It feels like the light is working in such a way that maybe the passenger seat occupancy sensor is faulty and the car wants the seatbelt plugged in to protect the non-existent passenger. But why the airbag light is the one that's triggered is a mystery.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeRunner919 View Post
    What I find weird (as I mentioned in your other thread) is that the light goes on and off. I almost wonder whether someone in the past has had an airbag light and fiddled with the cluster to resolve the 'problem'. For example, when I bought my Z3, the airbag light was on and I asked the dealer to fix it before I picked it up, which he did.

    Unfortunately, the 'fix' involved isolating the bulb in the cluster from its proper contacts and rigging it up to one of the other warning lights (I forget which) so that it came on with the ignition and then went off when the car started, giving the illusion of working correctly.

    Do you guys have a seatbelt warning light on the dash (we don't in the UK)? It feels like the light is working in such a way that maybe the passenger seat occupancy sensor is faulty and the car wants the seatbelt plugged in to protect the non-existent passenger. But why the airbag light is the one that's triggered is a mystery.
    Thanks for your input. We do have a seatbelt warning light, but on Z3's it's only rigged to the driver's belt, not the passengers and that seems to be working correctly. Personally I'm stumped!
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  5. #5
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    Might be worth whipping out the cluster just to make sure there's no funny-business going on. I assume this is on the Topaz car?

  6. #6
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    How about the passenger seat occupancy sensor? It may be sending a signal that the seat is occupied even when it is not, causing the system to shut down to prevent causing injury to the phantom un-belted passenger.

  7. #7
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    Sounds like occupancy sensor to me too. If it senses someone is sitting in the passenger seat, the warning light comes on until the seat belt is buckled.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeRunner919 View Post
    Might be worth whipping out the cluster just to make sure there's no funny-business going on. I assume this is on the Topaz car?
    Yes, it's the Topaz Z

    Quote Originally Posted by steve f View Post
    How about the passenger seat occupancy sensor? It may be sending a signal that the seat is occupied even when it is not, causing the system to shut down to prevent causing injury to the phantom un-belted passenger.
    Quote Originally Posted by benhenny View Post
    Sounds like occupancy sensor to me too. If it senses someone is sitting in the passenger seat, the warning light comes on until the seat belt is buckled.
    Doesn't matter if the seat is occupied or not. I've been driving around with the passenger side belted in just so I don't have to look at that annoying light.
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by amancuso View Post
    Doesn't matter if the seat is occupied or not. I've been driving around with the passenger side belted in just so I don't have to look at that annoying light.
    That is the point. If the sensor has failed the car may react as though the seat is occupied whether it is or not. The system will defeat the side airbags as if the seat is occupied with an unsecured passenger to avoid causing additional injury.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve f View Post
    That is the point. If the sensor has failed the car may react as though the seat is occupied whether it is or not. The system will defeat the side airbags as if the seat is occupied with an unsecured passenger to avoid causing additional injury.
    If that's the case I might just get one of those dummy plugs that tricks the SRS system and shut it off. Don't feel like taking apart the seat to replace the occupancy sensor.
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by amancuso View Post

    If that's the case I might just get one of those dummy plugs that tricks the SRS system and shut it off. Don't feel like taking apart the seat to replace the occupancy sensor.
    Just give it time. You'll break the seat belt clip and need to take it apart anyhow

    We didn't discuss this yesterday, but sounds like the occupancy sensor to me too.


    Oh, and @Bladerunner, that's one shady dealership!

    -Todd

  12. #12
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    UPDATE
    Went to my indy shop, they have a console for reading SRS and SES issues. Their computer picked up 1 error code. Bad Seat belt buckle. So looks like the lovely B800 isn't that good at reading codes. I'll be replacing the buckle mechanism soon.
    Thanks to all who weighed in on the situation.
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  13. #13
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    If you dont mind me asking, which indy shop do you use? Im always looking for NJ shops to recommend. PM me if you prefer.
    Mods: DASC, NickG Stage II DME software, 30# injectors, RRFPR removed, DISA Simulator, Secondary Air Pump relocated, bypass cooling hose removed, Fogged airbox, Bosch silver sparkplugs (F6DSR), Magnecore sparkplug wires (KV85), SeattleCircuit mpg adjuster circuit; Textar CeramicFusion brake pads; S/E/M auto trans selector with Euro software TCU; Royal Purple trans (MaxATF) & diff fluids (MaxGear); Koni FSD struts/shocks; Rogue RSMs; Strong Strut; Butt Strut; Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 225/50/16 on Style 88's; hardtop; Footwell lighting; Interior lighting On/Off switchable; Euro intermittent wipers; Padded LeatherZ arm rests; Sisa Cabrio Design Wind Deflector; Interior proximity sensor

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by amancuso View Post
    UPDATE
    Went to my indy shop, they have a console for reading SRS and SES issues. Their computer picked up 1 error code. Bad Seat belt buckle. So looks like the lovely B800 isn't that good at reading codes. I'll be replacing the buckle mechanism soon.
    Thanks to all who weighed in on the situation.
    I would try spraying some DeoxIt in the buckle first, see if it helps

  15. #15
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    There's two small switches inside the buckle, one at each end of the buckle slot opening. The connector for the buckle can be taken apart and the individual pins cleaned as well.
    Last edited by Monolith; 07-10-2013 at 01:37 PM.
    Mods: DASC, NickG Stage II DME software, 30# injectors, RRFPR removed, DISA Simulator, Secondary Air Pump relocated, bypass cooling hose removed, Fogged airbox, Bosch silver sparkplugs (F6DSR), Magnecore sparkplug wires (KV85), SeattleCircuit mpg adjuster circuit; Textar CeramicFusion brake pads; S/E/M auto trans selector with Euro software TCU; Royal Purple trans (MaxATF) & diff fluids (MaxGear); Koni FSD struts/shocks; Rogue RSMs; Strong Strut; Butt Strut; Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 225/50/16 on Style 88's; hardtop; Footwell lighting; Interior lighting On/Off switchable; Euro intermittent wipers; Padded LeatherZ arm rests; Sisa Cabrio Design Wind Deflector; Interior proximity sensor

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
    If you dont mind me asking, which indy shop do you use? Im always looking for NJ shops to recommend. PM me if you prefer.
    Southampton Imported Cars they are on route 38 in Southampton NJ just west of 206.
    Quote Originally Posted by tonysofia View Post
    I would try spraying some DeoxIt in the buckle first, see if it helps
    Where do you buy DeoxIt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
    There's two small switches inside the buckle, one at each end of the buckle slot opening. The connector for the buckle can be taken apart and the individual pins cleaned as well.
    Thank you!
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Thx!
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport
    2004 X5 4.8is - Estoril Blue/Black
    2018 428xi -Estoril Blue II/Black
    2018 M2 - Long Beach Blue/Black

  19. #19
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    Let us know how it comes out. I'm still curious, because your original symptoms would indicate the buckle switch(es) is/are working properly.

    You will want to be sure on this before you spend the cash to replace the pyrotechnic buckle assembly. Those are not cheap, so hopefully they will clean up easily.

  20. #20
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    Amancuso, any updates on this? My 2002 roadster is having the identical issue. In the meantime, I'll keep driving with the passenger seatbelt buckled.

  21. #21
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    Just a note incase you need a module code read in the future (Engine,ABS,SRS,ESC,ESC). I work in a Toms River shop and have bmw dedicated software, I would be more than happy to read a code free of charge, just let me know.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeRunner919 View Post
    Unfortunately, the 'fix' involved isolating the bulb in the cluster from its proper contacts and rigging it up to one of the other warning lights (I forget which) so that it came on with the ignition and then went off when the car started, giving the illusion of working correctly.
    A bit off topic, but that actually sounds criminal!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn View Post
    A bit off topic, but that actually sounds criminal!
    If a dealer did it, it would be.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerBreaker View Post
    If a dealer did it, it would be.
    It was a dealer, but not a BMW one. I couldn't be bothered to do anything about it - it was easy enough for me to fix it properly and clear the codes. Just goes to show that you can't trust anyone to do a job right - that's why I try and do everything myself.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeRunner919 View Post
    Just goes to show that you can't trust anyone to do a job right - that's why I try and do everything myself.
    Amen to that brother.

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