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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-20-2011, 10:28 PM
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ill_kuma ill_kuma is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Airbag Light On and Off...

This started happening yesterday. For no apparent reason, my airbag light came on. I pulled in a gas station to get some gas then restarted the car...the light was gone. After a few mins, it came back on and stayed on. Today, I started the car and the light was off...then came back on again. This kept happening in my whole 1 hour drive. Is something loose? I recently did my vapor barriers for 3 doors but did not mess with the airbags. Also, I had a koi pond in the rear passenger side and it still a little damp. I had some water in the rocker panel but dont hear it anymore. With all these in mind, what could the problem be? Loose connection when I was working on the vapor barriers or water damaged to something?
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2011, 10:34 PM
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bcbp14 bcbp14 is offline
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Sounds like ignition switch. Did you try the Passanger vanity mirror trick?
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2011, 07:29 AM
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ill_kuma ill_kuma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbp14 View Post
Sounds like ignition switch. Did you try the Passanger vanity mirror trick?
No, did not try that trick...do you mind sharing it?
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2011, 08:01 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_kuma View Post
No, did not try that trick...do you mind sharing it?
I clicked on the first link of this forum, the VERY best of E39 Links, and then typed in a browser "find" (control f) for "ignition switch" and got a good half-dozen hits (using the browser next, F3 key) that will certainly provide the answer you seek on the ignition switch relationship to the passenger vanity lights diagnostic hint.

NOTE: Trying to teach to fish rather than hand the fish out.
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2011, 08:57 PM
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ill_kuma ill_kuma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I clicked on the first link of this forum, the VERY best of E39 Links, and then typed in a browser "find" (control f) for "ignition switch" and got a good half-dozen hits (using the browser next, F3 key) that will certainly provide the answer you seek on the ignition switch relationship to the passenger vanity lights diagnostic hint.

NOTE: Trying to teach to fish rather than hand the fish out.
Didnt work for me...but thanks anyways. I only asked bcbp14 because it seems like he already knew what to do on the top of his head. I guess I will search...
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2011, 12:26 AM
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bcbp14 bcbp14 is offline
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I had the same issue as you and was intermittent, at first. When your airbag light is ON try the visor trick and also beep your horn (sometimes it won't beep when depressed)
As a side note, I noticed the ignition switch would act up only when very cold or very hot outside.
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  #7  
Old 01-22-2011, 09:32 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_kuma View Post
Didnt work for me...
It's very important to find out what part of it didn't work (since I give that advice often).

Since it's a PITA to keep giving that advice, but even more of a PITA to list the links for everyone on the planet, it's important for me to know WHY it didn't work for you.

What part if these three steps didn't work for you?
1. Click on the VERY best of E39 Links
2. Press your browser find button (control f) (SEE NOTE 1)
3. Type the search word, e.g., "ignition switch" (sans quotes) (SEE NOTE 2)

At this point, if the word is found, the browser automatically jumps to it; otherwise what you typed is shown in red, usually on the bottom bar of the browser.

NOTE 1: The slash (/) button also works in Firefox.
NOTE 2: The "F3" button will jump to the next find; the "Enter" button will open up the link.

BTW, I just did it ... and in five seconds, it came up with these links:
- IGNITION SWITCH FAILS: ignition switch that fails causing electrical problems (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)

Which was composed of these links (which were also there):
- Ignition switch removal and replacement
- Ignition switch replacement (video)
- Ignition key turns 360 degrees
- Ignition Switch Rebuild
- Ignition switch replace DIY
- etc.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2011, 02:26 PM
JackNCokeGus JackNCokeGus is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 540i
Vehicles concerned:
E38, E39
Manufacturing period:
E38: Start of series production until January 2002.
E39: Start of series production until March 2004
Procedure:

1. Connect BMW diagnostic system (DiSplus or GT1) to the vehicle.
2. Read off fault memory.
The following fault codes could be stored in the fault memory of the airbag control unit, depending on manufacturing period and model:

E38, E39 to March 1999

^ "05 - Driver-side belt tensioner triggering circuit"
^ "06 - Passenger-side belt tensioner triggering circuit"
E38, E39 from March 1999

^ "02 - Driver-side belt tensioner triggering circuit"
^ "03 - Passenger-side belt tensioner triggering circuit"


i can post the rest of the instructions on how to repair in another thread if anyone is interested.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2011, 02:51 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I should add that previous post to the best links.

In addition, this was in the best links which might be useful:
- SRS Airbag (seatbelt tensioner) fix for driver's seat fault #5
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