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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 01-26-2010, 06:58 AM
b525i b525i is offline
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E39 - airbag light on

Can anyone help w/ an airbag light ?

A week ago, after the driver side power window jammed, and a new window regulator was installed (yes, the window works again), the red airbag light came on - it's still on

A scan showed code "05" but could not be removed

What's the next step to resolve?

Thanks all
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2010, 02:40 PM
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Taking the car to either a BMW dealership or indy that has the proper tool to reset the SRS (supplemental restraint system). Or if you have the correct (I believe Peake) tool to reset the SRS. The airbag light reset isn't a simple one do to the safety importance of the airbag system. If a fault is detected...unless you have or someone you know that has the correct tool...it will need to be done by the dealer.

More than likely, the door's BRIGHT ORANGE airbag electrical connector was either plugged in or unplugged while the car's battery was still connected. That' a big and will always trip the airbag light.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2010, 07:09 AM
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Couldn't one also simply unplug the battery for 20 minutes?
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2010, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philboski View Post
Couldn't one also simply unplug the battery for 20 minutes?
Not for the (SRS) airbag system...too much of a safety issue to allow such a simple bypass for when something has triggered a fault. Passengers can be seriously or fatally injured by bags deploying...especially if the bag wasn't intended to deploy but does so because there's a fault in the system which causes all the bags to deploy because there IS a fault in the system.

The text highlighted in yellow infers this...for example, the normal response range is for the airbags to deploy when they detect a passenger in the seat...when the airbag light is on...all the bags can or may (based on impact conditions) deploy since the system can't recognize if the seats are occupied or not.

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2010, 10:53 AM
jieg jieg is offline
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My air bag sign plays with me like this

When driving alone, it turns on when starting the car, then turns off after a few seconds. This seems like normal.
When a passenger is on board, it comes on and off with no pattern while driving. What is the meaning of this? (and the way to solve it?)

sorry , no intention to jack the thread
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Not for the (SRS) airbag system...too much of a safety issue to allow such a simple bypass for when something has triggered a fault. Passengers can be seriously or fatally injured by bags deploying...especially if the bag wasn't intended to deploy but does so because there's a fault in the system which causes all the bags to deploy because there IS a fault in the system.

The text highlighted in yellow infers this...for example, the normal response range is for the airbags to deploy when they detect a passenger in the seat...when the airbag light is on...all the bags can or may (based on impact conditions) deploy since the system can't recognize if the seats are occupied or not.


My understanding is that if the airbag light is on, the system defaults out to not allowing the airbags to trigger for safety reasons.

The way it was explained to me, unplugging the system for 20 minutes drains all of the reserve battery that would fire off the airbags. Then, when it is repowered, it effectively works as a reboot. It won't tell you what is wrong, however, and that's why I sprung for a Peake SRS code reader myself.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2010, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philboski View Post
My understanding is that if the airbag light is on, the system defaults out to not allowing the airbags to trigger for safety reasons.
That is a rather common misconception....the DEFAULT mode for the airbag system is to error on the side of safety. For instance, if the front seat passenger occupancy sensor has registered a fault and can no longer detect if a passenger is in the seat or not...in the event of an accident...the system errs on the side of safety and assumes that there IS a passenger in the front passenger seat...thus the airbag is deployed. Not the other way around.

Even if you look at it from a litigation stand point...the car mfg comes out ahead with the airbag system defaulting to INFLATING the bags instead of not inflating them. Again, in the scenario presented above...BMW would be at risk for losing a court case in having an airbag NOT deploy in the event of an accident and someone was fatally or critically injured or maimed. If the airbag DOES deploy in the accident (when it normally should not)...and the SRS warning was illuminated on the instrument cluster...BMW or any car mfg would have the defense that the owner was NEGLIGENT in not taking care of the system which obviously had an SRS warning that the system was malfunctioning. And they would be able to pull data from the ECU as to when the SRS warning first registered the fault.
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 12:31 PM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Very interesting information.

HOw does this scenario work out?
Let's assume the seat belt switch is defective, thus this faulty switch invokes the air bag light to stay lit up on the dash. IN this situation, would the airbag still get deployed in an accident?
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2010, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHoang View Post
Very interesting information.

HOw does this scenario work out?
Let's assume the seat belt switch is defective, thus this faulty switch invokes the air bag light to stay lit up on the dash. IN this situation, would the airbag still get deployed in an accident?
Yes...but not because the seat belt sensor is defective...but because the seat occupancy sensor detects someone is in the passenger seat.

There's more than one sensor detecting occupancy...the seat belt (pretensioner) is in the seat belt receptacle and uses a pyrotechnic (explosive) to tighten the seat belt in a collision. When an accident occurs, the pretensioners pull back the seatbelt to take away excess slack. When using a pretensioner the seatbelt still needs to be worn securely because the pretensioner is not strong enough to restrain you in your seat in case of a collision. This technology lets the seatbelt to discharge enough slack to thwart the shoulder belt from exerting too much force across the chest.

So if this component has a fault...the pretensioner may not explode...but the airbag will still deploy supplying at least some protection. Remember, the seat belt is the first line of defense in a collision...not the airbag.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Last edited by QSilver7; 01-29-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2010, 03:01 PM
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xpcgamer xpcgamer is offline
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I can tell you that the Airbag light WILL remain on even after having the battery disconnected. My battery was off for a week while I did my CCV,Oil houseing gasket,and hoses. My buddy was right back when I finished up the job.
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2010, 10:00 AM
IanFG IanFG is offline
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Related question: I had the drivers seat out for some work and when I replaced it - and plugged all the connections in the seat belt light came on. is this normal? ( I also replaced the battery over the same period but honestly cant remember which came first! so would changing the battery trigger the seat belt warning light/ or do I have a bad seat connection perhaps?
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2010, 11:59 AM
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If you unplugged any SRS connector (they have something bright orange on the connector) and removed/replaced your car's battery...IF at any point a SRS connector was disconnected and power was being supplied to the car...it would have set off a fault code.

The SRS system requires communication at all times with its components...any time there is an interruption in communications when there is power to the car...a fault will be recorded. So this means that as long as the battery is connected...ALL of the SRS electrical components must be plugged in. ONLY when the battery is disconnected should SRS connectors be undone...and DO NOT reapply power to the car's battery UNTIL ALL SRS connections are back together.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2010, 08:39 AM
IanFG IanFG is offline
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Thanks Loud and clear!
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2010, 05:18 PM
bmwlady bmwlady is offline
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Thanks for the info OSilver7! I, too, replaced my driver's side window regulator a couple of weeks ago and ever since then the airbag light has been on. Now I know that I've got to make a trip to the dealership's service dept. Oh well, now I know for the next time
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2012, 06:43 AM
Vadar540I Vadar540I is offline
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question for yoy,,,,

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
If you unplugged any SRS connector (they have something bright orange on the connector) and removed/replaced your car's battery...IF at any point a SRS connector was disconnected and power was being supplied to the car...it would have set off a fault code.

The SRS system requires communication at all times with its components...any time there is an interruption in communications when there is power to the car...a fault will be recorded. So this means that as long as the battery is connected...ALL of the SRS electrical components must be plugged in. ONLY when the battery is disconnected should SRS connectors be undone...and DO NOT reapply power to the car's battery UNTIL ALL SRS connections are back together.
If my seatbelt doesnt really roll up by itself will that trigger the airbag light too?
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2012, 06:44 AM
Vadar540I Vadar540I is offline
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If my seatbelt doesnt roll up by itself could that be the reason why the airbag light is on?
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadar540I View Post
If my seatbelt doesnt roll up by itself could that be the reason why the airbag light is on?
I doubt it ... but ... to help you answer that question yourself, I just ran a quick two-second /airbag F3 in the bestlinks to find these.
- What can cause an SRS airbag light (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & what tools reset the fault (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & what happens when mechanics disconnect the airbag before the battery or they connect the battery before disconnecting the airbag in seat and window regulator repairs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & where to buy an airbag occupancy sensor bypass unit (1) (2).

I didn't read them (today) ... but if they help you answer that question, let us know.

EDIT:
PS: Next time, use more garlic!
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-08-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2012, 09:28 PM
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MikesE39 MikesE39 is offline
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Ya dude its a mat on the bottom of the passenger seat, it needs to be replaced. thats why when someone is with u the airbag light comes on.
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2012, 10:11 PM
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DinanBimmer DinanBimmer is offline
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My airbag light's been on for a while now. I'm just getting to finding solutions for this and other issues and was about to start a thread about the airbag light. Thanks QSilver7 for the helpful info., I likely triggered my warning light while messing with the door panels. Any one have an idea of how much it would cost to have this light switched off assuming there are no issues with the system?
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:04 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is offline
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I just bought a B800 airbag scan and reset toll for BMW from Amazon - $39.99. It should be here by the weekend and I'll let you know how it turns out.

I've currently got the SRS light on in the dash, and I figured compared to the cost of 'diagnostics' at a repair shop, the cost of the B800 is a good deal. And in the end, I own the tool. My car is due for inspection and I'm not sure it will pass with the light on. Besides, it's driving me crazy.

Jerry
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  #21  
Old 02-09-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinanBimmer View Post
I likely triggered my warning light while messing with the door panels.
Did you put the right amount of garlic at BOTH the airbag itself and the battery compartment?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DinanBimmer View Post
Any one have an idea of how much it would cost to have this light switched off
In one of the threads I listed above, we asked people to report how much it cost to have reset. IIRC, the lowest price was around $85 (throwing out the ones where the mechanic had messed up and therefore reset it for free on the second visit).

Given that, if I hadn't used enough garlic myself when I opened up my drivers door, I would have bought the reset tool if it wasn't much more than what it costs for one reset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncmozo View Post
I just bought a B800 airbag scan and reset tool for BMW from Amazon - $39.99.
Please do let us know how that B800 tool works out!


To help others, I'll start a thread asking for the cheapest usable BMW E39 airbag SRS fault reset tool available.

EDIT: Please post your observations to this new thread just opened today:
- What's the cheapest usable BMW E39 SRS airbag scan/reset tool we can find on the net?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-09-2012 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Added links to the new thread.
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2012, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the info bluebee!
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  #23  
Old 02-09-2012, 02:31 PM
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if i removed the airbags Would the light come on?
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LalaRay View Post
if i removed the airbags Would the light come on?
Did you read any of the references?

I can't tell if you are asking if you opened up the doors, removed the airbags, and LEFT THEM OUT, or if you're saying if you just removed them and put them back.

If you simply removed the airbag and put it back when you were done (which is what everyone does when they work on the window regulator), no, the airbag light would not go on (if you followed instructions with respect to the battery connections).

However, if you put it all back together sans the airbag, the moment you connected the battery with the airbag not in the vehicle, you'd get the light.

This is so obvious that I'm not sure what you're actually asking - but I made an attempt at assuming what you were asking to give you the answers above.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2012, 08:38 PM
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LalaRay LalaRay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Did you read any of the references?

I can't tell if you are asking if you opened up the doors, removed the airbags, and LEFT THEM OUT, or if you're saying if you just removed them and put them back.

If you simply removed the airbag and put it back when you were done (which is what everyone does when they work on the window regulator), no, the airbag light would not go on (if you followed instructions with respect to the battery connections).

However, if you put it all back together sans the airbag, the moment you connected the battery with the airbag not in the vehicle, you'd get the light.

This is so obvious that I'm not sure what you're actually asking - but I made an attempt at assuming what you were asking to give you the answers above.
ha NO, i Mean if i Removed them From My Car Permanently
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