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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2014, 09:39 PM
Col3slaw Col3slaw is offline
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Location: Reseda, California
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 1.9l
New member looking for advice for my 97 z3 1.9L

Recently purchased a 97 z3 1.9L with 125k miles and great condition, though the car had one "minor" issue when I purchased the vehicle, the air bag light is on, as well as the check engine light. Unfortunately the seller tricked me into believing the check engine light and air bag light were related, so I went ahead and got the car smogged and immediately the technician offered to do the test for free and told me it probably wouldn't pass due to the check engine light...and of course it did not pass. The issue is with the mass air flow sensor malfunction, which explains the check engine light. As for the air bag light, I am still unaware how it was triggered but as far as I know I can reset the light with a specific tool. Any suggestions on what I should do? The seller got a quote from a local auto shop at around 250-350$ to fix the light.
The car runs great and I have already fallen in love with my first BMW. The only other problems were minor interior issues, like a ripped shift boot and broken shift knob which I have already replaced.
Any feedback will be greatly appreciated, this is my first post! Thank you
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2014, 05:00 AM
dougf dougf is offline
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I think all of us new owners have been through the air bag light issue. You can search the forum but you are going to need to first pull the seats and clean with an electronics cleaner all of your electrical connections as a first step and then check with a specialized scanner tool either from Peake or the Chinese knock off. In my case I went from 12 codes down to one on the cleaning alone. The final code related to the passenger seat sensor which is couple of hundred in parts alone and labor intensive to fix. I opted to fool the system by wiring in a few resistors but there are emulators available on Ebay which are plug and play. If you need help with the search let me know.

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  #3  
Old 10-01-2014, 09:20 AM
Col3slaw Col3slaw is offline
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Location: Reseda, California
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 1.9l
Thank you for the reply Doug, I will definitely do that. I figure if I can avoid the mechanic I will save myself a lot of money! This May or may not be related to what you suggest, but the passenger seat is "loose". The seat will jerk a tad bit when coming to a stop. I'm guessing by removing the seat I can troubleshoot what is causing this as well!
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2014, 02:00 PM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 687
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Col3slaw View Post
... but the passenger seat is "loose". The seat will jerk a tad bit when coming to a stop. I'm guessing by removing the seat I can troubleshoot what is causing this as well!
Your seat bushings are worn out - a very common problem. See http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=seat+bushings
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2014, 03:19 PM
Bob's Shoe Bob's Shoe is online now
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Location: Newport News, Virginia
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3 E36(7) M44
As others have said the seats rocking are common. The bushing are easy to get. There is a lot of
links here and u tube videos on the web in that regard. Make sure you cover your painted surfaces with towels or blankets to protect them and to protect the leather when you remove the seats.

Get a code reader and see what is causes the light. If it is the seat belt tensioner, a good cleaning of the connectors with DEOXIT or something similar may do the trick. A code reader and bushings is half of the quoted price of the seller gave you.

Do all the things you would do on new to you used car, but you may want to search for "things to look for" in the search bar.

One last thing ..prepare to smile ...a lot
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2014, 05:06 PM
Col3slaw Col3slaw is offline
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Location: Reseda, California
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 1.9l
Awesome thank you all for the feedback, now I feel more confident in doing the work myself instead of taking it to the mechanic, but the labor is intense.
I just replaced the shift panel today because the window switches were pushed in on one side.

I will replace the bushings when I pull the seats and clean up.
If anyone has feedback on troubleshooting my mass air flow sensor malfunction let me know.

Again thank you for the responses!


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  #7  
Old 10-01-2014, 05:53 PM
dougf dougf is offline
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Mein Auto:
PS one other thing with these cars they are all old now and any plastic item is bound to be brittle. When you are pulling the plugs apart be careful or they will end up in pieces. They are like connectors in any other car there is a locking tab that you need to undo to get them apart. Pulling the seats out is easy they are just unwieldy.

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  #8  
Old 10-01-2014, 08:17 PM
Col3slaw Col3slaw is offline
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Location: Reseda, California
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1997 z3 1.9l
New member looking for advice for my 97 z3 1.9L

Thank you for the heads up! I understand the electrical and plastic is old so I do take caution

Last edited by Col3slaw; 10-01-2014 at 08:20 PM.
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