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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2009, 09:26 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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Z4 Strange Electrical Problems

Taking my car in tomorrow to the dealer. Still under full warranty. Symptoms:

- Key remote quit working
- Air Bag Malfunction Light lit
- No trunk light
- Dash lights at dimmest and cannot adjust
- Turn signals flash very quickly but no dash indication or audible sound
- Low and high beams work normally in auto and manual
- Dash lights stay on after key is off and removed
- BMW Sirius no longer works and is not showing up as a mode selection on the radio
- Car starts and runs fine

The only possible precursor event was a brief drizzle with top down. Seats got wet before I could get the top up. Interior was dry after a two hour wait (nothing got soaking wet). That was seven days ago and the problem showed up five days after that.

Any guesses?
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2009, 02:02 PM
Z3SteveJ Z3SteveJ is offline
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You don't need to mention to the dealer that the interior got wet.
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2009, 10:41 PM
jhontou jhontou is offline
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it could be alot of things but it sounds like a short in the acc loup of your wiring harness..........
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2009, 05:01 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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Turned out to be the airbag control unit which is located just beneathe the BMW Assist. There was corrosion on the mult-pen plug-in. The dealer refused to pay saying that I had apparently left the top down in the rain - and I had. Cost me $1114, half of which was a new control unit and the rest was labor. That replacement alone fixed every problem in the OP.

Lesson learned? ALWAYS put your top up when leaving the car longer than a few minutes.

To me, this is a design flaw for a roadster.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2009, 05:06 AM
Doc Holliday Doc Holliday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseysc1 View Post
Turned out to be the airbag control unit which is located just beneathe the BMW Assist. There was corrosion on the mult-pen plug-in. The dealer refused to pay saying that I had apparently left the top down in the rain - and I had. Cost me $1114, half of which was a new control unit and the rest was labor. That replacement alone fixed every problem in the OP.

Lesson learned? ALWAYS put your top up when leaving the car longer than a few minutes.

To me, this is a design flaw for a roadster.

You should have told him to prove that you had left the top down in the rain-you gave up too easily.
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2009, 05:49 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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He showed me the corrosion in the socket of the control unit. I could not bring myself to lie about the rain.

Nonetheless, I will be using another dealer in the area henceforward. This dealer was more interested in taking care of his store than taking care of me.
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2009, 06:26 AM
WULFFZA WULFFZA is offline
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Is it likely corrosion would have occurred in 7days from rainwater? Surely it takes longer than that? I would think if a drizzle could cause that it is partly a design flaw that the assist button isnt a bit better sealed off. It is a roadster, the top should be down, they have been building cars for how long??
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2009, 12:08 PM
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The corrosion in itself starts as soon as the water touches the metal. but cannot just become severe enough in seven days to retard a good electrical connection in a powered down state. But add electricity to the mix and it will accelerate the corrosion 50% or more. I have seen stuff like this completely corrode an electrical connector in less than four hours, in salt water....

Just because you got caught a week ago with a little bit of water could be a just the last straw. You could have had this problem for a while and the last bit of water just pushed the problem to the forefront.

I see this all the time in my line of work.

Sorry about the cost of repair but it's nice to meet an honest man.
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Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:53 PM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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I'm going to check mine now - Clean the connection and coat it and pray that the air bag control unit is good.

Thanks for the heads up.

Andy

Well easier said than done I can't figure out how to get to that location. I've unscrew the fasteners and popped the snap clips where I figured they were and it was still tight. I'd imagine there are others there that I'm just afraid of breaking plastic.

Last edited by Acz4; 08-24-2009 at 05:51 PM. Reason: need too buy a service manual
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:25 PM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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Unhappy

Well I got a DVD manual and finally took it apart this afternoon.
That air bag control unit should have a shield over it, or at least the electrical connection to it. I released the connector and there was some indication of past moisture in there. I don't think it would take much - a couple drops could do the damage. It appears that one pin did corrode/arc and the pin has broken/melted off in the connector.

I'm attaching some pics -- looks like I'm in need of a new module too

I'm thinking I should just leave everything apart for the dealer since it all needs to come apart to replace the module. And I'm going to make a cover for that connection before everything goes back.

Anyone know it OK it reconnect the battery with the Air Bag control disconnected? I can't imagine it would matter since one terminal wasn't making connection anyways.
I'm interested in seeing if the other problems are still there - might need to corrected with the dealer's diagnostic computer ?

Though I'm keeping it disconnected until I hear back from some who knows

Thanks,
Andy
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:54 PM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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OK, I see what you mean now! Yes, that is exactly what my module looked like!

I think you can save some money by buying the module from Tischer and installing it yourself. You might need to go to the dealer if there are programming problems, but try the plug and play yourself before you go to the dealer.

Glad I could help!
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2009, 11:44 AM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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Well I figured I'd tried my dealership for that part before I went online. I got a call today they want $548.92 for it while the getbmwparts - Tischer site has it listed MSRP at $459.08 and their price is less than that. Humm, So much for sticking with my dealer since they appear to be trying to stick it to me. It looks like I found my parts guys from now on - pending my order results
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2009, 05:47 PM
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rpsz4 rpsz4 is offline
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I agree with you on the prices from Tischer. Their prices are quite a bit lower than the dealer and that's with my BMW CCA discount. Have used them several times in the past and they are quick and efficient.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2009, 07:08 PM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acz4 View Post
Well I figured I'd tried my dealership for that part before I went online. I got a call today they want $548.92 for it while the getbmwparts - Tischer site has it listed MSRP at $459.08 and their price is less than that. Humm, So much for sticking with my dealer since they appear to be trying to stick it to me. It looks like I found my parts guys from now on - pending my order results
Tischer has been great to me. Go with it, try plug and play and if does not work, take it to the dealer.
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:49 AM
pvr pvr is offline
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I know you US guys have that assist button in the car, which we in Europe don't have. However, I do have the Assist option on the SatNav screen though which I guess means that the box must be somewhere (but at least not exposed to moisture).
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  #16  
Old 09-08-2009, 06:29 PM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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pvr - it wasn't the Assist button on mine - 03 didn't have that option - it was the air bag control module which is under that area.

Tischer was great to deal with part came today and I just finished getting it in and putting everything back together - with the addition of a passenger under seat box (first aid box)
I'm thinking of getting another for the driver side - can't hurt to have a few more storage spots
Everything is working as normal - I just have to have the code cleared from the computer and then the dash light should be out.
That's just weird to have that unit effect so many other systems but it was the problem.
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2009, 06:59 PM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acz4 View Post
pvr - it wasn't the Assist button on mine - 03 didn't have that option - it was the air bag control module which is under that area.

Tischer was great to deal with part came today and I just finished getting it in and putting everything back together - with the addition of a passenger under seat box (first aid box)
I'm thinking of getting another for the driver side - can't hurt to have a few more storage spots
Everything is working as normal - I just have to have the code cleared from the computer and then the dash light should be out.
That's just weird to have that unit effect so many other systems but it was the problem.
Glad to hear it worked out for you!
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  #18  
Old 09-09-2009, 04:55 AM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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Thanks. Now I just have to see why my door ajar/trunk light isn't working. It hasn't been on since I purchased the car, maybe a indicator bulb? I'm assuming it has that feature on the dash.
Very minor
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  #19  
Old 09-09-2009, 06:09 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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All dash lights come on briefly when you start the car so you should be able to see it if it works. Mine is located between the speedometer and Tach, first one on the right coming from the bottom.
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  #20  
Old 09-09-2009, 06:15 AM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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Yeah - Mine never did come on, and I didn't notice that it had that till I ran into problems with the air bag unit. I'm thinking the bulb is out. I'll check it.

Well I checked it out - took the screw out and pulled the cluster out and I don't have that in mine I guess it's another option on the 04 models and up?
I checked my manual and it's not there either - O-well I guess that's why I never saw it

Last edited by Acz4; 09-09-2009 at 05:46 PM. Reason: not in my guage
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2009, 11:28 AM
flz79 flz79 is offline
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P/N for airbag control unit?

Does anybody have the P/N for the airbag control unit? I have a 2005 3.0i and I am experiencing similar problems to what the OP had. I would like to look up the part on Pelican, but I need the P/N to do that. If anybody has it handy, it would be much appreciated.
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  #22  
Old 12-13-2009, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flz79 View Post
Does anybody have the P/N for the airbag control unit? I have a 2005 3.0i and I am experiencing similar problems to what the OP had. I would like to look up the part on Pelican, but I need the P/N to do that. If anybody has it handy, it would be much appreciated.
From RealOEM:

Safety information module 65776962766

Here is the top level drawing from RealOEM for the AirBag system:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...99&hg=65&fg=65
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #23  
Old 12-30-2009, 12:12 AM
flz79 flz79 is offline
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Question

Shipkiller,

Thanks for the P/N. After looking into it a bit further, I have found that there seems to be two part numbers for this module. The first one is: 65776939810. I have pulled out the SOS/BMW Assist switch in my car and was able to read off the P/N from the airbag module underneath. The module that I currently have in the car is the 65776939810 module.

The P/N you listed (65776962766) appears to be a newer part as it superseded the P/N of the module currently in my car, according to realoem.com and a couple other sites I dug up. I wonder if the replacement had anything to do with the 200,000 car airbag safety recall (http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...g_N.htm?csp=34) ??

My question now is: If I buy the newer P/N module and install it, will I have to take it to the stealership to get it coded as it is a different P/N from what is currently in the car? For those of you who have replaced these modules on your own, were you able to just plug in the new module and be done with it or did you have to go get it coded?

TIA for any further answers/help!
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  #24  
Old 12-30-2009, 05:56 AM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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flz79,
When I replaced mine the light on the dash didn't go off. Everything else was back to normal. I tried talking it to a local foreign car garage and they couldn't reset the code on the air bag. They told me to bring it to a BMW garage for coding. I have yet to do it since it's not a priority but will do in it the spring since it's hibernating in my garage now
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  #25  
Old 12-30-2009, 06:27 AM
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I really don't know if you have to take the car in for a recoding. 50/50. Replace it and see what happens.
It might work or you might have to take it in for a recode.

If you do ANYTHING to your SRS system, make sure you have the battery disconnected.

It cost me $60.00 at my local dealer to have my SRS Airbag light cleared.....
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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