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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 06-16-2011, 12:18 PM
mda419 mda419 is offline
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Air bag light

Hey Guys,

My Airbag light's on, it started to stay 'On' after both my Front Window Actuators were replaced among some other things (i.e. P.S. rack/pinion, hose/lines).

I don't think something major's wrong with my Airbag system. Could it be that some sensor has been triggered by the Actuator replacements.

Can this be reset by an OBD Scanner/Reader or I need an SE to do this ?

Appreciate what you guys think !
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2011, 12:24 PM
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blz456 blz456 is offline
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In order to replace the window regulators in the front doors you have to remove the airbags from the doors. They probably unplugged them without unplugging the battery. That can cause the light from what I've read. I am unsure though what exactly is needed to reset the light.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2011, 12:57 PM
mda419 mda419 is offline
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Airbag

Thanks man, that sure makes sense !

Will do more clicking to check how to reset it !
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2011, 01:01 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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You need a scanner/reader that can specifically reset the SRS (supplemental restraint system) warning light. Not all of them can...if your scanner has this capability...it would have been prominently printed that it has this capability. If you don't have a tool that reset SRS (or know someone that does)...then you'll need to PAY a BMW dealership to do it..or find an Indy that has the tool and pay them to do it.

And ditto with the airbag & battery. ANY time an SRS electrical harness is going to be disconnected...the negative battery cable needs to be REMOVED first...then not reinstalled until ALL the SRS electrical harnesses are back together. If the SRS system ever gets a signal that one of its sensors is NOT communicating with the SRS module...it will throw a warning. That's why the negative battery cable needs to be removed first...if the SRS module is powered down...it will not know when one of its sensors is being unplugged.
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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

Last edited by QSilver7; 06-16-2011 at 01:02 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2011, 01:07 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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1+,

The Front window regulator was probably performed by inexperienced mechanics.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2011, 01:32 PM
mda419 mda419 is offline
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Thanks, will try to get my hands on a TP-280CAN to try to get rid of that DTC from the ECU !

I just hope it's a SAE std code and not an Mfr spec code !

You have cool looking 540 & 740, hard to believe they're pre '00s !
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2011, 11:27 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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In addition to reading the warnings in all the window-regulator DIYs, I added garlic before disconnecting & reconnecting my airbag - it worked for me!
- One user's experience with diagnosing the front left driver door window regulator (1)

But, for you, I'd suggest the following links:

- 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 window regulator fixers disconnect the airbag before the battery or they connect the battery before disconnecting the airbag (1) (2) (3) (4) & where to buy an airbag occupancy sensor bypass unit (1) (2).

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  #8  
Old 06-16-2011, 11:33 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda419 View Post
will try to get my hands on a TP-280CAN
I've compiled a list of the tools that can reset the SRS airbag light - so when you do get that tool listed above, please let us know if it can reset the airbag light.

Note: I googled for it and found no mention that it can reset the airbag light but I only did a cursory check in google as it's the OP's job to dig deeper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mda419 View Post
get rid of that DTC from the ECU
Others know better than I, but, I don't think this is a "regular" diagnostic trouble code (in the sense of P1xxx or P0xxx). Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but, a normal diagnostic scanner won't reset this because it's not, in essence, a DTC at all. Am I right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mda419 View Post
I just hope it's a SAE std code and not an Mfr spec code
Why would SAE versus MFG matter?

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  #9  
Old 07-03-2011, 06:08 AM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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My light is on too.Would disconnecting the front seat motor or rear regulators (non air bag) have any effect on the light?
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2011, 10:23 AM
mda419 mda419 is offline
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airbag light

I don't think it will fix the problem, but mine started to come on because when my windows were fixed, the airbag sensors were disconnected w/o unplugging the batteries !
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2011, 10:27 AM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda419 View Post
I don't think it will fix the problem, but mine started to come on because when my windows were fixed, the airbag sensors were disconnected w/o unplugging the batteries !
Actually I meant do the rear windows and drivers seat adjustment have any connection to this sensor in any way?
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2011, 12:23 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda419 View Post
...You have cool looking 540 & 740, hard to believe they're pre '00s !
Thank you for the compliment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...I added garlic before disconnecting & reconnecting my airbag - it worked for me...
OMG Bluebee...I just saw this and was wondering what was with all the garlic in the pics...scrolled back up and got the gist...HILARIOUS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
Actually I meant do the rear windows and drivers seat adjustment have any connection to this sensor in any way?
No...the driver's seat switch and rear window regulator have nothing to do with the SRS (supplemental restraint system)...but there are SRS connectors near both that you must take care NOT to disconnect while the car is still powered.

For instance, if your car has airbags in the rear doors, and you're going to do work on the rear door window regulators...take care that the negative battery cable is disconnected if you have to disconnect the rear door airbag.

Or if you are working with your driver's seat and you have to pull it out and you're disconnecting the seat belt or if you're removing the front passenger seat and you're disconnecting anything...be aware that there is an occupancy sensor & seat belt that is connected to the SRS system.

The air bag light is illuminated when EVER a sensor that has to do with restraining the occupants is disturbed and there is power to the car.
  • airbags (doors, head, steering wheel)
  • seat belts
  • occupancy sensors

The window regulators and driver's seat switch are NOT connected to SRS.
__________________
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 07-03-2011, 12:49 PM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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Thanks It makes sense there would be be no correlation in the two systems.However the clip on the 6 way seat plug is broken and will not stay plugged in.It does power the adjustable steering wheel which is why I wondered.
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2011, 01:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
wondering what was with all the garlic in the pics...
As you surmised, it's to ward off the glowingly red-eyed airbag demons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
there is an occupancy sensor & seat belt that is connected to the SRS system
Maybe we need an SRS system thread to point people to that has these wonderful answers all written up ahead of time for them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
The air bag light is illuminated when EVER a sensor that has to do with restraining the occupants is disturbed and there is power to the car.
  • airbags (doors, head, steering wheel)
  • seat belts
  • occupancy sensors

The window regulators and driver's seat switch are NOT connected to SRS.
I'll make that the first post!
- How to avoid a glowing red eye of the airbag SRS supplemental restraint system demon
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2011, 01:14 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
Thanks It makes sense there would be be no correlation in the two systems.However the clip on the 6 way seat plug is broken and will not stay plugged in.It does power the adjustable steering wheel which is why I wondered.
No problem....better safe than sorry.

Yes, the driver's seat switch does power the steering column...but the airbag connection runs from the airbag, through the slip ring, to a connector below the dash. The driver's seat switch is directly connected to the steering column's adjusting motors.
TIP: if your driver's seat switch electrical harness is busted like in Bluebee's pic below...try securing the harness to the switch using duct tape...or something else to prevent it from slipping out of the switch.


Airbag connection from rear of bag, through slip ring, to connector under dash:

Bright yellow connector belongs to airbag


Bright orange connector coming from slip ring is the SRS/airbag wiring that goes from steering wheel to under the dash


Connector on right (bright orange) is airbag/SRS connector...wires from slip ring go here


Yellow wires with Bright Orange on connector (on right in pic below) connect under dash/steering column
__________________
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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  #16  
Old 07-03-2011, 01:19 PM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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Thanks for a great explanation and PICS!
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