Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #26  
Old 06-24-2009, 08:42 AM
fresaUKBM fresaUKBM is offline
Registered User
Location: London, UK
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 318is Coupe
My airbag light came on on my compact 318ti and i had no idea why. One day whilst cleaning the interior i noticed a wire that was hanging from undeneath the passangers seat i checked it out closely and i asumed it was conection to the seatbelt sensor that had snaped when pushing the seat forward. Anyways I attached back together, the light didnt go off, But i can tell you that both airbags deployed as I had quite a bad accident and wrotte the car off about a month after fixing it. VERY VERY Lucky as the passanger wasnt wearing his seatbelt and the only thing that stopped him flying out through the windscreen was the airback.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-17-2009, 02:35 PM
ln69bt ln69bt is offline
Registered User
Location: lincoln
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: bmw 318 convertible
My air bag light on bmw 1995 convetible 318

Hello iv had my bmw 318 convetible 1995 about 3 months. Iv noticed the air bag light never comes on so i looked on the back of the clocks and someone has taken the bulb out. I have tryed a new bulb in and the light just stays on all the time. I want to know what could be the fault and what sensors will a 1995 one have iv had the drivers seat out before and there was no wires on it. Will it have seat belt pretentioners with sensors. The only thing i can see that someone has changed is the front as its had fog lights added could they be a sensor on the front bumper thats been left.

Any help please
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-09-2009, 02:54 PM
PeteDawg PeteDawg is offline
Registered User
Location: Seattle
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: X3
Air Bag Light On

I have spoken with two or three technicians, they all indicate that if the light is on and the peak test indicates that the only error is with the passenger occupancy sensor, the default is that the airbags will deploy.

This is contrary to what other have posted here, but my thought is that perhaps others were not qualifying their statement with the above facts.

The conclusion I am gleaning here is this: Obviously the advice is, if the light is on, have a tech look at it otherwise your airbags may not deploy. If you have had a test run, and you know where the error is, and it is only with the occupancy sensor, the default setting is that if a crash occurrs, both the driver and passenger seat will deploy.

Is there anyone out there willing to confirm or deny this? Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-09-2009, 06:46 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,011
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Air bag systems are designed to always try to deploy regardless of any fault indications. Whether the bags actually deploy or not is a function of the fault. For E36s if there is a constant fault the SRS light comes on as soon as you turn the ignition to the on positions and it stays on. If there was an intermittent fault, the fault code is stored and the SRS light comes on for 3 minutes every time you start the car.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-21-2010, 09:43 PM
bushcal bushcal is offline
Registered User
Location: alabama
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 318ti
air bag light

so i removed the air bag sensor light today from the back of my instrument panel cluster and the light is half way lit now? does anyone know if there is a light shining through my air bag light or y it is still illuminated. Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01-22-2010, 04:02 AM
Mr Gusta's Avatar
Mr Gusta Mr Gusta is offline
Fireballs inc.
Location: long Island
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,234
Send a message via AIM to Mr Gusta
Mein Auto: big turbo hellrot sedan
Lol so you pulled the bulb and it is still lit? Wow that is one persistent light
__________________

Turbo lag is just a headstart because the chase is more exciting than the win - Abraham Lincoln
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-22-2010, 06:20 PM
Slave 2 Slave 2 is offline
I have questions!!
Location: Monterey Park, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 86
Send a message via AIM to Slave 2 Send a message via Yahoo to Slave 2
Mein Auto: 92 325is & 78 VW Scirocco
Just to resurrect this thread one more time and hopefully get a few questions answered:
My SRS light (92' 325IS) starts blinking as soon as I turn the ignition on, and after 3 minutes goes solid and stays on. That tells me that there IS a fault in the system somewhere.
Most signs point to the Passenger Seat Sensor.
But here are a few questions that I'd like to ask:

1) With the Passenger seat senor kaput, will the DRIVERS ( Steering wheel) airbag still deploy?
2) Is there a sensor in the DRIVERS seat?
3) If you clear the fault with whatever reset tool, does that reinstate all the airbags to perform normally?
4) If there truly IS a fault, or a short, or a malfunction in the SRS system to cause the light, will the reset tool reset just the warning light,ignoring whatever fault there was in the first place, and run the risk of still not firing the airbags?
5) If the seat sensor is faulty, won't the warning light just come back on after a reset of the fault?
6) There are a few devices out there that claim to bypass the passenger sensor and stops the light from lighting up, but does it still allow the airbags to function normally?
7) Has anyone installed one of these devices? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT
8)If that device clears the light and fault from the system and allows the airbags to function normally, doe it work like there's someone in the seat permanently and fire the passenger bag regardless of true occupancy?

I ask all this because I really want my airbags to work in a crash!
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-23-2010, 02:52 AM
johnf's Avatar
johnf johnf is offline
John Firestone
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,627
Mein Auto: 1996 318is
The airbags are a safety-critical system and are programmed, upon detecting a fault, to choose the course of action providing the greatest safety for the (possible) occupants. If the passenger seat mat fails, for example, the system assumes the seat is occupied and fires both front airbags in a crash. That protects the passenger if there is one, and only wastes money if there isn't. Similarly, if, say, the driver's U.S. seat belt buckle switch fails, the system assumes the driver isn't wearing his seat belt and fires the airbag in a milder crash. That protects the driver if he isn't wearing his seatbelt, and largely wastes money by needlessly firing the airbag if he is.

Other faults, for example, in the crash sensor circuit, disable the airbags as that is safer. Until you read out the cause of the fault(s), you won't know for sure if they may injure your person or just other things like your bank balance. (Many of the common faults fall do the latter.)

Last edited by johnf; 01-28-2010 at 04:51 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:24 AM
Slave 2 Slave 2 is offline
I have questions!!
Location: Monterey Park, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 86
Send a message via AIM to Slave 2 Send a message via Yahoo to Slave 2
Mein Auto: 92 325is & 78 VW Scirocco
Best info ever!
Thanks John. I will track down a fault code reader that is sensitive enough to differentiate between a simple seat belt fault, and a complete core meltdown fault.
Any suggestions in a reader good enough for that?
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-23-2010, 09:24 AM
foremiilk foremiilk is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 232
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW M3
since we are on this topic... I changed my oem seats in my 1999 m3 for corbeau a4 seats and my air light is on... I know its because the passenger seat has that sensor however I was wondering if there was a way to turn it off since its disconnected now
__________________
Owner of a 1999 BMW M3
Cosmo Black
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-23-2010, 09:26 AM
Slave 2 Slave 2 is offline
I have questions!!
Location: Monterey Park, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 86
Send a message via AIM to Slave 2 Send a message via Yahoo to Slave 2
Mein Auto: 92 325is & 78 VW Scirocco
What I keep running across are these..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Are they worth a damn?
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-23-2010, 10:01 AM
Progress's Avatar
Progress Progress is offline
Dream Green or die
Location: Lala land, Oregon
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 713
Send a message via MSN to Progress
Mein Auto: 98 AA Turbo 328is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slave 2 View Post
What I keep running across are these..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Are they worth a damn?
Man, don't mess around with airbags. Buy oem...
__________________
I drive a E36 328is, It's not a m3. It's not as fast as a m3.... Its faster

|Active autowerke Track Pipe | Custom Top Mount Turbo Manfiold | Umnitza Depo Angel Eyes |
| Turner Performance Cams | Stage 1 TurboCharger by Active Autowerke | Much More... |

Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
As soon as I saw "Progress" as I was scrolling down I knew you were gonna piss on his parade....
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-27-2010, 09:36 AM
ov010 ov010 is offline
Registered User
Location: london
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 318
I own a 2003 3 series. The airbag warning light (red) is always on.

I went to the BMW garage, they wanted 138 for diagnostics and a further 138 for each hour of labour.

I then went to my local non-BMW garage, they did a diagnostics test for 29. They found the fault was with the front passenger side seat occupied sensor - the seat-mat had short circuited. It shouldn't be too difficult to fix, however my local garage will not fix it as they are not official BMW electricians.

For my peace of mind am i right to assume if the car has a collision both airbags will go off automatically (even if there is no passenger)?

Judging by the responses in this forum this is quite a common fault?

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 01-27-2010, 07:44 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,011
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
As already stated several times in this thread, the SRS system will almost always attempt to inflate the airbags. Whether they actually inflate or not depends on the condition of the system. The SRS system runs a self test when you turn on the ignition and if any faults are detected, a fault code is stored in the SRS Computer memory and the SRS light is illuminated. The SRS system runs the self test periodically when the car is running and if a fault is detected, the fault light is illuminated. If the fault is continually present the light stays on. If it was only a momentary fault, the code remains stored but the fault light only comes on for about 3 minutes when the engine is first started.
There are significant liability issues with making repairs on the SRS system and it is rare that an independent shop will attempt it. The reason is that unlike the other systems on the car, you can't test that the system is actually working. That would require actually deploying the airbags. All you can do is clear the fault codes and rely on the self test designed by BMW. The dealer will work on the system because they carry a higher level of insurance coverage, plus BMW provides some coverage to them.
The SRS system adds a significant level of additional survivability to a crash. It should be maintained in good working condition. Removing the light bulb so you don't have to look at it is not a good fix.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 01-28-2010, 01:32 PM
migalle migalle is offline
Registered User
Location: Las Vegas, NV
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1997 328i
my airbag light came on on my 97 328i at 100,000 miles. I just put a piece of black electrical tape over it
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 01-28-2010, 01:53 PM
TnT817's Avatar
TnT817 TnT817 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ohio
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,667
Mein Auto: 1993 325i 4dr
That does not fix stuff
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 01-28-2010, 02:54 PM
Slave 2 Slave 2 is offline
I have questions!!
Location: Monterey Park, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 86
Send a message via AIM to Slave 2 Send a message via Yahoo to Slave 2
Mein Auto: 92 325is & 78 VW Scirocco
Disabling the light does not fix the problem and the problem is:
WILL or WILL NOT the drivers side airbag deploy upon impact with a fault showing in the SRS system.
Amongst all of the faults possible, WOULD or WOULD NOT any of those faults that would make the SRS light come on, have ANY bearing on the functionality of the DRIVERS SIDE airbag.

Last edited by Slave 2; 01-28-2010 at 02:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 01-28-2010, 06:07 PM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,011
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slave 2 View Post
Disabling the light does not fix the problem and the problem is:
WILL or WILL NOT the drivers side airbag deploy upon impact with a fault showing in the SRS system.
Amongst all of the faults possible, WOULD or WOULD NOT any of those faults that would make the SRS light come on, have ANY bearing on the functionality of the DRIVERS SIDE airbag.
The answer is YES! The built in test checks to see if the electrical circuit that fires the gas generator is good in both the driver side and passenger side air bags. If the resistance of the circuit for either (including the ignitor in the gas generator) is out of tolerance or open a fault is flagged and the SRS light is set to illuminate. With this condition the faulty air bag circuit will not activate the airbag and it WILL NOT inflate in an accident. The same is true for either of the seat belt pre-tensioners which are just as important for safety as the airbags are.
The sole reason for the SRS light coming on is to alert you of a fault that could keep the SRS system from functioning. Some of the faults are related to the passenger side but they are still faults that could keep that air bag from deploying.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 04-19-2010, 08:53 AM
Slave 2 Slave 2 is offline
I have questions!!
Location: Monterey Park, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 86
Send a message via AIM to Slave 2 Send a message via Yahoo to Slave 2
Mein Auto: 92 325is & 78 VW Scirocco
All that is well and good, but the fact that I do not have a Passenger Airbag installed in my particular vehicle is meaning that my DRIVERS airbag is in question! ...and that's, like, the IMPORTANT one since I'M DRIVING!
So are any of these "Fixes" going to allow the airbag to deploy as it should on a car with no factory passenger airbag? They all seem toaddress the PASSENGER seat pad... Or are we still only fixing the light from bugging us ,and the problem still exsists and I'm going to be taking a chest-full of steering wheel?
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:39 PM
rcauntay rcauntay is offline
Registered User
Location: Sebastopol
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 328i
frustrations with bmw service over airbag indicator

I'm insanely frustrated with my local service center (which has been a disappointment from the start) over potential malfunctioning of my front passenger airbag. The indicator started functioning inconsistently when my daughter was about 58lbs., illuminated sometimes, other times not. I took my vehicle in to have the airbag indicator checked and was told everything was functioning properly. I assumed 60lbs. might be the limit to deactivate the Airbag Off sensor and she was verging. Two years later my daughter weighs 75lbs. (a lightweight 11 year-old) and the Airbag Off indicator doesn't illuminate when she's in the seat, but in my husband's 2011 335, the Airbag Off indicator is illuminated when she's in the seat, which seems consistent with safety guidelines that children under the age of 13 are at risk of airbag injuries. When I took my vehicle back for service, my concerns were dismissed and their response to my questions was that the car is "functioning as designed." They can't, however, explain the nature of that design (i.e. the weight limit for the airbag sensor - they claim there "is no published limit"). Perhaps my husband's vehicle is malfunctioning, they said. I'm not at all satisfied with or reassured by their lack of explanation. Three days after bringing my vehicle in, the service agent still wasn't even clear about the nature of my concern. One minutes he's telling me the car is functioning correctly, the next minute he's asking, "wait, the airbag indicator is on or the airbag is on?" It's ridiculous. They just want me to go away, and my warranty runs out in two months. I won't buy another BMW after this service expreience.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:13 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,848
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Firstly, you're in the wrong section for your car. E36 BMWs were built between 1991-1999, and do not have airbag occupancy indicator lights like the later cars. Until you find out what the weight limit is for activating the airbag, you won't be able to get to the bottom of who's car is working correctly. Does the airbag off light deactivate (i.e. airbag activated) when you or your husband sit in the passenger seat?

Secondly, saying you won't buy another BMW because you're unhappy with a particular dealership's service department is fairly overly dramatic. Have you tried going to a different service department? If you buy a quart of milk from a grocery store and it turns out to be spoiled, yet the grocer won't offer a refund, you don't simply say "I'm never drinking milk ever again!" You just go to a different grocer...
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 12-13-2012 at 09:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 12-13-2012, 09:08 AM
ryder23's Avatar
ryder23 ryder23 is offline
BuckFifty
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 223
Mein Auto: 1998 328i Manual
Perhaps the sensor sensitivity for the weight of the child varies depending on how your daughter sits on the seat. Also, maybe there is a larger variance due to how the the sensor is mounted in your car versus your husbands. Therefore, it is a design issue. You should play with it to see what triggers it off consistently. Get your daughter to sit in various seat adjustment positions and hold different items (books, bags of rice, etc) to see how it responds. Perhaps it only takes a few more pounds to activate the airbag system and soon you will be there and won't need to worry about it when your daughter grows a bit more.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:01 AM
GarethE30 GarethE30 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 99 e36 M3, 91 318is
If you plan on owning your E36 for a wile it is probably worth getting an airbag reset tool. They cost about 130 bucks but is well worth it if you have multiple airbag issues over the years. So glad I got one.


This is the one I have and it works great!!

Peake Research R5-SRS Airbag (SRS) Scan/Reset Tool for BMWs (1994-mid 2000) NOTE: Can be Adapted for use on 2001-2003 models with optional Adaptor #PEL-AB03
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Radiator Warning Light - Questions lsedels 3 Series / 4 Series 13 12-19-2004 07:23 AM
Restraint system failure warning light drbmw Dealer Feedback / Vehicle Problems 3 05-11-2004 04:28 PM
Airbag light Bart E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002) 1 12-25-2003 10:20 PM
problems with airbag light 328iSC 3 Series / 4 Series 3 05-22-2002 12:11 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms