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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

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2017, 12:46 PM
Ruggz Ruggz is offline
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Help with SRS Airbag System

So I bought this 97 328i from this impound auction, and it was in mostly good condition with a couple bumps from the previous owner being chased by the police, and I want to register it asap but I had to pass a sherriff?s inspection. The sheriff failed it because the airbag light won?t come on when I start the car. So I bought a B800 SRS scan and reset tool and the code that popped up says ?firing circuit, belt tensioner, rear left? so this leads me to believe there?s a problem with a sensor in the rear left seatbelt buckle. The only thing is, there isn?t any wiring that goes to any of the rear seatbelts, so now I?m stumped.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:55 PM
Ruggz Ruggz is offline
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Correction, the code is E11 which means the diagnostic bus is hung. The only thing I?m really confused about is that the airbag light won?t come on at all.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:27 PM
Leusent Leusent is offline
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The light is supposed to cycle on to show you that the system is working and the bulb isn't burned out. So you've got one-of-three options here:
1- The bulb is burned out
2- The bulb is disabled
3- The system has totally failed, so the bulb won't illuminate

I suspect the problem is number 3. If you've got a general SRS diagnostic failure... then chances are pretty good if it is option 1 or 2... the light will be illuminated when you fix the bulb. That'll also cause you to fail the inspection, I'm guessing.

-Craig
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2017, 02:35 PM
M-technik-3 M-technik-3 is offline
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I am working on a like issue but mine is fortunately easier, It's the seat belt tensioners. What sucks is there is no getting around not having them. I have 3 other cars that don't have airbags because they were pre airbag yet I have to have a working system in a car that's 20 years old and the bag might go off at anytime of never go off in a Takata episode. I should be able to drive a car with non functional airbags if I want.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:58 AM
MParallel MParallel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruggz View Post
Correction, the code is E11 which means the diagnostic bus is hung. The only thing I?m really confused about is that the airbag light won?t come on at all.
Someone probably pulled the bulb to take care of the light being always on.

What they don't realize is that since this is a safety light, there is a backup LED on the pcb. So pulling the light won't bypass this (although it's a lot dimmer).
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:09 PM
Tcrcrx Tcrcrx is offline
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You check the relay? and/or fuses? Make sure nothings unplugged under the seat? Be careful messing with srs system! Have to disarm a cartridge first to safely test it
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:12 AM
MParallel MParallel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcrcrx View Post
You check the relay? and/or fuses? Make sure nothings unplugged under the seat? Be careful messing with srs system! Have to disarm a cartridge first to safely test it
You need to discharge the capacitors.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:57 PM
Ruggz Ruggz is offline
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I?ve checked the bulbs twice and it?s in there, I?ve even swapped it with a working one from a different slot and it still won?t come on. Would the module be under the bench seat in the rear?
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:13 PM
Ruggz Ruggz is offline
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Well I found the problem, the module is removed and the wiring for it was tucked into the carpet. So now I gotta order a new one. Does it have to be coded to the car?
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:38 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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I've never heard that they need to be coded to the car, so you should be able to get a used module and hook it up. The part number can be found on RealOEM.com, but I can take a photo of mine tomorrow, too. Should be the same unit as what's supposed to be in your car.
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2019, 03:10 AM
loveverts loveverts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leusent View Post
The light is supposed to cycle on to show you that the system is working and the bulb isn't burned out. So you've got one-of-three options here:
1- The bulb is burned out
2- The bulb is disabled
3- The system has totally failed, so the bulb won't illuminate

I suspect the problem is number 3. If you've got a general SRS diagnostic failure... then chances are pretty good if it is option 1 or 2... the light will be illuminated when you fix the bulb. That'll also cause you to fail the inspection, I'm guessing.

-Craig
I have a question that I can't find a thread to. I'm just discovering that a previous owner pulled several important bulbs from the instrument cluster. They removed the airbag warning, seat belt warning, system check control, and catalytic converter warning bulbs. I have replaced all the bulbs but when I turn the key on for the self check cycle, only one of those I mentioned lights up. That one is the seat belt warning light and then it goes out after a few seconds.

Can you tell me if all the lights are supposed to light up and then one by one go out as they self check or are there certain ones? If so, which ones are they? If the air bag light is one of the ones that's supposed to light up, why won't it?

I know nothing about this stuff. Thanks in advance for any help and guidance you can give me.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:01 AM
Leusent Leusent is offline
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I don't own a BMW anymore, but if memory serves... yes. Ignition OFF->ON, all the bulbs will illuminate.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2019, 03:23 PM
Ruggz Ruggz is offline
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I forgot to update this haha so I found out that it didn't even have a module in it. Previous owner removed the module and tucked the wires into the carpet so I couldn't even figure out where it was supposed to go, but it's all done now
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:44 PM
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:26 AM
loveverts loveverts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leusent View Post
I don't own a BMW anymore, but if memory serves... yes. Ignition OFF->ON, all the bulbs will illuminate.
Thanks for responding, my friend. Any ideas what might be wrong? My light will not illuminate when turning ignition on.

Is there a way to test the module under the back seat with a meter? MParallel mentioned that some capacitors need to be discharged...how is this done?

I'm stumped! I borrowed a code reader from a friend that he claims will read and reset the SRS system. It returns no codes but I'm not confident that his reader does SRS.

How could it not detect something is wrong if the light doesn't even work?

Anyone have any ideas?
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  #16  
Old 05-27-2019, 09:06 AM
Leusent Leusent is offline
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This is a post-95 e36, right? The SRS scanner doesn't go into the normal OBDII port. So unless you're connecting it to the diagnostic port in the engine bay, you're not scanning SRS.

IIRC, rule of thumb for working on SRS is to just unplug the battery and let it stay unplugged for 30 min. Then you're fine. No need to do any other manual discharging.
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