Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Air bag warning lamp

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by 391075, Jul 18, 2010.

    • Member

    391075

    Post Count: 61
    Likes Received:2
    The air bag warning lamp is illuminated on my 1995 E36. There is nothing in the owner's manual regarding this light. Does anyone have a diagnosis ??
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,249
    Likes Received:71
    You need to scan for faults. Probably need something like a Peake SRS tool.
    Normally it is

    1) Bad passenger seatbelt latch.
    2) Bad passenger seat mat.
    • Member

    391075

    Post Count: 61
    Likes Received:2
    Thanks Steven,

    The air bag light typically shuts off abt 5 minutes after first starting the car. I am almost wondering if it is humidity related considering it coincidentally began after the hot/humid weather arrived in the NEast(?). It seems after the "cabin" cools with the A/C on, the light shuts off. When restarting after a very short stop, the light does not illuminate. I suspect my therory will be tested come September. In the mntime I will take your advice and scan for faults. I am not terribly concerned with the light on,but am very concerned with with the airbags being operational. The car is driven by all our family members. Some "authorities" claim the air bags are not functional with the light "on" (?).

    Joe
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Joe,
    Do not be worried about the airbags not working. If the seatbelts are on, there is nothing the airbag will do to help you but perhaps hurt you.


    But,
    Definitely scan for codes. If you want to determine if it's humidity/temperature related, run the car with the air conditioning off until you reach your destination (assuming it's more than a 5-10 minute trip). If it stays on without the AC but goes away with it, your prediction is correct.

    Also, I don't think that anything inside the dash gets cooled when the AC is on, so if it is temperature dependant, then it has to be inside the cabin, not inside the dash.
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,249
    Likes Received:71
    If it is a mat or seatbelt switch I am told that the airbags will still deploy.
    The point of the switches is so the airbag doesn't deploy if no one is sitting there.
    The failsafe is for the airbags deploy regardless of defective switches.
    Or so I have been told.
    • Member

    dc_wright

    Post Count: 1
    Likes Received:0
    Both the seat belts and the airbags are necessary in a high speed frontal impact. The seat belt pretensioners pull the seat belt tight to hold your torso in place in the seat, but there is no support for your head. The shoulder belt across your chest and shoulder acts as a fulcrum point and the G forces bend your head forward and down toward your chest. Without the air bag in place to stop the forward momentum, you have a high risk of a fatal or paralyzing neck injury. The air bag inflates into your face and upper body to support your head and prevent these neck injuries. This same type of injury is what killed Dale Ernhardt and led NASCAR to mandate the HANS device for all drivers. The HANS device provides the same kind of support without having all the sensors and hardware necessary with airbags.

    With respect to the original problem, the occupancy sensor under the pasenger seat cushion is susceptible to moisture. They are also a high failure rate item. A code scan should tell you if it's the sealt belt sensor or the occupancy sensor.

    SuperBimmer guest

    Post Count: 27
    Likes Received:0
    This is what I always see in the shop. Mostly the seatbelt latch. If it is the latch, dont foget to get the plug update. Whe the plugs fail, they will set the same code, and just replacing the latch wil not fix it. And if the light is going off after a couple mins, then the bags will still work.
    And, no solder on airbag wiring!!

Share This Page