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Old 12-14-2004, 03:52 PM   #1
64lusso
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Default airbag light repair cost

Hi Folks,
New to this forum but bought my 97Ti from Phil Marx back in 98 or so. It's been one of my daughter's car for many years and I am now getting it ready for daughter #2. Over the years the airbag light has come on many times and been fixed under warrenty, seat belt sensor if I remember right. I recently had the passenger seat out of the car to fix a broken seat release cable but I can't remember whether I disconnected the battery first or not. Now the airbag light is on again and my mechanic tells me that both the seatbelt sensor and the seat mat need to be fixed and it will cost $500. Does that sound right? It's about half labor and half parts and mine has cloth seats if that makes any difference.
Thanks, Jay

PS: If this is not the right forum for this topic please move it to the right one.
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Old 12-14-2004, 07:52 PM   #2
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No idea of the cost but replacing the mat sensor is a pain.
I take it someone read the SRS fault codes.

My 98 needed a mat sensor.
I think the deal was that the wire was too short.

You bought a car from Phil?
Just kidding.
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:42 AM   #3
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Hi Jay,

If you've got someone with the proper tools to reset the light, I'd try that first. Though I had mine reset in April and it came back on in August! The history report on my car shows at least two repairs to the seatbelt socket and apparently they tie-wrapped the cable to the retractable buckle in an attempt to solve the problem. Accessing the back seat by tilting the passenger seat back for my lightweight 10-year-old to not be sitting with her face in the airbag seems to have aggravated the repair. I can't believe both parts died at once but rather that replacing both is a cover-your-ass kind of repair. I'll pop for the Peake tool if we just want to keep on resetting the light!

I say we just go for a class-action with BMW. Just kidding but maybe a NHTSA inquiry might help. Everyone seems to have this problem at some time or another.

-Phil
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:28 AM   #4
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I have a toolrama Code reader and reset professional tool. Syncs EWS, SRS, ABS and anything that a BMW shop can do.
I would let you use it, but i need to have some sort of collateral....
Or if ANYONE in interested. it is for sale... $2500 with BMW, VW, Volvo, Mercedes and OBDII cartridges.
Works in ALL european cars.
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:48 AM   #5
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you can have that code reset 1000 times. it will probably keep coming on. i've heard of cases like these and the entire computer was corrupt and had to be cleared and reprogrammed by the dealership.
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:08 PM   #6
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my tool will tell you.
on the oyher hand, it is true that if you have a bad sensor, the light will come on again.
so once you read the dault codes for the srs, then repair the problem if any.
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Old 07-16-2005, 04:01 AM   #7
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very true. i bought the peake SRS tool and it reads the fault, "clears" the code, but since the sensor isn't fixed the light almost immediately comes back on.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:50 AM   #8
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What is the mat sensor? Steven, do you refer to the little box under the passenger seat, or whatever that stays under the seat mat? BTW, would it be any problem to remove the seat without disconnecting the battery?
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Old 08-03-2005, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96ti
What is the mat sensor? Steven, do you refer to the little box under the passenger seat, or whatever that stays under the seat mat? BTW, would it be any problem to remove the seat without disconnecting the battery?
I have never seen the mat, I've had it replaced though. I think the seat cushion needs to come apart to install it.

I believe if you disconnect anything regarding the SRS system you will trigger a fault code and that is why people say to disconnect the battery.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:02 PM   #10
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i remember reading a special procedure (don't remember details though) for removing the seats and it was to avoid having the airbag light trigger. i believe it was on ron stygar's website, let me see if i can find it ... (insert hold music here) ...
well, this is for the mechanical tensioner (not quite what i was looking for): http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/int...t_removal.html
for steering wheel removal, but talks about SRS codes and disconnecting negative battery terminal: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/all/int...placement.html
hope that helps ...
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




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Old 08-03-2005, 03:04 PM   #11
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Look at my Vaders.

I was just looking at the online Bentley manual. Under the SRS airbag system, it claims some 1997 cars and ALL 1998 cars came with side impact airbags.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 96ti
What is the mat sensor? Steven, do you refer to the little box under the passenger seat, or whatever that stays under the seat mat? BTW, would it be any problem to remove the seat without disconnecting the battery?
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L84THSKY
Look at my Vaders
just rubbing it in that you have vaders again, aren't ya? "check out my vaders! you ain't got none!" lol j/k!
you did clean up under the seat bottom before putting those in, didn't ya?
is the "mat sensor" used to tell when someone has their butt planted in the passenger seat so it knows whether or not to deploy the passenger airbag? i'm guessing so. i could hunt that shizat down in the ETK if people are interested in the part number.
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:37 PM   #13
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That would be cool cali-ti. I may soon breakdown and get one.
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:28 PM   #14
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well ... i think the "box" would be #5 (matching up the part # that appears on the part in L8's picture) on this page here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...=65&fg=65&hl=6

L8, also looks like there are sensors for the side impact airbags that you'd need. you might need to find out (possibly wiring diagram from back of bentley?) exactly what's involved in the whole side impact airbag system.
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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Old 10-26-2005, 03:32 PM   #15
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I have a problem with my mat sensor as well and I plan on getting it fixed later, but my question is: is it possible to turn the airbag light off in the meantime?
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