5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)
Yip, starting the car without the steering wheel or even the cluster causes the airbag light to stay on. Need to be reset with the diagnostics equipment.
I have the same on my 1996 528i.. the passenger seat detection gadget is apparantly faulty. Had it reset 3 time.. the light stays off untill someone puts their butt on the seat. Any sugestions on this? I dont want to pay all the money for a new sensor mat and then it might be something else.
I have the same problem with a 98 528i, the airbag light stays on. Also other goodies happen, the stereo works when it feels like it and the steering wheel will periodically move up and down. This provides great entertainment for the kids but it is all very annoying and concerning. I had this fixed before about a year ago and the dealer fixed it for a minimal charge. It had to do with the front seat belt tensioner, I believe it was a bad connection. I will check the connection myself this time before bringing in for service.
On mine the tensioner was replaced at some time during it's life, the driver and passenger seat have different connectors to the belt tensioner. According to the diagnostics it is the occupancy sensor. The problem is that it seems to consist of a mat like sensor between the sponge and leather and then a control box of some sort. I dont want to rush out and buy one and then it is the other. Your steering and audio problem sounds like a broken or short circuited wire. If you have memory on the seat the fault could also come from there. On the E32 7 series the memory thingy was under the driver seat. If it is the same on the newer 5's it could be that someone's foot damaged the wire from the back.
The problem ended up being one of the wire harnesses under the seat, the diagnostics was getting a high resistance reading from the connection. Supposedly there are 5 different parts of the system that can be the culprit and provide the same symptoms that I was having. This is the second harness I have replaced but not the same one, there is a third, then the seat sensor and finally the control unit (big bucks). I like your advice about busy feet in the back seat damaging the connections. Now that it is fixed I can't help but wonder how an open connection on the tensioner causes the audio to fail and the steering wheel to move on it's own?
Thanks for the input...
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.