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Old 12-31-2011, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New From Norfolk

Ahoy,

I found this site looking for info on changing the air bag passenger seat occupancy sensor for my '99 E39. I have 190K on the clock and love the car and plan to keep her until I have at least 250K.

I also tinker with a 1971 2002 and a 1990 Porsche C2. The 02 is great fun...mostly because it is so easy to work on...there are several 02 owners nearby and we meet occasionally to eat drink and lie.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz matey...
It would make the job much easier if you unbolt the seat, unplug and re-fit !!
It can be done without unbolting the seat though !
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ahoy Dabsy,

Appears there are two choices; replace the occupancy sensor or bypass it...

Here's a link to buy a bypass device:

BMW Airbag Warning Light Passenger Occupancy Sensor

The good part: it's cheap and easy, the bad: all bags will fire in an accident. However, "cheap and easy" is (unfortunately) unacceptable in my garage.

So I've opted to buy the passenger seat occupancy sensor, remove the seat, pull off the seat cover and replace the sensor. As you suggested, the seat is out of my '99 528i and the part (the 'bit" for ya'll) cost $181 USD here in the Colonies.

The other failure point is the driver's seat belt - which makes a connection to the airbag circuit. There is not an "occupancy sensor" to fail on the driver's side...God love German engineering logic. Our local 2002 "Gruppe" happens to have a Peak SRS tester and my issue is apparantly the more common fault: the occupancy sensor.

I like this site: Pass Seat Airbag Sensor Mat replacement DIY - Just finished.......

You can actually make the device sold above...it is nothing more than a diode, a resistor and a small capacitor...sizes, capacities on the web. It's about $7 dollars worth or parts...I mean bits.

Wish me luck. I'll send a few photos of my seat project.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well done fella... Yes it is a very common fault ! ;-)
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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E39 Passenger Seat Airbag Sensor Replacement

Dabsy,

The seat sensor replacement job is a legitimate pain-in-the-shorts.

I just finished tonight...about a four beer job if you work quickly. I took some lousy photos:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1058157...QE&feat=email#

Let me know if the link works.

Take care and have a Happy New Year!
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Werkz

Apparently the occupancy sensor mat is easily damaged when the front seat is knealt on. I guess the German logic is that if you are in a car moving fast enough to warrant the air bags deploying, there is probably someone in the drivers seat, or at least there should be.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OMG!!! Great pics matey...
Bypass next time - Hahahaha
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