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Premium Member
2004 BMW 325xi
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Long time e46 fan, decided to join this forum and go premium to support the community! I have a 2004 BMW 325xi, a little bit ago the airbag light came on. I took it to BMW, they replaced the airbag, but the light stayed on. They told me to fix it they would likely need to do $2,000 in work, which sounded crazy to me. So I took it to a small shop, they said they thought it was the onboard computer and/or airbag module?

I love my car but know nothing about cars mechanically. Does anyone know if this is common and what the normal route is to fix? Also is it safe to drive my car or will the airbags actually not deploy in an accident?

Huge thanks in advance for any advice, knowledge anyone can share!
 

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78 Posts
I’m down the same path as you, except in my case it’s the drivers steering air bag that was the problem. It didn’t fall under the recall unfortunately.

It’s air bags and I want them to work, so I didn’t mess around and am getting a specialist to identify and complete the fix.

I thought about getting the specialist to identify the problem and getting an airbag from an wrecker, or eBay and doing it myself. Probably okay, but I opted to go the expensive route as it’s safety equipment.


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Here to serve y’all
2004 330Ci 85k miles
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11,509 Posts
You need to read the SRS module trouble codes in order to find out what the system thinks is wrong.
Get set up with BMW Scanner 1.4 so you can read the SRS error codes and look at the live data. Makes troubleshooting airbag problems so much easier.
 

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73 Posts
A high level code reader should be able to tel you what the fault is. From there you can get a better plan of attack.

I recommend searching the forums for “BMW Standard Tools” and getting that setup. You’ll need a cheap OBD2 to USB cable. All of that is in the thread. That tool will let you view airbag codes and reset them.

If your shop has high level BMW tools, ask them for the code.
 

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2003 325xi 5spd Manual
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841 Posts
BMW scanner can read it. What I will say is, a good 99% of the time, its the seat occupancy sensor for the passenger seat. I had this with my car when I bought it. A 10$ occupancy bypass on ebay and a cheapo SRS tool reset it immediately. Keep in mind the passenger airbag will always be armed and blow in a wreck, but with the value of the cars, any wreck that sets off the airbags is gonna total it.

Cheapo tool I got with the car from the PO also can read whats wrong, just not as in depth. B600 tool off ebay.

The mat replacement is a very expensive job.
 

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Premium Member
2004 BMW 325xi
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, I'm really hoping that's all it is. Ordered the bypass on eBay and it comes tomorrow. Do I need any special tool to install it and is it hard to install for someone that's not very handy (i.e. me!)?

Thanks again, super impressed with how helpful the community is here already!
 

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2003 325xi 5spd Manual
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841 Posts
Thanks, I'm really hoping that's all it is. Ordered the bypass on eBay and it comes tomorrow. Do I need any special tool to install it and is it hard to install for someone that's not very handy (i.e. me!)?

Thanks again, super impressed with how helpful the community is here already!
Takes about 5 seconds, just push the seat forward, reach the harness with ykur hands, and unplug it, plug the bypass in and tuck the cable back in.

Note you still have to reset the SRS light with a tool
 

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Here to serve y’all
2004 330Ci 85k miles
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11,509 Posts
Thanks, I'm really hoping that's all it is. Ordered the bypass on eBay and it comes tomorrow. Do I need any special tool to install it and is it hard to install for someone that's not very handy (i.e. me!)?
Buying parts without even reading codes or checking the circuit is a good way to waste money.
Hopefully it’s the SOS, but you would know for sure if you scanned the SRS module beforehand.
 

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Premium Member
2004 BMW 325xi
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, I know absolutely nothing about cars, so stupid question, what is an SRS light and SRS module?
 

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Here to serve y’all
2004 330Ci 85k miles
Joined
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11,509 Posts
Thanks, I know absolutely nothing about cars, so stupid question, what is an SRS light and SRS module?
You can Google to get more detailed descriptions. SRS means Supplementary Restraint System, think seat sensors, air bags, seat belts, etc.
The little computer that controls those systems is the SRS module. Like all control modules - every E46 has like 10-15 of the little guys - you can read its trouble codes, see the sensor live data, etc.

BMW Scanner 1.4 links:
Cable and software
How to Install BMW Scanner 1.4
BMW Scanner 1.4 for Dummies
BMW Scanner 1.4 Settings
 
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