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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
Hatori Honzai

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E36 Driver's window problems; airbag light

Doing minor repairs on my recently purchased 1998 328iC with 158000 miles. (Previous owner bought it at auction after a minor crash to passenger door. He replaced the outer door panel, trim, air bag, and the rag top.)
1. The driver's power window:
  • Sometimes makes popping noise when rolling up or down.
  • Most of the time will not roll all the way up when using the rocker switch that controls all the windows. It will begin to roll up and then reverse itself while the other windows close. Releasing the master rocker switch and pressing it again will close the driver's window. This happens if the convertible top is already in the open or closed position.
  • Will not roll all the way up when closing the convertible top. It will stop about halfway or reverse itself.
  • When opening the convertible top, all the windows will appropriately lower themselves during this process, but the driver's window is about an inch lower than the others. All the windows appropriately raise to their full height if the convertible switch remains engaged.
  • After this point, I can lower all the windows with the main rocker switch, but if I raise them again, the driver's window will start to raise and then either stop halfway up or reverse itself to the completely open position. Releasing and pressing the main switch allows the driver's window to close.
2. The airbag indicator light stays on after the engine is started and running.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
DEATH2000
 
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Its possible the tracks for the window are out of alignment. One other thing i can suggest, is when the parts in the door were replaced did they teach the car to learn the door features again? Sometimes the computer needs to relearn it.

Check the airbag connectors as they may be loose.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
Hatori Honzai

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEATH2000 View Post
Its possible the tracks for the window are out of alignment. One other thing i can suggest, is when the parts in the door were replaced did they teach the car to learn the door features again? Sometimes the computer needs to relearn it.

Check the airbag connectors as they may be loose.
TFR. I will check the window tracks. For the airbag, something tells me they did not follow procedures. A couple of months back I read something about the airbag reset steps.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
3050rpm
 
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You may have to bite the bullet and have the airbag light reset with a reset tool (different from the oil service/inspection one). I think a prolonged interruption in the electrical supply is interpreted as a fault and the light comes on. At least that was what I experienced a couple of years ago.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
Hatori Honzai

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Reset tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3050rpm View Post
You may have to bite the bullet and have the airbag light reset with a reset tool (different from the oil service/inspection one). I think a prolonged interruption in the electrical supply is interpreted as a fault and the light comes on. At least that was what I experienced a couple of years ago.
It figures that my model has a different tool for that. I think I'll contact local Bimmer clubs and see if anyone has a reset tool. Was your issue due to a long period of time before installing a new airbag or from having the battery cables attached while changing the airbag?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
3050rpm
 
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No, not from any work being done on the airbag (by the way, I think it's advised to disconnect the battery if doing anything with the airbag), I was having the rocker panels replaced and some other work done on the car, and the battery was disconnected for something like a week or so. The car started up just fine after that, but for whatever reason the airbag light came on and stayed on for longer than the few seconds of the test cycle. It would eventually go out, but I couldn't get an inspection sticker like that. Took the car to my service guy who has the proper reset tool and that was that, things returned to normal and have been that way since.
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