Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
Posts: 45

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by RockyDave » Sun 19 Jan, 2014 11:54

As a newbie to Zed ownership, the right car came up at the right price in September, just in time for our wet winter :bawl:
I currently have the car cosseted in the garage, sorting out all those niggles prior to summer. This weekends job has been to replace a couple of blown bulbs in the instrument panel. Using the guide on the knowledge base, it was a really simple task, BUT on getting the instrument panel in the bench I find that a number of "warning bulbs" are missing :?
Comparing the panel to the manual all seems to be logical with the exception of the missing air bag bulb! I have a nasty feeling that a previous owner has triggered the warning light and rather than fix the problem has removed the bulb :head:

Would appreciate any thoughts or comments from those more knowledgable than me.

Ps thanks KoolFlyer for your help in getting the instrument panel out
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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Robert T
Site Admin
Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 11:35
Posts: 10053

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Robert T » Sun 19 Jan, 2014 17:50

Not all of the telltales should have bulbs in them. Some only apply to specific countries, some only apply to options and some apply to cars the cluster was used on other than the Z3.

Airbag light should be present, as all Z3's had airbags, even if like mine they only have a driver's airbag. You may find that the light is dimly illuminated as there is a second smaller lamp that illuminates even if the main warning lamp bulb has failed or been removed. We have even had members find the hole stuffed with paper to mask this second lamp!!!

The airbag light can be trigger by something as simple as moving the seat, or working on the seats and turning the ignition on with the battery disconnected, so it does not necessarily mean an expensive bill to fill. The problem is that it latches on and needs a software reset to clear it. This can be done with an airbag tool or computer diagnostic kit like INPA. Depending where you are in the country, there may be someone nearby who is prepared to help - see: http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopi ... =5&t=36055

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
Posts: 45

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by RockyDave » Sun 19 Jan, 2014 18:23

Thanks Robert,
Yes, I read the thread about someone stuffing paper in the bulb hole - very clever :dunce:
Looking through the owners manual it explains all the other "missing bulbs" except the air bag one. Interestingly there is no dim warning light so maybe all is OK :?:
Here is a picture of the back of the instrument panel.

Regards
Dave
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

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c_w
Joined: Thu 19 Aug, 2004 17:50
Posts: 4032

  M roadster S50

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by c_w » Sun 19 Jan, 2014 20:58

My airbag light was on for a long time and I got fed up of looking at it so removed the bulb. This then showed the dim tell-tale light that is there assumedly from some onboard bulb integrated on the circuitry. However after a while it stopped coming on, so this could have happend to yours. If you put a bulb back in it usually brings it back to life.

As said, there's a few "missing" bulbs on the dash, just put a torch at the back to see what the light should be and if you think it needs one!

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Koolflyer
Joined: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 16:51
Posts: 579

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Koolflyer » Wed 05 Feb, 2014 12:57

Hi, I fitted the slightly later steering wheel to my '97 2.8 about 4 months ago, and have been rather concerned that my airbag light does not show when I first turn on the ignition. I'm assuming that it should come on initially, check and then go off. After, looking at Rocky Dave's post and all the feedback, it appears that some think it a bright idea to shove tissue etc down the back of the 'tell tale' to hide the secondary low light, red airbag warning. Don't quite understand this thinking, surely If there is a fault then you want to know about it, and fix it rather than hide it! I'd like to keep my good looks should I meet something hard :shrug . Presumably, that's why there is a secondary low level light as a backup should the main bulb fail.

Guess what we found :head: .

The main airbag light does now show (with the aid of a new bulb), although it does stay on. At least I now know that there could be a fault with my new airbag, or as has been mentioned, needs a run through a code reader and hopefully just needs resetting...fingers crossed. Anyone near Loughborough?? :)

Considering that mine originates from Devon and R Dave's comes from the Midlands, it seems very coincidental that both airbag lights have both been deliberately blanked out :puzzle:. Am I missing something here? Question: Are you sure your tell tale airbag light is actually working?

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Last edited by Koolflyer on Thu 06 Feb, 2014 08:47, edited 1 time in total.
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1997 Z3 2.8 (M52) Roadster Montreal blue
2013 330d (F31) M Sport Alpine White

Brian4
Joined: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 19:02
Posts: 539

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Hinckley

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Brian4 » Wed 05 Feb, 2014 19:40

Just South of Leicester if thats any good.
Brian
3.0I Topaz Blue


2000 E36/7 Z3 3.0i
2016 F31 335d
2015 F21 118i

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Koolflyer
Joined: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 16:51
Posts: 579

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Koolflyer » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 22:56

Thanks Brian, if needs be I'll send you a PM :cheers
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1997 Z3 2.8 (M52) Roadster Montreal blue
2013 330d (F31) M Sport Alpine White

Jonco
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2011 08:24
Posts: 386

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Jonco » Fri 07 Feb, 2014 10:03

Koolflyer wrote: Considering that mine originates from Devon and R Dave's comes from the Midlands, it seems very coincidental that both airbag lights have both been deliberately blanked out :puzzle:. Am I missing something here? Question: Are you sure your tell tale airbag light is actually working?
There's probably a z.roguester site somewhere where they share ideas.

Mine passed the MOT last year and afterwards I was alerted to a potential problem by a post on this forum. When I subsequently removed the instrument cluster I found another variation of the fiddle in that, the bulb was removed (common enough) but a length of plastic tube had been inserted with a blob of black silicone rubber in it to hide the back-up LED.

When chatting to my friendly MOT tester about it later, he was rather embarrassed because he had missed it and should have failed it.

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Koolflyer
Joined: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 16:51
Posts: 579

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Koolflyer » Sat 08 Feb, 2014 13:46

There's probably a z.roguester site somewhere where they share ideas.
...brilliant! :D
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1997 Z3 2.8 (M52) Roadster Montreal blue
2013 330d (F31) M Sport Alpine White

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RockyDave
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:18
Posts: 45

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by RockyDave » Sun 09 Feb, 2014 19:08

I really can't believe there are so many posts relating to people "covering up" the airbag warning light :head:
Sorry to say I must now add to this. After having the instrument panel out to replace the three dash lights I noticed that the airbag light was missing, but unlike KoolFlyer when we investigated further there was no bits of rag stuffed down the "bulb hole" everything looked as it should, but when we shone a light down the bulb hole - nothing :( However, when we reconnected the battery there was a clearly a light visible from the back of the dash but nothing visible from the front! I can only assume someone has managed to put something at the bottom go the bulb hole. On investigating further it does look like some one has managed to "split" the instrument panel. Is this possible, Has anybody any experience of undoing the 5 Allen bolts and splitting the instrument panel?
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2002 Z3 2.2i Sport Roadster Titanium Silver
2008 E61 520d Deep Sea Blue
1955 R25/3 motorcycle

Jonco
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2011 08:24
Posts: 386

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Jonco » Sun 09 Feb, 2014 19:34

RockyDave wrote:I.......... can only assume someone has managed to put something at the bottom go the bulb hole. On investigating further it does look like some one has managed to "split" the instrument panel. Is this possible, Has anybody any experience of undoing the 5 Allen bolts and splitting the instrument panel?
I have commented previously about tubing and black sealant on mine - when I removed these there was some residual sealant on the back of the `bulb window'. I managed to scratch this off with a terminal screwdriver and then vacuum it out. Might be worth a try rather then risk splitting panel.

swappy
Joined: Sun 14 Dec, 2014 18:28
Posts: 28

  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by swappy » Fri 19 Dec, 2014 20:16

Hi this is my first post here, bought my first Z3 about a week ago its a 1999 2.0l in Topaz blue. Anyway long story but on driving the car home i noticed a strange looking warning light slightly glowing in the bottom right of the instruments, found out it is the air bag light but guess what some T**T has ethier put something down the back of the lens after removing the bulb and now it just looks like a big black dot with a glowing edge and it stays on all the time.
I bought a cheap air bag reset tool and it gives me the codes Fo, 11 and 2 I think these relate to the passenger seatbelt switch can anybody confirm this. I tried to clear the error codes but to no avail they seem to come back instantly and i suppose till i take the clocks out and investigate further i'm wasting my time.
I would like to get the airbag system working but after reading some of these posts looks like it might just be a process of elimination.
Apart from a couple of minor niggles i think the car is great and the straight six sounds superb. :D
Glad to meet you all i'm sure i'll have lots to ask in the future.

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pingu
Joined: Fri 30 Apr, 2004 17:01
Posts: 3367

  M roadster S50

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by pingu » Fri 19 Dec, 2014 23:17

swappy wrote:Hi this is my first post here, bought my first Z3 about a week ago its a 1999 2.0l in Topaz blue. Anyway long story but on driving the car home i noticed a strange looking warning light slightly glowing in the bottom right of the instruments, found out it is the air bag light but guess what some T**T has ethier put something down the back of the lens after removing the bulb and now it just looks like a big black dot with a glowing edge and it stays on all the time.
I bought a cheap air bag reset tool and it gives me the codes Fo, 11 and 2 I think these relate to the passenger seatbelt switch can anybody confirm this. I tried to clear the error codes but to no avail they seem to come back instantly and i suppose till i take the clocks out and investigate further i'm wasting my time.
I would like to get the airbag system working but after reading some of these posts looks like it might just be a process of elimination.
Apart from a couple of minor niggles i think the car is great and the straight six sounds superb. :D
Glad to meet you all i'm sure i'll have lots to ask in the future.
If it is the passenger seat, it's a very common fault, and quite an easy fix. I'm just off Jct 25 M1, whereabouts are you? If you are close I can show you how to fix it. It's best to undo the seat bolts and lean the seat forward to secure the wires underneath. It's rare for a wire to break, but they just need to be disconnected for a fraction of a second and the light will be on for ever. The main thing to cause the wires to be disconnected is the seat being moved backwards and forwards. Now this (moving the seat) is part of the MOT, I expect a lot of Z3s to start getting advisories for airbag warning lights (it is NOT a FAIL).
Pingu

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Jonttt
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Joined: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 16:32
Posts: 6543

  M roadster S54
Location: Liverpool

Re: Missing Airbag bulb in the instrument panel

Post by Jonttt » Fri 19 Dec, 2014 23:56

Koolflyer wrote:Hi, I fitted the slightly later steering wheel to my '97 2.8 about 4 months ago.........
When you say later do you mean a post 04/99 two stage airbag wheel :?

If so it won't work as designed as your car is the earlier single stage SRS system.

That should not cause the light to come on however as the car will detect an airbag present, it will just deploy dangerously depending on which circuit has been wired in. Worst case you wire both airbag circuits and get full dual stage deployment on a slow speed bump, ouch!

Re the topic, it's been common practice / compulsory for airbag check lights to show as working on ignition for all makes of cars since before the Z3 were made so why do people just ignore / not bother to check the light comes on every time, no good blaming previous owners IMHO, the easiest check to do on any car surely.

Ps if the warning circuit is triggered / light bypassed = your airbags will not deploy, they are disabled to avoid false activation because of the fault reading.

Simply check the light comes on when you start any car, it's not rocket science, they come on for a reason.
Happiness is not around the corner........happiness is the corner
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