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Old 05-19-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
limenuke
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A request from a new owner



Hey everyone! I got a 97 328i last Sunday. I've a request and I'm not sure if this is belongs in the LF section or just a really popular section of the website....

The car's dash had brake pad warnings (couldn't be true because owner just replaced the pads) and airbag lights (owner claims its a seatbelt issue) on the dash. I bought the car knowing this but when the owner delivered it to my house, the car had developed a check engine light which he explained to me was diagnosed to be due to Vehicle Speed Sensor A. He said that the airbag warning was due to driver side seatbelt buckle issue but that doesn't sound right to me since the car doesn't show that my seatbelt is unlatched on the dash. In addition, it doesn't make any noise when I start driving (the "bong bong bong" noise you normally get from cars when you drive without a seatbelt on).

I'm fairly sure the car, mechanically, is quite sound. It was driven for about 20 minutes for a test drive and in addition, about 40km on the highway. Engine was super smooth and clutch was nice too. No transmission problems and no heat problems from what I could tell, either.

Before I go and order+replace all these sensors, I want to re-diagnose all my stuff. Does anyone in Toronto happen to have any of the tools required to diagnose? I'd be willing to pay an amount for you to do this for me (less than the dealer/local garages, preferably) and travel. I will be in Toronto next weekend. I live around Warden/St.Clair.

Mark
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
Smitty
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Hey Mark, welcome to the forum and congrats on the purchase of your car!

My suggestion would be to contact the guys at StanceFactory for an assessment of the problems.
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Last edited by Smitty; 05-20-2011 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
328IScreamer
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I believe there are sensors in the pads. If you wear the pads enough you will trip the sensor telling you need to get new ones. It could be he just didn't replace the sensor when he replaced the pads.
If you have a bad wheel speed sensor your traction control light and abs lights will be on
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
limenuke
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That's really weird. The ABS+ traction (which I thought should be on as well) lights aren't on but according to the seller's friend + mechanic and a cell phone pic he took of the diagnostic, it was the speed sensor.

Is there anyone who has a diagnostic tool / knows a place where the mechanics won't rip you too hard? I'd love to bring the car into a shop if I know I'll be getting good value.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
Bimmer p.i.
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I don't know how common this is, but my '96 328 has the same two lights on, as well. The pad sensor and the airbag sensor. The pads are new, and there doesn't seem to be abt issue with the airbag deployment system, so I just ignore them as best as I can, since there doesn't seem to be any adverse affect to the car itself.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:42 PM   #6
SickFinga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limenuke View Post
The car's dash had brake pad warnings (couldn't be true because owner just replaced the pads)
Check if the brake pad sensor is there. There is one on the front left side and rear right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by limenuke View Post
He said that the airbag warning was due to driver side seatbelt buckle issue but that doesn't sound right to me since the car doesn't show that my seatbelt is unlatched on the dash. In addition, it doesn't make any noise when I start driving (the "bong bong bong" noise you normally get from cars when you drive without a seatbelt on).
Makes perfect sense. It's actually a very common problem.



I'm not sure about the Vehicle Speed Sensor. On E36 it's in the differential, but I'm not sure if it triggers the CEL though. I only had a problem with it on my eurospec E34 and it doesn't have CEL.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #7
limenuke
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Why does it make sense? Shouldn't the car tell me if my seatbelt is unbuckled (if that is really the issue)?

I'm saying that the prev. owner said it was the seatbelt causing airbag issue. But if that were the case, I'd get warnings for not having the seatbelt buckled when I start the car, right?
@_@


I need to get my car to StanceFactory but I'm in Waterloo during weekdays...this is going to be difficult.
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
zarbat007
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He is right about the seatbelt switch being the problem. Had the same problem with my E36. Previous owner had it changed in 2005 before I changed it again last summer.
I believe the sensor that is built into it goes bad.
Called the dealer, $350 if you have manual seats, $550 if you have power seats. Ouch. Got it used from a bimmerforums member.

Here is a DIY:
http://www.emotors.ca/articles/35.aspx

Last edited by zarbat007; 05-20-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:46 AM   #9
limenuke
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Did you get any seatbelt warning (ie: you arent buckled in; car complains) when your sensor broke or did it seem perfectly fine? Mine doesn't have any warnings at all except for airbag.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #10
zarbat007
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Hmm, I don't exactly remember...
In your case, the airbag light is on and you'd want to replace the seatbelt switch anyway.
So replace it and see if everything gets sorted out.
Remember, once you have replaced the seatbelt switch, you will need to reset the airbag light.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #11
Bmwstylz
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Step 1: You cut a hole in a box...

oops.. wrong thread

step 1: remove cluster

step 2: Pull out warning lights that are lit

step 3: Throw warning lights in garbage

Problem solved
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