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Airbag Module, Blue Tooth Antenna and iDrive Controller Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Airbag Module, Blue Tooth Antenna and iDrive Controller Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Plastic trim panel tool, Torx driver T20, T30. Phillips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Bluetooth antenna, airbag module, iDrive controller

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before beginning

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty electrical parts

Complementary Modification:

Clean debris and spills from under center console

There are three electronic components located on the interior transmission tunnel that tend to be troublesome, mostly due to moisture or physical damage. This is the number one area beverage spills gather and electronic component function goes south quickly once they get wet, if they don't fail completely when initially doused. I have had luck drying out electronic components in the past. So if you get to the spill fast enough, you may be able to save the component. If trying to save one, detach the electrical connector and allow it to sit for 24 hours in a dry environment. If it doesn't come back to life after drying, you will have to replace it.

The iDrive controller is located on the top of the center console and can be replaced once the center console is removed. Below the center console is the Bluetooth antenna. Deeper beneath the componentry on the transmission is the airbag control module. When considering replacing these items, keep in mind the need for some coding or programming. The Blue tooth antenna is just a quick swap with no programming required. The iDrive controller and airbag module require programming using an advanced BMW scan tool. With that said, don't feel you can't replace these items yourself. You can keep the overall cost of the repair down by replacing the parts yourself, then having the components programmed at a BMW garage. A faulty iDrive controller results in no iDrive menu functions. It can also fail mechanically, resulting in notchy knob operation or looseness. The Blue Tooth antenna failures I have seen are mainly due to moisture, resulting in Blue Tooth connection issues. Airbag control modules will set faults for internal error or short. These faults require replacement of the control module.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Start by removing the center console. See our tech article on center console replacing.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacing.

iDrive controller: 
iDrive controller: This photo shows the iDrive knob, which is part of the iDrive controller.
Figure 1

iDrive controller: This photo shows the iDrive knob, which is part of the iDrive controller. If the knob feels clunky or loose, replace the entire controller. 

iDrive controller: With the center console removed, but still on the transmission tunnel, flip it over to access the iDrive controller electrical connector.
Figure 2

iDrive controller: With the center console removed, but still on the transmission tunnel, flip it over to access the iDrive controller electrical connector. Squeeze the release tabs on the main electrical connector (green arrow) to remove the connector. Note the routing of the smaller connector (red arrow) you disconnected earlier. Mine was routed through the small square opening (blue arrow). Remove the controller from the center console. Then reverse the steps to install the new one. Code and program the controller using a BMW scan tool, as needed. Remember to clear any fault codes when complete.

iDrive controller: Using a T10 Torx driver, remove the four iDrive controller (blue arrow) fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 3

iDrive controller: Using a T10 Torx driver, remove the four iDrive controller (blue arrow) fasteners (red arrows).

Blue Tooth antenna: 
Blue Tooth antenna: The Blue Tooth antenna (red arrow) is mounted to the air duct that runs beneath the center console.
Figure 4

Blue Tooth antenna: The Blue Tooth antenna (red arrow) is mounted to the air duct that runs beneath the center console. Start by removing the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it off the antenna (inset).

Blue Tooth antenna: Using a T10 Torx driver, remove the two Blue Tooth antenna fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 5

Blue Tooth antenna: Using a T10 Torx driver, remove the two Blue Tooth antenna fasteners (red arrows).

Blue Tooth antenna: Then remove the antenna from the air duct.
Figure 6

Blue Tooth antenna: Then remove the antenna from the air duct. Note the rust stains (red arrows) caused by moisture, likely from a beverage spill. This was the killer of the antenna on my subject vehicle. Then reverse the steps to install the new one.

Airbag control module: 
Airbag control module: Working at the right side rear of the transmission tunnel air duct, lever off the wiring harness clip (red arrow).
Figure 7

Airbag control module: Working at the right side rear of the transmission tunnel air duct, lever off the wiring harness clip (red arrow). I use a flathead screwdriver and lever the mount off the duct. If you prefer, you can cut the zip tie strap off and reattach the harness to the mount when complete.

Airbag control module: Then remove the air duct from the transmission tunnel by sliding it toward the rear of the vehicle, detaching it from the heater box.
Figure 8

Airbag control module: Then remove the air duct from the transmission tunnel by sliding it toward the rear of the vehicle, detaching it from the heater box.

Airbag control module: You now have access to the airbag control module.
Figure 9

Airbag control module: You now have access to the airbag control module. Disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and sliding the connector out (inset).

Airbag control module: Using a T30 Torx driver, remove the three airbag control module fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 10

Airbag control module: Using a T30 Torx driver, remove the three airbag control module fasteners (red arrows).

Airbag control module: When installing the new control module, be sure the arrow (red arrow) on the sticker points toward the front of the vehicle.
Figure 11

Airbag control module: When installing the new control module, be sure the arrow (red arrow) on the sticker points toward the front of the vehicle. Then reverse the steps to install the new one. Code and program the airbag control module using a BMW scan tool, as needed. Remember to clear any fault codes when complete.

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Comments and Suggestions:
marty Comments: hi guys..where is the SGM - safety gateway module Located on a BMW 545 2005 model.
My module has been diagnosed faulty due to prolonged non battery coding. Seems a joke to me , but i must locate this module.
some are saying LH boot doesnt seem to be there others say behind glove compartment.
any ideas?! thanks
December 2, 2016
Pablo2011E90 Comments: I have a 2011 e90. Im about to replace the idrive controller it doesn't turn on so i guess its blown/fried because there is power coming from the connection. But does anyone know what is the proper voltage the plug should be, the multimeter says its close to 15volts, i whant to be sure before connecting the new controller and have the same thing happen to the new one. Thanks.
September 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a wiring diagram to be sure your are on the right wire. 15 volts sound high.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
PabloE90 Comments: Any one know what is the proper voltage on the wire feeding the idrive controller? The one i have is fried/blown and just order a new one. I checked the wire with a multimeter and it says close to 15 volts. I dont want to connect the new one and have the same thing happen to it.. Thanks
September 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a wiring diagram to be sure your are on the right wire. 15 volts sound high.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
PabloE90 Comments: Thanks for the reply. Air bag and module has not been repaired the air bag light is on. I checked and the controller is still plugged. Does the air bag module have to do anything with the controller or idrive? Also the radio, cd, aux works i use the seek botton to skip or seek stations or tracks. , the 1-6 preset and voice command button dont work. Voice command works only when the key is inserted and dash on. But stops working when i turn on the car.
September 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Airbag is it's own high priority circuit. Nothing to do with iDrive. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PabloE90 Comments: I have a E90 with the idrive controller not working, it doesn't even light up. The steering wheel air bag was deployd due to a small accident, i had to replace the positive battery cable after the accident. Before i replaced it, all electrical was working fine, but car didn't start due to the positive battery cable being detonated. After replacing it, the idrive controller stoped working. Is it because the air bag module setting a code? Will i need a new controller or reprogramming the unit will fix it? Thanks
September 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Was the airbag module replaced? if so, the iDrive controller may have been left unplugged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:37:47 AM