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Airbag Module Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Airbag Module Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$500

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Plastic trim panel tool, Torx driver T20, T30

Applicable Models:

Z4 M54 (2003-05)
Z4M S54 (2006-06)
Z4 N52 (2006-06)
M3 (N/A-A)

Parts Required:

Airbag module

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before beginning

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty electrical parts

Complementary Modification:

Clean debris and spills from under center console

The airbag control module on BMW Z4 models is located on the interior transmission tunnel (beneath the center console) and can be troublesome, mostly due to moisture or physical damage. This is the number one area water leaks gather. 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.

Airbag control modules will set faults for internal error or short. These faults require replacement of the control module. Airbag modules also have to be replaced after an accident with airbag deployment. When considering replacing these items, keep in mind the need for coding or programming. For example, the VIN is stored in multiple modules, including the airbag module. If the VINs don't match, faults will be set. You can keep the overall cost of the repair down by replacing the parts yourself, then having the components programmed at a BMW workshop.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and 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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The airbag control module on BMW Z4 models is located on the interior transmission tunnel beneath the center console (red arrow).
Figure 1

The airbag control module on BMW Z4 models is located on the interior transmission tunnel beneath the center console (red arrow). 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. Wait 15 minutes before proceeding.

With the center console removed, the plastic console support has to be removed (red arrow) next.
Figure 2

With the center console removed, the plastic console support has to be removed (red arrow) next.

The support has two Phillips head screws on each side, difficult to see as they are covered by carpet (red arrows).
Figure 3

The support has two Phillips head screws on each side, difficult to see as they are covered by carpet (red arrows).

Working through the hole in the carpet, remove the lower (red arrow) and upper (blue arrow) Phillips head screws.
Figure 4

Working through the hole in the carpet, remove the lower (red arrow) and upper (blue arrow) Phillips head screws. Left side shown, right is similar.

Lift the support straight up to remove (red arrow).
Figure 5

Lift the support straight up to remove (red arrow).

Remove the three 10mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 6

Remove the three 10mm nuts (red arrows).

Lift the airbag module up to access the electrical connector at the right side.
Figure 7

Lift the airbag module up to access the electrical connector at the right side. Be sure to attach the ground wire (red arrow) as it was previously.

Press the buttons (red arrows) and swing the levers (blue arrows) open to disconnect them.
Figure 8

Press the buttons (red arrows) and swing the levers (blue arrows) open to disconnect them. Remove the module.

Inspect the terminals for signs of corrosion.
Figure 9

Inspect the terminals for signs of corrosion. If corroded, be sure to thoroughly clean the connector or replace damaged terminal as needed.

When installing the new control module, be sure the arrow on the sticker points toward the front of the vehicle.
Figure 10

When installing the new control module, be sure the 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. The VIN is stored in multiple modules (red arrow), including the airbag module. If the VINs don't match, faults will be set. Remember to clear any fault codes when complete.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:08:12 AM