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Droverunner

Airbag ECU swap - trying not to need coding.

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Well the first of the next two ECUs arrived. Plugged it in with a feeling of dread I'd have another dud. Code read it and the ECU showed two historical codes for voltage and passenger seat mat... cleared these and rechecked... those codes went but still showed my passenger bag stage 1 error. Ign was on while reading the codes and noticed the airbag light flashing. So turned off ign and then started the car... airbag lamp went out. The code reader (pocket type not DIS) still showed passenger bag stage 1 error so I cleared that and read codes again... gone. Started car again and airbag light goes out.

 

Whoopee.... I've been carrying this fault for a few months and having got nowhere previously Mrs D and I had agreed... as it was the only thing wrong with what is otherwise a very genuine E39... we'd be prepared to pay BMW or a specialist up to £500 to resolve this. As it turned out with forum encouragement this time it has just cost £24 inc post for this ECU that's done the trick. The two previous duds have been refunded in full and the other backup that will probably arrive tomorrow I'll fit & code read... if it proves OK I'll re-sell on Ebay as a tested unit.

 

So thanks all.

Edited by Droverunner

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Oh yes and it does seem to confirm what others have said... if you get the same part number (and in my case the same version number) then as long as you have even a cheap code reader that covers airbag codes to clear any historical ones then the ECU is plug & play.

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Just a final bit of info. Having got the third ECU working OK with cleared codes the fourth arrived so I fitted that just to check if it was a good one. It was... same as the previous one it had a couple of codes logged related to the car it came from but they cleared in one go.

 

So my experience was a 50% success rate with used airbag ECUs from Ebay not having been crashed or internally faulty. Also both the ones that were OK were a straight plug and play with basic code deletion... no coding needed.

 

 

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Yes true and worth mentioning.

 

I was really commenting from the point I've been putting this job off for ages thinking all used ECUs would need me to take it to a specialists for coding (I'm really not good enough with the software to try and code myself) and if I'd have bought a duff ECU I'd have to pay for the coding attempt each time.

 

I was so pleased to find the units in my case would fit OK with no coding.

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