How to Remove the Airbag Light on an E38 BMW?

Airbags play a fundamental role in all cars—safety. Unfortunately, these are also likely to fail or be faulty for one reason or the other, usually indicated by the airbag light. 

If you wish to remove the airbag light, you have two options. The first is to check the fuse box, particularly all the airbag-related fuses. Replace any of them that is blown or broken.

However, if there is no problem with the fuses, proceed to check the airbag sensors, usually two in number.  The airbag light will go off if both the two components are back in working order. 

This article explores more on how to remove the airbag light on E38 BMW and what a bad airbag would look or sound like. Read on. 

How to Remove the E38 BMW Airbag Light On

how to remove the airbag light on e38 bmw

Usually, what triggers the airbag light is when the airbag system is not working as it should. Its failure is a major cause for worry, and rightly so. When the light is on, it could mean that there are chances that the airbags will not be deployed in the event of an accident.

Therefore, you are advised to get to the root cause of the problem soon. However, if you want to remove the light, you can follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Check the Fuse Box

If there is an issue with the airbag light, the first thought to cross your mind should be to inspect all the air-bag related fuses in the fuse box. If there is any that is broken or blown, you should have them replaced and check to see if the light goes off. If they are okay, cue the next step.  

Step 2: Check the Airbag Sensors.

The other components that can be the cause of any issue with the airbag light are the airbag sensors. There are usually two sensors that play a major role in crash detection and when to deploy the airbags. Therefore, if any of the sensors are not working properly, the light is likely to come on. A special tool is needed to inspect the sensors and if you notice any problem, you can replace the sensor. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Airbag on BMW?

Besides the airbag light being on, there are several other symptoms of a bad airbag. These include the following;

The Rear Feels Loose or Spongy

Usually, the location of the suspension airbag is in the rear of the vehicle. It works by receiving air from the suspension compressor. The suspension airbag is a fundamental part of the drivability of the car on the rear end. Therefore, if it is leaking or receiving insufficient air from the compressor, the rear suspension is likely to feel spongy or loose. You can feel this symptom when slowly driving on a curvy road or over a speed bump. 

Bouncy or Rough Ride

One of the main functions of the rear suspension airbags is to offer ride comfort. This explains why they are fitted in some of the high-end premium cars such as Cadillac and Lincoln. You will notice that the car frequently produces a rough ride or is bouncy. This can be attributed to issues with the suspension airbag. 

Air Compressor Runs Frequently

Generally, when a pneumatic device cannot keep the air contained, this is usually attributed to a small leak. If that is the case, the automatic air compressor that is designed to detect the air pressure inside the suspension airbag will run frequently so as to maintain optimal air pressure. 

Vehicle Sags on One Side

Typically, suspension bags are put in place to keep suspension level as well as take off some weight. In the event of a leakage, the car is likely to sag on one side.  

What to Do if Your Airbag Light Is On

If the airbag warning light is still on even after you start the car, it could mean one of two things—either the airbag is faulty, or the light is. 

The airbag light only comes on if there is an issue with the airbag system. Usually, when you turn on the car, the light will come on for a few minutes and then go off if the system is working. However, if the light stays on, it indicates an issue with the system. So, what to do if the light is on? 

Troubleshoot the Problem

Troubleshooting the possible cause of the light should be the next course of action. Unfortunately, it is neither a quick nor an easy task. Still, you should not ignore the light because it means that the airbag system will not work as it should in the event of an accident.

You need to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic for a diagnostic check on the electronic control unit. It could be a computer problem or that the system was deactivated or faulty. 


It is important that the ECU is cleared before you can use the airbag. You can take your car to a local car dealer to perform the clearing process.  

Take the Vehicle to a Mechanic 

The best thing to do when the airbag light comes on is to take the vehicle to a mechanic. They are skilled in dealing with airbag lights and performing diagnostic checks on the internal system. 

Avoid Driving

You should avoid driving with the airbag light on. It becomes a dangerous proposition as the airbag is not likely to be deployed in case of an accident. 

How Much Does It Cost to Reset the Airbag Light?

When it comes to resetting the airbag light, the price will vary depending on the make and model of the car. However, the price ranges between $150 to $300. For most cars, an automatic Do Not Repair message will appear if there is an issue with the airbag sensor.

Ensure that you contact your dealer as soon as possible so they can have it fixed before it escalates. Any attempt to repair the issue by yourself is likely to result in further damage. 


Resetting the airbag light is an easy task, but is impossible to do without the scanner in most car models. This is usually for safety reasons since it is advisable to repair the fault only after the airbag light occurs. 

Yes, it is possible to drive your BMW E38 with the airbag light on, but it is not advisable. This poses a safety threat for you and other drivers. With the light on, you cannot rely on the functionality of the airbags—they are more likely to fail. 

The common reason why the airbag light stays on after a battery change is a low voltage. When the battery is replaced, the previous light stays on. To remove it, you have to reset the airbag light. 

Final Thoughts

The airbag is undoubtedly a vital part of any vehicle. Therefore, it is important that it is always in good working order. The airbag light is put in place to indicate issues with the airbag system. If it stays on, then it would be best to have it checked out to avoid serious consequences.

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