E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 23 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-16-2010, 09:42 PM   #1
jorg323
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NOVA/Washington D.C.
Posts: 881
My Ride: 1999 323i
DIY: Center Console Removal & SRS Module Replacement

My SRS light came on a while ago, and after having a shop read the codes, I was given the verdict that my SRS/airbag module had died. This unit is like the brain for the entire SRS system: it monitors and controls all the airbags, pyrotechnic seatbelt tensioners, and the battery's pyrotechnic safety terminal, and it stores crash data in the event of an accident. It is known alternately as the MRS module or, simply, the airbag control module.

The part itself is relatively easy to reach and replace; however, you will need to get the new unit flashed/coded by a shop, or someone with an applicable scan tool. This guide will show you, step by step, how to remove and replace the SRS module. It also works equally well as a guide for those that just want to remove their center console.

NOTE: Although I have experience working in an automechanic shop, I am NOT a mechanic by trade. I am not responsible for any damages incurred by the use of this guide; follow it at your own discretion. Also, because the SRS system is so integral to the car's safety features (and key to your safety), do not attempt this job if you do not feel comfortable doing so. Instead, seek out the services of a professional.

The SRS module is located in the same place for all E46 models: directly behind the shifter, over the center tunnel and below the cup holders, underneath the carpet.

Tools needed:
- Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers (the reversible one from the BMW kit works fine)
- Knife or box cutter
- Ratchet w/10mm socket (an extension helps, as well)

Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery cable. (This should generally be done before working on all parts of the electrical system, but is an extra good idea when working with a system as important - and sometimes delicate - as the airbag system. I don't know if it's possible, but I certainly didn't want to risk the airbags going off while I was working.)

Step 2: Remove the cup holders and coin holder by simply pulling up on them from the middle point.


Step 3: Moving to the back of the console, remove the ashtray by pushing down on the folding cover until the tray pops out.


Step 4: Using the Phillips screwdriver, remove the two plastic screws in the ashtray cradle and lift it out...


Step 5: ...remembering to disconnect the wire for the convenience light on the side.


Step 6: Using the Phillips driver again, remove the two screws restraining the back of the console.


Step 7: Now there's a separate "cover" piece of the console that needs to come out. Gently insert the flathead screwdriver between the lips of the main piece and the cover piece and lift the cover up a bit. Working/pulling from the crease that separates the two pieces, carefully remove the cover. Watch out for the little "ear flaps" that cover the hinge of the armrest, as they tend to bend some and will snap if you're not careful.


Step 8: Moving to the hand brake, unclip the boot by pushing in towards the handle from the base/border. I found the easiest spot to do this was up near the corner, as shown. Lift the boot up and partway over the handle to get it out of the way, as shown in the inset.


Step 9: Now move up to the shifter and unclip the boot in the same fashion. I only used one hand in the picture to give an idea of where to push inwards (one hand had to hold the camera, afterall), but it's easiest to do so with both hands. Pull the boot up and over, like before, to get it out of the way.
Note: In the inset you can see the retaining clips that keep the boot attached.


Step 10: Remove the two Phillips screws at the base of the shifter trim. These are what hold the console down in the front; the console extends underneath the trim just a little bit, so all you really need to do is push the trim up and out of the way, but you can disconnect the window buttons after this step and remove the whole trim piece if you want.


Step 11: Now the whole console piece should be loose. Pull up from the back and carefully slide the console over the armrest and hand brake boot (gently work the boot through the opening). Don't yank it or pull it away completely quite yet, because...


Step 12: ...you need to disconnect the wiring leads for the central locking button and the emergency flashers.


Step 13: Now you should have unrestricted access to the module's location. It's located underneath the carpet, but there should be a rectangular flap that lifts up and allows you some access. Pull this flap open and fold it over, tucking it away between the seat and the center tunnel as shown. Now comes the grittiest part of the whole operation. You'll need to cut the carpet in order to get better access to the module and to reach the plug. This can be hazardous if you don't cut carefully, as there are wire clusters running underneath the carpet here in several places. Take the knife or box cutter and carefully make ~2-inch long incisions in the areas shown. I found it easiest to insert the blade only through the very top layer; the carpet rests on top of some (presumably fireproof) spongy insulation, which can easily be torn away by hand. This minimizes the risk of slicing through wiring accidentally.
Note: The connector plug for the module is under the cut point at the bottom-left of the picture below. The reason you need to cut around here is that the plug is virtually unreachable otherwise. Cutting an opening here will also let you maneuver the module later (to provide easier access to the plug) by giving the wire cluster space to move.


Step 14: Using the ratchet and 10mm socket, remove the three nuts keeping the module bolted down. Gently remove the ground wire underneath the bottom nut.


Step 15: Find the yellow connector plug at the base of the module. Pull the white slider to the right to unlock and detach the plug.


Step 16: Install the new module and get it coded (I suggest you do this before you put everything back together, just in case there are any problems). Finally, reinstall everything by following the reverse of the removal procedure (remember to return the ground wire to its place).


Congratulations! Your SRS module should now be good, your airbags will work again, that pesky SRS light will no longer be illuminated, and everything should be back to normal.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to shoot me any questions or comments.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1.JPG
Views:	12764
Size:	38.8 KB
ID:	344987   Click image for larger version

Name:	2.JPG
Views:	12102
Size:	40.3 KB
ID:	344988   Click image for larger version

Name:	3.JPG
Views:	11920
Size:	49.9 KB
ID:	344989   Click image for larger version

Name:	4.JPG
Views:	11821
Size:	27.5 KB
ID:	344990  

Click image for larger version

Name:	5.JPG
Views:	11804
Size:	37.9 KB
ID:	344991   Click image for larger version

Name:	6.JPG
Views:	11787
Size:	47.2 KB
ID:	344992   Click image for larger version

Name:	7.JPG
Views:	11714
Size:	36.6 KB
ID:	344993   Click image for larger version

Name:	8.JPG
Views:	11839
Size:	47.9 KB
ID:	344994  

Click image for larger version

Name:	9.JPG
Views:	12596
Size:	35.0 KB
ID:	344995   Click image for larger version

Name:	10.JPG
Views:	12044
Size:	48.1 KB
ID:	344996   Click image for larger version

Name:	11.JPG
Views:	13663
Size:	39.0 KB
ID:	344997   Click image for larger version

Name:	12.JPG
Views:	12094
Size:	44.5 KB
ID:	344998  

Click image for larger version

Name:	13.JPG
Views:	13889
Size:	42.4 KB
ID:	344999   Click image for larger version

Name:	14.JPG
Views:	11790
Size:	33.4 KB
ID:	345000   Click image for larger version

Name:	15.JPG
Views:	12017
Size:	49.8 KB
ID:	345001  
__________________


18" Black ASA AR1 Rims | Yokohama Advan S4 Tires | Bilstein Sport Shocks | Eibach Pro-Kit Springs | Brembo Slotted Rotors | 6000k Xenons | 6000k P. Chrom. Angel Eyes | Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights | K&N FIPK CAI | M-Tech II Front Bumper | 35% Tint | Clear Corners | Matte Black Grille

Last edited by jorg323; 02-02-2010 at 08:50 PM.
jorg323 is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 01-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
mvrk10256
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 3,904
My Ride: E30 325i
Send a message via AIM to mvrk10256
pics fail.please reup. i need this diyu
__________________
mvrk10256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 09:46 PM   #3
jorg323
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NOVA/Washington D.C.
Posts: 881
My Ride: 1999 323i
Which pics? My browser shows all of them.
__________________


18" Black ASA AR1 Rims | Yokohama Advan S4 Tires | Bilstein Sport Shocks | Eibach Pro-Kit Springs | Brembo Slotted Rotors | 6000k Xenons | 6000k P. Chrom. Angel Eyes | Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights | K&N FIPK CAI | M-Tech II Front Bumper | 35% Tint | Clear Corners | Matte Black Grille
jorg323 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 10:08 PM   #4
ALE46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brunei
Posts: 195
My Ride: E36 325i & E46 318i
Can't see any pics either.
ALE46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
jorg323
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NOVA/Washington D.C.
Posts: 881
My Ride: 1999 323i
Damn, that's strange, I can see them all. I'll try re-upping them...
__________________


18" Black ASA AR1 Rims | Yokohama Advan S4 Tires | Bilstein Sport Shocks | Eibach Pro-Kit Springs | Brembo Slotted Rotors | 6000k Xenons | 6000k P. Chrom. Angel Eyes | Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights | K&N FIPK CAI | M-Tech II Front Bumper | 35% Tint | Clear Corners | Matte Black Grille
jorg323 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
mvrk10256
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 3,904
My Ride: E30 325i
Send a message via AIM to mvrk10256
ya, please reup them. we get the little broken link boxes.
__________________
mvrk10256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 10:20 PM   #7
jorg323
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NOVA/Washington D.C.
Posts: 881
My Ride: 1999 323i
Any better?
__________________


18" Black ASA AR1 Rims | Yokohama Advan S4 Tires | Bilstein Sport Shocks | Eibach Pro-Kit Springs | Brembo Slotted Rotors | 6000k Xenons | 6000k P. Chrom. Angel Eyes | Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights | K&N FIPK CAI | M-Tech II Front Bumper | 35% Tint | Clear Corners | Matte Black Grille
jorg323 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
trippmann
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: nj monmouth county
Posts: 900
My Ride: E30
Send a message via AIM to trippmann
works for me. using google chrome.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by DylloS View Post
I'm surprised along with "making 100k a year, and dating super models" this forum doesn't have "make my girl cum every time" to the list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tampa02e46 View Post
^It seriously was the worst decision of my life to sign up for this site.
trippmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2010, 02:34 AM   #9
kuksul08
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: California
Posts: 2,108
My Ride: M3
Pics work fine for me.

Thanks for the DIY! I am going to see if I can get mine re-coded, and if not, I will be doing this.
__________________

Look at that subtle jet-black coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a 6mt.
S54 Valve Adjustment Spreadsheet & Info: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28231781/S54...ent%20info.zip
S54 VANOS DIY Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SkT2j3jsU0
kuksul08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 02:26 AM   #10
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Thanks.
This will be of great help to me this weekend.
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 12:50 AM   #11
WBVenom
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 206
My Ride: Car 54
Bumping this. Thanks for the DIY.
WBVenom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 06:47 AM   #12
sharpx
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 542
My Ride: E60
Great DIY guide - I might need to do this... my MRS module will not communicate with either a GT1 computer nor the Peake SRS tool.

Do you know what code or symptoms indicate that this module is definitely in need of being replaced?

My car has never been involved in a collision, so I'm not sure if replacement is needed.
sharpx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2010, 11:49 PM   #13
jorg323
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NOVA/Washington D.C.
Posts: 881
My Ride: 1999 323i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpx View Post
Great DIY guide - I might need to do this... my MRS module will not communicate with either a GT1 computer nor the Peake SRS tool.

Do you know what code or symptoms indicate that this module is definitely in need of being replaced?

My car has never been involved in a collision, so I'm not sure if replacement is needed.
My car was never in a collision, either - it seems the module was just old and the electronics started to fry (although I must admit, I'm suspicious as to whether or not it had something to do with my aftermarket lighting setup messing with the electrical system. Probably not, but... )

I'm not sure what codes were thrown. I had the SRS light pop on and got a shop to check it out. IIRC, they said it was throwing a code that designated the module was faulty. They gave me a code number but I believe I tossed the invoice of the initial diagnosis a while ago.
__________________


18" Black ASA AR1 Rims | Yokohama Advan S4 Tires | Bilstein Sport Shocks | Eibach Pro-Kit Springs | Brembo Slotted Rotors | 6000k Xenons | 6000k P. Chrom. Angel Eyes | Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights | K&N FIPK CAI | M-Tech II Front Bumper | 35% Tint | Clear Corners | Matte Black Grille
jorg323 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 03:57 PM   #14
Autobot325i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 839
My Ride: 2003 325i E46
Send a message via AIM to Autobot325i
my pass airbag light is on too...and the oem alarm goes off pretty often are the two related..anyone know?
__________________
***NEW UPDATE***
1985 318i E30
Autobot325i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2010, 03:41 AM   #15
Giorgio 328i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 64
My Ride: BMW E46 328i
Great DIY. Thanks!
Giorgio 328i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 03:59 PM   #16
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,227
My Ride: E46 - M3 & 325i
Bump for a great thread. I'm installing the center armrest and needed to know how to remove the shift boot.
__________________
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
alumniu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rockford, IL
Posts: 37
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330i
Anyone know if a used airbag module will work without being recoded? I am trying to avoid paying $200 to have my local indy code another module. They said they don't know if they would even be willing to code a used unit, so they wanted to get me a new one for $500. All this just to be able to communicate with the system to see why the airbag light came on in the first place!
alumniu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 03:37 AM   #18
E46 RED
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Split, Croatia
Posts: 118
My Ride: E46 318i
please can someone send me OEM part number of E46 98 or 99 of airbag control modul with steering wheel like this
__________________
E46 RED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 07:27 PM   #19
MrInternational
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 38
My Ride: 2003 330CI
Quote:
Originally Posted by alumniu View Post
Anyone know if a used airbag module will work without being recoded? I am trying to avoid paying $200 to have my local indy code another module. They said they don't know if they would even be willing to code a used unit, so they wanted to get me a new one for $500. All this just to be able to communicate with the system to see why the airbag light came on in the first place!
Try to get a used one from a make and model that matches yours. I know this is an old thread and you probably already had this addressed but just FYI for anyone else looking to replace theirs.

Thanks again to the OP for this as I just got done with mine and it was pretty quick with the right tools.
MrInternational is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use