I have a 1998 528i that has a constant airbag light on (passenger side). I can't get it past MA inspection because of safety reasons. My local mechanic says that his computer can't diagnose it enough (code 18). The dealer wants $119/hr just to diagnose the problem, let alone parts and labor. FYI, in 2006, I had the whole seat sensor unit replaced and after 6 months the light went on. The dealer wouldn't help me with repairs. The seat is hardly used. Please help...
I took it to a local mechanic (AAA certified) and he said that his computer can't diagnose it (code 18). I had the entire sensor replaced a few years ago. Light went on when I put my briefcase on it. I need to know what's wrong and how much it should cost.
Unfortunately you are going to have to get a dealer diagnosis in order to get to the bottom of this. The scan tools used by independant mechanics (as you are experiencing) are not sophisticated enough.
This could very well be the seat sensor again, but it could be another component in the passenger restraint system that has failed.
$119 is a fair price for a dealer diagnosis. Once the failed part has been identified, you will have to pay BMW msrp for the replacement, as well as the dealer's labor rate to have it installed. This is unfortunately part of the cost of owning a BMW.
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