Question about 2001 BMW 325

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Steering Wheel Radio and Cruise Control stopping work today and the Air Bag Light came on while driving through a parking garage. I heard a crunching sound as I turned the steering wheel to go around a curve then the light came on. It sound like something plastic broke.

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This is due to a broken clockspring behind the steering wheel. It works as a constant contact for all acessories on the steering wheel to include the air bag system. It is a simple ribbon of wire to allow for turning of the wheel incased in a plastic housing that shouldn't be messed with. If you mess with it internally, you run the risk of the airbag deploying in your face!! It is best purchased from BMW.

Posted on May 02, 2010

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Is the air bag light on? Most likely a clock spring failure. Located in behind the steering wheel. Have a pro look at it as this spring assembly needs to be installed/timed properly and can cause premature air bag deployment if not repaired properly

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hi dave well there have been issues with computers on those vans but all of your problems can be traced to the steering wheel. there is a part called a clock spring in the steering wheel that allows things like the horn and airbag to have an electrical contact while still being able to spin in a circle! you also have the cruise control running through the steeing wheel. anything unusual happen with the steering wheel. did it get wet or anything spilled on it? did you get a check engine light? the air bag light will come on if the control module loses contact with the air bag in the steering wheel but the check engine light will not come on if contact is lost with the controls for the cruise control. the horn is not monitored. a scanner would help here. parts stores have them and will often run it for free hoping you will buy parts from them. look for the computer to show the cruise control being requested when you try to turn it on. if nothing shows in the computer then you probably have a bad clock spring. this is a dealer only part and not cheap. maybe an independant repair shop would get a used one from a slavage yard for you. good luck

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1. Remove the lower steering column cover.
2. Remove the AIR BAG bolts from the back side of the steering wheel with a T-30 socket. Install the bolts back in the air bag for reassembly. The AIR BAG will snap into place when pushed down on carefully.
3. Remove 2 screws on the bottom of the steering wheel cover. The wires need to slide out so the switch can be removed.
4. Remove the cruise control switches.

The AIR BAG does not have to be disconnected to remove the switches, just don't let it flop around or stretch the wires.

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You need a new clockspring. It is behind the steering wheel, at the top of the steering column. It has wires wound around it like a clock. You will need to disconnect the battery, remove the air bag, then the steering wheel, and the steering column trim. Unbolt it, and install in reverse order.

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Bet switches in steering wheel are bad...Very common. Especially if it has a air bag and the air bag light is on...I would clean the switches or if it has a air bag and the light is on replace the clock spring for the air bag and the light will go off and cruise will work again......

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