B200 reset tool

The airbag light on the BMW MINI is located in the upper section of the dashboard display and if nothing else can be a distraction, and annoying.

Worse still it can be dangerous (and could invalidate your insurance) as the entire airbag system may or may not work in an accident depending on the problem.

Since the airbag system is a major safety system it should be repaired as soon as possible.

There are a number of reasons for the airbag light being on:- 

  1. The most common of which is change of the front seats, or steering wheel.
  2. Known intermittent fault, can cause the light to come on for no sensible reason, although it seems to be due to the wiring as BMW often change the wires and (sometime) cure the problem.
  3. Accident Damage.

 Whatever the need BMW make good money for a few minutes work, as they seem to charge between £50 and £100 plus vat to turn the light off!

If your car is in warranty and you have the intermittent fault - TAKE IT TO BMW MINI and insist they do it under the terms of the warranty.

If you have another cause, or you are out of warranty then the B200 tool can be cheaply purchased on eBay or the likes and is very effective, although the instructions are rubbish, and look like a very bad translation.

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The tool itself is very effective, and very easy to use.

What do you get for your £50?

Whats in the kit

  1. Nice black bag to store the unit in.
  2. Poorly written instructions with tables.
  3. Adapter for older BMW’s.
  4. Main unit with OBD port connection.

As with all things of this nature - IS IT VITAL to know what caused the airbag light to come on. If it’s your car you will almost certainly know if you have done anything to cause the light to come on. You will not be able to reset the light if you have not cured the problem.

This unit (and many others) plug into the OBD port which is located on all modern cars under the steering column/dashboard. To make accessing this easier I normally put the seat into the lowest and furthest back position. If you are not familiar with the location of the port you may find a torch helpful.

Reading the fault codes.

  1. With the ignition switched OFF open the small hinged cover that protects the port, and checking that you have the plug the right way round gently insert it into the port (it only goes in one way round), but do not force it as the pins are delicate.

  2. Switch the ignition ON - but do not start the car.

  3. The unit will display FA - I don’t know what this stands for but it reads the Fault in the Airbag system.

  4. Press the ENTER button on the B200

  5. The display will show letters or numbers - these are NOT the fault code. These relate to the table in the book that you must use to see the fault. Remember or make a note of the number. I think making notes is good with this type of fault as its always good to keep a record of what you did or tried.

  6. Press ENTER again and a number will come up on the display. This is the first fault code. Make a note of this number.

  7. Press ENTER again. If another number comes up on the display then this is another fault code. Make a note of this number also. Multiple codes are usual with many faults.

  8. Continue pressing ENTER and recording the numbers until the display shows –. That means that there are no further faults. If you continue pressing ENTER you can cycle around the table number, and fault codes again to check you noted them correctly.

  9. Check the book that is supplied for what the codes you read actually mean. The tables are fraught with spelling mistakes, but they seem accurate and can be understood. The codes were correct on the cars I have used the unit on, but I would be interested to hear anyone else’s experience.

You must deal with the fault before clearing the code. If you removed and refitted seats then the light should not really have come on, but if you removed the seats and replaced them with non-airbag ones then you will need a resistor in the circuit to “pretend” that the wiring is there. For this look on www.northamericanmotoring.com and you will find details.

If the car has been in an accident then replace the items as required.

Clearing the Fault Codes

Clearing the codes is a very similar process to reading them.

  1. If you have removed the unit then repeat 1 and 2 above - plug it in with ignition switched off, and then switch the ignition on, without starting the car.

  2. The unit will display FA for fault reading.

  3. Press the SCROLL button and it will display cA.

  4. Press ENTER.

  5. If the display shows — then all is good, you will also notice that the dash light goes off.

  6. If it does not show — or the dash light goes off and then comes back on again then you still have a problem.

  7. I have been told that trying to clear the code again can sometime clear it, but if not there is still a problem.

  8. One of the problems is with the seat connectors, and I understand some people have soldered the plugs to overcome issues, although I have never experienced this myself.

 This unit work fantastically on tall the cars I have tried it on, and my own cars are all table 10 in the book.

I would be very interested to hear anyone else’s experience with this unit, or suggestions for other ones. If you are in Norfolk and need your light turned off then you are welcome to pop by.

B200 and instruction booklet