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First Generation Faults & Fixes MINI faults and fixes 2001 - 2006

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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Airbag Warning Lamp

I have a 2002 Mini Cooper, recently the Airbag Warning Lamp came on and stayed on permanently, I hooked up a Scanner to the OBD port and got the message "Driver Seat Belt Tensioner", does this mean I need to buy a new Seat Belt Tensioner or is it just faulty cabling.

Last edited by Quatk90; Aug 6th, 2010 at 01:00 PM.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Usually it is due to bad wiring connections under the seat for the seat airbag or pre-tensioner. However the seatbelt pre-tensioner assembly itself can fail and go faulty. If so try to get a good secondhand one (much cheaper) from the companies linked below, but you may need to remove your seat to replace it more easily, and a large 'Torx' socket to undo the bolt holding the buckle/pre-tensioner to the seat subframe.

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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Ireland Airbag Warning Light

Disconnected the 2 connectors for the Seat Belt Tensioner and Airbag under drivers seat, reconnected them and used scanner to clear the fault code, result!, no warning light.
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Old Aug 29th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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I've had the same problem with my 2002 mini cooper, airbag light has been on and off for the past year, brought it several garages - one just turned it off with a computer, another clean the connections and this worked until someone sat in the passenger seat. Went back to garage was told it could be due to moving the seat forward and that it was causing the connections to stretch and become lose. Replaced the connection and light came back on after someone sat in the passenger seat. Have now been told that it could be the seat belt tensioner and was told by the garage that this part will be in next week and should be working fine once this is done. Bought the car with the light on because at the time I fell in love with it and was not aware of how big a problem it could have been. Its frustrating that I have had no luck in trying to fix the problem most garages just seem to turn it off using the computer. Run flat sensor was playing up too got that fixed and only seems to come on when tyre pressure is low. Using the car for my driving test but only wished I would have been aware of this issue with the airbag light at the time as I dont tihink I would have bought the car! Has anyone got any advice on this issue with the light?
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Old Sep 7th, 2010, 04:49 PM
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I've just had the same thing on my June 02 Cooper S.
The light came on when I tipped both seats forward to let people into the back (first time I've had passengers in the back of this car, not had it long).

I had it plugged in at a mates garage and and it came up with this fault code...

02 Ignition Circuit ZK1 / Belt Tensioner Driver

Any suggestions as to how I can cure this or identify which part is faulty?

Thank you.
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Old Sep 8th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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(Driver side seat buckle) has a pre-tensioner in it which is sets off in the case of an accident to tighten the seat belt around you. It is connected into the SRS airbag circuit by the blue connector under the seat, yellow is for seat airbag. Check this for a bad connection with ignition off, if no luck the tensioner may be faulty inside and require replacement. The buckle tensioner unit is expensive new (bolted to the seat frame base) but you may get a good used one from a specialist Mini breaker like:

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Note as with airbags be careful if handling, etc:
The combustion of the pyrotechnics within the pretensioner creates sudden pressure that is used to pull on the buckle side of the seatbelt mechanism.
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Old Oct 7th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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Airbag Fault Light

I purchased the Repair for the Driver Side Seat belt Tensioner, I know its the Blue connector under the seat which must be jumped, the colour of the wire in the repair Kit does not match any of the Wires going to & from the blue Connector under the seat, has anybody got a Wiring Diagramm showing where the Repair Kit wires need to be connected.
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Old Oct 15th, 2010, 09:50 PM
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I have fixed this myself on both seats.

One seat had a really poor attempt at a fix by the previous owner - the original wiring had been cut and fixed with a solder job that was not supported or stress relieved - pretty shoddy work in an airbag circuit!!!

I won't go into how I fixed that, this site may not be comfortable with people encouraging other people to play with the actual wiring of safety circuits. The actual wiring is not a problem (unless an incompetent ape has been working on your car before you bought it) - it is the connectors usually.

What I can recommend is stress relieving the connectors (remove battery negative cable before disconnecting any of the connectors, don't replace it until all airbag etc connectors are connected correctly).

I've seen the diagrams from the official BMW fix and it involves taping the cables and connectors in an S shape - ie start off with the connector turned the "wrong way" and make the shape below, then wrap it tight with electrical tape.

________________
\
|
/
---Connector---
/
|
\______________________________________
*Sorry, this looks right when I type it but when I submit it, everything zaps to the left*
*you'll have to imagine that the \ | /above the connector are about two inches right of where they appear*

Don't pull cables so tight that they have any very sharp bends in them (bad for wires)
Don't make the bends too relaxed - or you'll lose too much cable in the S shape and may run out of cable if you push the seat all the way back etc. The BMW fix involves putting in longer wiring to allow extra for this looping around. You'll just have to be careful!

Check your new setup by running the seat back and forth before you reconnect the battery - make sure nothing catches or gets stretched.

Doing this should reduce stress in the connector and prevent those split second resistance changes that trigger the fault light.


This will not reset the fault light, you will need the services of your local mechanic-with-a-laptop to reset this. Once he's done it, and is still standing nearby - you can try being cheeky and whizzing the seat back and forth a bit to check the quality of the fix. If you wait til the next day to try this, and the fix hasn't worked you may end up being charged again when you go back to have another fault cleared.

This worked for me but I fix electronic items all the time - if you're not confident don't do this!
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