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Air Bag Light Flashing


vetisme's Avatar
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06-02-04, 12:55 PM   #1  
Air Bag Light Flashing

I have a 1995 Ford Windstar van. I was trouble shooting the horn which involved disconnecting the air bag/horn unit that sits in the steering wheel cavity. Those familiar with this vehicle know that they are built into one unit. Disconnecting the unit involved uncoupling the horn circuit and the air bag circuit. Once I reconnected everthing the air bag console light periodically flashes even though I reconnected that circuit. It recouples/connects only one way and I checked it twice. Thinking I set an error code, I disconnected the battery for half an hour and then reconnected it but the light still comes on. What gives? Is it a hard code thar requires specialized eqipment to purge? I am inclined to drive the car for a while with the hope that the computer will reset itself. Any advice? Also, I know I should have disconnected the battery BEFORE I began this proceedure to prevent an accidental triggerring of the air bag and, perhaps to avoid a setting of an error code. Fortuantely, everything worked out other than I now have the intermitant flashing of the air bag light.

 
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06-02-04, 01:05 PM   #2  
You are a brave (or uniformed) man. Airbag systems are something the shadetree should under no circumstances mess with in my opinion. You can cause them to go off accidentally, even if the battery has been disconnected.

 
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06-02-04, 02:26 PM   #3  
Would almost have to be the air bag or the clockspring assembly or the connection between the 2.I personally feel an air bag job should be repaired by a pro for safety and liability reasons.How much did you take apart?From the sound of it you need a new airbag assuming you didn't short the air bag diagnostic module out somehow.If you can get the codes read and numbers with desrciptions posted we can try to help.Be warned the el cheapo obd2 code readers will not do this.

 
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06-02-04, 03:50 PM   #4  
Forget about clearing codes. It goes through a self diagnostic every time the key is cycled on so that means you have a hard fault. I'm assuming you were troubleshooting the horn because it didn't work. A faulty clockspring could account for both problems but I'm going to agree with the previous posters. This is NOT a job for a DIY. You don't have the equipment needed to read those codes anyway.

 
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06-02-04, 07:19 PM   #5  
The "Pro's" at a certified ford dealership, after I paid $90, will not troubleshoot the horn unit which is part of the air bag unit. They want $600 to replace the entire unit. Six months ago, rather than pay $600, I found a broken wire in the horn circuit. The wire was installed too short and a hard turn eventaully broke it. I resoldered it and it worked fine until recently when I punched the horn after someone cut me off and the horn would not stop sounding. I suspect I misaligned the brass contacts in the horn unit (if you ever looked inside one of these units) so I essentially made sure the brass contacts were in the right place and the horn again works great. However when I plug it in along with the air bag plug in (you need to disconnect both to get at the horn side) I now get the air bag light flashing. I am not trouble shooting the air bag circuit but I have to disconnect it along with the horn to check out ther horn side. So, all I have done to the air bag circuit is disconnect it and reconnect it (I know- don't even do this and further don't punch the horn) and I now get the blinking light. Thanks.

 
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06-03-04, 01:49 AM   #6  
The difference between you and the dealer is that they intend to repair it and you intend to "patch job" it. Sorry, I agree with them.

 
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06-03-04, 04:28 AM   #7  
Desi: I sincerely appreciate the time and effort you and others bring to this forum but I disagree with your lastest imput. Their repair solution was to take out the entire unit and replace it with an entire unit at the cost of $600. I will conceed that some people will call that a repair and technically it is. I chose to troubleshoot the unit and resolder a broken wire that they did not find initially since they do not troubleshoot these units - but instead - they replace them. My troubleshooting, solved the initial problem. The latest problem is a new problem caused by me hitting the steering wheel. Resoldering a wire that had come loose is hardley a "patch". It was a fix.

Thanks for your advice. I will let you know how the flashing air bag problem was solved.

 
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06-03-04, 04:36 AM   #8  
I would sell you the whole air bag also the liability from repairing an air bag is astronomical if it fails to deploy in an accident.Alot of terminals and contacts are gold plated to prevent corrosion that would impede current flow.Most manufacturers(perhaps all)forbid field repair of air bag circuits.If you don't want to buy a new one seach for a used one.

 
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