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Thread: Scan Tool for Air Bag Light

  1. #1
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    Scan Tool for Air Bag Light

    Hi,

    I have a lit air bag light in a 96 Metro LSI (3 cyl, 5 sp) that was originally bought as a rebuildable salvage car that was going to be converted to a solar car. The project fell through and it sat in the guy's garage since 96. I've got the car 99% put back together. It now has a total of 1000 original miles on it. Trouble is the guy who put it together does not do air bags as he's strictly a body man.

    The service manual says that pin 9 on the DLC is the air bag circuit.

    Here's a scan tool I think will work:

    http://www.obd2allinone.com/

    They offer a connector for $5.95 so that I can connect to pin 9:



    Has anybody used this scan tool or any scanner for the air bags?

    If so, what protocol/scanner did you use? You can pm me if you wish. I need to reset the system and read any trouble codes I get (hopefully none).

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Newbie Sedona's Avatar
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    OBDII doesn't reset airbag lights by design. There are some tools out there that do it and use the same port, but they are not OBDII tools and are usually only available to dealers or mechanics at very high cost.

    Most cars, particularly older ones, have a diagnostic mode override that will reset your warning lights that you can activate through some special trick like turning the ignition on and off while opening and closing the door. The trick is different for each car, but was how I reset my airbag light.

  3. #3
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    Take the bulb out

  4. #4
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    Oh I see. I was afraid of that. So the airbag protocol is most likely totally different from the OBDII. I was hoping that it was just simply a different protocol than the main ECM system and all I had to do was switch over.
    More than likely what will happen is I'll learn the override procedure just as soon as I've spent the money.

    I did originally plan on taking the bulb out

    But the problem is that the light has to flash 7 times on startup to indicate that the system is working and I'm not sure it will pass inspection. Still a thought though and I may try it anyway. Can't hurt.

    Thanks for your replies. I'm still open to suggestions of course.

  5. #5
    Banned Motorcity's Avatar
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    You may be opening the door to some legal trouble by removing the bulb, especially if you sell the car. Don't do it.
    If the light is on, there is a problem with the SRS system.
    The air bag module needs to be accessed directly in order to read the trouble code(s).
    Take the car to a GM dealer and pony up the hour labor charge for diagnostics.
    In the long run you will spend more time and money trying to DIY than you will spend on labor for a certified, trained tech to look at it.

  6. #6
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    Oh I plan on keeping the car for as long as I can and only wanted to be able to drive it myself as needed while I try to repair it. That's a very good point though because it's very possible I'd forget about it if I did eventually sell or even if someone else was driving it. I would absolutely never knowingly sell a car with an inoperative SRS nor would I let anyone drive it in that condition but fact is, if someone asked to borrow it I could very well forget about it and that would not be cool. A very good point, thanks.

    As stated in the original post the car has been rebuilt from an accident and as a result there has been a trouble code set from the collision. I can buy a scan tool that reads the codes for the cost of a labor charge but it doesn't clear the code. The system consists of one sensor in the front, the driver and passenger air bags, the clockspring and the SDM. It's not a rocket ship but they'll charge me NASA prices.
    I may very well pony up in the end but not before putting up a small, insignificant fight.

  7. #7
    Banned Motorcity's Avatar
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    If the car was wrecked and repaired, 3 things come to mind.
    1, the impact sensor is bad.
    2, the clockspring is bad.
    3, there is wiring damage.
    You can't just reset the SRS light. It will stay on as long as there is a fault in the system.
    I don't know about GM's clocksprings, but I can tell you for a fact on Chrysler's that 8 times out of 10 the connector to the airbaig burns slightly from the explosion when the bag deploys. I have replaced more clocksprings than I can remember.
    If the person who replaced the bag overlooked it, or dismissed it as only minor, this could be your problem.
    But, the impact sensor may be suspect as well. Some are not reusable after impact and require replacement.
    Wiring upfront could be damaged, since whoever did the body work may have overlooked it during repairs.
    Good luck

  8. #8
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    Hi Motor,

    *********You can't just reset the SRS light. It will stay on as long as there is a fault in the system.**********

    Oh, I see. Didn't realize that. The front sensor was replaced but the clockspring was not so I'll have to get another one then. Hopefully that will solve the problem. I really hope it's not the wiring because that would be a royal pain to replace even if it is a simple circuit. I also have an extra SDM so that can be replaced as well.


  9. #9
    Banned Motorcity's Avatar
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    Not to discourage you, but I would spend some more time diagnosing your system, rather than throwing parts at it. Who knows, you may just have a loose connector. Since the air bag(s) were deployed and subsequently replaced, the problem might simply be a loose connection at the (or one of if your car has 2) air bag.

  10. #10
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    I'll head up today and take a gander at all the connections. The car is about 20 miles from the nearest dealer and if it turns out that I do go there. Once I go there, I may be locked in to the repair with them because I'm not sure as to whether they would let me drive out with an inactive air bag system due to liability issues. Or at the least they may call the police to cover their asses.

    It may just be my overactive, paranoid imagination but I could easily see a situation where a dealership lets a car leave with an inoperative air bag system and then gets sued after an accident because "they" should have known not to let the car on the road. I'm sure it's happened before and I'm sure their legal dept. has strict rules about this stuff. So I'm trying to do what I can before I commit myself.

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