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Driver's Seat Side Air Bag Problems: Anyone Else Plagued With Air Bag Light?

Discussion in 'SVT Shelby GT500' started by ShelbyGT5HUN, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. ShelbyGT5HUN

    ShelbyGT5HUN Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Hello,

    I have a 2010, that was already serviced earlier this year, for a faulty air bag connector, under the driver's seat. The air bag light would stay on.

    The dealer followed the repair advice given by Ford (which was to test the connector for resistance, found high resistance, cleaned connector, and applied dielectric grease). This worked for about 8 months, but I got the air bag light to pop on, for the first time since the repair, as I was moving the seat last night. I like to sit tight to the wheel, so to get in and out, I have to slide the seat horizontally backwards, then forwards after I am seated.

    After two on/off cycles the air bag light has remained off, but I'm already thinking there is something going awry here, and am looking for others who might have had this problem in the past. If so, how was it fixed for you? Can I demand a new connector be installed? What other courses of action could I take? Car is still under Ford's factory warranty. I just want it fixed RIGHT!

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  2. Comp04svt

    Comp04svt Active Member Established Member

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    I am a GM technician by trade, and I deal mostly in electrical and restraint systems at the dealer I am at currently. GM has a lot of air bag connector issues, and I'm sure Ford does as well. There have been service bulletins (TSB's) upon service bulletins about these issues, along with recalls, lol. Some cars have different connectors they want you to use, some have you actually hard wire and eliminate the connector. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the connectors GM uses are the same as what Ford uses. In this day and age, everything is done cheaper and cheaper. In the old days there weren't as many issues with air bag connections as they used gold plated connections, to eliminate "terminal fretting" and high resistance, and of course due to cost, they don't as much now.

    Sounds like "terminal fretting" is your issue. Which "is a build-up of insulating, oxidized wear debris that can form when there is a small motion between electrical contacts. The oxidized wear debris can accumulate at the electrical contact points causing the electrical resistance across the connection to increase."

    Long story short, I would take it back and ask them if there are any new TSB's/bulletins for what you have going on. Honestly if there aren't any and they do the same repair as last time, you'll have the same issue again and again. Unless there is something telling them what connector to use, that's probably what they'll do, and if that is the case, the only permanent repair would be to eliminate the connector and hard wire the connections.
     
    ShelbyGT5HUN likes this.
  3. GT Premi

    GT Premi Well known member Established Member

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    I've had the airbag light on more than it's been off. I took it in and had a TSB "fix" performed on the connectors. A few weeks later, the light was right back on. I just lived with it. I swapped out the stock seats a couple months ago for some aftermarket race seats and found that the "fix" that they did was just to apply some tape to the connectors. :rolleyes:
     
  4. ShelbyGT5HUN

    ShelbyGT5HUN Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Comp04svt: Thanks for the great explanation. It seems that the money they saved by not gold plating the connectors, is costing them more in TSBs and recalls. It makes sense that movement causes this, as its under the seat.

    Have you ever hard wired a connection at the dealer? Seems like that is beyond what they would do, for liability reasons, even though it is a more permanent solution.
     
  5. Comp04svt

    Comp04svt Active Member Established Member

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    You're welcome! Yeah, that is what I wonder, but if they save 5 cents a car times every car made, vs how many they have issues with, they'll still save a ton of money unfortunately.

    Yes I hard wire those connectors out all the time. The only downside to doing so is if you ever need to remove the seat, you'll just have to re do the solder job, but how often is one removing seats.

    Not really any liability involved I can see, as it's a more solid repair anyways. The only liability is when someone doesn't know how to solder, or make a simple wire repair. The huge recall GM had with the Traverse/Acadia/Enclave, had you do exactly that, remove the seat mounted air bag connectors from both front seats. Basically they had previous TSB's to use different connectors and couple different times, then decided to just recall them and have us remove them all together. Then they recalled them again because they found that so many "technicians" weren't doing the recall correctly and/or "half ass-ing" the job.

    I've had to do that type of repair to other areas on different vehicles as well. Usually when there aren't any "instructions" from GM. It really comes down to the fact that the car needs to be fixed right because of safety, and because I don't want to work on it again for that reason, haha.

    Aside from doing the job correctly, the other thing I would make sure of is to first wrap the "repaired" area with a abrasion tape for protection, then yellow electrical tape over that. The standard usually is that SIR components and connectors are identified by yellow. So by using the yellow tape reminds you or anyone working on the car for you, that those are air bag circuits.

    Sorry for the couple long winded posts!! LOL
     
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