2003 Honda Accord SRS indicator light

If I start my car before I put my seat belt on, my SRS indicator light comes on and stays on no matter whether I wear the belt or not. If I put my seat belt on first before I start the engine, no indicator
light (normal status). I called my local Honda dealer and they told me that if the indicator light has to do with seat belt tensioners, it's under a recall but they want $103 to read the codes. I think it will be no charge to me if the codes say seat belt tensioner only.
Does anyone know if I go to Autozone to have them read my codes, can their reader tell me if this indicator light has to do with air bags vs seat belt tensioners? In other words, will there be a separate code for each? I really don't want to spend $103 to read the codes nor have I decided if I want to mess with the air bags if that's the problem unless it might cause harm if inflated. Any idea what an air bag fix might cost (without the code reading fee)? If it matters, this is on a 2003 Honda Accord sedan 4 cyl auto.
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They can't charge you for such bullshit on a recall. Tell them to execute the recall's requirements and that you aren't paying for anything extra, especially what amounts to $1200/hr reading codes that require less than five minutes effort.
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You can read the code yourself using the following and a paper clip (or short piece of wire):
http://sites.google.com/site/hondalioness/srs
My 2003 Civic had the SRS light on. I read the code myself. It turned out to be the seat belt tensioner. Most, but it seems not all, dealers cover this in the U.S. under the lifetime seat belt warranty on all Hondas. (Apparently some dealers argue the part does not involve seat belt integrity, and so it is not warrant-able. Yet other dealers say the whole belt buckle must be replaced to correct the failed airbag switch problem, so it is warrantable.)
At the site above, I also describe the good experience I had with my dealer on this.
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That's not a dealer warranty, it's an American Honda warranty. It's called the "Lifetime Seat Belt Limited Warranty". The dealer is NOT the one that decides if the repair is warrantable.
The warranty applies if these three conditions are met: 1) the vehicle was originally sold to an American dealer by American Honda; 2) the actual functioning of the belt assembly is impaired; 3) the vehicle has not been involved in a collision.
"Integrity" is not part of the warranty criteria.
If the belt refuses to retract; refuses to lock; is frayed to the point where it will not move in and out of its retractor; if motorized belts won't run back-and-forth and/or lock in the rearmost position; if there is any other impediment to actual function, then the warranty applies.
If the seat belt functions as-designed, but the SRS light is illuminated with a seat belt code, then the warranty does not apply.
If the seat belt functions as-designed, but the belt warning-lamp is on even when the belt is buckled, then the warranty does not apply.
If the belt is stained or the plastic is cracked, but the belt still functions as-designed, then the warranty does not apply.
Honda pays the dealers for any warranty work they do to your seat belts. If your dealer won't play ball, call American Honda customer service: <http://automobiles.honda.com/information/customer-relations.aspx Whether to cover or not is NOT the dealer's decision.
--
Tegger

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I am repeating what many people have posted at honda-tech.com: That their dealer in the U.S. refused to cover the repair. Also, my seat belt did everything you listed when I the belt tensioner yada SRS code came up. Yet my dealer read this very code and declared it was fully warrantied. I am relating hard facts here. Also, every dealer has, on some repairs, some room to argue, with the manufacturer, for whether a repair should be warrantied. It is not always as black and white as you seem to suggest.
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I'm not disputing what you say or what you've read. All I'm saying is that it's not the dealer's place to refuse, unless the situation very clearly contravenes one or more of American Honda's explicit criteria. And even then, the car's owner has the option of calling American Honda to question the dealer's decision.

Then it would appear that the explosive tensioners are considered part of the seat belt assembly.
Furthermore, it is impossible to determine if the tensioners are functional/operable unless they are actually deployed (and thus destroyed), so techs have to go by the SRS code to determine operability. It's sort of like the old joke about the <insert favored racial slur here> who tested all his matches by striking them to make sure they'd work when actually needed.

When it comes to the Lifetime Limited Seat Belt Warranty, it IS black-and-white. American Honda makes it VERY clear to its dealers what's warrantable and what is not.
Your car's Warranty Manuals (in the same envelope as the Owner's Manual) should give you those very same particulars.
--
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To me, it appears that dealers disagree on whether the repair is covered under warranty.
I do not agree that this is black-and-white. I do agree Honda owners in the U.S. should call Honda (the manufacturer, not the dealer) when they think something should be covered under warranty but one's local dealer is refusing to do so.
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Google for reading the code yourself on your Accord. It should be like the following, but maybe not exactly, so please check with other sources.
http://sites.google.com/site/hondalioness/srs
My 2003 Civic had the SRS light on. I read the code myself. It turned out to be the seat belt tensioner. Most, but it seems not all, dealers cover this in the U.S. under the lifetime seat belt warranty on all Hondas. (Apparently some dealers argue the part does not involve seat belt integrity, and so it is not warrant-able. Yet other dealers say the whole belt buckle must be replaced to correct the failed airbag switch problem, so it is warrantable.)
At the site above, I also describe the good experience I had with my dealer on this.
If Autozone reads the codes, then yes, its reader should say whether it is the seat belt tensioner.
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Most likely it is the buckle. Google for reading the code yourself on your Accord. It should be like the following, but maybe not exactly, so please check with other sources.
http://sites.google.com/site/hondalioness/srs
See also http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t &16092&highlight=SRS+Code
My 2003 Civic had the SRS light on. I read the code myself. It turned out to be the seat belt tensioner. Most, but it seems not all, dealers cover this in the U.S. under the lifetime seat belt warranty on all Hondas. (Apparently some dealers argue the part does not involve seat belt integrity, and so it is not warrant-able. Yet other dealers say the whole belt buckle must be replaced to correct the failed airbag switch problem, so it is warrantable.)
At the site above, I also describe the good experience I had with my dealer on this.
If Autozone reads the codes, then yes, its reader should say whether it is the seat belt tensioner.
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I just checked Ebay; OBD II scanners (the kind that plug into a laptop's USB port) are going for less than $30.
Charging money to plug in a scanner and read codes is a criminal ripoff.
With just one $103 job, the equipment pays for itself three times over again. The ``labor'' is just plugging a cable under your dashboard, and pushing a button, about as difficult as using a vacuum cleaner.
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Guy wrote:

The problem as you describe has to do with the seat belt buckle (reporting), not the seat belt retractor/tensioner. There are 2 inputs to the SRS unit that involve reference voltages. With the key on, the SRS unit expects to see one voltage high, one voltage low.
If the voltages are both the same, high or low, the srs unit sees it as a fault.
This problem could be due to damaged wiring or the switch(s) in the buckle are inoperative. Beverages spilled into the buckle mechanism can cause the switches to malfunction.
Call Honda Customer Relations and ask if it's covered, worse they can say is no.
-- Tp,
-------- __o ----- -\<. -------- __o --- ( )/ ( ) ---- -\<. -------------------- ( )/ ( ) -----------------------------------------
At some point; you own the car and all problems...
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(See edits below, made after Tom P pointed out it is not the tensioner and so I realized I had made a post-o.)
Most likely it is the buckle. Google for reading the code yourself on your Accord. It should be like the following, but maybe not exactly, so please check with other sources.
http://sites.google.com/site/hondalioness/srs
See also http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t &16092&highlight=SRS+Code
My 2003 Civic had the SRS light on. I read the code myself. It turned out to be [edit: Code 9-3, the seat belt buckle switch]. Most, but it seems not all, dealers cover this in the U.S. under the lifetime seat belt warranty on all Hondas. (Apparently some dealers argue the part does not involve seat belt integrity, and so it is not warrant-able. Yet other dealers say the whole belt buckle must be replaced to correct the failed airbag switch problem, so it is warrantable.)
At the site above, I also describe the good experience I had with my dealer on this.
If Autozone reads the codes, then yes, its reader should say whether it is the seat belt [edit: buckle switch].
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