few days ago the Airbag lamp on the dashboard lit up and didn't go off after
few seconds as usually. I'm guessing something is wrong with the airbag
system, but I'm a bit concerned as to what kind of expense I can expect if I
take it to the service? I'm pretty much broke atm, so I can't really afford
some expensive repairs :(
On the other hand, I have no idea as to what could've caused the problem. I
didn't have an accident or anything like that, it's been pretty much just
I'm also wondering could it be it's just a signal to have the airbag system
checked (the car is A4, year 2000.)?
Thanks for the help!
The airbags saved my sister-in-law's life about 4 years ago. I think she
suffered no major injuries too!
Fixing it can save yours too!
Maybe a sensor or faulty grounding connection.
Have someone scan the ECM for the trouble code(s).
Hmmm I wonder if you have an accident, you are injured, the airbags do not
deploy and your insurance co. does not want to pay you anything for your
injuries. They claim you operated an unsafe vehicle. hmmm
The insurance on any car is weighted based on many things including
it's safety features. If they aren't working the insurance company
could weedle out of paying for injuries that were potentially caused
or may have been made worse by the failure of the airbag system.
Really depends on the insurance company.
Well, the other replies haven't been particularly helpful!
If your car has front seat belt tensioners (the bit the buckle
clips into, near the transmission tunnel), then these are the
usual suspects. Either the pyrotechnic "grabber" has failed (a
relatively cheap item), or more usually, the electrical connector
under the base of the seat has an open circuit. This can be
either general electrical corrosion, or more often, the connector
gets disturbed by rear passenger feet, stowing objects under the
seat, or over-zealous vacuuming under the seat.
Unfortunately, you will need a proper diagnostic check, either
main stealer, or a friend with VAG-COM (and your offering of a
small case of beer ;-) ). A simple clearing of the stored fault
codes is often enough to clear the airbag light.
Whatever you do, do NOT try to unplug and reconnect the
under-seat connector, either with the ignition on, or with the
battery connected, as this will throw another DTC error code,
store it in the ECU, and still keep your airbag light on.
Whilst the airbag light is illuminated, ALL SRS functions will be
disabled, irrespective of the "faulty" component, so please do
get this checked out and sorted.
You'll get a lot of postings here about what should be in principle be
true, without a lot of real experience on the part of the authors,
regarding the actual fault itself.
My small contribution: I got the airbag light after thumping the
steering wheel in frustrating heavy traffic one morning. It persisted
even after turning off the ignition and restarting.
Clearing the codes via the Bosch PC program (equal to but not the same
as VAG-COM) at my indy had no effect. In this case, the mechanic removed
the cowling to the steering wheel airbag, exposing the connecting wires,
replaced them, then reset the fault codes via the PC. Seems there was an
intermittent fault which was fixed by this simple action. This indy
workshop is a team of ex-Audi dealer mechanics who started up their own
business so their knowledge appears good. Given the risks for triggering
the system by accident, I was happy for the experts to do this instead
Conclusion - even if a fault light cannot be reset by software alone,
the hardware fix required to clear the problem may be quite simple, so
I'd always suggest going to a reputable indy (who has sufficient
diagnostic tools and experience) to see if the problem is relatively
simple and cheap to fix; you might be in for a pleasant surprise ...
/Robert (2001 A4 Avant 1,8 TS, 8D chassis)
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