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service airbag light

50165 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Cuki
i repaired a 2006 sts that did not have the airbags deployed. however, it displays a service airbag indicator and the passenger airbag indicator on the ceiling says that the passenger airbag never turns on, even with a passenger. I read about the seat belt pretensers and the driver's side belt does not retract very well when unbuckled, is this the same thing as the pretensioner?

my main question is, will taking it to a dealer and having it scanned help me locate the problem or am i better off just taking the seat wiring harness apart and cleaning the connections myself?
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You best be careful when working with pretensioners. There is an explosive charge in them, which is how they work. The pretensioners in these cars is a part of the buckle assembly, not the retractor.

Personally, I believe that codes may help you. It should definitely narrow down the search. The PPS (Passenger Presence System) is also tied in and controlled by way of the Sensing & Diagnostic Module (airbag module). If it senses a problem in this system (which from your problem description is at least a possibility), the airbag system will show a fault. There is also a calibration procedure for the PPS which must be followed if any work is done to that system. Were you working around the passenger seat cushion at all?

Quite honestly, if you start messing around with critical safety systems such as this, you best know what you're doing.

Just my two cents...
Relax, there aren't any explosives in your seat belts...pendulums and spring loaded wheels, but not bombs. These critical safety systems are merely bolted to the car. If they do not retract all the way it could light the airbag light. I monkeyed around and was able to push back the release mechanism wiith a small punch, feed the belt in by hand, fully extend it and repeat. The spring loaded wheel finally retracted after repeating this several times. The passenger airbag off light can be related to the weight sensor in that seat. You won't blow yourself up either way.
Before you start giving people bad advice, you should try looking through the factory service manual. Don't post irresponsible information that others may blindly follow. The buckle assembly must be discharged and disposed of in the very same manner as the airbags.
took it in today and it had code b0081 which is the passenger presence system. i guess it says it has an internal electrical failure. they want 380 for the part and +600 for the parts and labor. anyone fix this themselves?
While it is possible to swap some parts, this system requires a calibration procedure whenever it is serviced. If you are not familiar with this, the airbag system may not operate as designed.

Directly from the service manual...

"Caution: Replace the passenger presence system as a complete assembly to prevent possible injury to the occupant. All the components in the service kit are assembled and calibrated as a unit. Using only some of the components in the service kit will cause the passenger presence system to operate improperly."


"Re-zero the inflatable restraint passenger presence system whenever the seat cushion or any component of the passenger presence system is removed."

Again, these are reasons the average person should not service this system.
getting a whole new seat for way less than they wanted for just the seat bottom but i will still need to bring it in after to get recalibrated.
To me, this makes a lot of sense. I don't like to discourage people from working on their own vehicle, but the newer they are and the more technology is involved, the more difficult it is without the right tools (diagnostic and programming aids, specialty tools etc.) to fix it independently. Any system that works in fractions of a second and is designed to protect your personal safety (or that of your passengers) commands a lot of respect. The Passenger Presence System is sophistocated enough that it looks for characteristics of an acual person sitting on the seat, not simply "weight". Therefore, it's important that it work correctly.
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