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Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Sorry if this is a rather simple and silly question but my airbag warning light on my '99 Passat just came on. I was wondering if it could be a simple thing or something a bit more complex that would lead me to hand it in to a local garage. Any advice would be appreciated. Thx.

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - Halmer
I'd traet it with caution and try to get some free advice from your local VW dealer.

You don't want the thing going off in your face. More than likely it's a small electrical fault or blip tho'.
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Thx for the suggestion. Unfortunately VW inform me they will make a standard charge of nearly £100.00 to have a look at it. September has been an aweful month so far so I'm not ina position to enrich their coffers just yet :/

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - Aprilia
Good grief, that's an obscene charge just to get fault codes. Get on the 'phone and ring around a few other dealers.
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Did that earlier today. Cheapest was someone who wanted £35.00 to try to reset the computer. Failing that he could let me know what the problem was and how much it'd cost.

Out of curiosity, since the lights came on for no reason, is it likely to be a computer issue, something that can be reset or not? Thx.

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - Aprilia
Most likely to be an open circuit somewhere in the airbag system (i.e. at the sensors, ECU or inflator module). Basically, all the connections are terminated with a known resistance. When the system is powered up it checks that the resistance value is within spec (and can thus identify short- or open-circuit conditions). Obviously something is out of spec and reading the fault code should tell you where the problem lies.
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Thx for that :)

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
SRS is a new area for me but the most common problems I have come across to date have been broken clock springs in the steering wheel and disconnected wiring connectors under the seat. Worth a quick look under the seats, the clock spring will need the use of an expensive piece of kit, hence the £35 charge. On a safety issue dont muck about with any connectors with the ignition on, check the underseat connections after the car has stood all night to discharge the capacitors then see if the light has gone out if you do find anything awry.
Andrew


Simplicate and add lightness!
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Thanks Andrew, that's helpful. I'll take a peek under the seats tomorrow morning :)

The £35.00 charge was to connect it up to a system and see if it was an issue that could be sorted out by resetting the computer. Any idea what's a reasonable charge if it is a broken spring in the steering wheel? Thx.

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
If it is the clockspring it is an hours work to change plus about £30-50 for the part.I recently saw someone charging £250 plus parts and VAT for this relatively simple job!
Andrew


Simplicate and add lightness!
Passat airbag warning lights - Aprilia
£30-50 would be cheap for the part. I think a Mazda 626 unit is well over £100, for example.
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Just spoke to VW and they've never heard of a clockspring but do have something they call a hornring which goes in the steering wheel, maybe it's the same thing (?). Anyway they want £46 quid for it, so mate you was spot on there :)

Thx.

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - Aprilia
Hmmm. I'd worry about that. The hornring usually means the conductive ring used for the horn circuit - a different thing altogether. I'm v. surprised that they haven't heard of 'clockspring' - its a standard term.
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
I'll try a different VW dealer tomorrow and see if they know a bit more than the guy I spoke with today. Thx for the heads up.

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - rtj70
This sounds similar to a problem my 2000 Passat had earlier this year. The airbag warning light came on and took it to a dealership. They plugged in the computer and the error was because two different values for resistance didn't match for the airbag wiring (or something like that).

They claimed this was probably because of the slip-ring and they replaced it. Then a few hours later the light came on again.... Took it back and they reset the computer again but couldn't find the fault and wanted more time.

Came on again a week or so later, and this time I took it to another dealership. They claimed part of the wiring loom for the airbag needed replacing because a clip was loose.... Replaced this but the airbag light came on again as soon as I drove out of their car park! I wasn't happy. Trouble was once it was reset again it wasn't necessarily going to come on again soon...

Now they wanted longer with the vehicle and so one of their better engineers was assigned and he stripped down a lot of the trim to see if there was a problem with another piece of the airbag wiring loom. Bear in mind there's a circuit from the ECU that goes to the steering wheel, passenger and both side-airbags so there's a lot of wire. He also told me that he'd seen another Passat and if he touched some of the wires the airbag light came on and he bypassed this section and the problem seemed to go away.

So he had use of my vehicle (stripped down) for a week or so waiting for the fault to reoccur and they gave me a hire car. The fault never did reoccur whilst they had it so, VW gave the go ahead for them to bypass the same piece of wire as in the other Passat and I got the car back.

So far, the light has remained off and it's been about 7 months. Air-con packed up a few weeks later but that's another story.

Luckily for me, it was still under warranty and cost my company nothing to fix but it took a lot of man hours. So good luck.

Don't worry about the airbag triggering by mistake. The computer will have turned them all off. Trouble is they won't go off in an accident either.

Rob
Passat airbag warning lights - msm
Thx Rob. Man, does your experience sound nightmarish! I guess, like you said, the good thing was it was under warranty. I've got an RAC warranty on it, manufacturers expired, so I'll check if they will cover the airbag system. If not, I cross my fingers that my problem is a straightforward one.

S.
Passat airbag warning lights - BaldyBob
Sorry if this is a rather simple and silly question but my airbag warning light on my '99 Passat just came on. I was wondering if it could be a simple thing or something a bit more complex that would lead me to hand it in to a local garage. Any advice would be appreciated. Thx. S.

I have a 1999 Passat TDI , the airbag light came on and has stayed on ever since. When plugged in code 01221 came up, this shows the side airbag sensor on the drivers side is faulty. This sensor is directly below the drivers seat, i removed the sensor and replaced it with a new sensor but the light stayed on and the fault code kept appearing. I put the origonal sensor back in place and removed the passenger side sensor , i then plugged the new sensor into the passenger side and Hey Presto the light went out and i was able to erase the fault code!. Since Passats tend to get damp on the passenger side floor area that would most likely be the reason the sensor failed, but why did the diagnostic equipment point to the drivers side?, the vehicle is wired for the european market and was correct in showing the drivers side sensor since its reading a left hand drive car! So beware Passat owners it may not be the source of your problem but keep my experience in mind should you have side sensor issues.

 

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