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Airbag (SRS) Problem

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  • Airbag (SRS) Problem

    Hi All,
    Just thought I would share my airbag experience with my NL.
    SRS light came on ages ago, got our mechanic to clear the code while doing a service, light stayed out for a long time, thought that was the end of it.

    Months later, light come back on, got code cleared, come straight back.
    Took it to an auto electrician to investigate. I am an electronics technician, not knowing a great deal about airbags and wanting to avoid having one deply in my face at 300mph I decided to leave it the the "professionals". I had suspected the clock spring was at fault as the light would come on after hitting the horn (the wife suffer's road rage). I had organized an appointment at the auto elect's to check if the clock spring was faulty, not to do anything else - for this I was quoted $40. Got the missus to drop off the car - big mistake, apparently to some trades people this means do what you want and let the apprentice work unsupervised on your car. She went back an hour later, the steering wheel was off, radio was removed, whole center console was out, glove box removed, passenger side airbag was removed. He reassembled car while the wife watched. End result; scratched trim panels, pry marks in plastic panels where he had been levering at joins the are fixed with screws!?! I went in the next day to find out the full story, was told it needed the clockspring ($380), may have damaged the SRS ECU ($900), not sure about airbag? For investigating this they wanted me to pay $130 (the scratches and trim damage were free)........bullshit to that!

    Anyway, got my mechanic to replace the clockspring (trusted friend), code would not clear still. I looked into the problem myself from here to save some $$$$, after some time of trouble shooting, I found that final problem to be a connector in the SRS harness was not connected properly (srs connectors have special shorting pins so that the airbags cannot be deployed due to static charge) causing a permanent short across the drivers airbag.

    So all is well now, light has been out for two months now, hope it stays off.

    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to make people aware of the costs involved when systems like this fail.

  • #2
    Good post. Thanks for the heads up.
    1999 3.5 NL Exceed Auto, Adelaide, South Australia

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    • #3
      hmm I just got my pajero 99 exceed and have same prob with light allways on.
      the horn does not work either ?
      where should i look for this connector?
      thanks

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      • #4
        Muzzy,
        It is probably the clockspring at fault. It would make the most sense. The clockspring is essentially a housing which has a ribbon cable wound inside. When you turn the steering wheel one way it tightens, the other way loosens. The clockspring has conductors for Airbag squib, horn contacts and cruise control (if fited). Any electronic part which has to move or flex frequently is prone to failure.

        The down side is that there is no generic replacement for the clockspring, you have to get the Mitsi original. They can tell you the exact one using your VIN (there are a few variations)

        The only way to prove if the clockspring is faulty - aside from replacing it - is to remove it and measure continuity from plug to plug (while it is disconnected from airbag and ECU) Poking a multimeter anywhere near an airbag or wiring connected to an airbag can deploy it.

        The connector I found to be at fault was on the driver's airbag itself. There is a shorting bar across the contacts which would not open when the airbag was plugged in.

        There can be several reasons why the SRS light could come on. Clockspring faults usually cause Short/open driver airbag codes. (Code 21/22 respectively)

        Regards Mark

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        • #5
          Originally posted by muzzy View Post
          hmm I just got my pajero 99 exceed and have same prob with light allways on.
          the horn does not work either ?
          where should i look for this connector?
          thanks

          Muzzy, Did you resolve your SRS light problem?

          Mine has just come on for the first time.

          Keith
          1999 3.5 NL Exceed Auto, Adelaide, South Australia

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