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Airbag light on intermittently

Old 04-20-2019, 12:17 PM
  #1  
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Default Airbag light on intermittently

hello, I recently bought a 2001 sport. I fixed all the other issues and the only thing stopping me from getting it registered is the airbag light. it will turn on when i first start the car, but if I turn it off, then on itíll stay off until the car cools down. this obviously wonít get safetied so iím trying to figure out my options

i donít think itís the clock spring because my horn works. i got underneath to the airbag control module but I donít really think i can service that. what do you think is up? bad grounds? bad module?

thanks everyone
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:37 PM
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The clockspring is a spool of wire, like a fishing reel. It winds and unwinds as you turn the wheel. The horn, cruise (if equipped), and the airbag pass thru it. Each uses its own wiring. Even if the horn still works, there could still be an issue with the airbag circuit, cruise, or any combination of the three. I do not have, nor do i know what the airbag codes are. I dont believe the service manuals cover the actual codes. You will likely need a dealer for that. I do not know off hand of any hand held scanner that can read Jeep airbag codes other than a DRB3, which is a dealer item.

There could be an issue with the airbag, the clockspring, the connections, and even the diagnostic module. I dont recommend messing with any of it unless you have the FSM covering them. And/or a DRB3 scanner. Im not sure you NEED that, but it has functions other scanners do not.

You can disconnect the battery and then the airbag circuit, checking the circuit for any corrosion or damaged wiring, but not much else. Or, you can pull the airbag and check the continuity from one side of the clockspring to the other. But if its an intermittant issue, that may not help. Just make sure you disconnect the battery first.

Last edited by fb97xj1; 04-20-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:06 AM
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I suggest inspecting the fuseblocks for signs of corrosion. My zj had the interminttend air bag light which then turned into several other odd electrical body maladies and dash lights. The RF wheelweell had rusted through and the foot well block was badly corroded. It;s built in layers like a layered printed circuit board. Junkyard and found one in pristine shape sitting on a seat, like it was pulled and not purchased yet. I took it. $20 for that and a few of the damaged connectors too. Completely swapped mine out, replaced 2 connectors, and every malady was cured instantly. The old one was in horrible shape, bright green oozing from between each layer, the layers were bulging from the force of the corrosion, pins rusted out of connectors. It's a job, but, worth it. Not too bad actually because the connectors are each unique so they can't be plugged in wrong, and color coded as well..
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:32 AM
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The clock spring is an interesting piece of equipment. It's a 5 wire (IIRC) ribbon cable that is spooled up around the middle so it can expand and contract as the wheel is turned. The flaw is where it connects to the external pins. The ribbon cable is folded over itself at a 45 degree angle. That bend will eventually break at least one of the wires and then you get the intermittent light you see. I tried to repair mine, but it failed again. To me, this is a design that will fail. Luckily it's pretty simple to remove and at least check. Here is a video that will give you an idea of what it looks like inside:
.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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hey all, a lot of good information here thanks a lot! there's been a lot to deal with this vehicle and just life right now so I'm going to bring it to a mechanic and not deal with it.
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