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Joined: Dec 14 2018
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When I first bought my truck last year the SRS light came on- without a fault statement on the dash. Spray cleaned the yellow connector under the left seat and no more red SRS light.

This Sunday the SRS light came on and the "airbag failure" note came up. Stoped the truck and restarted- no SRS light or fault statement. Down the road, both came back on.

Got home and hooked up the Nano and could not clear the fault "left airbag failure (permanent)". Sprayed again with DeoxIt and could clear faults which stayed clear so far.

What is strange is the Nano keeps the "left airbag failure (permanent)" text even when saying that all faults are cleared.

What is the Nano trying to tell me when the text remains in the fault window and says that this fault is "permanent"?

Does the Nano retain "airbag failure" faults in memory so even when cleared this failure is considered Permanent?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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When you read and clear faults with the Nano, the text of the fault code stays there unless you come out of that screen, go back in and read the faults again.

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Thanks Gilbert-- will check it today-- did not know that about the Nano.

When the Nano text says "permanent" in addition to the fault statement, is the Nano just indicating that the fault tripped enough times to be considered permanent?

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I don't know. Some faults are shown as Current, for example blend motors when checking the HEVAC, so even though you can clear them they will come straight back. Not sure I've seen a Permanent fault though.

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All clear as you said. Yeah- when I saw the word Permanent and I could not clear the codes after cycling the yellow connector, I thought I must have a "permanent" break somewhere in the circuit beside the connector. Will see in the coming days what the SRS does.

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Evening all,

Firstly, thanks for bearing with me, and my little flood of questions.

I've tagged this onto the end here as the search threw this up as the most relevant.

I used my Nano for the first time a little while ago to try and get some more info about the airbag fault on the dash, and hopefully clear it.

I found it OK "code 050: the right hand airbag is open circuit (permanent)" - this was just after tinkering with the left hand yellow plug, as I'd been told that was the one with the dicky connection.

I tried to clear the fault; it would clear from the dash; but then come back on instantly.

Is this 'just' going to be the connector under the driver's seat do we think? Had to come in for tea, but I'll go out again later and see what that looks like.

Thanks

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Most likely. Right hand airbag will be the one in the seat, if it was the steering wheel one it will say Drivers airbag fault.

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Thanks GD - I was just about to come on and say "stand down". 5 mins work to get access to the plug under the seat; a squirt of contact cleaner in both sides; and the lights have gone! As someone else has said - if only they were all this easy.

I have to say, the pins in those plugs are really tiny and fragile looking, so it's not a lot of surprise that they cause issues. At least I know where to look the next time the lights appear - and it seems likely they will.

But thanks for the reply.

Now I can book it in for an MOT and see how that goes.

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
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I'd guess the permanent fault is more indicative of it not being an intermittent fault thats been detected (connection is completely broken eg by an unplugged connector or broken wire, rather than bad contact or a faulty clockspring type issue).

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Well, it looks like I was a little premature... :-(

Although the car hasn't gone anywhere, the fault is back.In a burst of confidence I've booked it for an MOT this coming Wednesday, so it better be fixed by then.

On the nanocom it's going from permanent to intermittent. It'll clear for just a few seconds, before coming back.

I have a selection of multiplugs and pins so I think I'll just cut off the original ones and put something else in its place - unless anyone can tell me why this is a bad idea. I'll also see if I can highlight or identify it somehow, to make it obvious it's the airbag circuit.

Just when I was getting used to the dark, empty space on the pixel display...

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
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I've had SRS lights come on with spurious faults when the battery is in need of a charge, particually if the car has been sitting for most of the week and not moving. Had it happen a few times with the passenger side pretensioner whenever there was someone on that side of the car, which disappeared after giving the battery a full charge.

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Thanks Brian. I've had this fault since I bought the car (about 10 months ago).

Hadn't really bothered much about it, but now it's MOT time, it has to be fixed.

It could be a battery thing I suppose, but for the last fortnight or so while I was finshing off some work on the front axle, the battery was out of the car and on a charger / trickle charger.

I'm pretty confident it's just the underseat plug, as spearating cleaning and reseating it made the problem go.... for 2 days! Easy to eliminate too I think, just by replacing the connector..... unless there's a problem with that cunning plan.

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Hi folks,

Just because it's airbags, and I'm a tad nervous, I'll try and bump this up again.

I've been googling, and I found this response from Marty (though on "the other side"):

_"Regarding the airbags themselves.......... the detonator in them requires an electronic pulse to actually fire the airbag, and due to this all of the airbag connectors in the system are a special type with shorting links in them, so that when they are disconnected, the shorting links close over and short the circuit to the detonator. This means that even if an electrical pulse was given to is somehow, the short circuit would stop the bag from actually firing.

Unless you are doing something stupid and trying to poke wires into the connector with a battery attached, and have somehow bypassed the shorting link, then they are very safe to handle."_

So, they are special connectors, with 'short circuit' links. I actually wonder if perhaps one of those short circuit links might have stopped working, or be intermittent - keeping the circuit closed even when the plug is connected. I've also read (though the caveat applies about the risks of believing all the stuff you find on the internet) that there is a resistor in there somewhere.

Given all that, and allowing that I'm going to be careful when connecting and disconnecting, and using a proper 2-way male/female connector, properly crimped with the correct tools, is there any reason not to do this? I'm thinking of using econoseal connectors here, just because the waterproof nature of them means there will be better isolation for the wiring.

Thanks

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Well, just in case anyone else finds themselves in this little corner of the internet, I just took the plunge and cut the yellow plugs off (carefully!) and crimped on an econoseal connector. Tied it all up, replaced the seat and.... all is good. I'll confess I put a pair of ear defenders on before turning the ignition key, but nothing exploded, and more importantly the SRS and airbag fault lights stayed off.

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
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The special connector is usually quite simple - not seen a p38 one, but its usually as simple as an extra metal clip that shorts the pins when the other plug is removed. Its usually held out of the way by the plug so shouldn't be able to short it. On a connector that is approaching 20 years old (possibly older?) its just as possible that the spring contacts in the connector are not as springy as they need to be anymore.

Looks like you've located the issue anyway, Hopefully you've sorted it now.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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As Brian says...

The shorting pins are there for when they are unplugged, and then the connector housing moves them when the connector is plugged in.

The pins on the SRS connectors are a bit weedy, and they seat connectors can come loose pretty easily. I've had success before with wrapping a cable tie lengthways around the connectors when they are connected and tightening it up to keep them from wiggling around and causing spurious faults. But replacing the connector will do that too :)

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
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Hi Marty,

Yup - my opinions exactly - very weedy looking pins. On my first expedition under the seat I gave it a blast of cleaner, replugged it and used a tie wrap around its length! Afraid it didn't work for me though. OK that evening, but next morning it was back again.

I was happy that I got into the car about an hour ago, turned on, and.... no airbag warning! The "24'hour gremlins" must be having a night off. Knowing my luck they'll turn up again just as I turn into the Test station!