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Old 09-29-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
njforx
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Question Air Bag Light - How long components under warranty?

Hi. I have an 04 Forester (38,000 mi) that the air bag light is on and seems to stay on. It just came on last night for no apparent reason.

I searched the forums and "think" it has something to do with the sensors under the seat which seem to have poor connectivity for several reasons. I know there is a TSB - but not sure what that means for me regarding the repair.

I visually checked that the connectors were indeed connected (they are), but beyond that i don't want to mess around. I'm going to have the dealer look @ it, but I wanted to know if something like this is covered longer than the standard warranty (3 yr) or am I paying for it?

The horn works, CC works, clock works, so I'm thinking its not the spring. No mods were done. Stock 04 X. Is this a warranty repair? Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #2
Mavrik
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Probably needs the harness repair kit. which after 3 years or 36000 miles its no longer under warranty.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:01 PM   #3
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Figured as much - thanks! Hopefully that's all it is and won't cost an arm & a leg!
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:30 PM   #4
Mavrik
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I'd say between parts and labor (including diag) $300 or so.
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:00 PM   #5
knockknockknock
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If SOA makes you pay for the fix. Make sure you fill out a complaint at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knockknockknock View Post
If SOA makes you pay for the fix. Make sure you fill out a complaint at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
cause his car is out of warranty and has developed a break down?
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knockknockknock View Post
If SOA makes you pay for the fix. Make sure you fill out a complaint at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/


Why? His car is outside of the warranty period and a part has failed. SOA has no obligation to fix it for him, nor should they unless they chose to.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
knockknockknock
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Air bags are a safety item. If NHTSA gets enough reports of the same problem, they will investigate it. If NHTSA determines it is not a safety defect, that's life. But if NHTSA determines there really is a safety defect, being out of the warranty period makes no differance, NHTSA can force a recall.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:57 PM   #9
swhempe
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I had (have) the same problem on my 2004 wrx. All you have to do is disconnect the cable under the seats and reconnect it. The airbag light should go out after you start your car and it runs the check on the bags. It might take a few tries to make it work though. I have to do this almost everytime I move my seat or someone puts their feet or a bag under the seat and messes with the cables.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:52 PM   #10
MrPhiscal
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WHAT safety items , air bags seat belt are cover for 10 years


http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedul...2002myfed.html

Last edited by MrPhiscal; 09-29-2008 at 09:54 PM. Reason: to add a link
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:21 PM   #11
RexyGirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPhiscal View Post
WHAT safety items , air bags seat belt are cover for 10 years


http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedul...2002myfed.html
Where you came up with that information from what you linked to, I have no idea.

First of all, airbags are only covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Second, seatbelts are covered for the usable life (lifetime) of the vehicle. This does not include fraying, discoloration or cutting in case of an accident. They must buckle and work properly. It has nothing to do with the airbags.

Third, just because the airbag light comes on does not mean it is a safety issue nor does it warrant a recall. If that were the case, then any time any light comes on (check engine, transmission, etc), then it requires a recall? Doesn't work that way. If this issue is related to the TSB mentioned, the airbags will still work.

Finally, this issue may or may not be related to the TSB regarding corrosion on the airbag connectors. If it is, take it to the dealer and see what happens. It shouldn't cost $300.00. The last one we did was about $150.00 IIRC. The only way you are going to know for sure it to take it in and have the codes pulled.

Make sure that there is not alot of junk under the seats or between the seats and the center console. Also, remove any seat covers you may have on. Recently, we had someone come in with an airbag light that was caused by the elastic strap on the seat cover pulling the connector apart.

Don't go messing with it yourself if you don't know what you are doing. You run the risk of further damaging the system. It's not as simple as disconnecting and reconneting the connectors. If it was, my son (age 5) could be a tech.

Last edited by RexyGirl; 09-29-2008 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:00 PM   #12
Akrylic09
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yeah i have a 04 sti and i toke it in for the same thing... it ended up being the plug under the seat, so they changed out the pins and cleaned out the codes, and have been good since then... but just to look at the car they wanted a hundred bucks and cost of repair was kind of high just to change out some pins i could of done that... but i would just unplug the connector and clean it out, then just put everything back and i you got a code reader then just delete your codes and see what happens... its better to give that out a try then spending a few hundred dollars...
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexyGirl View Post

Third, just because the airbag light comes on does not mean it is a safety issue nor does it warranty a recall.
A airbag light means a fault was detected with the system. If this is the case, depending on the system and the logic behind its design, the airbag system will not function at all, even in a collision. Get these checked out immediately. You're right, it might not lead to a recall, but it most certainly is a safety issue when they do not deploy.

<--- Airbag inflator engineer. Airbags is serious stuff.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:45 PM   #14
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Just because the airbag light is on, does not mean the system is disabled. IF his issue is related to the TSB regarding corrosion on the terminals, then his airbags will still deploy in an accident. (According to the TSB)
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:46 PM   #15
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OP: Do you have an extended warranty of any kind?
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexyGirl View Post
Just because the airbag light is on, does not mean the system is disabled. IF his issue is related to the TSB regarding corrosion on the terminals, then his airbags will still deploy in an accident. (According to the TSB)
Which bags will still deploy. The frontal units or all the units? I could see the frontal units still being active, but the sides I'm not so sure about. The systems I've worked with will not deploy bags which the system has determined as faulted. But I must confess, I have no experience with the controls portion of a Subaru system. I actually cannot recall off the top of my head who makes their systems. Probably Takata, Dicel, or Niphon-Plast ( I can never remember the correct spelling on the last two!)
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:30 AM   #17
RexyGirl
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According to the TSB, all airbags will deploy because the oxidation will not prevent the signal from going thru to deply the airbags.

This TSB is related to oxidation on the connectors. When the system performs it's diagnostics (every time you turn on the key) a low current signal is sent thru the connectors. This is the signal that is having a hard time getting thru, causing the light to come on. In a crash, the signal to deploy the airbags is much, much greater, so it is not affected by the oxidation.

I am not saying this is the issue and the OP does need to have it checked out.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:26 AM   #18
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Makes sense. The check the system performs at the start up is a check for the presence of the airbag initiator (the part that turns the electrical impulse into a combustion source). It needs to read a specific resistance (nominal values of 2 ohms, but there seems to be a fairly wide tollerance) to know that A. the airbag is inplace and B. the airbag has not been deployed. Both of these conditions will report very high resistance or open loop to the airbag control module and will trigger a light (hence why removing a seat turns the light on).

I imagine the corrosion also causes an artificially high resistance to be reported.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:12 PM   #19
njforx
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Wow thanks! I visually inspected the stuff under and around the seats, but I'll look again over by the seatbelt area as suggested. I'm taking it in on Thursday to check out. I didn't unplug anything because I don't know squat about the workings of the SRS!

If it is indeed the TSB problem, (which I am hoping it is) it kind of sucks because its something that didn't wear out or break because of use. I didn't route these cables, and for some reason they corrode or pinch on certain MY cars. Should FHI cover it? It would be nice, but what are you going to do? Its otta warranty.

This is the first real issue we've had with this car, so generally I am still very happy with it after 4 years. I do appreciate all the input!
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