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post #1 of 8 Old 08-19-2019, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
gabrock
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Air bag light on

My 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 van airbag light came on when I pulled out of my parking spot this morning. It wasn't on when I parked last night. I've checked with a cheap code reader and it says NO CODES, that is none registering trouble. I've pulled the negative battery cable for 30 minutes and replaced it, still air bag light on. I've pulled the fuses and they're fine. Haven't checked connections yet. I'm fearing clock-spring trouble. How tough is that to replace myself? Ideas?
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-20-2019, 06:21 PM
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You cannot read ABS codes with generic scanners. You need one that does ABS.
You should get it scanned.
Just a short story about my airbag light issue. I thought my clock spring was bad too...I did a whole bunch of diagnosis and even changed the clock spring and that went no where until I had it scanned by a friend. I actually got a seat belt ground code...The wire that comes out of the tensioner was cut from years of rubbing on the steel right on the top of the B pillar (I think that is what it is called - it is in the area about 6 inches above where the seat belt hangar is on the van's wall)
Seat belts will cause ABS codes.
Also doing the clock spring, I recommend getting the cheapo steering wheel puller from Harbor Freight. It is actually an easy job. You will need torx bits, IIRC, for the airbag screws.
You just undo the airbag, and move it out of the way. Then remove the steering wheel nut and then using the puller, take the wheel off. You will see the spring right there. There is only 3 or so small screws holding it in. Disconnect it and replace it. Assembly is reverse of removal.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-20-2019, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ElkCon View Post
You cannot read ABS codes with generic scanners. You need one that does ABS.
You should get it scanned.
Just a short story about my airbag light issue. I thought my clock spring was bad too...I did a whole bunch of diagnosis and even changed the clock spring and that went no where until I had it scanned by a friend. I actually got a seat belt ground code...The wire that comes out of the tensioner was cut from years of rubbing on the steel right on the top of the B pillar (I think that is what it is called - it is in the area about 6 inches above where the seat belt hangar is on the van's wall)
Seat belts will cause ABS codes.
Also doing the clock spring, I recommend getting the cheapo steering wheel puller from Harbor Freight. It is actually an easy job. You will need torx bits, IIRC, for the airbag screws.
You just undo the airbag, and move it out of the way. Then remove the steering wheel nut and then using the puller, take the wheel off. You will see the spring right there. There is only 3 or so small screws holding it in. Disconnect it and replace it. Assembly is reverse of removal.
ABS stands for anti-lock braking system. That is a completely different software module than the SRS subsystem. ABS has nothing to do with the airbag light. That being said, the airbag/SRS light is on because some part of the system is probably not communicating with it's attendant module, or the module is not communicating with the PCM. It COULD be a clockspring problem, but that is not the only possibility. You need a more advanced scanner that can pull ALL the codes, not just generic OBDII. I would not start taking anything apart until you know what's wrong. It could be as simple as a broken wire somewhere.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-20-2019, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a ton for the responses, both very informative. Booked it in to a shop for next week, over the phone the guy said they should be able to diagnose what it is without taking things apart...even if it is a clockspring. That's helpful because if it is a clockspring, I can order one by Dorman on-line for half the price that this shop would sell one for. There'll be not warranty on the work but for $200 cdn I think I'll chance it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-21-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
ABS stands for anti-lock braking system. That is a completely different software module than the SRS subsystem. ABS has nothing to do with the airbag light. That being said, the airbag/SRS light is on because some part of the system is probably not communicating with it's attendant module, or the module is not communicating with the PCM. It COULD be a clockspring problem, but that is not the only possibility. You need a more advanced scanner that can pull ALL the codes, not just generic OBDII. I would not start taking anything apart until you know what's wrong. It could be as simple as a broken wire somewhere.
Yea I screwed that one up...I must have been tired

The airbag light (not the ABS light) lol can be illuminated by the seatbelts malfunctioning. Fixed
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-21-2019, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gabrock View Post
Thanks a ton for the responses, both very informative. Booked it in to a shop for next week, over the phone the guy said they should be able to diagnose what it is without taking things apart...even if it is a clockspring. That's helpful because if it is a clockspring, I can order one by Dorman on-line for half the price that this shop would sell one for. There'll be not warranty on the work but for $200 cdn I think I'll chance it.
The airbag codes are pretty specific about telling you what is wrong...

I would pay the $50 of so bucks and have it scanned for airbag codes....
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-11-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Update on my post: Garage scanned airbag codes and told it had to do with the passenger side seat...looked under the seatbelt retrieval unit and found a clip-connector undone. Put it back together, cleared codes and all good. Cost: a half-hour of labour. Most local shops charge an hour labour as a minimum. My advice is, check if a garage will charge by the half-hour of labour rather than a minimum full hour before taking in a vehicle with an error code.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-11-2019, 07:51 PM
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Glad you got it fixed!
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