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Old January 11th, 2010, 09:36   #1
HoneyBeetle
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Default Help - Intermittent Open Circuit AIRBAG IGNITER

ISSUE:
  • Need to pin-point "intermittent open circuit for driver's seat airbag igniter" diagnostics and repair w/most efficient, cost-efficient methods
Challenges:
  • Various Diagnostic Suggestions so far involve, mostly, parts replacing
  • Delays may be caused by my experience & knowledge limitations
Additional Info:
Work space concerns, rain-snow-freezing temps may lead to delay

Self Help Steps Taken:

#1. Scan Tool Read and Reset (01/01/10)
a) Read
Result:
Intermittent open circuit for the driver's seat airbag igniter

b) Reset
Result:
Air Bag Light on w/i 5 minutes of reset
Air Bag Light remains on

#2.Checked wiring & connectors under driver's seat (01/08/10)
Result:
Observed no broken, severed or exposed wires

#3. Unplugged and re-connected 3 yellow wiring harnesses (01/08/10)
Result:
Reassembled, w/o reset, air bag light still on.

Next Steps:
Seeking Vag Com in Worcester area, to get a second reading & reset

Resolution Suggestions (so far):
1. Swap seats with a friend
Issues:
Labor intensive, imprecise diagnostics, risk of damage to friend's seat

2. Replace w/new seat
Issues:
Too costly, imprecise "part replacing" diagnostics

3. Replce w/ used seat
Issues:
Less costly, imprecise diagnostics, used part may present same or additional issues, difficult to find one to match

4. Replace w/ used or new airbag
Issues:
May be difficult, may pose pose a safety issue, imprecise diagnostics, new part = costly, used part = questionable safety

5. Fix wiring
Issue:
Need more info, imprecise diagnostics

Need smart suggestions and help!
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Old January 11th, 2010, 20:09   #2
HoneyBeetle
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So sad, no one is out there to help.

Maybe the way I wrote my request isn't easy enough to read. Maybe no one knows about this type of air bag light issue. MOGolf started to help, but he's gone now. Others have helped, but I need just a few more suggestions.

Otherwise, I'll have to park the Beetle if I can't fix it myself. I'm really sad to think about that.

Whoa is me.....
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Old January 11th, 2010, 20:32   #3
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this really is a non-issue. we've had this exact code for almost 2 years; it's safe to drive the car. i'm going to replace the seat next week and report results so you can follow suit with a fix, so please be patient. in the mean time, i've followed the same steps as you, except w/ a reset through vag-com after each step. the bag won't blow on its own, nor will it have a significant effect in an impact (seat bags only deply under limited conditions). don't be tempted to prod around with a multimeter, as THAT may cause the bag to blow, my understanding is a multimeter sends out voltage and measures drop to determine resistance - this voltage could set the bag off.

as for others, some were lucky enough to have this code while still under warranty, from their experience, the dealer replaced the harness - code returned, bag - code returned, body harness - code returned, bag module (or whatever) - code returned... etc. i never did go back and follow up to see if it ever got fixed.

if you are not concerned about bag function, there is of course the option to replace the bag with a simple resistor to get the light to turn off (as is done by those with aftermarket seats).
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Old January 12th, 2010, 03:04   #4
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generally on a beetle, the wires break or get chewed up where the seat 'breaks' to flip forward. between the seatback and seatbottom on the outside (you will most likely have to remove the upper seatcover at least partly)
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Old January 12th, 2010, 04:24   #5
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I have noticed on the driver airbag. The wiring that is glued to the airbag becomes faulty.

I was able to get my airbag repaired.

this was the problem
My Vag com is giving me an AIRBAG error code
My airbag light is lite up on my clusterhere is the code I get from Vagcom
Control Module Part Number: 6Q0 909 605 A
Component and/or Version: 06 AIRBAG VW5 0004
Software Coding: 12342
Work Shop Code: WSC 00066
1 Fault Found:
00588 - Airbag Igniter: Driver Side (N95)
33-00 - Resistance too Low


if you need help you will need to copy paste or write your Exact codes from your vag reader on the forums
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Old January 12th, 2010, 20:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboBugger
if you need help you will need to copy paste or write your Exact codes from your vag reader on the forums
Thank you, I guess I'll work on getting a code number, the exact language on the code was as is in my first post. I'll check anyway.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboBugger
I have noticed on the driver airbag. The wiring that is glued to the airbag becomes faulty.

I was able to get my airbag repaired.

this was the problem
My Vag com is giving me an AIRBAG error code
My airbag light is lite up on my clusterhere is the code I get from Vagcom
Control Module Part Number: 6Q0 909 605 A
Component and/or Version: 06 AIRBAG VW5 0004
Software Coding: 12342
Work Shop Code: WSC 00066
1 Fault Found:
00588 - Airbag Igniter: Driver Side (N95)
33-00 - Resistance too Low


if you need help you will need to copy paste or write your Exact codes from your vag reader on the forums
What kind of VAG COM do you have? I saw some on eBay and was wondering which parts to get to do my own Vag Com Diagnostics?
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:13   #8
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Some have had success getting an ebay cable to work with VCDS software. Given that the ebay version is limited and probably won't be able to read chassis codes, I think you'd be better off with a genuine http://ross-tech.com/ cable. You will have a full featured tool!

Tony
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBeetle
So sad, no one is out there to help.

Maybe the way I wrote my request isn't easy enough to read. Maybe no one knows about this type of air bag light issue. MOGolf started to help, but he's gone now. Others have helped, but I need just a few more suggestions.

Otherwise, I'll have to park the Beetle if I can't fix it myself. I'm really sad to think about that.

Whoa is me.....
The Bentley CD has a detailed TSB (you get all the Technical Service Bulletins with the CD, but not the paper Bentley) on troubleshooting the entire airbag system. It is many pages long. The Bentley manual just covers removing components (and installing them). There are no airbag troubleshooting/diagnosis procesdure in there. You need a copy of the TSB. The way the Bentley CD is set up, someone can not just copy the TSB and post it on this list.

I'll take a look and see what mine says. I recently reviewed this TSB for a buddy's driver's steering wheel air bag.

Was this the driver's seat air bag giving you issues? I will see if I can at least post the text from the TSB. The pictures and diagrams will not copy. I will look tonight if I can.

You MUST HAVE a VCDS scan tool to troubleshoot this and Bentley lists other very specialized equipment that basically the airbag connectors are pluged into to simulate the various components in the system and then you check for codes again and narrow the issue down, but I think a lot of this can be done with just the VCDS scan tool.

See this:

http://ross-tech.com/vag-com/index.html

--Nate
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Last edited by PDJetta; January 13th, 2010 at 04:45.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 06:11   #10
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If your code is indeed for the seat airbag, the problem is most likely with the connector. The connector terminals develop fretting corrosion at their contacts. I've seen this issue across the entire range of VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles. You can try contact enhancer which is available at electronics stores, or even from VW under the name Stabilant 22A.

The best and easiest solution however, is to simply cut out the yellow connector and splice the wires directly together. This was the official VW TSB fix for this problem in the Touareg. I personally solder and heat shrink them when I do them, I wouldn't use a crimp connector in the airbag wiring.
Chris
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Old January 13th, 2010, 06:17   #11
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Mine did that JUST before a trip a few year back. It was the connection under the seat. The contacts were oxidizing.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 06:19   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBeetle
What kind of VAG COM do you have? I saw some on eBay and was wondering which parts to get to do my own Vag Com Diagnostics?

Don't call it that. That is NOT what those cheap knock-off cables are.

You need to go to a licensed vendor or Ross tech directly for the correct cable.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 06:23   #13
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my 98 had that code a few years ago, i just disconnected the battery and used butt connectors instead of the harness below the seat. no problems since.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 17:42   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonTDI
Don't call it that. That is NOT what those cheap knock-off cables are.

You need to go to a licensed vendor or Ross tech directly for the correct cable.
I was looking at Ross Tech today. I saw multiple versions of Vag Com and was wondering which version would be suitable for diagnostics for my 01 Beetle and possibly.....a little tuning (one day, of course) and to re-set and do good things, in general for my TDI.

The professional Vag is over a grand. There's got to be a better way for me. Any suggestions?

I located a Vag person in Worcester, Mike. But he hasn't committed to a time for a Vag Com reading yet. I'm not sure whether or not this is a dead-end. We shall see.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 17:51   #15
HoneyBeetle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toohighpsi
If your code is indeed for the seat airbag, the problem is most likely with the connector. The connector terminals develop fretting corrosion at their contacts. I've seen this issue across the entire range of VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles. You can try contact enhancer which is available at electronics stores, or even from VW under the name Stabilant 22A.

The best and easiest solution however, is to simply cut out the yellow connector and splice the wires directly together. This was the official VW TSB fix for this problem in the Touareg. I personally solder and heat shrink them when I do them, I wouldn't use a crimp connector in the airbag wiring.
Chris
Chris, is there any way you can send me a diagram of where, exactly, the connector is located. I've heard of multiple locations, under the seat, near the air bag, seat belt, in the seat cushion. I don't want to fiddle with anything or tear into my seat without knowing.

I connected and re-connected one of the yellow things under the seat. This is a picture of what I was looking at and the connectors I saw.


I hate to sound stupid, but I'm not sure which connector I'm supposed to be pin-pointing.

On a bad day: I once thought I was testing a glow plug relay and it was a horn relay.....D'uh!
It's not easy being a back yard mechanic who hasn't graduated from wrench-holder yet.

Anyhow, regarding a Vag Com tool, I'm thinking it would be very nice to be able to dagnose chassis issues, yes?
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Last edited by HoneyBeetle; January 14th, 2010 at 17:53.
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