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Air bag light on (side air bags)


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Hi, guys. I had some body work done (just painting) on my two doors. The body shop took the inside door panels off in order to take the the door handles off so the doors can be painted. Here's the problem...Somehow the person working on my car set the air bag light off. The car was taken to the dealer to reset the airbag light. Well, they couldn't get the light off. The Porsche tech said there was not a crash code, but the error is directed to the side airbags. Yesterday the body shop guy disassemble the door panels again to check if the side air bags were hooked up properly (I watched the whole process). It was hooked up, but the light is still on. I don't know what is the next step in diagnosising this problem since I haven't spoke to the shop yet. If anyone has any input what can be wrong, please reply. Thanks.

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I didn't get the codes. The tech just said the error code was directed to the side air bags..I didn't realize it was a specific code cause I would have definitely asked. The funny thing is that I took it over to the dealer cause the guys at the body shop are so behind with things..ARRRgh. Anyway, I haven't heard from the shop today. Are there a lot of error codes for the side air bags? Like I said, after the door panels were taken off this mess has occured. Thanks for the reply.

Edited by BoxSinit
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  • Admin

I count 14 possible fault codes for side airbags alone - not including chained events.

It almost has to be disconnected or shorted sensors in the doors - and the codes should verify that. And if the codes are for both sides then it really must be something the shop did.

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I count 14 possible fault codes for side airbags alone - not including chained events.

It almost has to be disconnected or shorted sensors in the doors - and the codes should verify that. And if the codes are for both sides then it really must be something the shop did.

Oh I know its the shop's fault.

How would a shorted sensor occur?? I know they change my battery for some reason. They said it was dead and I know my battery was fine. Would this have anything to do with this??

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Pinched wires?

Shorted controller?

Without the codes we are shooting in the dark...

Your shop/dealer should be able to use a PST2 (or PIWIS) to assess the fault exactly. To do this the fault memory Info key (F8) must be pressed. This information should be saved using the Save key (F4) and printed out. If a fault code is stored with "not present" status and no other problems are present, then the fault memory must be erased.

This printout should give you additional information such as:

Type of fault / occurrence of fault

- Open circuit / short circuit to -- There is (present) or was (not present) a short circuit to ground or an open circuit in the circuit to the control module pin.

- Short circuit to B+ -- There is (present) or was (not present) a short circuit to voltage.

- Below limit value -- Resistance too low; Wiring leak e,g. short circuit to ground, faulty component

- Above limit value -- Resistance too high e.g. open circuit, component faulty

- Start -- Shows the time elasped since the fault first occured (present). If the fault arises again the clock continues.

- Stop -- Shows the time elasped since the fault was first remedied (not present). If the fault arises again the clock continues.

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Ok, Loren..I got you. I'll have to touch base with my shop. I'll let you know how I make out. Thanks a million for your responses!!

Hey Loren, please respond as soon as possible (want to get back to them before the work day) I just got word from my shop. They are saying its an bad airbag module?!?! The shop told me the Porsche service said this is a common thing. I think I'm being shafted here. I mean the airbaig lights were off when I brought it into the shop. Please shed some light here. Thanks.

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Well, it could be the control module... sorry, but without the codes it could be anything.

Make sure they don't charge you if the control module does not fix it.

I wish I could give the exact codes, but I'm getting half answers from my shop (and the Porsche dealer) that is working with them). Thats why I'm trying to get info so I can counter what they are telling me. The main reason I'm baffled is because my car (air bag light was off) was fine before it went it the shop and the fact they had the air bag exsposed and working in or around the air bags. Is the airbag module a common thing that goes? Can it be shorted out somehow?

Edited by BoxSinit
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  • 5 weeks later...

Boxsinit, how did everything work out with the shop/dealer? I have a similar situation where the trim panel was taken off to fix the lock on my right door. All of a sudden the airbag light is on. I'm going to a shop which i believe has the scanner to give me the airbag codes. I agree it doesn't make any sense that all of a sudden your airbag module goes bad, right after the shop touches things.

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Boxsinit, how did everything work out with the shop/dealer? I have a similar situation where the trim panel was taken off to fix the lock on my right door. All of a sudden the airbag light is on. I'm going to a shop which i believe has the scanner to give me the airbag codes. I agree it doesn't make any sense that all of a sudden your airbag module goes bad, right after the shop touches things.

Sorry for no reply, I have been really busy...I never got a clear cut answer. The service manager and the body shop said it was the module. They didn't elaborate on the codes or anything (even though I questioned). How it failed, I have no idea. I do think the body shop had something to do with it. I was stuck on not paying for it, which I didn't.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Boxsinit, how did everything work out with the shop/dealer? I have a similar situation where the trim panel was taken off to fix the lock on my right door. All of a sudden the airbag light is on. I'm going to a shop which i believe has the scanner to give me the airbag codes. I agree it doesn't make any sense that all of a sudden your airbag module goes bad, right after the shop touches things.

Sorry for no reply, I have been really busy...I never got a clear cut answer. The service manager and the body shop said it was the module. They didn't elaborate on the codes or anything (even though I questioned). How it failed, I have no idea. I do think the body shop had something to do with it. I was stuck on not paying for it, which I didn't.

Well, I have just had a similar experience that I am also frustrated with. I have the service manual for my 99 Boxster so was able to do a little research. There is a 3 times counter in the Air Bag Control Module (aka Trigger Unit, foggy on this?) that renders it useless once this 3 times limit is reached. I know for sure my car left the road when a previous owner failed to claim an accident that my car has had in the past. That would be 1. The last owner had the paint chips repaired on the front of the car, that would be 2. I just recently had the hood and front bumper stripped and redone for rock chips again... 3 times the charm, on goes the airbag light. :censored:

No airbag light upon entry to the body shop, light on when I get it back. :soapbox: I am wondering if this control module has a vibration sensor to measure shock and sanding??? I know it seems a little bizarre but I can think of nothing else that might cause this. I took the car to my mechanic who checked with their PST2....no airbag controller present... no other codes either. The system was not registering the controller at all and based on this, the manual states "Replace Air Bag Control Module". Oh, basic troubleshooting exists but no other REAL information is included. Is this some porsche conspiracy to grab cash for those who fix their car rather than replace them? LOL Just kidding.... Break away nuts for $20???? sounds like a cash grab to me... LOL

The controller has to be configured to correctly read the systems installed in the car, driver's & passenger's airbags, side impact bags and triggers, SEATBELT BUCKLES etc. If there is a fault in the system, a new controller can not be LOCKED with the configuration information for the car until the fault is fixed. I have bought a used one and will be replacing mine in the near future once it arrives. This used one is likely LOCKED and I have been told is for a 02 S so it might not work anyways. $400 for a control module from the dealer so for a $50 :cheers: used one it's worth a shot....

Wish me luck.....

:drive:

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