Air Bag Lights Keeps Blinking

country_bumpkin_alNovember 27, 2006

My husband just bought a 1997 Mercury Sable. The air bag light (on the dash) keeps blinking. Any idea why or how to stop it?

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Refer to the owner's manual. It probably means that the airbag circuit is inoperable. This defect should have been disclosed at the time of sale. Fix the problem to stop the blinkin' light.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 6:50PM
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"Fix the problem to stop the blinkin' light."

Ummmm....Thank you Captain Obvious! :-)

C.Bumpkin, here's what I want you to do. Turn the ignition key to run position. The AIRBAG light will come on for a few seconds and then start the flashing sequence. Count the number of flashes. The light will flash a 2 digit number (eg. 12, or 23, or...). So a code 23, for example, will flash twice pause for a couple of seconds and then flash three times... pause for a couple seconds and repeat that sequence all over again.

If I had to guess, I would say you're seeing a code 51. But let me know what code you get and I can help you a bit further.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 9:21PM
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country_bumpkin_al husband did as you suggested and said it's Code 52!

Thanks for responding1

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 5:28PM
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If my senile memory serves me correctly, code 52 means that the airbag module (aka diagnostic monitor) has detected a loss of battery power. Check fuse panel for blown or missing fuses. Last Ford code 52 I saw was caused when the owner had decided to "borrow" a fuse for his cigarette lighter which happened to feed the airbag computer.

Please post your FIX when it becomes available.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Semper fi,

I do not know these types of vehicles, is it possible that with a blown or borrowed fuse or a semi dead battery that may have required a jump, thus causing this type of code would require a RE-INITIALIZE of the SRS Module through a special series of pushing buttons and key positions, just a thought, I have no idea what I am talking about on a Ford.????

Retired USAF

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 5:46AM
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A flash code 52 is for low battery voltage to pins 13 and 14 of the airbag module. Basically at this point it means that either the system voltage fell below 8v sometime in the recent past, quite likely when the car was being started. Or it means the system has an active problem.

The way to proceed in a shop if this flash code is found is to connect the scan tool and pull the OBDII trouble codes from the Restraint system. If the On Demand self test gives you a code B1867, then you have to follow the trouble tree, and you might be looking at a problem with the air bag module (diagnostic monitor) or airbag system. Remember don't jump to a conclusion, test by following the trouble tree exactly.

There are some conditions that in order to protect the system, the air bag module actually intentionally opens fuse #16. (10A) If this fuse is open, the module likely did it on purpose! Do not substitute any other size fuse in this position. You will likely find codes B1913, or B1914 if this is the case.

Those two codes are for particular circuits shorted to ground. If present these must be solved before anything else can be done.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 9:55AM
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Thank you for your service to this great country of ours duanejack! Actually, you are more correct than you give yourself credit. There IS a reset procedure on this model but not by pushing certains buttons but by accessing a hidden connector. After repairs are made, many times the system will prove itself out automatically and will not require the reset procedure. Other times it does. With the inherent dangers of an airbag system though, it may be worth it to spend the $$ to have the system diagnosed and repaired by a pro if one is not absolutely sure on the proper procedures.

LOL John! I think I see some smoke out on the horizon to my west! Are you trying to blow Country Bumpkin's fuse with our technobabble?!?! :-)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 12:39PM
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I just thought it was appropriate to give them the "Cliff Notes" version of what a technician would find in the service information for this system.

Hey want to see technobabble? You should play around on the mythbusters fan sites. It's a hoot how many "experts" you'll find there.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 1:40PM
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Heck, one doesn't even have to leave Gardenweb to find those "experts". I've been reading and learning from the Pond Forum for years and it's pretty amusing how some feel the urge to give serious advice on various apsects of ponding (filtration, koi health, etc.) and then come to find out they don't even own a pond! How does that work?!

So from now on, the minimum prerequisite for anyone giving automotive advice in this forum should be that you MUST have owned/operated a vehicle at one point in your life! PERIOD. :-)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 10:47PM
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Morning and I'm sorry I'm just now getting back with the diagnoses (I went to work unexpectedly). My husband took his car somewhere? and they put it on a machine. Turns out it's the alternator.

Thanks everyone for your advice and a bigger THANKS to all of you that have served our Country!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 6:50AM
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airbag light keeps blinking and horn stop just put new clock spring in because was told that what it was but didnt stop can you please help iam disabley and cant keep putting money out if thats not what it is please help

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 10:14PM
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had that problem with a ranger a while ago, found removing the bulb from the dash, b-4 trade in solved the problem for me.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 12:02AM
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This was an old thread, that got pulled out of the arcives. Changing a part because someone said that is what is wrong, without someone testing the system correctly, is often the most expensive way there is to attempt to fix a car. The horn not working could have nothing at all to do with the air bag issue, someone has to diagnose one of the problems, and then look to see if the second one is solved.

Question. Does the cigar lighter work? If not start checking fuses, because its common for many auto manufactures to use the same fused circuit for the horn and the lighter. An Airbag system problem could be any one of a number of circuits from the airbags themselves, to the crash sensors, seat belt pretensioners, occupant sensing system, to the module itself. Proper diagnostics will identify the problem, and prevent you from throwing more parts that are not bad at it.

Bill is wrong, you do NOT take out the bulb and "trade it in". If someone ever crashes his truck and finds out that the injury or death that could have been prevented by a proper repair is directly related to tampering with the system, I hope they trace the reason that the airbag failed to work all the way back Bill.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:17AM
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bill did you or do you have any knowledge of the light being removed from this vehicle, uhh no, i dont know anything about cars, never touched it, didnt know it wasnt working, thats the way it was when i got it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:11PM
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True, you could say that. That is until someone manages to find this thread, then you'll have to explain why you made the earlier statement.

At the same time I have to laugh. Notice how when the pressures on now you admit you don't know anything about cars. If that is the case, why are you offering advice on how to deal with them? This situation underscores one of my biggest pet peeves, where real technicians, who care about their careers, and their customers vehicles have to deal with uneducated, and inexperienced people who advise their friends/relatives incorrectly, and try and make it look like its wrong for us to earn a living repairing cars. I wrote the post a month or so ago about my customer who lost his Caravan in an accident. My first thought was I was glad he was OK, the second thought was the responsibility that he and I shared when his airbag system had failed last year. It was his responsibility to have the car repaired, mine was to be trained and equipped to do it correctly for him. It does not get any more serious than that, and I hope georgia can get her car repaired ASAP, you never know whats around the next corner and you definitely don't want to find yourself in the position of saying "I'd pay anything to be able to go back and fix this and then maybe __________ wouldn't have gotten hurt"

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 8:36AM
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john g. thats what i would say under oath, i worked 5 yrs for a ihc dealership as a mechanic b-4 moving on to pump mechanic for a pipeline company. have built 4 race cars. and until the last 7 yrs or so, i was involved in auto repair out of my own shop primairly quick cheap repairs for a friend used car lot. so i`am not unfamiliar with auto repair. i have no doubt your a great honest fantastic mechanic. but in the reality of today and the reality of corner used car lot run on a shoestring, cheap and quick gets it done. the cars come in from the cheap auction, they get a quick clean up patch up and turned over. the lot wil be out of buisness, and opened back up again b-4 you can say lawsuit. and here in michigan in the detroit area, thers no checks and balances, no body cares, buyer beware.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 6:48PM
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The thing to do when checking on any car is turn the key to ignition ON. Look to see which lights come on, if you don't have enough time and lights go off quickly, keep turning key on and off until you have checked the lights. This is the best way to tell if someone has removed a bulb as a quick fix. For the most part, you should see lights for oil, abs, check engine, airbags to name a few.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 12:44PM
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