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Old 11-17-2004, 09:40 PM
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Air bag concerns

I am going to attempt to replace the turn signal switch in my 1996 Chevy Lumina(car). I know I can do the switch but what has me on edge is the AIR-BAG in the steering wheel. When I read the steps to do this job it sounds like I am going to kill myself if I am not careful. Has anyone got any pointers for me. This is my first time working with the air bag system so any guidance would be GREAT.

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Scholman

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Old 11-17-2004, 09:47 PM
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Don't take my "opinion" as fact on this one at all, but wouldn't unhooking the battery cable keep it from deploying?
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Old 11-18-2004, 12:56 AM
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In a word, NO. The owner's manual usually has a set of steps to safely disarm the air bag. Disconnecting the battery does nothing for the DERM (deployment energy reserve module). Just follow all the steps and you'll be safe.
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Old 11-18-2004, 12:59 AM
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I can only speak for Ford products as that is the only thing I have had experience with. I'm sure most systems are the same or similar in operation.
Disconnecting the battery may help but the system should have some type of battery or capacitor backup system so if the car loses power instantly in the crash the system will still have the capacity to deploy.
The system can only deploy if 2 of the 3 crash sensors are tripped so the chances of it going off in your face are nil.
The warnings posted on the vehicle or in the service manuals are there mostly for legal ramifications.
You should be able to remove the mounting bolts and unplug the sensor without it going off. When you remove it you should set it on a bench bag side up and never carry it with the back side pointing toward your face. (in case of static electricity setting off the bag). Yea, like your gonna get 12v of static electricity.
Basically its still a mechanical system. The monitor is just what it is, a monitor that monitors the system for faults. It cant deploy a bag, so if the system wasn't setting off the bag before it shouldn't now.
Those are some of the guidelines when working on an air bag system. The engineers have gone out of their way to make sure these things don't go off by themselves. You would have to apply 12v to the bag wiring to get it to deploy. Of course, with all of the warnings and safety precautions we had to adhere to, you still get a little nervous when hooking the system back up after a repair especially after the car has been in an accident.

Last edited by 2-manytoyzs; 11-18-2004 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:32 AM
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Air Bags

Remove the SIR fuse. Unplug the yellow connector under your dash at the base of the steering column. It will have a white & blue warning tag around it. The DERM has a capacitor in it so you want the yellow wiring disconnected. You can disconnect the battery as stated if you want, to but biggest thing is unplugging the energy reserve module. Reverse the steps with the last thing being the SIR fuse being put back in. 2-manytoyzs is correct with the Reserve module disarmed it will not deploy so don't be worried while your doing the job. Good Luck!
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:45 PM
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Thanks people! I followed the steps to the letter and I got the air-bag off and the new switch put back in. The turn signals work just fine and I now have brake lights too. BUT the raido is an anti theft AM/FM/CD radio and because I disconnected the battery for so long now the radio will not change stations or pre-sets. I can not set the time back either. I read in the owners manual that I am to enter my secret code to get the settings back, but because I bought the car used I have no idea how to reset the radio. Does anyone have an answer to this new and improved problem?

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Scholman
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:48 PM
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Radio

Go to your GM dealer and they can get the code from Delco. Most dealers charge 1/2 hour labor to do it for you and they can set it where this does not happen again.


Make sure you have your paper work showing you own the car.
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:02 PM
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Restore60s,

Thanks for the info. I will get on that first thing tomorrow.

Thanks Again People!

Scholman
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:33 PM
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I have an appointment with the "radio" man for Tuesday. I was told over the phone that the radio needed to be "re-programed" and it would cost about 65 to 70 dollars. I hope that is a good price. They said that if the face of the radio had been flashing "LOC" then they could have given me the code to unlock it over the phone, but since it plays one station and nothing else works, then it has to come in to them for repair. Anyway in order to get it working correctly that is what I will have to pay like it or not.

I wish the repair manual would have mentiond the radio lock out problem in their steps to replacing the turn switch.

Blessings
Scholman
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:48 PM
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Radio

Price seems about normal these days. It would have been cheaper for a LOC, I'm suprised that they would give you a code over the phone. If GM knew the Dealership was giving out codes for LOC over the phone that could cause a problem. GM designed it like that for theft. Bringing your car into the dealership was the idea to keep the radio theives from gaining access to codes. We would never unlock a radio without having the car brought in even if we knew the person real good.
Anyway glad your getting back to normal.
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:35 PM
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airbag light / turn signal switch

I have a 95 Lumina with the same brake light problem. Just replaced the turn signal switch according to the Haynes manual. Everything now works fine, except the airbag light stays on. I'm wondering if this is because I didn't disconnect the negative battery terminal. Any thoughts on getting the airbag light to go off, by disconnecting the battery for a few hours, etc.? Many thanks. I followed all the other steps to the letter, so I'm 99% sure the airbag is in perfect working order.
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:27 AM
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If worse comes to worse you could put the old switch back in to determine if the new part is the problem. Is the new switch a GM part? There are certain things I dont like to use from aftermarket suppliers because they dont always have all the O E internal components in them.
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:11 PM
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Airbag light

The new switch was made by Wells. Since everything now works great, I'm going to assume the new switch is fine. And I think I'd rather stick a fork in my eye socket than replace the switch again. I'm going to re-check all the airbag circuit connections and try unplugging the negative battery terminal for a few hours, since that's the only thing I didn't do. But I'd like to hear more suggestions if anyone has any. The airbag coil, for example, was a pain to reinstall, and I really hope that's not the culprit.
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:29 PM
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Here is the up-date on the "stuck" radio.

The turn signal switch is working great, by the way.

Radio......I took the car to the dealer and sat there for three hours while they looked at the radio.
When I got the car back they had preformed a 42 point check and they said the "radio is bad", and new one is 350.00 plus labor to install the new unit. Then they said that the motor mounts were "torn out", the front frame member was damaged, the "waterpump and intake manifold were leaking coolant." and the air management hose was "rubbuing the A/C clutch", and that the A/C compressor was not working.

Now this all sounds good but I had JUST replaced all of the motor mounts (three on the bottom of the engine) including the "T" bone top mount. I knew the A/C didn't work because the high pressure hose has a hole so all the 134a leaked out so the pump will not come on. I could not find the coolant leak at the intake but the water pump was in-fact seeping at the weep hole. But they did not mention the oil leak from under the intake, or the broken front window(they said it was in Great shape".

Ok I paid the bill and then took the car to school. The students removed the water pump and the A/C compressor and then installed new replacement units. Plus a filter and reciever/drier canister as well as a new drive belt and hose. Well it took them two days to do this work and they left the hood open so when we went to start the car the battery was "dead as a door nail". We charged the battery and then started the car so we could fill the A/C with 134a. Low and behold the radio works again!!!

Does anyone have an explanation as to why this happened?

Scholman
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