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What is the least-expensive remedy for a bad air bag sensor in a passenger seat

air bag sensor in seat

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17 replies to this topic

#1 mrcreosote

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:43 AM

Dear Readers,

 

I need some advice -- my airbag sensor in my 2005 Subaru Outback passenger seat went bag -- i can't get an annual sticker until I get it fixed... Don't want to buy a new seat, too expensive...

 

Any advice much appreciated!

 

Thank you!

 

 

Brian

 

briancunger@gmail.com



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:49 AM

Are you sure something didnt get crammed under the seat and damage the wiring?
Is it the occupant sensor or the side airbag inflator that has gone bad?

#3 mrcreosote

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:57 AM

Thank you for your very fast reply!

 

My mechanic checked out the wiring and said that the sensor inside the seat has gone bad. He called the dealer and they said that the sensors cannot be re calibrated, that a new seat is the repair... I suppose I could try to find a used seat but not easy...  

 

It's the occupant sensor in the passenger front seat...

 

Maybe worth to complain to Subaru? Complain to Consumer Prod board -- shouldn't an airbag safety item be guaranteed for life?

 

Grateful for any advice...



#4 ivans imports

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:12 AM

Might be some recal or waranty ishuse but used seat is probly best option



#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:14 AM

I'm not entirely sure how those work but I would first try unplugging the sensor and plugging it back in. More often than not a bad connection causes problems like this.
From looking at the FSM it looks like you will only be able to unplug the main power seat harness connector. The connectors for the sensors and occupant detection control module are not accessible. Still worth a shot though since there could be a poor power or ground connection in the main harness plug.

You might be able to find a used seat through Car-part.com.
It's very expensive to shop a seat though, and shipping a seat with an airbag in it presents other problems. Its an explosive, which is highly regulated, which means it costs quite a bit more. But you may be able to find a place close enough that you can just drive over to pick up the seat.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 20 September 2013 - 11:23 AM.


#6 matt167

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:27 AM

Thank you for your very fast reply!

 

My mechanic checked out the wiring and said that the sensor inside the seat has gone bad. He called the dealer and they said that the sensors cannot be re calibrated, that a new seat is the repair... I suppose I could try to find a used seat but not easy...  

 

It's the occupant sensor in the passenger front seat...

 

Maybe worth to complain to Subaru? Complain to Consumer Prod board -- shouldn't an airbag safety item be guaranteed for life?

 

Grateful for any advice...

Bull.. Subaru dealers use a calibrated lead weight to calibrate the old seats. From what a service tech told me it was not uncommon to have them fall out of calibration.. The 2012+ models use a hydration sensor and do not go off weight and cannot be calibrated.



#7 mrcreosote

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:29 PM

Thanks All, amazing diversity of replies and ideas.

 

If I may, i'll have the dealer read the code and come back for some more advice.

 

Have a nice weekend!



#8 Olnick

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:08 PM

Are you sure you want to have the dealer read the code?  It could be expensive!  Check around some of the parts "chain stores" like Autozone--they will often read codes for free.

 

At any rate, get the code number--not just a verbal description--and post it here.  Good luck.



#9 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:21 PM

Parts stores cannot read airbag system codes. They can only read emissions codes related to the ECU/PCM.

Airbag codes (and in particular the occupant detection system codes) on this model can only be read with a high end scanner (Snap-On) or Subaru Select Monitor.

#10 Olnick

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:06 PM

Makes sense to me!  Thanks Fairtax.  I guess I'm so old-fashioned that when I see "code" I automatically think OBD codes!



#11 lmdew

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:15 PM

www.car-part.com

 

Just sold a full set of 07 seats for $40.



#12 grossgary

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:35 PM

like larry pointed to - www.car-parts.com

 

or ebay - the ebay vendors will ship anything. i've bought entire leather interiors with side impact air bags off of ebay and had them shipped. didn't cost that much and it was for a vehicle that was 7 years old at the time...same as yours right now. 

 

no way in a billion years i'd pay for a new seat from Subaru.



#13 brus brother

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

I had an air bag/seat belt issue and it turned out to be a defective overhead center console. Is that where you are getting the warning and is it intermittent? What was the indicator that you had a problem?

Mine was an intermittent problem and was diagnosed by a Subaru tech as a courtesy.
I just replaced the overhead map light console in my 08 OB.
I wonder how many of these have failed and if SOA would provide the
number. The problem being that if that light is ON, the airbag system is
OFF. So this does become a safety issue and not just a blinky light
problem.
Anyway, replacement was fairly simple.
Pry off light lens, 4 Phillips screws, 2 electrical connections. Replace with new unit and the problem has not returned since.

I have read that others experimented with re soldering
the components on the small circuit board but I didn't try it myself.
I  paid about $100 for the console and of course SOA "never heard of a
problem" with these units, even though I snagged one at my local
dealership that was already on order for another customer.
 


Edited by brus brother, 20 September 2013 - 07:52 PM.


#14 mrcreosote

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

Hello All,

 

I originated this question/forum and I am amazed by the generous advice I recieved -- thank you for taking your time to help!

 

I went to the dealer who read the codes -- my mechanic is a dope, it was a sensor in the overhead console not the passenger seat -- I must bow to Subaru Master's post, he was spot on. Dealer will fix for $385, not as bad a a new seat for $2000+...  

 

Thanks again!



#15 grossgary

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

or car-parts.com again, or ebay. 



#16 mrcreosote

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:38 PM

Hello All,


I originated this question/forum and I am amazed by the generous advice I recieved -- thank you for taking your time to help!


I went to the dealer who read the codes -- my mechanic is a dope, it was a sensor in the overhead console not the passenger seat -- I must bow to Subaru Master's post, he was spot on. Dealer will fix for $385, not as bad a a new seat for $2000+...  


Thanks again!


 



#17 Rooster2

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:43 PM

Hello All,


I originated this question/forum and I am amazed by the generous advice I recieved -- thank you for taking your time to help!


I went to the dealer who read the codes -- my mechanic is a dope, it was a sensor in the overhead console not the passenger seat -- I must bow to Subaru Master's post, he was spot on. Dealer will fix for $385, not as bad a a new seat for $2000+...  


Thanks again!


 

a new seat for $2000+... it would be a very cold day, before I would ever spend that much for a new seat. That is insanity. I hope $2000+ is a typo error. If not, I would go on line to find a good used one for a lot less money.



#18 mrcreosote

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 08:34 AM

Yes, I agree... I just found out the fix is the $385 I mentioned (overhead map console) + a clock spring? -- anyway about $500... yes, the dealer told my mech over the phone a new seat was $2000... I would have bought a used one if needed... thanks!






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