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Guest Message by DevFuse

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98 Forester airbag light

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Curtis_*

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 12:43 AM

The dash airbag light is coming on the past day--anyone have suggestions for troubleshooting this?

#2 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 06:12 AM

I'd probably take it somewhere to have it checked out. There's obviously a problem of some sorts with the airbag.

I wouldn't really do much fiddling because you could accidently set it off....

#3 Guest_Curtis_*

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 05:22 PM

I'm not big on letting the pros do something I can do myself. I believe that the airbag light simply indicates a code is stored in the airbag computer. I'd like to access the code, because it might be something simple and easy, like a poor connection to an impact sensor or something. Anyone know how to access codes for the airbag system?

#4 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 07:32 PM

an obd2 scanner may be able to tell. Autozone scans codes for free. Not sure if they'd mess with it since it's an airbag.

#5 Guest_Sydfloyd44_*

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 09:58 PM

You may not think it is anything major until it blows off and snaps your neck in half. I am not trying to be an idiot but you need to realize that people have been seriously injured by messing with airbags. Odds are in your favor that they will not go, but if you are a member of "Murphy's Law" as I am, check closer on your odds.
If a car comes in for us to replace the windshield and the airbag light is on, we pull it back out to the parking lot and return the keys to the customer. They are told we will be happy to put in their new windshield once they show us, in writing, that it has been checked by the dealer. The liability is not worth a couple hundred bucks for the new windshield.

Good Luck and if you do "fiddle" with it, just remember to stay clear of the airbags AT ALL TIMES while you are working on it!! If they would go, at least you won't be hurt!!

#6 Guest_Curtis_*

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 11:12 PM

All I plan to do is tap gently on the steering wheel with a five pound sledge hammer...just kidding.

#7 Guest_Sydfloyd44_*

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 05:21 AM


#8 Guest_Dwaph21_*

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 06:57 AM

My 98 Forester did the same.. It would come on when I did a hard right turn. Shutting off the engine and re-starting cleared it till the next time. It turned out to be the clock-spring in the sterring column cost me CAN$500 including labour (about 1 hour) VERY expensive part.

#9 Guest_Strakes_*

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 04:31 PM

You may want to ask the dealer or call up Subaru customer service on this one...but I think that by US law, the vehicle manufacturer has to warrant the airbags for 10 years. This also applies to most vehicle safety systems, such as seat belts, seat belt tensioners and etc. Plus, I bet the liability on not warranting a "safety" item is very high, so the manufacter is likely to go along with fixing this unless you've been in a collision.

In other words: This may be a warranty issue and you may be able to get it fixed for free.

#10 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 08:01 PM

if the light is on, the system is disabled. don't mess. don't even pull a fuse (this will set it off on some cars). Dealer time. clock screw or wiring is probable cause.


#11 Guest_jamanosa_*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:50 PM

I have a 2003 Forester. My airbag light goes on and off intermittently. According to the manual, this may indicate a problem with the seatbelt system, as well as the airbags. The dealer has already replaced a fuse, and the air bag controller. I don't want to drive this car with a malfunctioning seat belt -- I have two children in the backseat. I want the service dept to keep the car for a week to be sure they really fix it this time. The dealer won't give me a loaner. What's the deal with that? I'm thinking of renting a car, and then taking Subaru to small claims court if they won't reimburse me. My question is, could the seat belts really be malfunctioning?

#12 Guest_Dwaph21_*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 08:18 PM

I realy doubt if the seatbelt function is compromised, it uses mechanical action to operate. The electronics are tied into the system to warn if seat belts are not fastned when an occupant is in the seat. But I would be concerned as to the reliabilty of the airbag system, when the light is on the system is de-activated. Not a good thing for a system that is meant to protect you in the case of an acident! I would cerinaly take this up with Subaru regonal office. I am sure that there are laws out there governing the warrenty on safty systems.

#13 Guest_My Favorite Legacy_*

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 10:47 AM

My 2003 Forester Airbag light came on recently. It was a code from the passenger side airbag. It was actually caused from a pinched wire. The dealer went ahead and replaced it just to be on the safe side. It could be most anything. Don't deploy the baby though!

#14 Guest_Curtis_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 12:01 AM

Both the Factory Service Manual (on CD from eBay) and the Endwrench (on internet) give instructions for retrieving airbag codes. But they don't give enough detail to do it properly. They show connecting a diagnostic connector to a diagnostic terminal under the dash, but I don't find those items as described. Anyone gotten this far on theirs?
I realize that going to the dealer is a simple way to deal with this, but I'm always irritated when I could have done it myself.

#15 Guest_theotherskip_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 08:55 AM

the diagnostic connector is gray and is mounted in a vertical orientation on the drivers side of the center console under the dash. there should be 2 ground leads also in the vicinity (i looked quick but couldn't find them, though i didn't have real good access). this is for a legacy, but i can't imagine a forester would be signifigantly different...

#16 Curtis


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Posted 15 August 2003 - 09:04 PM

The local auto mechanic, who works on everything from Roll Royce to Honda, also couldn't access the airbag codes. Two local Subaru specialists, the dealer and an independent shop, want 75 to 90 dollars just to access the codes.
I think Subaru has deliberately made this task difficult by not including enough information in their factory manual. Anyone with a different opinion?

#17 theotherskip


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Posted 16 August 2003 - 07:44 AM

i think you may be missing a section. for my 97 obw, it was in a different section titled "1997 legacy manual supplimental abs 5.3I system"

specific section that has info about pulling codes (in great detail) is [T6A0] 4-4d, sec. 6 "Diagnostic Chart for On-Board Diagnostic System", subsection D - "trouble codes"

you may have to see if you can find this elsewhere, such as from techinfo.subaru.com

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