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Hope someone has a few ideas for me. I have a 95 Impreza wagon (241,000+ miles most of which I have put on!) 

The airbag light is stuck on, it won't pass my state inspection, my mechanic has tried to replace the airbag computer module twice (both times with used modules (a new one from Subaru is $350 no way!). 

My question is, could this be something else since 2 different used computer modules have not "fixed" the problem. A side note, the second used part I had sent to me from WA state. I trust my mechanic shop but not to the point that I'm going to roll over and be helpless. 

Any ideas? 

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those modules don't fail on Subaru's, no point in replacing or worrying about those.

 

if the airbag light is on that means it has a stored code. 

simply read that code and it will tell you which circuit is the issue and more than likely it'll be something common. 

 

probably simply the clock spring in the steering wheel.  very simple, they don't fail terrible often so used is always the way to go with Subaru air bag stuffs. clock spring is the most common air bag related issue since it';s integrated into a moving part - the steering wheel.

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X2 on clockspring. Especially if the cruise doesn't work (if you have it) and the horn works intermittently.

 

Like Gary said, airbag light on means it has a code, search google and you can find instructions for how to read the codes. There is a black 6 pin connector under the dash with two bare spade terminals wrapped up in the harness next to it. You plug one of the spades into one of the sockets in the connector (the socket differs for each module you want to check). Turn the key On and the airbag light will flash any stored codes.

 

The proper instructions are needed to figure out which socket is for the airbag module.

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Thanks for the help! Interesting that I shouldn't need to change the module at all… I have watched a few youtube videos about reading the codes. I will try it and let you know the end results. I don't have cruise control at all and the horn has worked when I needed it to. The one thing that may not work is the "ding ding" sound when I first start it up  (the buckle up reminder) but I can't be certain that it doesn't work at all or is intermittent. Not sure if those are connected or not. 

I will do the code reading with help from the internet as suggested in other threads on the forum. Thanks again! 

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Update: Tried to get the airbag light to blink a code and it won't. It just stays on. Any thoughts? I'll do some more research but I am at a loss. If all else fails I'll take it to the mechanic and have him change the clock spring. 

Does it help at all if I tell you the mechanic tried to replace the computer module twice and both times the code still came up as airbag module? He didn't tell me the code number but I didn't ask. 

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That could mean either the module wasnt set into check mode (used the wrong pin in the connector?), or there is a wiring problem to the module.

 

Generally if you get a code for "airbag module" it means there is a problem with power to the module.

If the module itself goes bad, you don't get any lights or codes.

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I'm with the last post, I could care less if the airbag light is on. I am short and sit with the seat all the way forward. This could actually pose a serious problem if the airbag actually did deploy. Unfortunately, Virginia requires a state inspection every year and this airbag light is causing my car to 'not pass'. At the point where I might just try to find a mechanic that will pass it as is. 

Thank you everyone for the info. 

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Yep, the VA inspection won't let that pass. And you can't just put tape over the light because they look for it to come on when they key is turned on.

If you were closer I would gladly take a look at it, as its probably something simple like a bad ground connection. It might be worth it to just double check all of the fuses though.

 

I'm not familiar enough with the Beach area anymore to know of any shops that would pass it that way. I know of a few out here in the sticks around Charlottesville, but I hardly think its worth driving 3 hours to get a sticker.

Might try to find a little shop down south in Chesapeake or Suffolk somewhere.

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Sorry to hear about the VA inspection. First thought is to find that light in the back of the dash and disconnect it. :)

 

Good luck.

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Well, second mechanic told me why I wasn't able to get the airbag light to flash. The first mechanic never put the original (supposedly broken/failed) module back in. Hmmm… that is weird. I have a module that the first mechanic said also didn't work. Going to have the second mechanic try it out & also talk to him about the clock spring. Fingers crossed my old Soob can buck up and get it together. I love this car, have put in a n engine in the past among many, many, other parts. Not going to give up now! 

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Thank you to the above posts, especially Charlottesville. I will keep ya posted. The one thing I didn't know is once the car is in the VA "system" as not passing, you have to 'fix it' before you can get a sticker. The first mechanic shop is my go to choice but they do everything by the book : ) nice to have but in this situation not so helpful. The second mechanic has passed it in the past and had I known, I would have continued to go back. Fingers crossed or I may be taking a road trip to Charlottesville! 

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I have fixed 3 cars with this problem all were bad clockspring can be checked with ohm meter beeper continuity check wires from collum to air bag plug bet you will find a break there

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Thank you so much Lumby! I texted my mechanic your exact message. Hopefully he can figure that out! 

On a side note, I was born in Kelowna BC (raised by Canadian Parents in Washington State). Appreciate the help! 

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Screenshot2014-01-03at113049PM_zps188349

 

Image is '96 impreza wiring diagram.  While buzzing out the clock spring if that doesn't pan out also buzz out the front sensors and inflator wiring.  The control module is looking for low resistance on the inflators so shorting the pins can make the light go out if that is the trouble.  

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If anyone recommends an online and/or East Coast place to order a clock spring, I'm trying to find one fairly close. Found one in Oregon but like to find one closer to shave off a few shipping days. I'd even be willing to drive a couple hours to pick one up for cash if anyone in VA has an extra one that will fit (my car does not have any fancy additions like power windows or cruise control, just a basic 1995 Impreza wagon with 1.8 engine.) 

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Open to used (let's be honest, I'm a teacher and drive a '95 60+ miles a day, I don't make enough $ to put brand new parts on every time : )

 

I did check with the Pick N Pull here and they actually have a '95, which in this area is a miracle. Have had good luck there in the past, got a radiator and a hood. Fingers crossed the clock spring is still there! 

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