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1996 Park Avenue Airbag Light

Do that and if you get the waiver just tell your passenger the vehicle does not move until they have seat belt on. This is not a classic vehicle so you might want to re-evaluate your attachment to it.

No vehicle should ever move until everyone has their seat belts on. Also, most of us have owned or driven vehicles which did not have airbags, or only had one for the driver. Isn’t it amazing how we all survived just fine, driving cars that today wouldn’t even meet the safety standards of the developing world?

I guess I care but I ride a motorcycle. I suppose if I had the choice of crashing the motorcycle or a car with a dysfunctional airbag, the decision would be fairly simple. I contacted the state police - - they will get back to me.

I meant the connector . . . I though that was known as the squib

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That’s what I meant . . . in my experience, it’s very often the connector which is the real problem

I would sure like to find that connector. Where do I look?
I picked the car back up and paid a $60 diagnostic fee. The shop said they would install a part if I bought it but would not guarantee anything. He said if the dash had to be removed, the installation would be around $400. This leaves me with a few questions:

  1. Does the dash have to be removed?
  2. Can the part be tested before installation? (to make sure the light goes away)
  3. Are there any connections under the passenger seat that could generate this light?
  4. It was said in a previous post that a “savvy” mechanic should be able to diagnose the problem in short order. Should I take the car somewhere else?
  5. Can the light (code) be reset by me without special tools / equipment?
    I would sure like to eliminate any simple connection problems before I have a part installed only to see that light pop up again.
    Lastly, I was going to attempt to get a waiver from the state police but they never called me back. I don’t even know if that’s possible.

The squib connector is on the airbag inflator.

You paid for a diagnosis, do you believe that it was not performed?
The diagnostic procedure includes inspecting the airbag connector. With the airbag disconnected the fault should read “open”. There is a test connector that can be installed that has the same resistance as the airbag, the fault should go away. Your mechanic may not have these test connectors. When the connector is shorted with a piece of wire, the fault should read “short circuit”.

For $60 it is questionable if you received a thorough diagnosis. Some say that their favorite shop will perform a diagnosis for free while the dealer charges $120. For free you will only get a computer scan.

I believe a diagnostic procedure was performed but am not convinced it was as thorough as you have described. I’m not sure where to turn from here except to try another shop. If you know where that connector is, I’d sure like to find it - - that is if it is safe for a novice to check it out without deploying the airbag.

It’s not even that complicated

A decade resistance box and an appropriate connector will give you the answer quickly

And those decade resistance boxes can be had for a relatively low price, if you’re not too picky about the brand

I also agree that for $60 it’s highly unlikely that the guy busted out the decade resistance box and diagnosed the problem correctly

Most likely the guy just hooked up a scanner, retrieved a fault code and said the passenger airbag module needs to be replaced

You’re not going to be able to do anything without the decade resistance box, the adapter, the knowledge of how to use it . . . and the chart that tells you how much resistance each airbag is supposed to have. It’s typically very low resistance, in the single digits, but don’t quote me on it

The saga ends here - - I took the car to an auto electric shop who diagnosed a "Code 15 stored for passenger inflator circuit fault. Circuit tested good and code cleared. Light is off at this time". The light quickly came back on so I returned the car. The shop “tightened the connector” - - - - The light was gone and I headed directly to the inspection station that resulted in an approval. My only last plea is to find out where that “connector” is located. It sounds to me like a wiggle might fix any future failure.
Hey, thanks to all for your incredibly helpful responses. I learned a lot and am very appreciative to those at this forum who are so very helpful.