'99 F150 Airbag Disable

I recently inherited my grandfathers '99 F150. In talking with my mom, she recalled him telling her that he had the airbags disabled because we wasn’t having any bomb go off in his face.

Can they be disabled? If so, any suggestions on how to tell w/o going to the dealer? When the vehicle is started, the airbag light comes on then goes off like it checks out ok.



It’s pretty difficult to do. If the SRS light isn’t on constantly, I would assume that they are still active (I know, when you assume…)

When you start the car, look at the dash and look for the SRS / Airbag light. It should blink for a couple of second when you start the car. If it never lights, then you might be suspicious. FWIW, you can’t just remove the SRS bulb, a chime will go off if you try to disable the light, so I don’t think you have to worry about any false indication there.

I don’t know if there is a reliable way to defeat them (I just don’t buy cars equipped with air bags in the first place). If the light looks OK, it should pass a state “safety” inspection. If you want to make sure they are activated for some reason, take it to the dealer and have them check.

I think your system is working fine…The system CAN be defeated by removing the airbag control module which is located behind the glove box. When this has been done, the “airbag” dash light stays on all the time…If yours comes on when you turn on the ignition, then goes off, the system has self-tested and armed itself and should be working fine. ANY fault and the light will NOT go off. If the light never comes on, the bulb has been removed or is burned out…

Thanks for the info. Like I said, the airbag light comes on and goes out as if it is functioning properly. I think what happened is the dealership turned the passenger bag off, and told him that this disarmed the entire system; because he wouldn’t have taken NO for an answer. Probably charged him $200 for the service just for the heck of it…LOL.

If he did if fact have the system disabled did he have the airbag removed? If not then the “bomb” was still right there in front of his face. Having the system disabled doesn’t disable the explosive force of the airbag.

I believe the module produces a capacitive discharge, high-voltage pulse to set off the pyrotechnics. With the module removed, this can not happen. Airbag deployment in this condition is almost impossible. I don’t think a simple and common 12 volt short in the steering column will cause the airbag to deploy. I could wrong about this. If you are concerned, ask an expert who works on these systems…

Good point, I would personally get rid of the whole thing instead of just trying to “disarm” it.

I agree. The chances of the airbag deploying when the system is disarmed are slim to none.

Think about though… You have the system disabled but you leave the airbag in place. The “bomb” as the O.P. put it, is still in place.

Personally, I would prefer to have it completely gone.