Air bag warning lamp

I was rehabilitating a 1997 Hyundai Elantra and wanted to check the shift linkage at the automatic transmission (transaxle) to see if was positioning properly. The linkage lies beneath the air intake filter housing and the battery tray so these were removed (and the battery disconnected). I was unable to move the shifter without the key on, so unencumbered by the thought process I turned on the key and was able to move the lever and verify proper linkage alignment. BUT, because there was no battery hooked up, the air bag self diagnostic generated an error code since no battery power was present at “key on”. I realize the air bag system has a backup power supply, but upon reconnecting the battery the air bag fault light came on and has remained illuminated ever since (six months ago). I believe the system to be OK, except for my inadvertent creation of an “error” condition. How is the light reset as I’m coming up on required state inspection? I don’t mind paying to do it right, but don’t want the mechanic getting sidetracked into non relevant repairs. What should I ask for, diagnostically speaking?

You made a long story out of a short one…A Dealer will have to run diagnostics on the system and repair the fault that triggered the light. Then, in all likelihood, the bag control module will have to be replaced because in 1997 they destroyed themselves when they disable the system…You can fantasize a “reset” procedure all you want, but that is seldom an option…

You might be right but your advise was not really helpful. And kinda mean. Stuff I really try to avoid I wish you would as well.
Moving V,
The problem could be fixed with a longer battery disconnect or maybe just a good code reader. Check your local shops hold off, on a dealer unless necessary. I had a airbag code on my 95 benz. My son had pulled out the wire from the seat mesh detector by accident with the car running. I had a great chat with the shop owner while he was not busy and he reset the system for $35. So talk nicely and don’t bug people you might get through this easy.

I don’t for one second believe your air bag module has been destroyed, Caddyman I respect all you post but your driving this destroyed airbag module theory into the ground. Modules that deploy will have to be replaced not modules that simply show a code.

If you turn the key on with the battery connected but a component of the airbag system disconnected a code will be set. All you have to do is connect the part you left off and clear the code (by a scanner) This happens all the time when mechanics are putting in new window motors and want to test their work but forget to plug in the side airbag, it sets a code, but doesn’t destroy the deployment module.

OP you have it backwards, you think because you turned the key on but did not have a battery connected thats the reason for your air bag light, thats not how it happens. Get the module scanned and find out what the failure is.

One of our regulars with 3 BMW’s did what I was talking about when he put a new regulator in, turned the key on with the side airbag disconnected,all it did as set a code, connect the bag, clear the code,you will be good to go.

Thanks all: I only know that disconnecting the battery etc. was correlative, not necessarily causative. I never actually took it to the local auto parts store for a free OBD scan because I thought that: a)they were not allowed to reset (safety/liability issues), and b) it was a proprietary system so it had to be diagnosed on a Hyundai computer and the generic code reader wouldn’t be helpful. At any rate I’ll scoot to the auto parts store tomorrow and see what the deal is- I found a website that defines each alpha-numeric error code. I’m happy letting the pros handle it, I’m just trying to find the cheapest safe solution.

The auto parts store will not be able to read/reset airbag codes. You need a dealer or an independent with a Hyundai specific code reader.

Would you give it up. It doesn’t work that way, even then. The only times the airbag module has to be replaced are 1. When the airbag module itself is the source of the fault (not because of an external sensor) - This is rare. 2. When the “crash memory” is full. This only happens if the car is in a wreck and the airbags deploy. Not all modules do this, but some do.
None of them “self destruct”, no matter how many times you repeat this.