Airbag light flashing on Ford Ranger

Hi, I’m brand new here and hope someone can give me some good advice! The airbag light on my 1995 Ford Ranger is flashing a code 41 (four flashes, pause, then one flash…does this a few times when I start the engine, then goes to a solid light which stays on while I drive.) It has been doing this for several months, and to be perfectly honest, this has not been a concern for me but now that my state inspection is coming up in December, I need to do something about it. Just before I noticed it to begin with, I had a major repair done–the dreaded heater core replacement–which involved removal of the dashboard. I never associated the flashing with that repair and the possibility that the repair shop might have inadvertently neglected to reattach something when reassembling the dashboard and now so much time has passed, that I can’t just go back to the repair shop and give them the old ‘ever since you…’ speech and expect them to remedy it! Back to being honest, I really don’t want to spend a lot of money on this 1995 truck, since in the past 9 months I have plunked well over $1,000 into it with the heater core repair and replacement of the serpentine belt. I do love this truck though and want to keep it around. Any insight into my problem will be most appreciated!

Hi ButterflyBliss, And Welcome To The Community !
Please Explain.

Is it just the Air Bag Warning that’s flashing and staying on or is a Check Engine light flashing and staying on ?
It’s just the one light ?

This vehicle just missed the 1996 OBD2 (4 digit codes) and uses the older OBD1 onboard system (2 digit codes).
"41 Right Radiator Primary Crash Sensor Feed/Return Circuit Open"
"41 oxygen sensor circuit indicates system always lean"

I was a little confused, but I think I’ve figured out what you’re saying, that only the Air Bag light is flashing code 41 and staying on. It looks like the problem points to a crash sensor near the radiator. It’s possibly related to a corroded connection or ground condition. Also, since work was done under the dash it could possibly be a connector there, but I don’t feel that’s as likely.

BE CAREFUL Your air bag system probably is not working.
BE CAREFUL Working on this sensor could set off the aribag. The battery will need to be disconnected, first.

Could this relate to the heater core work ? Maybe. Coolant from the radiator was probably drained and the radiator refilled. Wires could hav possibly been disturbed or coolant accidently spilled in that area. You’d think the problem would have been immediate, like when you picked up the car, but hey ?

You could go back to the shop and politely ask them to have a look. I think the connections need to be checked, first. If it needed a sensor, I’d be tempted to get one from the salvage yard to keep costs in check.

I got the ball rolling. I may or may not know what I’m talking about. Maybe others will weigh in here and offer suggestions.


Thank you, CSA! Yes, it is just the airbag light which is flashing and then staying on and yes, the radiator was drained and refilled as part of the heater core repair. If wires were disturbed or coolant accidentally spilled in that area, would I be able to tell just by looking under the hood?

You’re Welcome.
" . . . would I be able to tell just by looking under the hood?

I doubt it. Looks like it’s been a few months now, right ? The coolant would have dried by now except maybe some in the sensor connector where you wouldn’t see it. It very possibly does not relate to the heater work, but rather just comes with the age of the truck.

I don’t even know for sure where that sensor is. It’s likely on the steel support that the radiator sits on, probably on the front side somewhere behind the bumper. Like I was saying though, one has to be careful not to disturb it and make it upset enough to deploy the air bag, thinking it’s been in a collision.


Locate or have someone locate the suspect sensor and check the wiring…Since this is not a major issue with you, and money is tight, just locate and remove the bulb that is causing the problem. Chances are, the inspector will not notice it’s not working…