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Airbag Light is on my 2002 Ford Thunderbird

Hello Everyone,

My airbag light came on my 2002 Thunderbird (41,000 miles). I took it to the dealership and sure enough they said it was the clockspring. But I wanted to have a second opinion because I had read on various forums that they always say its the clockspring and it’s very rare on cars with low mileage.

Anyways, I took it to my mechanic and he said it’s not the clockspring and the airbag has too much resistance and it’s defective. That he wasn’t going to touch it and I had to take it to the dealership and tell them to fix it for free since it’s Ford issue.

Has anyone heard of this? Any suggestions?


The air bag light should be flashing a trouble code.

Example flash flash pause flash flash would be a code 22.

Post the code here.

Okay, he won’t touch the airbag, but he somehow knows that it has high resistance? The only way to know that would be to measure it with an ohmmeter, which I’m sure he didn’t do.
I’m with the dealership on this. I bet the light is flashing 3-2, for drivers’ airbag circuit resistance high. 99 times out of 100 this is caused by a failing clockspring. It is not an uncommon problem for the DEW98 cars. Get the clockspring replaced, and stay away from the mechanic that doesn’t understand the system.

You have little choice but to stick with the Ford dealer. As you discovered, independents don’t want to touch the airbag system for fear of setting them off.

Your owner’s documentation will tell you if there’s any sort of warranty left on the airbag system.

Is part of the repair a new control module?

I work with airbags all the time. I’m not afraid of them, and I don’t work for a dealership.


Not, it is not. I’ve been through several of these (Lincoln LS and Ford Thunderbird). All that is required to fix it is to replace the clockspring. There is no nonsense of the module locking the code and having to be replaced. The control module only needs to be replaced when the code is 13, crash data memory full. For all other codes, fix the fault and the light goes off, no module replacement involved.