Airbag light on 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis

The airbag light stays on on my Mom’s 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis. My sister thinks she HAS to get it fixed because she believes that the airbags will choose to deploy at any point.

I think my Mom should disregard the light since she thinks it will cost $300.00 to have the dealer replace the modules.

What’s the right answer?

Well with the light on, you have to assume she no longer has a working airbag (possibly not true).  

It could be nothing more than a loose connector under the seat.  

There is one thing I can say for almost certain.  Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee or recall.  During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.

I seem to recall that there is a special mandatory warranty on that safety system.  I would also suggest that the lamp and/or system be corrected.  It does likely mean she has no functioning air bag.  That can be a killer. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.

When you first start the car, the airbag light will flash out a two digit code repeatedly for a while before it goes to solid on. Post that two digit code here and we can tell you what the problem most likely is.
A common problem is the clockspring in the steering wheel.

Airbag systems are designed to be in “fail safe” mode when the light flashes. It will NOT deploy on its own. In fact, it will not deploy AT ALL when the system detects a problem and the light flashes and stays on, even in a frontal accident. I would not suggest that she not get it fixed. Airbags are a good idea. I know several people, including Mrs Mc, who have escaped serious injury due to an airbag.

As Tardis said, count those flashes. 1-2 1-2 1-2, or whatever, over and over, and post back. You can also search the codes on google.

“What’s the right answer?” Get it checked out whatever it is. Isn’t your Mom’s safety worth $300.00?

Thanks for all of your help!
My brother will start the car, check the blinking light and I’ll get back to you with the info.
I certainly appreciate your expertise and help!

My brother was visiting my Mom today and started the car to check the blinking light. The sequence is 3.4.
If you could tell us what that means i would appreciate it. Then we can find a mechanic to fix whatever it is.
Thanks for your help!

I’m not positive about the 2005, but I think that it is:
Restraint System ? Safety Belt Pretensioner Fault (Passenger Pretensioner Circuit Fault)

There seem to be a number of TSB’s on this indicating that there may be a wiring problem.

And who would be the best type of person or company to look for to fix this wiring problem? Am I looking for a mechanic in a small shop? Or…?

Try this:

Call around to see if you can find a good indy shop who likes to work on airbag systems. Some don’t. The dealer will say they do, but may charge more per hour. Their shop is only as good as the tech they assign your mom’s car to.

Thank you SO much for your help!
Now that we have some factual info I think we can get the problem solved.
Thanks again.