The driver’s side airbag light comes on and stays on approximately 85% of the time while driving. This problem has been going on for approximately 10 months. Had the Toyota dealership look into the problem when it first started. The mechanic could not replicate the problem; I was asked to bring the car back for further diagnostics and it cost me almost $200 for the diagnostic. Does anyone know what could be causing the problem?
It could be something as simple as a open or shorted circuit. Really the system is complex that is why there is a diagnostic capability built in the car. SRS is not really a DIY deal but if it was something as simple as a chaffed wire a DIYer could easily fix it. Now you will read from some sources that SRS wiring cannot be repaired and the entire harness must be replaced but I have had District Reps. instruct me to do otherwise.
Things like seat occupancy detectors commonly go bad and a DIYer can fix these type of things.
In your case did the problem get reported while the car was under warranty? any chance that it could become a warranty issue?
10 months ago it would have been possible for your car to be under warranty (did high mileage kick you out?
There Is A Toyota TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) For 2005 Matrix Airbag Light Illumination.
This bulletin outlines diagnostic procedures that help the technician.
Do you know if this bulletin was consulted by your dealer and if it applies to your specific vehicle (There is a 2005 model mid-year cut-off date) and situation? Certain vehicles need improved Occupant Detection Computers. The dealer has already checked this or should check.
Possibly this bulletin was not out when you first inquired. Looks like it came out in April, 2005, whereas The 2005 Matrix probably came out in July, 2004. I don’t know if this helps, but it won’t hurt to ask.
This problem began outside the warranty. Are there any simple test that a novice could run to rule out your suggestions?
The TSB you mention would have been available to the technician when he/she looked at my car. What website would I find the Airbag Light Illumination TSB?
A scan by a mechanic that has a scanner that can access the SRS system would put a lot of info on your plate,does not have to be a Dealer. Perhaps you can get the car in to a independant for some other work and he can throw a SRS scan in the deal. If you go to the Dealer for just this single problem it will be so expensive.
You shouldn’t have avoided making a real attempt at a repair of the SRS as it will be disabled as long as the warning light shows a fault.
Does this '05 have the optional drivers/passengers seat side airbags?
If you have a power adjustable drivers seat, you MAY have a loose wiring harness connection under the seat.