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Honda Accord SRS Troubles

I have an 09 Accord (LX), one day the airbag light (SRS indicator) on the dash would stay on when driving, and the Seatbelt Reminder Indicator would detect the driver’s seatbelt isn’t engaged, even when it is.

A day later, the seatbelt indicator resumed normal operation, but the SRS light still remained on. I took it to two separate dealers and neither of them could connect to the SRS Control Unit to pull error codes from the onboard computer. They say I need to replace the SRS Control Unit to even begin troubleshooting this problem, $500-$1000 + labor + if that doesn’t fix it.

Car Talkers, can I replace my own SRS unit without accidentally triggering my airbags? Where do I order it? How do I make sure it is the correct part? Is it easy? Does anyone think I have a separate problem?


You could not promise me a sufficient monetary savings to get me to futz with the air bag system.

It’s basically composed of little bombs hooked up to balloons. If it goes off, it’s going to be loud, it might hurt, it might even be deadly if my head is in the wrong place, and the car will be totaled because insurance isn’t going to touch the idea of repairing the airbags.

Now, what I would do is take it to an independent mechanic that got good reviews, preferably one who specializes in imports. Why? Because in my experience with Honda and Acura dealership service personnel, they only rarely have any diagnostic chops whatsoever, and have no idea what to do if the computer isn’t telling them what to do.

This means that any problem that wasn’t anticipated by the people who wrote the service manual will result in them throwing parts at the problem until something sticks. This gets expensive and annoying really fast.

That SRS unit might be bad, and that’s why it’s not talking to their scanner. But for all you know there’s a bent pin on the data port that just needs to be tweaked in order to re-establish communications. Or maybe a ground wire fell off and is causing problems.

You want someone who will go and look at the physical parts rather than only looking at what the computer displays.

The air bag system is never a DIY project since it’s so dangerous.

I’m not familiar with how that system works myself, so can’t offer much help. But to the experts here, is it possible the problem isn’t the SRS Control Unit, but a problematic connection in the steering column, e.g. the clock spring is damaged? The clock-spring is how the computer (which is fixed to the car body) is electrically connected to the steering wheel, which turns. So after years of turning the steering wheel the connections can break. Damaged clock springs causing the airbag light to turn on is a pretty common complaint here.

A similar thing happened to me where my Honda Accord '04 airbag light would turn on randomly. My airbag was recalled and subsequently fixed by the dealer at no charge to me. I would do some online research to find out if your Honda may have a recall on its airbag before you spend a lot of money to have it fixed.

I also had an airbag light that came on in an 04 accord coupe. The code read a problem with a side airbag, and a seatbelt tensioner, and some other seatbelt thing. I had the seatbelt stuff fixed. After checking connections under the driver seat (a lot of wires are connected under there), the airbag light eventually went out. Now the engine light is sporadically on, with a P0420 cat converter code. When I last needed a smog, as soon as the light went out, I had it smogged and it passed. Therefore, I think this is also a loose connection, but I’m due for a smog again and the light isn’t going out. It was out for about 6 months until around the new year. I can replace sensors, but still think it’s just a loose connection or a computer glitch.

@“papi roach” A recall was announced last week for the Airbag Control Module on your vehicle, you should receive a notice next month about this recall.

American Honda Motor Company, Inc. (Honda) is recalling certain model year 2008-2010 Accord vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the air bag control units may corrode and fail.

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the air bag control units, free of charge. Parts are expected to be available in Fall 2016. Interim notifications will be mailed to owners beginning on March 15, 2016, and a second notice will be mailed when remedy parts are available. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is JW9

Wife had the SRS light come on with her 1996 Accord. It was because it needed a new battery. Replaced 8yo car battery…and all was fine.

Sounds like you have this covered…or rather…Honda does.

I have a similar issue on my VW… By using a special VAG/COM program to interface with my cars ECU…I can see in real time…basically everything. My drivers side seatbelt was not registering as being locked…after the car detected a Butt was in the drivers seat. My repair is to replace that seatbelt clip on the drivers seat.

Your system perhaps triggers the SRS light whenever something similar happens…but it doesnt automatically reset itself and may need to be purposefully reset. Let Honda figure it out…

There is one idea I would personally try myself if it were my vehicle. Simply disconnect the battery for a few min…and reconnect it. Without the specific SRS light reset interface…that would be what I tried. It should be no more dangerous than if the battery completely died…but again…dont quote me on that …LOL. I would have already tried this meself.

In your case…just let Honda deal with it. No risk involved in that !