Ok, how bad did I screw up the airbag in my Chevy Silverado?

I just bought a 2004 Chevy Silverado. My old truck was a 2000 silverado which had been totalled in an accident (Stupid Tampa drivers!)

The new truck is a base model with manual everything. the old one was a higher end model with electric everything. The one feature I cannot live without was the lumbar support in the seat. so I swapped the front seats. the electrical hookups did not match, so I just didn’t plug the seat in. Of course I goa a “service airbag” warning on the dash.

So I put the passenger seat back in and hooked everything up. Leaving the driver’s side seat from the old truck in. There really didn’t appear to be anything relating to the airbag on that side so I thought I was ok…

Sadly, that was not the case. I still have the “service airbag” warning on my message center.

So… Now that the old truck with the proper driver’s side seat is long gone. My questions are:

Is there some component of the airbag on the driver’s side seat?


Did just unhooking and re-hooking up all the connections on the passenger side seat just trigger some warning that now needs to be run through a simple diagnostic in order to satisfy the computer?

If there was something on the driver’s seat, what are my options to get myself out of this pickle?

I’m really not too worried about not having airbags, I’ve driven for over thirty years without them, and got along just fine… However, it might be a nice thing to have functioning correctly should I ever decide to re-sell the truck …

Just disconnecting and connecting the plugs will probably not harm the system. If the drivers seat is still disconnected, of course the warning light will be on, the circuit is open.

The only way to get it to work properly, is to find out the differences in the wiring and hooking the drivers side circuit up. You will need the wiring diagrams of both trucks to do this. Then the plugs will have to be changed to match.

Sometimes when the airbag module detects a fault in the system, it blows an internal, non-replaceable fuse to disable the system. The only cure is to repair the fault and replace the module.

Complete baloney. There’s no fuse in the module that blows when an external fault is detected. There are some modules that have to be replaced after a crash, because the crash event memory is filled up. That’s not the problem here.
Most likely the problem is that the old seat doesn’t have the position and mass sensors that the newer airbag systems use to determine how quickly and how hard to deploy the airbags. (Airbags are often two-stage or multi-stage ignition now.)

More likely you turned the key on with part of the air bag system disconnected, the self test feature detected this missing component and turned on the light. All you need to do is hook everything back up and clear the code. Never saw the non-replaceable fuse situation, certainly not from just turning on the key with a component disconnected. Turning on the key with the drivers airbag disconnected happens a lot when doing steering colunm work, no big deal.

The SRS (Secondary Restraint System) is more than an air bag system. It includes the seat belts, retractors, sensors, etc. Did you have electrical connectors “left over” after the swap?

Thanks for all the replys and suggestions my friends…

Yes, the connectors on the old driver’s seat and the new truck do not match. I was hoping to get away with just leaving it unhooked… Oh well.

Now I just need to find the wiring diagrams and try to make the connections.

Any suggestions for how to locate that? google was a complete bust! Unless I want to pay $170.00 for a book that may or may not have the info I need.

Its called a strain switch. Its in the seat. I had to deal with that in my 06 Charger.


You need to get the correct seat back.

When the “SRS or Airbag” warning light comes on, it will take a new module plus repairing the fault to make the system operational again…That’s no baloney.

For the SRS (Secondary Restraint System) alldata.com may have the wiring diagrams and some instructions (“Don’t touch that!”). Some public libraries have an alldata.com online subscription. Ask a librarian.
There are online sites which have wiring diagrams, and repair manuals, for a small price.

Some but not all DTC’s are “latched”, it is only when you are dealing with a “latched” DTC do you have to replace the SDM. B1018 1024, 1051, 1053 are latched codes and cannot be cleared. They translate into Passenger Deployment Loop Voltage out of Range, Driver Deployment Loop Voltage out of Range, Deployment Commanded, Deployment Commanded With Loop Malfunction.

Yes, it is.

You need to get your old seats back and put them back in the truck, or find a way to install the pressure sensor in the seats you have now. The former is the preferred method since you are dealing with a very important part of the safety system of the vehicle. The pressure sensor measures how big the driver and passenger are (there’s one in each seat) and determines how to deploy the air bags based on that factor. Your old truck did not have these. The way it is now, there are no airbags. Unfortunately, seats are more than just something to sit on in modern vehicles.

Hmmmm… well there’s no getting the old seat back at this point. It’s already “down the road”.

I read something in thr manual for my '03 silverado when I bought it new, that it had a pressure sensor in the passenger seat, incase you had a small child riding with you, but not the driver’s seat. I was going on the assumption that this was still the case in the '04 model.

I guess there’s a trip to the library in my near future…

Thanks again everyone!

What exactly do you want to know? I have access to a very good data base through my college library I could look at the schematic for you.

Thanks Oldschool…
I’d like to see the diagram for both the 2000 and the 2004, so I can look at the seat hookups and determine if I can just switch out the harness plug. hook the old seat to the new truck’s wiring, and be good to go. I’m fairly new to this posting board… is it relatively safe to post an e-mail address here? or will that just be inviting spam galore like on some boards?