My 2005 Toyota Corolla had water damage few years ago. The car runs great. No issues and I love the car. But, the SRS light is constantly on since that water damage.
Toyota dealer wanted half of my life’s earnings to diagnose and fix it. They said, there is no communication to the SRS module. It would be about $2000+ to try to replace the module. Then, they would know if that worked or not and maybe twice more to finally fix it (maybe).
Some time back, I removed the SRS module from the car to see what is going on. I was thinking of sending it in to one of those Internet places where they repair or program the module for like $50. I saw some green oxidation on few pins on the module. I am assuming that there might be some oxidation on the female connectors too (i saw some green stuff on the female connector too). If oxidation is present on the female connectors, swapping the module with another does no good. Maybe, the only problem with the car is that the oxidation on the connectors is preventing any communication with the SRS module.
I managed to get the male pins clean, but cleaning the female plug remains a challenge to me. I cleaned with some vinegar solution first. Let it sit for like 5-10 minutes. Then neutralized the acid with a solution of baking soda and alcohol (I used alcohol because, it dissolves baking soda too, but evaporates off). I didn’t like it because it left the baking soda on the pins. Since these connectors need to make a good electrical connection, the left over baling soda might do more harm. I finally rinsed the whole module and air dried it.
I am a newbie to the world of diy. I benefitted from the wisdom of many people on this forum on several projects in the past. I am hoping that someone would share some of their experience where they solved a similar problem.
What I have in mind at this point are:
Use a fine wire to laboriously scrap the inside of the female connectors. Maybe, I might be able to remove some oxidation. This method doesn’t look promising to me because what I need is a tiny file, the size of a 20 awg wire and I don’t have anything like that (unless I can think of making one. I might try to make some lines on a thin wire and use it as a sort of file.
Spray a mixture of vinegar and salt in to the female connector, let it sit for 10 minutes and then scrap with that wire for a better result. Followed by spraying a solution of baking soda mixed in alcohol.
The challenges that I am thinking there will be are that, since the holes on the female connector are very narrow, air bubbles might prevent the vinegar or baking soda solution from going in. Also, removing the vinegar or baking soda might be challenging, I could even clog up the holes, defeating the purpose of this project.
My understanding of high school chemistry is that, it takes some kind of an acid to react with the oxidation. But, I have seen several people (on Internet diy videos) spraying organic solvents to remove oxidation, which is an inorganic compound. It doesn’t sound logical to me, but I am even thinking of spraying some MAP sensor cleaner on the female connector. Not sure if it will work or not. I don’t want to spray brake cleaner, because it will not be good for the plastic.
If nothing works, I am thinking of going to the junkyard and find a similar car, cut off the connector and attempt to rewire it on my car.
Looking at the tight space, short wire and the million connections, I am not confident if I can pull that off.
This is everything that I have planned. Each plan has a negative side, which makes me to second guess myself.
What do you suggest I do in this situation? Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.