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  1. #1
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Airbag Warning Light

    Evening all...

    It seems that my electrical system is deciding to play funny buggers after 9 years of problem free motoring.

    Last week, my front brake pad warning sensors were rendered useless (corroded wiring) and subsequently deactivated (to over-ride the dashboard warning) at a cost of 100 >:-(, and just today I've noticed that the Airbag warning light is coming on (and staying on...)

    I will need to get it checked out, but before I do, are there any rudimentary checks I can perform to see if I can sort it out?

    I don't want to have the car back in the garage this close to Christmas, as I really don't want to spend any more money if I can help it...

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    AndyC

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  3. #2
    NHN
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    Yeah find someone local to you with vagcom for free & this will help you track down where the error has come from, which airbag has given error

    as for brakes, well a simple change of pads & maybe replace the loom part of the warning system would have resolved this for maybe another 9 years or more fella, but its only one pad that has the wire anyway but both have to be changed, but 100 seems steep to repair corroded wires, just cut & join fix which would then re-enable this system, who did you over fella, lol

    What was the 100 for?

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  4. #3
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    9 time out of 10 the airbag light is due to the connection under one or both of the front seats, simple enough fix by either cleaning up the connections in the plug, or soldering the wires together, then just get the light switched off.
    '99 noggy blue S4 / '84 mk1 Astra GTE turbo

  5. #4
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Well,

    Apparently mine has a sensor on each wheel (according to the chap at the garage).

    Anyhow, the actual wire/ plug assembly was simply missing from the connector on the nearside front pad. It must have just "fallen off".They ordered in the part (2.50 or something like that) but it didn't arrive. So, they said they would simply carry out a bespoke repair to the wiring - I was quoted about 40 for this).

    Now, once they fixed the sensor they tried the system and there was still a problem (the warning light remained on). So, they checked the wiring and found that the cables were badly corroded back to the bosch unit (ECU presumably?). So, in order to stop the light from coming on, they bridged the sensor and as a result I now have no functioning brake pad sensors. All in, for the labour carried out, 104. Great.

    I wasn't too happy, and pointed out that they never called to say that the job was bigger than expected (after all I could have happily lived with a faulty sensor if I knew it would cost 100+ to simply disable it...). Didn't make a difference.

    The garage was Lochrin Autos, Edinburgh (who up 'til now had been very good). I'm contemplating getting back in touch to complain, but I don't know if that horse has bolted...

    Ach well...

    AC

  6. #5
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    I had a Airbag light on for a while then got it vagcom'd and found it only needed the error cleared and its been fine ever since.

    Please note while the airbag warning light is on ALL the airbags are disabled.

    Bee Five | A4 2.4 V6 30V Tip SE | OEM S4 Alloys | S4 Bumper | S4 Leathers | HIDs| Billy's & Bachs | I Aint new to this | Hit the THANKS Button if my post is any use |Thanks!

  7. #6
    NHN
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    Definitely get back in touch as you should always be advised of anymore work before commencement, full stop

    Uh thats complete ******, corroded back to the ecu, yeah right pull the other one, in the arch maybe but not all way back, they could of traced it back & then joined further up, it wouldnt of gone all the way back to the next connection unlikely & if it was they should of ordered replacement wires anyway not do a ****e job/quick fix, but whats interesting is if with there fix the light went out then the system obvious is working on the wires anyway so IMHO it could of easily be repaired & working properly with new pads aswell & very doubtful it was bridged at any ecu

    its a usual garage trick to up the cost without telling you, sensor in each wheel, you sure cause it would be fronts & rears one side only as they wear evenly 99% time anyway so why on each wheel

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  8. #7
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about whether I should kick up a stink, as strictly I paid the bill and walked away. I only really got thinking about it after I got home.

    With the Airbag warning light on, I'm going to need someone to look at it (probably them). I might "suggest" that it would be "good" of them to have a look and sort it out for me ex gratia...

    (NB. The pads are only 6 months old)

    Cheers
    AndyC

    PS. Complete tangent - What Could I expect to get for my car? I'm thinking that now is about time to get a new one! It's a 1999 (V) A4 SE 1.9TDI(110) with quite a few optional extras and so on. It's got 106000 miles on it. (NB. The mats have been replaced). Taxed/ MOT Jul 09. FSH. 3 brand new tyres too...

    Here are some pics:











    Cheers,
    AndyC

  9. #8
    jcb
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    nice Mk1 with p-slots. yours?

  10. #9
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Heh!

    Wondered if anyone would notice that!

    Yes, it *was* mine - I sold it in September. It was a Golf GX - very good condition.

    Here are some pics of it if you're interested!









    Cheers!

    A.

  11. #10
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    Your B5 is the same color mine used to be - Agate Grey.

    Yours seems to be in fine fettle too.

    Welcome aboard.

  12. #11
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Quick update...

    I've spoken to the garage and brought the car back in today for them to check the warning light. They have "graciously" waived the diagnostic fee (50, apparently) and have reported the following:

    The system error is indicating a problem with the driver's side pillar/ seat airbag. They have no way of knowing if it's a problem with the airbag itself, or just the wiring.

    I've been told that to investigate requires removing the chair and checking the wiring etc. I've been quoted 2-3hrs labour, not including parts, of around 160 for the repair.

    This seems awfully expensive to me and I'm trying to think of alternatives to reduce the cost.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance,
    A.

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    Your not going to fall for that are you?
    There will be nothing wrong with the airbag.
    It will be the connecter from the main wiring loom to the airbag wires under the seat.
    The connecter is under the seat.
    It needs cleaning then a few dabs of silicon where the wires go into the plastic connector housing should see it working.
    Then get the light reset.
    Its the wires going open circuit as something moves the wire.
    I.E. a hoover or vibration or the seat getting moved when somebody else drives the car.
    It takes about 10 minutes to get that seat out so where does 2-3 hours come from?
    If your happy spending that kind of money why dont you buy a proper vagcom lead and download the software so you can reset the light yourself.
    Or ask nicely on this forum - there is bound to be someone around your way who will do it for free or a lot less than 160

  14. #13
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    The problem is the connectors are ****e. Cut them off and solder the wires together and get the fault codes reset and you'll be golden.

    Will take about 15mins tops.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  15. #14
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    ive got an idea find a new garage!
    sounds like connector problem mentioned earlier, very common, but without exact fault code description cant be 100% certain
    i bought my first a4 with airbag light on, audi dealer only charged 50 to diagnose and fix problem(wiggle connector and reset), its come back a few times but ive since invested in vagcom, did they even try reseting or just read code

    gx brings back memories 3rd car i owned lhasa green one, 1st engine change i did, swapped to 1800 with twin weber, then moved on to gti's

  16. #15
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Thanks...

    I'm going to request a full readout of the fault code, and I'll ask them to try and reset the alarm to see if it goes away.It's worth noting that before the airbag warning light became a permanent feature on the dash, it did come on and off again a couple of times in the weeks beforehand.

    Can you tell me exactly where the connector is located so I can at least have a go myself? Does the seat really need to come off, or is it possible to just use a torch and a bit of imagination!?

    Cheers!
    A.

  17. #16
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    The fault code will be something like
    fault code 0058-airbag igniter driver side
    which isnt really that helpful - I wouldnt bother going back to the garage you wont learn anything new-its a common fault and three people here have told you how to fix it.
    You can probably get away with leaving the seat in if you raise it to its highest position and get to it from the behind the drivers seat.
    If your going to solder it i would take the seat out thought- dont want to burn holes in the carpet!
    If you can work whilst standing on your head you should be ok!
    Good luck.

  18. #17
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Thanks James...

    I'll certainly not be spending 160+, that's for sure.

    I'm handy enough with a soldering iron, but as to standing on my head, that might be tricky!

    Ideally, I just want to have a look at it first and gauge how tricky it would be for me to do.

    Cheers,
    A.

  19. #18
    jcb
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    soldering works but then you have to cut the wire if you take out teh seats in the future

  20. #19
    NHN
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    Dont cut or solder anything until you find the actual fault, soldering adds resistance & when it gets cold it can cause false errors, find the fault 1st then post on here, I personally use red, blue or yellow bullet connectors in these situations, just incase I have to disconnect & of course depending on gauge of wire of what colour you use.

    As its an airbag system caution is advised, I think its as someone else has advised, the plug has either come loose or the pin itself has moved, very easy simple solution, clean, clip back together etc, cutting of wires is the extreme case needed if the pin is broken, then you use repair wires & bullets in 99% of cases

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  21. #20
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    i would think that soldering the two parts together will give a lower resistance than crimped on bullet connectors...

    The connectors themselves are junk. They replaced them in later cars with gold plated ones to stop the faults happening, and even the gold ones cause problems but less often.

    Without vagcom to reset the codes yourself, "wiggling the plug" and hoping it will be all good could get pretty expensive if it keeps recurring.

    Ok soldered leads mean its a hassle should you come to remove the seat, but then its not like your taking the seat out the car very often is it?

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  22. #21
    NHN
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    Couldnt disagree more, used them for now what 15 years plus & not had a single fault on them to date, the main issue with bullets was using the correct ratchet tool to squeeze them, people used to use the crappy cheap homebase ones with no ratchet/sprung loaded system, if you use the correct tool for the bullets they dont fail & the soldering has been well known to cause higher resistance on airbag systems specifically when I discussed it with an audi tech, they said they used as I do if wire is broken or pin replaced with repair wire

    & it does depend on the correct bullets for gauge of wire, if you use yellow bullets on a .35 repair wire then yeah you're right resistance would be higher, but red would be the correct size, common sense prevails one would think

    & to also add they dont use gold plated repair wires through the whole car, majority of the time its standard with no gold plating, I bought enough lately to know this

    Wiggling a cable isnt going to cause any damage, its not 240v with a huge current is it, the airbag system wont ignite, just throw a code, trust me had some fun with my seat airbags as per his so lets not confuse the guy

    But its your car, feel free to do either as its only IMHO & others, but I'm talking from personal experience on the same issues very recently, not speculating at all & to date since repaired, no faults at all.

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  23. #22
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    I suppose he could give the bullets a try, and if they cause more faults then solder it as a last resort.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Saloon, Black-ish
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  24. #23
    NHN
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    Yeah agree, best course of action, it does sound like a dodgy connector though, tbh the plugs usually come loosely undone on the airbgas on the bottom of seats so it might need pushing back together & the thrown code clearing, many on here have reported same/similar issue tbh & most just had a loose plug.

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  25. #24
    jcb
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    soldering adds resistance
    how? surely a true soldered joint has way less resistance than a plug fitting?

  26. #25
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    Chaps,
    Soldering wires together instead of using connectors gives you a much lower resistance. There is no way that a friction fit connector will give lower resistance than solder.
    I have soldered my connector under teh driver seat a few years ago and the warning light has never come back on.
    For info - Pre 2000 A4's do not use Gold Plated connectors and as such they are prone to High Resistance Faults that cause the AirBag light to come on.
    It is down to the owner of the car if he wants to clean the connector or to solder, cleaning the connector will only delay the light from coming back on! Especially if the drivers seat is constantly moved up and down if different sized people drive the car.
    Jim.

  27. #26
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    Chaps,
    Soldering wires together instead of using connectors gives you a much lower resistance. There is no way that a friction fit connector will give lower resistance than solder.
    I have soldered my connector under teh driver seat a few years ago and the warning light has never come back on.
    For info - Pre 2000 A4's do not use Gold Plated connectors and as such they are prone to High Resistance Faults that cause the AirBag light to come on.
    It is down to the owner of the car if he wants to clean the connector or to solder, cleaning the connector will only delay the light from coming back on! Especially if the drivers seat is constantly moved up and down if different sized people drive the car.
    Jim.

  28. #27
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Well...

    After a week or so, the airbag light has come back on again. I've had a look at the connector and it's easy enough to get at if the seat is adjusted properly. I'll probably have a go at cleaning it before trying to solder the wires mind you.

    I'll be meeting up with Aragorn in the new year to see if we can get it sorted.

    Currently looking at an A6 "Final Edition" at Edinburgh Audi... so might be interested in offers for the A4 if anyone's interested...

  29. #28
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Well, with thanks to Aragorn, the error is now cleared and seems to be staying off.

    Couple of points - when we looked at the wires they seemed to be gold plated, and very clean. Nevertheless, rather than attempting to solder them straight away, we just cleaned them and gave them a spray of WD40.

    The only downside is that having disconnected the battery, the stereo has gone into safe mode, and it would appear that when I bought the car I wasn't supplied with the radio code.

    The manual says that Audi will reset it free of charge for me, so I'll do that tomorrow hopefully.

    In other news, I've just secured a new (54) A6 Avant so I need to shift the A4 pronto!

    Thanks to everyone for all the help.

    Cheers,
    A.

  30. #29
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    How does one reset the airbag light??

  31. #30
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    You need vagcom. Just open up the airbag controller and clear the fault codes.

    Amimmortal: good job you can get the radio reset free, will audi supply the code incase it happens again?

    You need to get some pics of the avant up

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Saloon, Black-ish
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  32. #31
    Dave DND's Avatar
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    In case Audi are unable to assist with the radio code, give me a yell

    Radio decoding is what I do for a living !!
    Regards

    Dave

    Radio & Decoding Technician
    In Car Audio Service Department

    DND Services Ltd
    Paignton

    01803-391680

    www.dndservices.co.uk
    www.instant-radio-codes.com

    My Daily Hack is a 1999 A4 Avant 2.4 SE V6 Auto

  33. #32
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    I thought dealers have to supply the radio code free of charge by law.
    Honda do.
    All they need is the serial number of the radio and the reg number of your car.

  34. #33
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Yeah...

    Audi retrieved the code for me free of charge (actually says so in the Audi Symphony manual...) I have a copy of it now.

    In other news, I sold the A4 today so should have the A6 by the weekend fingers crossed!

    A

    PS... Here's the Avant!



    Last edited by amimmortal; 8th January 2009 at 23:18.

  35. #34
    docurley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amimmortal View Post
    Well,

    Apparently mine has a sensor on each wheel (according to the chap at the garage).

    Anyhow, the actual wire/ plug assembly was simply missing from the connector on the nearside front pad. It must have just "fallen off".They ordered in the part (2.50 or something like that) but it didn't arrive. So, they said they would simply carry out a bespoke repair to the wiring - I was quoted about 40 for this).

    Now, once they fixed the sensor they tried the system and there was still a problem (the warning light remained on). So, they checked the wiring and found that the cables were badly corroded back to the bosch unit (ECU presumably?). So, in order to stop the light from coming on, they bridged the sensor and as a result I now have no functioning brake pad sensors. All in, for the labour carried out, 104. Great.

    I wasn't too happy, and pointed out that they never called to say that the job was bigger than expected (after all I could have happily lived with a faulty sensor if I knew it would cost 100+ to simply disable it...). Didn't make a difference.

    The garage was Lochrin Autos, Edinburgh (who up 'til now had been very good). I'm contemplating getting back in touch to complain, but I don't know if that horse has bolted...

    Ach well...

    AC
    You got shafted as this is a load of bull I have messed with all of that system and there is no way the loom for the brakes could be corroded.

    they have taken the piss, the brake sensor works on being earthed Full stopped and just cutting the wire would have sorted it out once and for all (worst case).

    Think about it how many people dont connect them up and never get a brake light and all that happens is that you will not know when the pads have warn down until you hear the dreaded metal on metal sound or you inspect them.
    Black Audi RS4 2006 Exclusive edition, Black optic option (stock for now)

  36. #35
    Dave DND's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moschino View Post
    I thought dealers have to supply the radio code free of charge by law.
    Honda do.
    All they need is the serial number of the radio and the reg number of your car.
    No. The Supplying Dealership has to supply the radio code for a brand new vehicle, but after that its down to the customer service of the dealership and nothuing else.

    With everybody changing radios about these days, the chassis number of the car will only tell you what it came down the production line with, not necessarily what it has ended up with by the time it has been upgraded or replaced etc. If the chassis number of radio and reg number do not match, then the dealership are powerless to assist.

    Buts thats where I come in, as if the Dealerships were any good at supplying the correct number, then since 1992, I would not have become one of the largest Car Audio decoding experts in Europe !!
    Regards

    Dave

    Radio & Decoding Technician
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    01803-391680

    www.dndservices.co.uk
    www.instant-radio-codes.com

    My Daily Hack is a 1999 A4 Avant 2.4 SE V6 Auto

  37. #36
    amimmortal's Avatar
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    Perhaps in most cases, but in this case, it does clearly state that a lost radio code will be supplied by Audi free of charge. And I'm the third owner...

    A.

  38. #37
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    Not sure how Audi do it, but Honda can supply the Radio Code without the chassis/Reg number of the car it was first supplied with.

    I have managed to get hold of 2 SatNav units from 2 different CR-V's (2003) and Honda Milton Keynes gave me the Code from the Serial Number of the SatNav. They only required my cars reg number incase the units were stolen, they could inform the police who they supplied the code to.

 

 

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