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Disabling the passenger airbag

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by Jonc, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Jonc
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    Jonc Member

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    I am a lucky father to twins and transporting them the A4 means using our rear facing baby seats on the back seats. I would like to have one in the front passenger seat and one in the rear so that either myself or my wife can keep an eye on them on long journeys. Is there an easy way of disabling the passenger airbag. I know some A4 came with key operated switch in the glove box, however, mine doesn't. Will I have to take it to the dealers to get this done and does anyone know how much they will charge? Many thanks.
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  2. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is a real minefield. I looked at doing the same thing on both our Audi's, but apparently if you get it done it can effect your insurance, as in an accident you may or may not have disabled a life saving aid. It's a really grey area as to what constitutes an OK scenario. If the manufacturer has fitted a by-pass it seems to be OK, but if you retro fit one, even if Audi do it (which I doubt they'd want to), it is not OK.
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  3. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    It doesn't have any impact on insurance, in fact insurance companies are quite happy for airbags to be turned off as they cost a fortune to replace in the event of a crash.

    A dealer should be able to disable the passenger airbag for you. They might ask you to sign a legal waiver form so that in the event of an accident they don't get sued.

    Some dealers are paranoid about airbags, I've had some great convesations with them about deactivating them. I have been told it is illegal (totally untrue), that it will invalidate the MOT (totally untrue, in fact complete [censored] there is not airbag test in the MOT), and also the insurance myth is also often used.
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  4. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I did say "apparently".
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  5. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been doing a bit of research on this for my cars as jojo jr. has arrived. The passenger airbag has to be de-activated by your local dealer with a fitting kit, and you have to sign a disclaimer that you requested it. Price of fitting is generally just under £100, as most of it is labour, the kit costs around £25 IIRC, so do a bit of shopping around to get the best price.
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  6. Jonc
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    Jonc Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. I'll check with my dealer when my car goes in for the "bearing arm safety check".
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  7. moschino
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    moschino Member

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    JonC,

    I have had to do the same think on my 1998 Tdi.

    Audi sell a kit to disable the passenger airbag, all it consists of is a plug with a resister across the 2 pins and a few cable ties and a sticker to say that the airbag has been disabled. They sell it for about £30 ish.

    What I did was to just unplug the airbag, you have to remove the glovebox to be able to get to the plug. The warning light remains on, once your child has grown out of the seat, you can reconnect the plug and get the light reset.

    I have heard that it can be disabled via the diag port, the only problem with this is if your battery is on its way out and the volts drop below 9v, the airbag control unit will reset and the passenger airbag will be active again. This can happen, especially when cranking the engine the volt drop is quite bad.

    It be up to you old chap......
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  8. Jonc
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    Jonc Member

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    Thanks, I would try to disconnect it myself but don't know which cable to disconnect. Plus I didn't want to risk accidentally setting the thing off!!
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  9. moschino
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    moschino Member

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    JonC,

    There is only one connector on the Passenger Airbag. Remove the Glovebox, look underneath and you will find the bottom of the Airbag. follow the lead to the plug, about 5-8 inches away from the Airbag and disconnect from there.

    I didn't disconnect my battery for this and I was OK. I have not got the Radio code so I had to chance it! Make sure the ignition is off and the key is removed before you do this just incase.

    I am not sure when you re-connect the Airbag that you will have to have the control unit reset by VAG-COM or a dealer or just disconnecting the battery might be enough to reset the control unit?

    I will try mine in a few Months after my son has grown out of his baby seat.

    Regards,

    Jim.
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