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The Dreaded Airbag Warning Light & Vagcom - Please hellllp!

Danno57 Apr 21, 2013

  1. Danno57

    Danno57 Member VCDS Map User

    So my MOT is due next week and I have just read the 2013 pass requirements, one of which is that if there are any warning lights displayed on the dash after the ignition-on bulb test, its an instant fail! Instantly started crapping myself.

    Well my airbag warning light has been displayed since purchase so after some research online, I learnt that if the airbag warning light is on it actually disables ALL the airbags incase of mis-detonation (if I knew that I probably wouldn't of driven it!)

    So today I scanned with vcds and the result was '00589 - Airbag Igniter; Passenger Side (N131): Resistance too High'

    After looking on some forums people say that (N131) is the passenger dashboard airbag and to check the yellow connector, so that's what I did today (as well as checking the cables under the seat which is a known problem). But after going into measuring blocks I found some other problems - see pics.

    I disconnected the battery and removed the glovebox, then unclipped the airbag cable to check for corrosion - it looked fine but I gave it a spray with wd40 anyway. After that I checked the cables under the seat and done the same (it looks fine)

    Now I've read that some people have fitted a 4.5ohm resistor but I think that's a bit silly seeing as it means you won't have an airbag anymore and that you're just fooling the system into thinking there's an airbag there!

    Do you think it could be a faulty airbag and that I should just replace it and see if it cures the problem? Or do you think it could be the controller (because its saying there is high resistance in other places)

    Thanks for any help, much appreciated.




    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  2. voorhees

    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator Team V8 Audi S5 s tronic

    God forbid Danno but if you were have a crash without airbags :sadlike: also your insurance would be void.
    I would try bypassing the connector if your sure that's the problem and you know electrics.
    Mine goes on now and again but goes off.
  3. Danno57

    Danno57 Member VCDS Map User

    Thanks mate, I just spoke to my brother in law and he knows a guy who does the MOT testing/repairs at an Audi dealer, he said confidently that it wouldn't be the airbag itself but definitely the yellow connector under the seat as he's had this problem loads of times. I did check this connector and it seemed okay (removed and re-seated it a couple of times) The guy said he'd hardwire both seats for £40.

    Are the seats pretty easy to remove so I could just do it myself? As long as the battery is removed first and I wait for around 15 mins for the stored power to drain.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  4. hades-

    hades- Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    its very common for the seat bag wireing to be at fault
    iv done loads
    and 40 quid to do both is very good.
    just make sure he uses the correct wires
  5. Ste_Nova

    Ste_Nova Active Member

    do you not remember a time before airbags?
  6. Danno57

    Danno57 Member VCDS Map User

    Haha :) The only reason I said that was because someone said online they could (rarely) be set off at any moment if its faulty. Going to get this guy to do it I think, then if its still showing up after a vagcom reset he might know where to go from there.
  7. JohnM100

    JohnM100 #teamSepang VCDS Map User Gold Supporter

    Mine did this occasionally, and I tracked it to when the passenger front seat was a long way back. Cabling etc all looked fine. Moving the seat forward a couple of notches and the fault hasn't come back.

    Hardwire is a better solution though.

    As the error is "resistance too high - intermittent" then no risk in clearing the fault code in VCDS. The more dangerous fault code is "short to ground" and I wouldn't want to clear that one without a good fix as believe clearing that code can deploy the airbag.

  8. Danno57

    Danno57 Member VCDS Map User

    Hi John thanks for the information. I hardwired both seats yesterday to no avail unfortunately, I cleared the code with VCDS then went back into the controller to do a new scan and the fault code came up again. Seeing as the error code is for the dashboard airbag I hardwired that as well and the code still flags up in a new scan!

    I think I will try replacing the airbag next? Seen a tested one on eBay for £25. This is a real bummer now because I know it's not going to pass the MOT (its ran out now too) and I need the car.
  9. Danno57

    Danno57 Member VCDS Map User

    Today I finally fixed it!

    Hardwiring didn't fix the problem with the dashboard airbag, it turned out to be the actual airbag itself! Found a tested one on eBay for £12 from a breakers, fitted it today and cleared the code with vagcom and the light never came back on!! Literally jumped up and down like a monkey on 10 cans of red bull..

    So happy it's all fixed and its nice to know all my airbags will work in-case of a crash.

    For everyone else, if you have the following fault code:

    00589 - Airbag Igniter; Passenger Side (N131): Resistance too High'

    Try hardwiring first, (N131 means dashboard airbag) so many people suggested hardwiring the wires under the seat for this code (because its common) and I wondered why because the side airbags have nothing to do with this fault code, if it was those wires it would display the side airbag fault code instead. If hardwiring doesn't solve the problem then replace the airbag with a tested one from a breaker like I have.

    Job done!
    Last edited: May 1, 2013

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