My air bag system light started coming on a while ago. Sometimes it will come on and stay on, other times it will go off after a while. This usually happens when it starts raining out. I did some research online and found there is a typical problem on my vehicle (2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500) where the front air bag sensor has issues. This sensor sits in front of the radiator and is sitting out in the breeze, so no doubt why it would have issues with weather. To verify this was the issue, I put my scan tool on the system and verified this is the issue.

My question is, what is the proper way to prepare your vehicle to do maintenance on the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System)? I can imagine the best way is to disconnect the battery and let it sit, or something, for a period of time ... I just don't want the air bags to blow because I didn't prep correctly. Any referenced advice would be appreciated.

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    @DucatiKiller ... The great thing about SRS systems is the POST it does. If something isn't right with the system, it will let you know about it. I understand your concern for working on it, but I'm a little (scratch that) ... a LOT more adventuresome than that. This comes down to personal comfort level. All I need to do is replace the sensor and clean up the socket (if needed). I just want to make sure I don't pop the bags while doing it. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 19:34
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    The procedures I've seen for working on or in the vicinity of the airbag always involve disconnecting the battery and then standing on the brake pedal for 60-90 seconds. That makes me think there's a whopping big capacitor in there somewhere which you are draining with the relatively high load of the rear lights.
    – jscs
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 20:46
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    @Ducati: The standing on the brakes is done before you start any work on the SRS system, right? The air bag shouldn't be any more likely to go off than any other time you're in the driver's seat; probably much less since the car is stationary and the battery is disconnected. Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 0:40
  • @DucatiKiller ... Not yet ... Being lazy about it. Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 1:16
  • @NateEldredge Standing on the brake is to discharge any residual power in the system. If you're working around the airbag itself, it might be possible to set it off if you were to accidentally short some pins, or even through static discharge. I'd imagine that newer generation airbags prevent this from happening, but I wouldn't risk a broken neck. I know too many engineers to be that trusting.
    – 3Dave
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 14:51

2 Answers 2

  1. Disconnect the battery terminals.

  2. Unplug srs fuses if any exists in your fuse box.

  3. Unplug the steering wheel airbag its a yellow wire under steering column with a warning label.

  4. Unplug the dashboard air bag if you have one. It's a yellow wire under the dash. Same warning label on the passenger side.

  5. Replace your sensor

  6. Put your fuses back and connect the battery terminals. Test if the sensor is working with the scan tool.

  7. If the sensor is working ok then disconnect your battery again.

  8. Plug back the the yellow air bag wires.

  9. Reconnect the battery.

  10. Use your scan tool to erase all SRS error codes from the PCM.

Advice - make sure that you have a good sensor and its working before reconnecting the airbag yellow wires.

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    I appreciate the answer. Maybe there is a communication gap here, but wondering if you could edit this for clarity? I'm only following about half of what you have stated. Hopefully I'm not sounding mean about this ... with as squirrelly as the SRS is, I don't want to take chances. Commented May 25, 2015 at 1:39
  • Sorry I was writting it on the phone I will edit the answer once I get hold of a computer the points must have mixed up Commented May 25, 2015 at 1:43
  • i have edited the answer for you i hope it helps Commented May 25, 2015 at 2:01
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    This makes a lot of sense, especially the part about testing the system prior to plugging the bags back in. Do you, by chance, have any references for this? Commented May 25, 2015 at 2:06
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    Not really I owned I gatage at one point its just experince you wont find much about this online because its realky risky but we used to do overhuals so cars where stripped and redone thats how I know the steps Commented May 25, 2015 at 2:13
  1. Disconnect the battery terminals
  2. Wait at least for 30mn.
  3. Replace your sensor
  4. Before testing be sure to have plugged back all airbags system.
  5. connect the battery terminals. Test if the sensor is working with the scan tool.

Never check sensors with Multimeter.

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