Ive got a '99 Audi a4 and recently the airbag warning light has come on and won't go away. The Audi dealer told me the wiring under the drivers seat is either worn or torn and a replacement would cost me at least $500. Is there a way I can sort it out without forking out a stash?


That price is for the dealership to replace/repair. It also covers their warranty, factory warrantied parts etc. - dealers are generally much happier about sorting problems with official parts.

You could take it to an independent, which will be cheaper, but you won't get the factory warranties. They should hopefully still provide a warranty on their work - ymmv.

Our you could do it yourself, which should be cheapest but obviously you will get no warranty. What is your risk appetite here? You can buy parts from a number of places - wrecker's yard, online oem parts stores or the manufacturer direct.

If you are confident doing this yourself, it is one of the simpler repairs, but basically you get what you pay for.

  • You don't have to take anything to dealer to maintain warranties. It's a 1999 vehicle it doesn't have any warranties left anyways. Just get a new wiring harness from the wreckers and put it in yourself. Or get a shop to do it for $150-250. – Mike Saull May 12 '13 at 18:52
  • Mike - I am not talking about taking a warranty to the dealer. I am taking about the warranty they give you on the pays they fit. The other content of your comment is exactly what I said in my answer. – Rory Alsop May 12 '13 at 19:14
  • Factory warranty has a different meaning to me I guess. A parts/service warranty is different. I didn't even think shops warranty their own work. Where did you recommend getting a wiring harness from a wrecker? – Mike Saull May 12 '13 at 19:17
  • updated to make it much clearer. – Rory Alsop May 12 '13 at 20:02
  • The one part of a car I refuse to work on is anything related to the airbag, not only am I worried about accidental deployment , but also I want to make sure it's done right so I can be sure the airbag will deploy when needed. I probably wouldn't pay a dealer to do the work on a 14 year old car, but would definitely take it to an independent garage that has experience with the car. But, as Rory says, it depends on your risk appetite. – Johnny May 13 '13 at 1:53

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