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Service Air Bag Message


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New to the forum, looks like a great way to share information and become smart about our cars.

I have a '97 Deville D'Elegance with 35k miles which I have owned for almost 3 months. The first issue that has recently popped up is an intermittent "Service Air Bag" message and associated red warning light. The code appears to br SDM B1148 as it cycles between history and current as the air bag light comes and goes.

Any ideas what would cause this? Why is it intermittent? Possible fix by owner, if not, is this a dealer only repair?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

I have other issues that I will start a separate thread about.

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B1148 - Passenger Side Air Bag System Malfunction

Not sure what would be involved in repairing it. A FSM would be invaluable if you are going to attemp your own repair.

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there are quite a few cars in the UK/Europe that pop up the air bag light.

one of the main causes is a bad connection under the seats.

i have repaired several cars just by unclipping the connectors and plugging them back in.

airbags use sensors in the seats to detect passengers, if the wiring has a bad connection the computer throws a code.

also faulty abs sensors can do the same thing as the airbag sometimes uses the abs sensor to determine the speed.

obviously you need to be very careful when working on airbag systems, a FSM is almost essential if you are thinking of taking apart any of the system as it needs disabling first.

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Air bags are dangerous and have been known to kill people working on them. If absolutely must have a factory shop manual (FSM) and be prepared to work with dangerous explosives if you want to work on the air bag. When you mess with anything, like even nighel's working with the plugs under the seat, stay clear of the air bag deployment zone. For example work from under the dash, not in the car, and tip the steering wheel up. Follow all the precaustions on the air bag system.

The FSM has surprising air bag cautions in a number of operations, such as disabling the air bag early in a radiator change, for example. Helm, Inc. has a half-price sale on Cadillac manuals right now.

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Thanks guys for the info and cautions. I don't think I will be messing with the air bag system other than to VERY carefully checking the underseat connections as suggested by Nigel.

While checking the code for the air bag problem I came across one other that was listed as a current and not history. I will put that in a separate thread.

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There was a recall back in 2000...may or not be related..

"General Motors has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 1997 and all 1998-1999 model year Cadillac DeVille model vehicles. The side impact air bags may deploy unexpectedly, without a crash, as the vehicle is started or during normal driving.

A driver or right front passenger in the proper driving or seating positions and using safety belts could receive minor injuries, such as bruising, from contact with a deploying side impact air bag. However, a driver or right front passenger that is too close to an inflating air bag could receive more serious injuries.


Dealers are to replace the driver and passenger side impact sensing modules. On vehicles that have had the side air bags temporarily disconnected, the temporary disconnect must be removed before replacing the side impact sensing modules (for U.S. see GM Administrative Message WIA20000141 and WIA20000142, transmitted December 13, 2000, and for Canada see e-mail transmitted November 8, 2000).

Vehicles Involved

Involved are certain 1997-99 Cadillac DeVille model vehicles built within these VIN breakpoints:

1997 : Only vehicles that have had side impact sensing modules replaced with P/N 16258656 or 09356956.

1998-99 : All vehicles EXCEPT those that have had side impact sensing modules replaced with P/N 25729097 module."

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Possible fix by owner, if not, is this a dealer only repair?

Most body shops and many dealerships subcontract air bag work to independent specialists. It shouldn't be too difficult to find one in your area.


Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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