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Disabling Air Bag System


Poobah

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Many repair procedures advise disabling the air bag system before doing the actual work. The Factory Service Manual says you have to remove a fuse under the rear seat cushion and unplug electrical connectors under the dash and under the front seats. This involves removing some closure panels to get to the connectors.

I have read on this forum that the system can be disabled by disconnecting the battery 15 minutes before doing the work. This seems like a whole lot less work than the FSM procedure. Is this a reliable way to disable the system? Is 15 minutes enough time to discharge the capacitors?

I would hate to accidently deploy those buggers while doing some minor repair job! :o

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....

I have read on this forum that the system can be disabled by disconnecting the battery 15 minutes before doing the work. This seems like a whole lot less work than the FSM procedure. Is this a reliable way to disable the system? Is 15 minutes enough time to discharge the capacitors?

I would hate to accidently deploy those buggers while doing some minor repair job! :o

IF (capital IF) discharging capacitors is all it takes to safety the system, after you remove the negative cable from the battery, connect a jumper wire from the battery positive terminal to a known good-clean ground point on the chassis.

Jim

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....

I have read on this forum that the system can be disabled by disconnecting the battery 15 minutes before doing the work. This seems like a whole lot less work than the FSM procedure. Is this a reliable way to disable the system? Is 15 minutes enough time to discharge the capacitors?

I would hate to accidently deploy those buggers while doing some minor repair job! :o

IF (capital IF) discharging capacitors is all it takes to safety the system, after you remove the negative cable from the battery, connect a jumper wire from the battery positive terminal to a known good-clean ground point on the chassis.

Certainly, the service manual will have you take every possible precaution possible. True, you do not want to have the bags deploy while working on them or something else.

In reality, it is fairly simple to pull a fuse and disconnect the yellow air bag pigtails. This would be the fail safe procedure. 10 minute procedure?

That being said, once the capacitors discharge. Pretty hard to have deployment. Take a sledge hammer to a junk car that has had the battery disconnected. Hit it anywhere as many times as you want....the air bags are not going to deploy.

Been playing with these 15 years....

http://www.airbagcrash.com/contactusetc.html

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I've read that to reset everything when you take the cables off,

You should touch them together for a few seconds to "discharge the capacitors"

Good luck!

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When I replaced the steering wheel switch on my daughters '99 SLS I had to remove the air bag. I think I recall the FSM said it only took 15 seconds for the capacitors to discharge. Heck, it took :20 min. just to get to the air bag mounting screws after pulling the fuse (that's all I pulled). Never had a problem.

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