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1998 STS Stalling while driving problems.


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In previous posts I trouble shot with the mechanic what I thought were the problems I encountered.

He traced it to the ignition swith and found a wire harness clip not attached properly. He repaired it and for a while things were fine. The problem, (same problem) re-emerged in the past two weeks and has gotten worse.

Now the car dies on the road and wont restart. The dash won't even light up. When it eventually does, the display panel reads "Service Air Bag No. 1" aLso there is a "whirring sound" coming from behind the rear seat that occurs 2 or 3 times before the computer stabilizes itself to start. This happens while driving or just stopping at at a destination. (the problem occurs on restart.)

My opinion is that the relay board under the back seat either has a bad relay or the airbag motor is either bad or the airline is bad ( I'm not sure yet if there is an airbag sensor, nothing shows up as a code). This car only has 24,350 mi. and has been garage kept since I bought it. In it's history it has taken two rear end hits, both cost less than 1k to repair. The problems began after the second hit.

I have an appointment with my mechanic for 10/21 at 8:00 AM to try to figure this out. This is the only problem I have experienced with this great car since I bought it.

If anyone out there has had this experience with this problem or has any detailed suggestions as to what to look for, please let me know.

Regards, Pat

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I haven't a clue as to what will fix it. Even so, let me shed some light on the air bag light. If you take the vehicle in for service and the service air bag light is luminated, federal laws mandates that the shop is supposed to empound your car, and it cannot be released to the owner until the defect is corrected.

I don't know how serious that most shops take the law, but I spent 6 weeks as an assistant manager at a shop. We were instructed to not pull the car in the shop, inform the customer of the federal law, and void the work order if one had been made. If they bitched, we'd remind them that we were doing them a favor because we were already in the gray area of whether or not we violated the law by releasing the car.

Just something to keep in mind.

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The display panel only reads Service Airbag No. 1 while the car is unable to start. If you leave the key in the on position the car computer continues to reset itself. Then you hear the "whirring sound" of a motor in the rear of the car. If it resets successfully the car can then be started and there are no further warnings.

My guess is a main relay or interposing relay problem but it could be a bad air line or motor. However, no such code ever showed up on the computer. That could be because there is no sensor on the airbag motor. I am hoping that someone experienced this problem can offer advice. Opinions are welcome but please keep all of the symptoms in mind.

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